My Little Lilly

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Me & Tess
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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Me & Tess » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:49 am

Most everything is back normal. Yesterday I put her kibble down at 2 pm. She was too sad to eat. Mike asked if she could die of a broken heart. Around 6 pm I was up in the loft and started to talk softly to her, not saying "bad Lilly" any more which crushes her heart. She went into the kitchen and finished her meal. I did try to give her a good walk at 7 pm, but it was cold. The walk was cut short. I laid on my hand last night and my wrist is hurting - my hand is still red and swollen. I want to avoid going to the doctor if I can. I am giving Lilly hugs & belly rubs & she is following me around the again. NILIF is working; I am telling her to sit before we go out, before we come in, when I give Lilly her meals, I am making her wait a certain amount of time before I tell her ok, the time will get a little longer. Before "sit" meant treat. She is responding to sit without being given a treat, only a "good Lilly."

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Judy Fox » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:35 am

Your hand will get better I am sure - poor you and poor little Lilly. [:D]
I hope she has learnt a lesson, poor little soul.
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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Me & Tess » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:06 am

My hand is looking and feeling better. Lilly is seeking out my hand and wants to lick it. Not sure if she has a thought process going on. This morning while I was making breakfast she was with me, then went into the living room with Mike. Mike called to me & there was Lilly sitting on the couch next to him! She had never done that before.

I have to be honest that some of my lack of trust turned had into some fear, I felt that yesterday evening. She was up with me last night while I was on the computer, & I was wishing she would just go to "bed." She gave me a little whimper and waited for me to give her a pet then she went to bed. It was her usually time, but she never whimpered at me before.

I believe I became complacent with Lilly's behavior & didn't look for the signs on the 10th, and feel that the incident was my fault. I just thought we were playing. She has been really good when I am inspecting her rear or giving her a butt bath, and in the past I just took stuff out of her mouth without protest. When she was/is uncontrollably with barking I have even put her hand on her muzzle to try to make her stop. I never thought that she would harm me. I do not want to make the same mistake again & put Lilly in that position, ever.

I was hoping that Lilly's & my adventures would be butterflies & birdies, but our adventures are turning into challenges; the hard knocks of learning for all of us.

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Ingrid » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:00 pm

Me & Tess wrote:I was hoping that Lilly's & my adventures would be butterflies & birdies, but our adventures are turning into challenges; the hard knocks of learning for all of us.


It's tempting to romanticize rescuing a second-hand dog, giving it a better life... But they're dogs, not angels. And most second hand dogs have either been spoiled or abused which leads to bad behaviour. When i adopted my 6 year old pug, a breed who has a reputation for excellent temperaments, he lunged and growled at me twice!!! Over the year he's learned who's boss though NILF and just being with me (I have a fairly domineering personality). I can see you are committed to this dog, good for you. Show her that you expect good behaviour and don't be afraid to let her know you mean business through your voice. Your tone of voice will be a huge help help in getting across how you feel about what Lilly is doing. Dogs are very sensitive to tone of voice. If she's being bad, lower your voice to a growl. She'll get it.

Continue with NILF and recognize you have a dog on your hands, not a little angel. I think you can do this, but it will take time and a big commitment on your part to act like you are the one in charge. And never forget to praise good behaviour in your happy, high pitched voice. Is there a local obedience club in your area where you could take her?

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Me & Tess » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:30 pm

We live in the mountains on a wild life corridor, some would say remote. I have had another "second hand" Chow with Tess, as well as other "second hand" dogs. If you read my story of Tess you will see the relationship we all had with Tess. I know Lilly is so very different than Tess. I don't think I am romancing the idea of Lilly being happy with us, I am a realist, though my style of writing might belie it. I truly want Lilly to be happy. Our happiest moments seem to be in our woods (or in the kitchen). She takes my lead then I follow her. Then when it is time to go a different direction or "go home," she once again takes my lead. I am a very soft spoken person by nature, & have carried on strongly in tough situations. I will have to get over some fearful feelings about Lilly, & I have to remind myself how much has changed in these last 3.5 months; just how far Lilly has come. We have had a mishap & I was lax in my vigilance. I was bit by my Chow X when I was a little girl and that didn't make me fearful of dogs. I think everyone would like butterflies, birdies & rainbows in their lives, but honestly life is not like that, I learned that at an early age.

