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ALL ABOUT LACY
ALL ABOUT LACY
My husband and I had just lost our
beautiful Pit-girl, Molly, to cancer (
hemangiosarcoma ) and couldn't stand having an empty house, so I
glued myself to the computer and tracked down every dog within my search
criteria (smallish, shorthaired, female). The only likely
candidate was a skinny, little, year old, terrier/beagle/? mix
named Lady, at
Angel Paws Rescue Haven, in Gloversville, NY.
She was smaller than we'd planned on
and rather bony, as the picture shows, weighing in at a mere 10.4 lbs.
And she'd apparently never been on a leash or had much socialization,
but in the end she snagged us and we
|took her home.
In keeping with what's become an unplanned tradition, we named her
something close to her foster name...in this case "Lady" became "Lacy."
And, to reflect her southern origins (yet another unplanned tradition),
we added on "Belle."
In just 3 weeks time,
we got her up to 13 lbs. and had to back off considerably on the food.
We were used to feeding a 50 to 70 pound dogs, so using a 2-Tbsp coffee scoop
took some getting used to.
Trek from Tennessee...
Lacy was shipped up from Newport, Tennessee,
shortly before we adopted her. Apparently her people turned her
and several other dogs in to the shelter, because "they kept having
puppies." Hmmm.... Anyway, that's no longer a
adoption day: So thin...
The first week we had her,
everybody was trying to figure out what kind of mix Lacy was. Terrier
and Beagle were pretty much agreed on, although whether it was Jack Russel
or what, we weren't sure. Some folks thought there was Dachshund in
there, but I was inclined to go with Whippet or Italian Greyhound.
Then I stopped in at a local pet shop and, when I mentioned that she was
from Tennessee, the salesgirl said she was from there as well and that Lacy
was most likely a Feist
(squirrel dog). After doing some research, I'm inclined to agree.
Depending on who you read,
Feists are either a) from Rat Terriers, b) were here 200 years before the
Rat Terrier, c) are synonymous with Rat Terriers or d) are from and/or mixed
with Native American stock (Countryside & Small Stock Journal, Vol. 91, # 6,
Nov/Dec 2007). In any case, Beagle has often been bred in to enhance their noses and Whippet or Italian
Greyhound have been added for speed. There's been no indication of
Dachshund blood in the mix.
Lacy prefers to be
"in the bed" rather than "on the bed."
I'm sure it never occurred to our little bundle of joy that
she'd be leaving the balmy temps of Tennessee to wind up in Upstate NY
in the middle of winter. Brrrrr!!! On her first day
with us, the poor thing had to sit through about 20 coat fittings
before we found something that worked and she was none too pleased to
go out during the first freezing rain.
adapted fairly readily, but she did spend a considerable amount of
time sleeping in her faux-shearling "cave." I originally
intended it to be a bed to sleep "on, " but she much prefers to be
curled up "in" it...like most Italian Greyhounds.
That's since transferred to her other bedding as well, whether it's
in her crate or a blanket on her bed.
Rubber Baby Buggy Bedder?
Well, it turns out that when it comes
to toys and (initially) bedding...true to her terrier heritage...Lacy's a shredder. Anything that's not good quality hard rubber is doomed to be
destroyed...and even some of those don't make it. So it occurred to
me that if hard rubber toys stand up to her, then what about a rubber bed?
I ran down to our local pet/feed supply and, sure enough, they had a
lovely Duraflex 6-1/2 gallon, black rubber feed tub that she fit in (they
let her try it on for size)...for under $10 yet! It measures 17-1/2"
in diameter by 8-1/2" high, and as long as her bedding was in the tub, she
pretty much left it alone. Then it dawned on me to get another
smaller rubber tub for her toys, so even if they don't exactly go with my
living room decor, at least they match each other. Plus...washing
and sterilizing them is a piece of cake and I can use the tubs for bathing
She's no longer a bed shredder and has a couple of nice ones around the
house, but the tub still comes in handy for various things.
