Farewell, Big Dog

We said goodbye to our Big Dog Shy in late January 2016.  We were lucky enough to adopt Shy as a rescue dog in July 2010.  Our 9-year-old male Vizsla, Flash, died prematurely from cancer.  I looked at all of the Vizsla rescue websites on the West Coast, hoping to find an adoptable dog the same age as Flash.  I found Shy on the Utah Idaho Vizsla Rescue website.

Friends of ours from Eastern Washington fostered Shy at the time.  When they came to Western Washington from their home in Ephrata for a dog show, we arranged to take Shy for a weekend trial – and ended up keeping him from then on.  Surprise, surprise.

Shy was very loving and wanted nothing more than to cuddle up with you on the couch.  He was also extremely anxious.  Shy’s previous owners apparently put him out in the back yard and didn’t let him back in the house.  When Shy first came to live with us, it was difficult to coax him off of his bed to go outside.  It was also a challenge to get him to drink enough water.  Eventually, he learned that if he went outside to pee, he could usually come right back in, especially in bad weather.  

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No Reasonable Expectation of Treats for a Thieving Big Dog

Shy (a.k.a. The Big Dog) stole a bunch of training treats off of the kitchen counter the other day.  We have been putting training treats there ever since puppy Pip came to live with us over 7 months ago.  Shy’s recent theft was the first time he helped himself to the treats.  I cut up some high value treats – lamb hearts and wieners – for Pip to eat at conformation handling class.  Shy watched me expectantly as I cut up the treats and I let him have some.

When I put the leftover treats back in the same spot after class, it seems that Shy was overcome by temptation and devoured the treats without making a sound.  We know he most likely did it, and not one of the other dogs, because Dee caught him putting his paws up on the counter later that day.  We now put the treats out of his reach farther away from the edge of the counter, but where they are easily accessible to randomly treat good behavior from all of the dogs, with the primary training focus on Pip.

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