My purpose for writing is to give credence to others who may have "second hand" Chows, who also may come upon similar situations. Hopefully, my sometimes raw experiences will help someone or give sight to others of just how different Chows are. Hopefully, some will study the breed before they adopt or buy a fluffy complex Chow-being.

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Cam Atis » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:46 pm

So happy to hear that you and Lilly are almost back to normal. \o/
She is showing she cares for you and Mike, that she does not want to be given away again. I think she'll behave now. But dont be too lax ever again as we usually do. Cassie is in heat again I think. and surprisingly she is cranky at Blue sniffing her behind. And would suddenly launched into a brawl, pummeling the little dog down. Last night, after my verbal reprimand, she went to me and I said "sit" which she did obediently. And Blue was on the other side. I pet both of them and they went about themselves. I was surprised she was willing to do my bidding right after I reprimanded her. They know when we are upset with them :wink:

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Victory » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:53 pm

I am sorry to read that Lilly bit you. I am happy however, to see that she and you are working on it. I feel as you do that she was very poorly trained. I don't think that she was taught proper bite hibition and that when she got excited and continued to be excited, (as proven by her shredding the paper) when you reached she reacted without thought to seeing her "toy" being removed. This is why teaching proper bite hibition is so important. Because when they are full of adrenline either from a fight or flight response or high playfulness or prey drive, their brains just don't function correctly and they can bite strictly from that excitment. She was probably allowed to get away with nipping or even biting or maybe she was left so much on her own that it never came up.

Now she is in a proper home and learing things she should have been taught as a puppy. It is hard for her and for you, but with patience, your enate wisdom and love for her and her love for you she will learn. It's just too bad that it has taken so long in her life before she found someone to care enough about her to put the time in to teach her. Blessing on you, Mike and Lilly.
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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Judy Fox » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:04 am

Amen to that Victory. :D
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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Auddymay » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:04 am

It sounds like you have had a bad awakening. As much as she loves you, there are damages you may never over-come. Fortunately, as complex beings, we can alter our behaviors to keep our damaged furkids from getting into bad situations. Instead of taking things from Lilly's mouth, you will have to offer her a treat or something she likes more than the thing in her mouth. She will naturally drop the object to pick up the treat or toy. Is it the way we might want it? Perhaps not, but the goal of a harmonious life and close partnership will overcome our need to have things operate to our ideal.

I wish you could see how damaged people can make animals in their 'care'. Big D is so damaged. He too, does not know how to play. He will pick items up and walk with them, not knowing what he should do after that. My happiest moments are when he figured out to chew his nylabone, and watching him frollick and zoom with Lily. For a very long time he did not understand even how to do that without fear she was going to hurt him. Of course, she also taught him how to bark and treat rabbits as prey...the bad with the good, I guess.

Bottom line, you will find a way to trust her again. In the scheme of things, Lilly and you will be successful, even if it isn't exactly as you dreamt it would be.

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Me & Tess » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:07 pm

Lilly & the call of the wild.

Went on our last walk for the evening. We walked on our south boarder & followed the trail. Got back to the clearing and started walking north past our cabin following an old logging road. I saw them first, TWO BIG MOOSE! They were close to our north boarder. Lilly saw them and took off like a jet; I kept yelling "Lilly NO!" I watched her chasing those big beasts, & ran to the cabin to get Mike. Then I ran up another logging road bear spray in hand (what was I going to do with bear spray, those were moose, not bear)! Mike came out with his gun & started to whistle for Lilly. Within a few minutes Lilly came back proud of herself. A few years back I was walking our dirt road by myself & heard hoof beats to my right. There it was, a moose on a fast trot. I got real quiet & stepped back. The moose passed in front of me, not more than 25 feet away. We have also had moose looking in our windows & investigating our fire pit.