As far as toys go, the
Premier Busy Buddy line have stood up quite well (her favorites are the
Squirrel Dude and Bouncy Bone) and the
Ruff Wear TurnUp and vanilla-infused
Dogzilla dumbbell also have Lacy's seal of approval.
THE BEST TOY, however, is a large 6" long,
multicolored "jack" (lower right pic) that has shown nary a scratch in the
many years in which we've had it. Unfortunately, I have no idea where
we got it and it has no identifying marks. Maybe someone out there has
a clue? I'd LOVE to know where it came from.
NOTE: I did have concerns about the rubber tub
out-gassing, but I didn't seem to have any other choice. She destroyed
toys that stood up to my pitbull and pit/lab mix (together!!!) and I
couldn't afford to keep replacing her bedding. Apparently the Premier
and RuffWear natural rubber toys don't out-gas, so that's one less thing to
Multi-use rubber feed tubs.
be doing any squirrel hunting, although I can't stop her from chasing
anything that happens into the fenced yard. Heaven help them if
she catches one! If her stuffed toys are any indication, there
won't be much left but a puff of gray fur!
turns out that Lacy has some structural issues (a very slight case of popped hocks) that
most likely will prevent us from doing truly serious agility, but she finally got
enough obedience under her belt (and our vet's blessing) to give it a go
and we're having a blast (more on that
below)!!! We would LOVE to
train in some Musical Freestyle as
well, if we could find a class. We tried lure coursing once (I couldn't believe there was an
event practically right in our back yard!), but she
ran about 20 feet, turned around and came scampering back. That's the
only lure coursing event within any kind of reasonable proximity, so we
probably won't get another chance if they don't come
back. Earthdog activities also seem to take place in far-flung places.
Another thing that's caught my interest is training her to do equine-like dressage maneuvers, like half-pass or
shoulder-in, etc. They're wonderful suppling exercises that would
be quite useful for carting....if we can ever find a mini
harness and wagon.
Did someone say
Obedience: At this point she's been
through several rounds of Open obedience
training, and she enjoys the advanced Utility stuff we've been working
on, like scent articles (finally something her Beagle nose is good for!)
and directed jumping.
Unfortunately, while we did get to participate in a 4-week mini session
of Utility training, it isn't something that's normally offered at the
training club, so we're stuck working on our own for the most part.
TG1, CGC, CL1-H, CL1-F
also now worked our way up to the Novice Agility class,
and we're both having a BLAST!!! We have had problems with
the teeter ever since a teacher insisted on retraining last
year, using contact behaviors (like half on/half off), to
prevent any possible over-jumping of the contacts, and it messed
up her little head. She became hesitant and then started
crawling across and eventually began baling off.
Then...another dog jumped on the high end while she was
traversing it and sent her flying!! We were toast after
that for a while. So...I finally broke down and bought her
a teeter and I believe we're making some progress. As long
as I can get her running over the teeter again the way she used
to, I'll be happy. With her, I'm definitely of the mind:
"if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
Prior to the teeter debacle, she took 1st
place in all 4 classes in
her first TDAA trial in 2010 (3 games and 1 standard), thereby earning her first
agility title in Games!
We finally did a CPE trial on 6/3/12 and she would've had 3 Q's
(and possibly 3 firsts), but I messed up and did 2 of the
obstacles in backwards order in the Colors class. That
killed me! It was by far the easiest class we entered.
But she did Q and earn 2 firsts in Wildcard and Jumpers.
Fortunately, there were no teeters...
then we've earned our Level 1 CPE titles in Handlers
and Fun games. We were entered in the Stockade CPE Trial in early
June '13, but ended up cancelling due to a possible UTI and her urine
was too dilute. I didn't want to chance running her in the heat
and I was having neck/back problems besides. Better luck next
time...and maybe we'll be better prepared as well. We weren't able
to schedule any classes prior to the trial, and were woefully unfamiliar
with the 2 Strategy games we were entered in. On the plus side,
she's back to enjoying the teeter!
