Get Adobe Flash player

Katy’s Blog

A Big Day for Katy

This morning while I was fixing breakfast Katy was bouncing and whining, as she’s done before, but this time she was with the other dogs. She was trotting around right behind me (first time). When it was time to go out, she was right beside my foot (first time) with the others waiting on the door to open.

She’s walking around the house, in and out of rooms, like she belong here. I took a nap this afternoon. Molly and Candy were on the bed with me, Digger was on his bed beside me, Katy joined us and slept on Candy’s bed (first time). When I offered the other dogs a treat she came into the kitchen with the others (first time). She ran behind the couch when I walked toward her so I put it on the floor.

Katy was lying down on the couch and I sat beside her. I picked her up and put her on my lap. She was comfortable enough to move off by herself (first time). She still doesn’t come to me and does run away sometimes but today was a big day.

Katy – 4_5

Well, our family’s had a lot going on lately so I haven’t posted every day. I’ll give you all a synopsis.

Katy was tethered to the couch for a few days. She had her own water and was fed on the couch. Sometimes she would try to go somewhere else but not often. I don’t think it was too stressful since that’s where she spends most of her time anyhow. We had to take the coffee table out of the room because she kept getting wrapped around it.

With shy dogs, it’s always best to let them set the pace on social interactions. Forcing them sets back any progress made up to that time. Then you have to work back to that spot again. My colleagues have all cautioned me against it. I’m sure there is some finite reason I could document that made me think it was ok with Katy at the time. I’ve been thinking about it for days and I can’t come up with it.

On the evening of 3/31, I picked her up. She pulled away from me when I first tried it, so I stopped and stroked her slowly, talking quietly. She relaxed a little so I tried again. She let me pick her up and hold her. Ever so slightly she leaned into me. That was the turning point. From then on, her facial expressions softened enough that I’m 99% sure she won’t bite me again. I can pick her up and take her outside. I can pick her up and put her on the couch. She leans into me every time. She let me pet her while she was on the leash outside without trying to run away. She never runs away when I approach the couch. I can sit and stroke her any time. Any time she balks I just slow down until she relaxes. The morning of 4/1 I got a small but sustained tail wag while I approached!

I can now walk her on a 6’ leash, too. Calmly, slowly moving at her pace she’ll come with me. I use the cue, “Let’s go.” She will pee and poop on leash. I haven’t asked Burt to walk her but she and I have worked out a system.

She’s loose and dragging the leash unless we have to go out that day. Then she’s walked outside on leash. She’s in her crate when we leave still. The past couple times we’ve left her, it appears she’s tried to get out. So far she’s neither pulling the crate apart not injuring herself in those attempts.

We had a friend and her two dogs visit yesterday. Our friend sat beside Katy without touching her or looking at her & Katy didn’t try to get away. Our 5 dogs, she, and I were sitting in the yard for awhile & Katy kept moving closer to us. The visiting spaniel tried to get Katy to play but Katy ran away from her. However, she did continue to come closer and walk around us. Katy is still trying to get Candy to play but the biggest response she’s gotten is a play bow. Today Molly gave Katy a play bow to try & get her to play but Katy ran away. From Katy’s body language I think they would have played if Molly had run with her.

Katy’s been getting frequent non-contingent reinforcers this week. She gets a treat or a bite of my food with no expectation of earning it in any way. She likes most treats but not all, mac & cheese, Triscuits, hummus, yogurt, ice cream… I also found out I can put a little food in the bottom of a yogurt cup and she’ll clean it out. She still won’t work on a Kong. When she’s loose in the yard and I’m walking around I get squinty eyes and she’ll get about 12’ away from me.

Overall, big movement in the past week.


Katy – Offering Play Bows


The lump on Katy’s side has broken open and scabbed over. I’ll keep an eye on it. If it doesn’t heal up, she’ll have to go to the vet. She’s been licking her right front foot but I don’t see anything wrong. The dew claw is healing ok.

Today I’m trying to get her out from behind the couch. For most of the day, she’s been coming with me on leash. The last time I tried it, she wasn’t budging. So, I dropped the leash. That probably set a bad precedent but I’ll try again later. About 2 hrs later, I picked up the leash again and said, “Let’s go.” She moved a couple steps and lay down. I put just enough tension on the leash to straighten it but not enough to put pressure on the collar. I had to wait about 10 minutes before she came out and jumped onto the couch. Multiple times today I’ve led her out from behind the couch and she’s either gotten on the “dog” chair or the couch. For most of the day she’s allowed me to pet her; every time I approach I try to remember of have turkey with me. Burt can pet her just about any time she’s out here.