Lilly has my trust again. After all, I feel what happened was my fault. Her safe areas are hers & hers alone. I am also talking to her before I pet or hug her. Practicing NILIF; & treats are not such a bad thing for rewards. I still like to give her hugs for good behavior too. We are back to our normal routine. Today I had a couple of appointments in our little town & went alone. Mike & Lilly had their day together. He took her for a good ride in the truck. It seems like they enjoyed the day.

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby chow4life » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:28 am

Glad to hear the relationship is moving forward for you and lilly. Good times ahead:)

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Judy Fox » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:28 am

Sounds good! Like the sound of her trip with Mike. :lol:
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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Sirchow » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:22 am

I am so sorry to read about your set back with Lilly. I am also so glad to read that Lilly is to have a second chance and incidently I agree with your assessment of the situation but dont give yourself a hard time. You and Lilly will get past this. She has made such huge steps forward already.

I have a very wise dog trainer as a friend who always says you cant cover all things with training so it is up to you to control the envirement. I dont think punishment is something that your little Lilly will respond well to. She has clearly been punished before and who knows how. Being ever vigilant and never touching her if you dont know what the reaction will be. Never try to bodilly make her do something. Teach her to want to do the things that you need her to do and recognise her limitations.

Everything you ever want to teach her can be broken down into tiny steps. and then put together into sequences. She should be rewarded for everything she learns. Sit, leave, come, swap etc. When swapping always offer a higher tarrif reward than the thing she has which you want back and let her relinquish and move away from the object. Alway claim it with your foot not your hand. Once your foot is on it she has been rewarded and is sitting then you can pick it up. Watch her body language and you will know when she has relinquished it. Practice swapping with things you dont care about so she has learnt it is worth doing. Reward and reward and then start to space the rewards out so that she doesn''t always get a reward once she has grasped that step.

The car issue can be worked on in tiny steps. She can be rewarded for going up to the car and sitting, putting her feet on the sill to remove a treat, climbing in and getting one with the door open so she can get out and so on. These exercises take time. At the moment it sounds like she is reacting to the preparations for going in the car. The first time you get as far as shutting her in dont start the car, take time to work up to things and reward at all times.

A five min training session on three different subjects a day each will get you moving forward and build her confidence. She reminds me of my Bramble who goes rigid when lifted and I have to be very careful not to push her. She has to know why I am lifting her and the outcome has to arrive soon or she blindly panics. If a stranger lifted her I think the outcome wouldn't be good.

I hope you both feel a bit better.

If you ever wanted any help I think my trainer would gladly help you. She has helped a couple of chow folk on this forum when I have asked her to. She is a remarkable person who trully loves dogs.
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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby TyChowgirl » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:37 am

Siriol, I love everything you said, it's absolutely true. The way I look at it with a rescue dog, is one step at a time, one victory at a time, even if it's small...well any dog at that matter. Some things are going to take longer than others, and that's ok. Working at it at her own pace and making progress even if it's slow, is still progress and it'll strengthen the bond between you two because she's going to respect you not forcing her too quickly...and then suddenly she'll be over it. It seems you two are still "feeling each other out" trying to guage how and what you want done or getting to know each other on a different level. Once you two make the connection with each other and come to an agreement, whatever or however it is, she'll trust you with anything and will be eager to learn new things from you.
Good luck! I love reading your stories. And again, well said Siriol.
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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Me & Tess » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:56 pm

I am still learning to read my Lilly. When Tess came to us, there was a reason; to protect us. Tess was an easy read. I could tell by her gait, head down, moving sidewise like a Chow Chow John Wayne; she showed teeth to any potential enemy. I never saw her show teeth to anyone of us. Our purpose for Lilly is to protect her. I have seen Lilly show teeth, like a puffy little lion dog. I told Mike that if we had to know that Lilly had the potential to bite, I rather it be me and not someone else, child, family or friend. He called me a martyr.