Therapy Dog: We did pass our therapy
dog test, under the auspices of
Therapy Dog International (TDI) and
had started visiting, but unfortunately, I read that it was possible for
therapy pets to pick up things like MRSA and transmit it. My
husband had nearly died of a MRSA infection, so I just couldn't take the
chance and retired her after only a few visits.
It's really a shame, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do... We'd
worked out a bunch of tricks that could be done in small spaces, and I
wanted to put that to some use, so we're joining other SDTC members for
at assisted living centers. There, we don't go from room to room
and I just need to wipe her down once with a disinfectant, when
we're finished. In spite of being in close quarters with lots of
other dogs, she's managing to perform well and enjoy herself.
Canine Freestyle: Performing a routine to music is probably
the thing she's best suited for, but there's really nothing happening in
our area of Upstate NY, so I just keep teaching her whatever I can and I
do hope to put a little routine together for possible use at an assisted
living demo. Videos of some top notch Freestylers are below.
Humphrey and Chandi's Dressage routine is my absolute favorite...gives
me chills every time I watch it!
Humphrey & Chandi - Dressage routine
Mary Ray & (?) - Riverdance routine
Richard Curtis & Disco - Ring of
Carolyn Scott & Rookie - from "Gotta
Dance" (2 routines)
Mary Ray & Levi with Richard Curtis
& Pogo (later in routine)
Brace routine: The Clock Maker's
Edward Gal & Moorlands Totilas in
their record-breaking Musical Kur
This last video is
actually of a young stallion that was taking the dressage world by storm
in 2010 and you'll see a lot of his moves mirrored in Tina Humphrey's
routine. He's the real deal and is absolutely breathtaking!!
Pretty in Pink: I swore I
wasn't going to go pink, but that was the only color I could
get her a hat in, that fit (her little white head burns
easily). Once I crossed that threshold, I felt
compelled to get a matching collar and cooler blanket.<g>
Left & right: at '09 SDTC picnic / Middle: stuff purchased
at the Aug. '09 SDTC Obed/Rally Trial, Ballston Lake, NY.
Le French Artiste: The
winning costume at the 2009 Alplaus Fun Show
Left, posterized / right: waiting for her
Tu-tu Cute! Lacy as a ballerina at
Saratoga Dance. Photo by Katie.
Le Beatnik: The beret and bandana have more
than one use...
Just chillin': at the SDTC 2012
Obedience/Rally trial in Ballston Spa, NY
Chic AND Versatile! Reversible custom coat by
(above and below) - All beautiful, breathable, pre-washed
fine wool (except for the black belt). I asked for the
belts to be removable, to cut down on the fabric layers.
Countryside & Small Stock Journal:
Vol. 91, # 6, Nov/Dec 2007
Introduction to the Treeing Feist: A squirrel dog breed history, by
Marcus B. Gray
Native American dog influence.
Bedtime in Lacy's
If you'd like to find out more about
Lacy, or have any comments, feel free to send mail.
To find out about
my harping activities, click here.
In memory of
Molly, our sweet little Pit-girl,
haven't been able to bring myself to close her story just yet, so it
reads like she's still around.
In memory of
Shasta, a lovely Morgan mare,
written for three canine companions (Shenan, Kelly and Cindy) and Shasta is
posted there. If you've lost a special companion, I hope you find
comfort in it.
And, don't forget to
check out my Art
Gallery Site. There's a lovely German Shepherd Dog portrait, among
This page is dedicated with love to Molly, Cindy, Luke
and all those that came before them
Molly - She taught us much about patience & the power of positive
Cindy - A gift
even without the bows.
Luke - We miss him...issues and all.
Molly Mae, Cindy Lu & Luke
Shenan, Honey, Ginger, Joey & Princess
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