Lucy came to us as a package deal. She and her brother Sam were rescued from an animal shelter in Alabama. They had been there too long and were scheduled to be euthanized when Ewenty Farms Herding Dog Rescue took them.
Lucy is a shy girl who was bonded with her brother. Because of this bonding we had to take Lucy to get Sam, who we believed was a wonderful candidate for our program.
Lucy came to school with Sam for several weeks but did not participate in any training. She often would run and hide under the grooming tables. The students, who showed patience beyond words, would gently talk to her, give her treats and continue to work with her in a casual manner.
Lucy was so scared her first four months she would often rinate when approached, the car rides often made her sick and there were moments when we weren’t sure what to do next. But our students never gave up on her. The students worked tirelessly with Lucy-making her feel loved and comfortable. She became a class favorite, maybe because of her gentle soul or it was simply that many of our students could easily relate to her.
At about 3 months Lucy began to grow in confidence. She slowly joined in the training, still easily scared but you could see her wanting to be with all the other dogs and kids.
It was decided, in part to help Lucy, Sam would be transferred to the Department of Juvenile Justice Program for training. Lucy not only continued her training, she began to blossom.
During the three months without her brother to shield her she began to tolerate the car …. (It’s still not her favorite thing) … go out into the public and worked with multiple student trainers who taught her the basic training cues under a patient and caring training regimen.
Today Lucy is a face of our organization. You can often find her at community events where she is happy and enjoying the company of children and adults. We use Lucy for speaking engagements like that at St. Marys Women’s Council, Furry Tales, events like Necronomicon and outreach programs like The Great American Teach In.
I say her transformation resembles that of many of the children in our programs. We were able to give Lucy the time, patience, support and care for her to find her strength to accomplish great things.
Lucy is finishing her training and we hope she will pass her AKC Canine Good Citizen test in March.