She came in today when it started raining. She hasn’t gone out since. When some sort of waterworks come on outside, she comes in and won’t go out again until the next day. That can be rain, sprinklers, or thunder. I’ll have to try and get her out one more time tonight before we all go to bed.


She spent all morning outside. Just as I was wondering how I was going to get her inside so I could leave, she followed Digger in. I could only let her out on leash when I have a schedule but she’s SO happy running around the yard. She needs that stress release.

When she’s been inside, she hasn’t been allowed to hide behind the couch. Late today I put the 20’ leash on and tried to get her outside but she just lay down and refused to move.

She started the second round of Panacur today. I put it in yogurt today instead of squirting it in her mouth. She ate it all. J


This morning she was really funny while I was fixing breakfast. Bouncing around and barking at me. Giving me play bows about 10’ away. She’s eating on the patio now. She runs away, I put her bowl down, go inside, and close the sliding door. I can sit and watch her but if I’m out there, she won’t eat. I haven’t had time to just sit and read waiting on her but that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend. Most of the time, she’s still eating with her weight shifted forward and her tail slightly tucked. Sometimes she stands with her weight evenly distributed over her feet and eats but not often. I’ve been sitting on the chaise and tossing turkey. She will come in and eat what’s close to the door but won’t eat what’s less than 5’ from the chaise until I’m inside.

She tolerates walking on leash. To get her to eliminate I attach a 20’ leash so she can get away from me. For more than a week, she’s been on the long lead after dark. Too many nights I was up until after midnight waiting on her to come in.

I don’t know what to do with her tonight. She’s been loose every night & sleeps on the couch with the other dogs. I have to be able to get her into a crate tomorrow so she may be in the crate tonight. Or leave her tethered. Or something.


Katy’s week


While I was fixing breakfast this morning, Katy was running back and forth between the kitchen doorway and the couch. At one point she barked at me like she was saying, “Hurry up!” With her eating her dry food last night & being really hungry this morning, maybe this is a sign that her appetite is up. That would be good because it may signal a mood improvement. I’ll have to wait & see if it sets a pattern.

She didn’t even touch the dry food tonight. Breakfast is dry kibble with something on it. Could be leftovers, canned dog food, pumpkin, vegetables, yogurt… and enough water or vegetable juice to make a sort of stew. Dinner is dry kibble alone.


She was bouncing around, running back and forth and barking at me this morning while I was fixing breakfast. I don’t think there was even any smell left in her bowl when she was done. Katy and Candy gave each other play bows this morning, too. That’s a first.

She’s been outside most of the morning and doesn’t want to come in. I need to get her inside so we can go meet someone for lunch. She finally followed the other dogs in. Then I had to put her in her crate where she still doesn’t want to be. At least she goes in easier, each time is easier. But then she didn’t want me to get near her for the rest of the day.

When I let her out, I held her long enough to put topical flea medicine on her. She was terrified. She let Burt pet her throughout the day, though. I want him to be “good cop” because I’m the “bad cop.” One of us needs to be able to get close to her.

Because I have so much trouble getting her in at night, when the dogs went out late I put her on a 20’ leash. The end of the leash she’s dragging was sticking out the end of the couch (she was behind it). I attached the long line to that leash. That way she can do her business but I can get her back inside. She was ok with that and came with me when I said, “Let’s go.”


She still won’t let me get near her today. She wouldn’t stay on the couch to eat her breakfast. I put it outside because she wouldn’t come back in. She ate it on the patio.

After dark she was on the couch and I was able to walk up and give her some turkey. I had to approach obliquely, not look in her direction, and move very slowly. When I reached the couch I crouched and moved just my hand toward her. She ate the turkey. When I tried it again a few minutes later, she ran away.

She was outside most of the day. She only comes in if she can come with all the other dogs. If she ends up by herself, she runs back outside.


Candy often sleeps under a desk when Burt is in the office. Today Katy went in with her. When he called me to come see, she ran behind the couch.

Top 100 Tags