Sunday, January 17, 2016

Getting to know Gracie

I'm the lucky one.
Recently, God blessed me with another dog, Gracie. She was little, lost and very scared. I gave her my word, to take care of her for the rest of her life.
It's going on two weeks now and I am so pleased to report that she is doing really well considering the hard time she must of gone through before I got her. This little dog was obviously starved most of her life, not to mention afraid of humans. This messaging has made her very confused and skittish around people.
We believe she is part "bearded collie", I see it mostly in her face. Having met a bearded collie once named Nash, I am reminded of him when I see Gracie run. Total herding instinct, with a delightful temperament. Easy to understand why she was misunderstood. Beaded collies are related old English sheepdogs. 
Her name comes from, "Amazing Grace". Gracie is saving me; I've always had pets from birth, but this one is extra special and I will not leave or abandon her.
One of her issues is growling and barring her teeth at people. I tell her it's okay, but I realize it will take time for her to get over this behavior. She has bitten me, but softly, to let me know she is afraid. I am grateful to understand this about her behavior. I am no "dog psychic", but I understand dogs. When I pet her she relaxes and actually falls asleep in my lap.
Last week I forgot an important principal when going a dog a bone. I gave Gracie a bone for being a good girl and later found her guarding the bone and growling at my helper when she went to take it away. I forgot rule number 1, never give a starving dog a bone and then take it away. So, I gave her a small amount of food and took the bone away.

Hand-feeding a starving dog will enable them to trust you more and will not overeat to the point of getting sick. Gracie's food is measured in small portions three times a day for now and she is putting on healthy weight.


She was also full of hot spots so I changed her food to corn/wheat free, dog food made with chicken veggies and rice. I feed her three times a day and I add cut up apples to her kibbles as an extra treat. She lets me treat her runny eyes, feel her body, accepted flea treatment without a fuss. I can even bathe her without getting growled at.

Gracie is very smart and has learned 3 or 4 commands like: sit, down, go to your bed and boundary. I am working on recall next.
Most of the day now she is patrolling the yard looking for gophers. She seems happy and content. She goes in and out of the doggie dog with ease now.
My yellow lab Bud is her new found friend and they have bonded. Wherever Bud goes she's not far and will look for him if he goes into another room.
Bud likes Gracie being in training because he gets a treat too when she does well, (it wouldn't be fair to not treat him too), he knows he's getting a freebie. Bud is my best boy and he knows it!

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