Friday, February 4

Backing up a few days...

Since I was out of town for both work and play last week/weekend, I completely missed a post about Lucy turning one year old!

How could I forget?

She and her littermates were born Jan. 29, 2010. I first heard that there was a litter of red heeler pups when Scott and I were in his pickup with Bob and Nick. We were on our way to Riverton to order bits and spurs from Alan Taylor - when I ordered my birthday spurs from Scott - and Bob mentioned that there was a litter of pups belonging to our friend Francy. I immediately put in a reservation - I'd been wanting a dog for quite some time, and a red heeler was what I really wanted.

A mere four weeks later I went to Francy's with Heather to pick out my puppy, which turned out to be our spaz Lucy! It was so fun to have her so young, and I don't think she's any worse for it. Except that now she has to have her nose in everything, be in on everything and be in the middle of everything, and I think that's a consequence of taking here everywhere, and I mean everywhere, when she was young. She's not known anything else.

Her first few weeks were spent growing up in the Roundup office, as I was still living in my apartment and didn't want to leave her locked in a cage all day long. I loved the stage where her ears were half perked up. Pretty cute.

She went to feed my horses with me every day, so she never knew anything else than being around horses and livestock. She was soon introduced to cattle, and worked on the first opportunity I gave her at six months old. She remains a good, attentive cowdog, and she listens to either Scott or myself off horseback, so she's pretty handy to have around.

The thing I like most is she's got a good 'get back' on her, so that if she's going after a cow and has put it where it needs to be, or if shouldn't go after something she wants to, all we have to do is tell her to get behind, and she'll fall back behind your horse. For as much of a spaz as she can be at some times, she really pays good attention when we're working, and she tries really hard.

So far she's been pinned to the ground by a horned cow at least once, and has been kicked in the face a couple times, so come this summer she'll be all the smarter and all the better to work with.

Soon after I got her I bought my house and moved in, and so it was a good time to get a dog, which, as I said, I'd wanted for a long, long time. A couple months after moving into the house Scott got Foxy, and Lucy now has a sister and someone to make mischief with.

We're still working on being calm, especially when company arrives, and not losing her mind and spinning in circles on the floor when she's excited :-), but we'll get there. She is, after all, only a year old, and I think she's done quite well over the past year for being so young. She's well socialized and has been there, done that, including the horse camping and pack trips I took her on last summer. And she's protective of the house, and of Scott and myself, so we're hoping she bonds well to the baby and takes the same care with it as she does with us.

It's good to have dogs around the house, and I wouldn't trade my little red heeler pup.

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