I thought I would take some time today to make a post about LiLo. I realize that I introduce her on the internet, but don't post nearly as many photos or videos of her. I realize that I sometimes question people of the inter-webz when it comes to their own dogs, wondering why someone in particular only posts about one of their dogs. Then I realized, I am kind of like that myself.
I guess I'll begin at the beginning with LiLo.
I got LiLo around 14 weeks of age.
This would be back in 2005, I was 16/17yrs of age. I got LiLo from a coworker who couldn't keep her. LiLo was very smart and quick to learn new things. Unfortunately as she matured she became more and more leery of people she didn't know. I honestly think LiLo was born an insecure dog, but at the time I didn't know what I know now and didn't see the signs early on. As LiLo aged taking her places, like to stores, was kind of pain. Everyone wanted to pet her and she would bark and growl and carry on like an idiot as soon as they talked to her. I worked with this as best as I could at that age. I tried taking her to pet stores to 'socialize' her, when people wanted to pet her they only could if they 'followed my instructions'. Of course, LiLo was already at an age where nothing was going to change. We worked on 'management'. What that meant for her is that barking and growling like an idiot is not okay and that she needed to listen to me and what I wanted. It also meant that I would tell people she wasn't friendly/didn't want to be touched. I also quit trying to 'socialize' her.
I have toyed with the idea of LiLo getting her CGC, but I don't see her allowing someone to pet her without barking or growling. She knows how to walk politely on leash, she can sit, down, roll over, stick 'em up, play dead, spin, and speak. She is my buddy, she's my friend. My second tattoo was her pawprint:
I got this tattoo because for everything LiLo is not, she is a WONDERFUL dog. She will let me do absolutely anything that I want to her. When I got her back in 2005 two of my coworkers had two amazing dogs, Shadow & Mojo. These dogs would let their owners do absolutely anything to them and I so wanted LiLo to be like them. LiLo's insecurity made for a very mold-able dog for me and with some time she turned into an awesome dog. I've drawn blood from her before without anyone holding her, she's fine for nail trims, let's me pick her teeth, takes injections. She's never once even thought about trying to bite me [except over her first nail trim, tee hee :)]
You may be wondering, why don't we do obedience if she is so great? LiLo was very easy to train to do the things she knows how to do. She learned all of her tricks in 10-15mins, and would get a good idea of what I was asking on the first day. However, she is so completely food driven that her brain goes out the door when food is involved. I've tried to teach her to heel, she doesn't get it. She does know a 'wait' command, which typically when I say it means to get behind me and wait until I give the 'okay'. Also if we're on a walk and she is ahead of me I can say 'wait' and she will slow down to be at my side. If I try using aversives she turns into pancake dog, so we get nowhere that way also. She also has bi-lateral hip dysplasia and all of the sitting for Obedience would be painful, plus she cannot lay down squarely, she will always down on one side or the other.
LiLo is absolutely the best behaved of my three dogs. She's 8 years old now, she still barks at people, and now will also growl and be nasty with other dogs. She's not one to start the fight, but she will try to hold her own if another dog is being bossy with her. She's great with the people she knows. Although, if my dad and I wrestle - she will try to bite him ;)
I don't post nearly as many pictures of her as I do of the boys because she is also very camera shy. She always looks away when I try to get pictures. LiLo will forever be my buddy, and the very first puppy that I raised. I may not talk about her a lot, or post many pictures, but I absolutely love her with all of my heart.
Here are some pictures of her over the years: