By Lynn –
The house had sat empty for too long, I guess. My parents weren’t quite ready for another dog, but it turns out that she was ready for them and as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Sweet Mallory stepped out of the car into a new environment that wasn’t surrounded by fence and didn’t have armed guards. She had been in a prison-training program and had some training under her belt, enough to know what she was supposed to do yet little enough to know that she was supposed to do it every time. She walked on a loose leash, sat (in a very unlady-like position), lay down, and had about a 50% recall rate. Whoever taught her, though, put their own signature onto her training: she sat on command on her hip instead of on her two back legs and her Come consisted of a good recall that would automatically turn into a finish into heel position.
Apparently in the prison, she lived in the honors dorm where the men had access to…a microwave. She was scared of the dishwasher, strangely attracted to the low rumblings of the washing machine, and if it was a strange shape or made a funny noise, she didn’t like it. We’re a bit concerned that she isn’t going to like the target range, but so far she thinks the farm is her playground and also that the screened-in porch at home was added onto the house just for her.
Her eyes go all slanty, her ears go down and her tail just sweeps side to side when she’s happy. She doesn’t jump anymore, and after a few weeks of crossing her legs, she’s finally learning that the one area in the backyard is her bathroom instead of the whole thing. She doesn’t say a peep when she’s in the crate and no matter how long she’s held it, the bedding is always dry in the morning.
And my mother loves the convenience and ease of the quick-release pinch collar.
She officially knows where we live now…she ran off when she was out for a walk with our neighbor and thankfully ran straight home and waited at the back door to be let in, so we know she’s adjusted to our house. We’ve laid down some basic rules already and only given her free run in a few rooms, but the time has come for her to officially start obedience training with my family. Her sits will be cleaned up, her recalls will become more consistent, and best of all she’ll be able to have play dates with neighborhood dogs since she speaks Dog. The neighborhood German Shepherd had to repeat himself a few times when he invited her to play, but she eventually accepted and they had a fun time together! She plays pretty rough and bares her teeth a lot, but he never said a word about her being over-the-top…so I’m really looking forward to that.
In moving home, I’ll be helping with retraining Mallory, so hopefully there will be more frequent updates about how she’s doing and what we still have to work on. We’ll be enrolling in the local training club to help her work around other dogs and maybe going back to Zeke’s trainer if we need some extra hands-on professional help, but otherwise we have our work cut out for us and she’s got some big pawprints to fill.