I measure Lilly's days if they are good or not so good. More good days than not so good days lately. Yesterday was exceptional. We had some really great walks, the last in the evening starting around 7 p.m. We went to the creek & Lilly loves drinking the water, then she went over the creek to investigate. All I have to say is "Lilly going home" and she comes back. She runs back thru the forest on our trail to our clearing. She had lots of investigating to do. First around our garage in the rocks, huffing and puffing, some digging around. Then next a wood pile. We were out about an hour.

Lilly usually goes to bed around 8 p.m. I go up to the computer and that summons her bed time hour. Last night she stayed up with me. When Mike was getting ready to go to bed she put her paws on my sofa and I helped her on. She stayed with me about 10 minutes and then off the sofa to lay on the floor for a while, then back on with me another ten minutes or so. It was time for bed for both of us and we went up the stairs together.

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Judy Fox » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:55 am

Yes, she is learning to loveand hopefully to trust.
You call her "your little Lilly" - but she is also "her own little Lilly" isn't she?
Gradually, the two Lillys will merge into the same girl. :)
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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Victory » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:48 pm

Judy Fox wrote:You call her "your little Lilly" - but she is also "her own little Lilly" isn't she?
Gradually, the two Lillys will merge into the same girl. :)

Lovely way of saying that, Judy. And very true.
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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Me & Tess » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:38 pm

Lilly is focused on squirrels! I thought we could take a walk on our dirt road today. (It is very quiet on the weekends. We only have four families that live off of our road then it dead ends into a trail that finally leads into Forest Service Land.) Lilly thought different. She couldn't help herself, the squirrels were calling her name. Off across the road and into our neighbors property she went, it is vacant, full of wild things, big trees and springs that flow (that was where Tess would get a drink on our way home from our walks). Lilly was running around the tree, tried to climb a stump so she could get closer to the little critter(s), barking & barking. Then she got quiet & I could hear a soft little whimper. I got closer so I could see her. There she was sitting very still, I watched her for a good five minutes, ever so still. The squirrels were chattering & climbing up and up the tree. I finally told Lilly "I am going home." I started up our driveway with Lilly finally following me after several minutes. It is really hard to get her attention when she is focused on squirrels & I think I need a whistle! She doesn't go too far, she still needs to see where I am. She was off the road about 25 feet into the forest.

I think Lily is mostly a homebody. She loves "going home, " especially when we have gone on a little road trip in the Trooper or truck. After Mike takes her out she gives a little jump of pleasure. Lilly has short little legs and has to be lifted in to or out of what ever vehicle we use. Poor Lilly always goes into rigger when lifted. It's just going to take time for her to feel safe in a vehicle. The day we were coming home from picking her up, I sat close to her holding her little head for 200 miles. She was turned away from me, wouldn't look at me & I almost thought she was deaf, but I remembered that Tess liked to play "I can't hear you" every once and a while. Lilly now likes to put her face to the wind. She is relaxing more. It has been almost four months that Lilly has been with us.

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Me & Tess » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:22 pm

Finally it is SPRING! Winter was long with snow and big winds and rain (just in the past couple of weeks). Started my garden & Lilly had to put her "stamp of approval" in one of the beds. Started to weed my little mound of wild flowers and Lilly again had to help. It's nice to let Lilly do as she wishes while I am working outside. I even got part of our creek cleaned up today under the watchful eye of Lilly. She likes to go over to the other side & I think she prefers the path less traveled. The brambles stick to her fur, sometimes I help her and sometimes she just wants to do it herself. We took a walk up our dirt road & coming back one of our neighbors was driving down their driveway to the road. No panic from Lilly, we just moved off the road. Lilly and our deer have come to an understanding. Like Tess she only chases just so far. Sometimes they stare at one another. I like to see Lilly run some to keep her bones healthy. Most everything is soft. She jumps over logs with no problem; just standing in place & jump. I found out she doesn't like the hose. When I got it out to water my seeds, Lilly retreated to her favorite corner on the porch until I was done.

