Whew, Liezel had a busy week!
Highlights from some of our walks:
- A neighbor’s dog charged after us. I turned to walk away but it kept coming at us. Surprisingly, Liezel gave no signs of fear or aggression so I stopped and faced it. It sniffed Liezel and quickly lost interest. We talked with the owners a bit and they each gave Liezel a few treats. When we walked away, and past their dog, Liezel put her paw on it. It squealed and ran away.
- A guy pulled over on the side of the road to stop us. This kind of thing always makes me nervous, but I carried on a brief conversation with him and Liezel stayed right by my side. She had no noticeable reaction.
- We walked into the street and / or to the other side of the street in a couple of instances to avoid potential conflict: loose dogs in a front yard, a guy on a ladder in the middle of the sidewalk, and a child on a scooter coming toward us. She was completely disinterested in all of those distractions.
Tuesday night agility was outside. She was very interested in all of the smells, but did fairly well with the courses. Some guidance was required as her nose pulled her off track a few times. She had a couple of barking / lunging reactions to other dogs through the fence. The trainer has always told me that “fence fighting” is fairly common, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about Liezel doing it. Her reactions were short lived and she calmed immediately.
We had several strangers to the house. In two instances where the strangers came in, we put her outside. She watched from the door wall and only lightly scratched on the door periodically. We kept her in the house while we met a contractor outside. She barked a few times and scratched to get out, but overall was what I would consider a “normal” way for a dog to act.
We had a delivery that required a couple of guys to come in and out of the house several times. I initially put Liezel in her crate, but she carried on with complete disregard to my commands. I ended up putting her outside until they were done and that seemed to be a much better solution for her (she still does not like to be crated).
I mentioned last week that we would be hosting Easter dinner at our house. I think my husband may have been slipping calming drugs into my food throughout the week because I was totally fine with the upcoming houseful. I like entertaining, it’s just that this was the first party we were going to have since getting Liezel and we didn’t know how she was going to react.
We started by putting her in the bedroom as people arrived. She barked and scratched on the wall and then the door, but I eventually let her out. She initially ran around, jumped on a couple of people, and put her front paws on the counter (!) but once she got a look at and smell of everyone there, she calmed enough for us to let our guard down. She played with the children in the back yard, helped with the egg hunt in the front yard, and laid at my side while we ate dinner. Everyone commented on what a good dog she is (probably thinking we have been crying wolf these past three years) and she let a couple of people touch her (I was adamant about no one touching her head). My husband and I really could not believe how well she did!
It was a great week of learning for Liezel. She was a superstar though all of it! It is weeks like this that make me reflect on just how far she has come. ❤