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Judy Fox » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:29 am

Bless her! :D Our two love helping in the garden and watch everything we do. They help with the weeding sometimes! :lol:
She is having a lovely life.
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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Me & Tess » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:58 am

Lilly seems so happier lately. She is wagging her tail more and more. Mike & I went to the parade in town this morning. I wished we could have taken Lilly, but she isn't ready for "crowds" yet. When we got home we had a very happy girl greeting us, she was jumping around in half circles tail wagging & swishing. The first time she has showed such emotion.

Yesterday was an exceptional day. Lilly started helping early. In the afternoon we went to the creek and I started cleaning the moss from the water. It was a "warm" winter so the moss is choking our little stream. We were down there about a half hour. I was busily tossing the moss over the bank, I looked down the creek & there was Lilly laying in the middle of the flowing water! The day was warm, around 68 degrees. The past couple of weeks we've had such cold weather, in the 20's & 30's if you count the wind chill factor. So nice to finally have warm weather.

It's cooler today. Lilly is laying in back of me. I have some Native American flute music on. Lilly loves the music, I think it soothes her. I hear a little snoring "in the background."

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby chow4life » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:43 pm

I am so happy for you, mike and lilly. It's nice to hear such great strides that lilly is making everyday. :)

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Me & Tess » Tue May 07, 2013 1:57 pm

Worked on the creek today. Lots of moss because of a mild winter. The forest seems dry compared to last year. Barely seeing ferns, One of my wishes for Lilly was that she loved the creek as much as I. The creek is one of her favorite places. She lays down in it to cool off. She hasn't blown her coat yet, so she must get hot. Lilly is adventurous, she leads me all over the forest. I am making noise, hoping that we don't run into a bear (& cubs). The deer pretty much ignore her; she is not set on prey drive with them any more - no interest. Squirrels can keep her busy for hours. She has become a good companion to me, although with Mike she is still leery.

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Me & Tess » Mon May 20, 2013 9:41 am

It's been almost five months since we adopted Lilly. She has my trust once again. As always the highlight of our day is our walks. She so inquisitive, can spend minutes on end looking up a tree for a squirrel. She jumps logs rather nimbly, plows through brush & sometimes I have to show her an easier way out of it. She remembers the trails better than me. We have gone to our north eastern boundary line several times. That area feels like the forest prime evil. I keep talking to Lilly just to make noise to scare the beasties away. I have a chant; "go away bear, go away bear." I changed it up a few days ago and said "bye bye bear," and got a reaction from Lilly. Apparently she doesn't like "bye bye." She stared me straight in the eyes, like "what are you saying?" When we get to our boarders, I tell Lilly "Not our property" & she comes back to me. Tess & I never really took long walks except for up and down our road or to the creek. She was an old girl. Lilly is young and ready for adventure. She loves to drink the creek water & we make a couple of trips to it a day. Our walks together, three times a day anywhere from a half hour to an hour. We do go slowly & I am now better at balancing; going through & over the brush & logs.

A few days ago we had a big heavy rain, and I brought Lilly to the window to watch. She pursed her mouth and out came a howl. Surprised me. When we get the BIG winds Lilly barks them away! The wind seems to excite her. I am curious how she will react to thunder & lightning. I think she is more attuned to nature.

"We" have been working in the garden. Lilly was laying down and all of a sudden she goes on her back doing the wiggle wiggle. Who can resist a belly rub? She acts like a puppy & opens her mouth and goes from side to side, hips one way, head the other. She makes a little wine of joy, she has done that in the past & I wondered if I hurt her. It is just her way of displaying pleasure in it all.

Lilly doesn't keep the late hours like Tess & me. She goes promptly to bed at 8:00 p.m., although she has given me a few late nights. She shows me when she needs to go to bed, & I have to accompany her up the loft stairs.

Lilly has become a fine companion to me.

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Re: My Little Lilly

Postby Judy Fox » Thu May 23, 2013 12:38 pm

I chuckled when I read about Lilly standing watching the squirrels. Tilly especially will watch for them on our walks. There are three oak trees in a row on a footpath we walk up and she will spot the squirrels in the branches and then plants her feet and watches. The squirrels then chatter at her and that really annoys her. :lol: Maisie is not quite so bothered - she will look for a minute then she wants to get on with the walk.
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