Gracie is a 6 year old, Black Lab/Greyhound mix. She loves playing with toys and going for walks. Gracie is looking for a family with no small pets or children. She does do well with some dogs and Ace is one of her buddies.


People, we’ve got us a Snow Bunny! As you know, we got about 6 inches of snow the other day! I thought that with Gracie being a short haired dog that she would not like the cold and snow very much. Boy, was I ever wrong! As soon as we got outside and she saw the snow coming down, she got a big smile on her face and her inner puppy came out. I took her out back to let her off leash and told her free dog. She took off running around catching snowflakes out of the air. She was digging her muzzle into the snow making snowballs and tossing them into the air to catch. Then she laid down in the snow and started rolling around and wiggling back-and-forth on her back. It looked like doggie Snow Angels. She was simply having a ball and in heaven. Gracie loved catching the snowballs that I threw for her. As soon as she’d catch one, she’d race back for another. She looked so sad when we had to come back inside, but she sure didn’t mind it when I dried her off and she climbed back into her warm bed. I covered her with her favorite blanket. She curled up into a ball and immediately went to sleep.


This week we worked on Gracie’s harness training. I was very proud of her and how she did. When she sees me getting it, she jumps up, tail a wagging and steps right into it. We worked on all of her other training too. We had a few nice days where we were able to go out to the dog yard and she could let loose and play. We were playing fetch one afternoon when she just stopped, sat down, dropped the ball, and looked to the sky with her head cocked to the side. I looked up to see what she was looking at and it was two falcons having a fight with our resident pigeons. Gracie was fascinated by it. There is not much that will make Gracie drop her ball when she is playing. She will even try to bark with the ball still in her mouth, but she was enjoying this show! When it was over, Gracie immediately picked her ball back up and off we went again. What a girl!”


There isn’t a whole lot to write about this week for Gracie. She wasn’t feeling well for two days, we had a lot of rain, and we had to come inside from yard early once. We didn’t get to train too much outside this week. She did get to play with Ace for a little bit. When she did get some outside time, I let her exercise and play. Gracie listened to all the commands she was given which she always does. Hopefully we will get a lot more time outside next week and I will have some more new things to report. We were working on getting her to stand up on her hind legs and walk in the limited space that is my cell. I hope to expand on that. We did work on her giving up her toys with me. She has that down pretty good. She’s never snapped at me when I get near to or take her food or toys. When she “gives” something up, I always give it right back to her as her reward for giving it.
Gracie would be best suited for a family where she is the only dog. Although she plays with other dogs, she resource guards her food and treats from other dogs. She does the same thing when she is trying to or getting attention from someone who is petting her when another dog approaches. She will snap at them one minute and then try to play with them the next as soon as you stop petting her.


Gracie went to the dog park this week and I was told she did wonderfully. She came back and took a quick nap before she was up and ready to go on our weekly walk around. She was showing off and doing all her tricks for the inmates we went to visit. One of her favorite tricks to do is placing her chin in my hand so I can place a treat on the end of her nose and tell her to wait. She will not move until I tell her OK, get it. She tosses it in the air before catching and eating the treat. Sometimes she does try to be slick and just lower her nose and let it fall to the floor and try to get it that way, but I catch it and we start over.
Gracee is a very well behaved and trained girl. I will tell you that when she lays down in her bed at night, she likes to be covered up. In fact, I was awakened by her licking my face at 2 AM last night to cover her back up when her blanket came off. She was sitting right beside my bed when I woke up and looked at her blanket that was on the floor. Gracie got back into her bed and looked at the blanket again. Of course, I got up and covered Gracie with the blanket. She immediately went back to sleep and started snoring. Yes, I spoil her. She deserves it!!


This week we worked a lot on targeting. She’s getting really good at this. She surprised the heck out of me though. We were doing targeting training inside and I would tell her to target the seat on the table. She does it every time. Then I told her to target the table top. When I tell her to target, she will touch it with her nose or her paw. Not this time. I touched the table top and said Gracie target. She went from a sitting position to leaping up on top of the table where she immediately sat down with a big smile on her face. She won’t even hop onto my bed unless I tell her to. She was so proud of herself. So, me being me I used her leaping abilities to teach her a new trick. I used the weight bench and now I can get her to leap over obstacles. She only does this on command. I told you she thinks she is a Tennessee Walker.


I’m not sure if I am training a Lab/Greyhound or a Tennessee Walker horse. Ha ha. We were doing some leash training this week and instead of Gracie just turning her head back to look at me, she turns her whole body, crab walks, and prances sideways to see which way we are going when we change direction. She does something every day that just makes me laugh. We worked on her recall, which is excellent by the way. We went out back and I let her go. Every time I told her Gracie come, she came right back to my side. She did lose one of her buddies this week. Reggie got adopted! She and Reggie were buddies. They would sniff and check out the pipes every day together looking for our resident groundhog. They would play together too of course. Gracie is becoming more and more social. She loves to greet people. If you tell her to say hi to someone, she will go up to them and give them a quick sniff or lick of their hand unless it is someone who has given her a treat before or she thinks she may get one from them. With those people, she will go up to them and immediately sit there looking so innocent just waiting for her reward. If she really likes them, they get a kiss too. There’s nothing keeping her from being adopted as far as behavioral issues. No one has put in for her yet. Who is the very lucky person going to be? It could be you!


Gracie continues to learn some more tricks and I continue to figure out more about her as she opens up and trusts me more each day. She learned bang (playing dead) this week when we were out in the dog yard working on her relaxation protocols. She was doing so good with them, even when I go out of her sight for a minute plus. I don’t even use treats when we do them. I use her tennis ball as a reward. It’s funny because once I give her the release command and tell her free dog, she will lay in or roll around in the grass and wait for a staff member to walk by. Once she sees someone, she’ll hurry up, grab her ball, and prance like a deer up and down the fence line like she is queen of the walk, which she is. Her stay has become excellent and so has her wait. I will put her in a sit and tell her wait and throw the ball. She gets anxious, but then I tell her to get it and she tears off. Today we were playing hide the ball and find it. I would put her in a down and stay. Then I would walk around and hide her ball somewhere in the yard and walk back to her. When I tell her to find the ball, she runs around with her ears all perked up, head held high until she finds it. She loved playing this game. When she found it, she ran around strutting her stuff and then we would do it again. She played with Ace some this week, but she only plays when she wants to, not when they want to. Great dog!


What a difference a week makes. Gracie has really opened up and shown me a lot more of her personality. We worked a lot on mastering her basic obedience stuff. She has all of that down. Man is she a kisser! She likes to hide her toys and dog treats in her new bed. She acquired Stewie and Ollie’s old dog bed. She loves it. I put her favorite blanket on it and she is in it all the time. Her choice. I found out that she will drink water with her whole muzzle under the water too. We were outside in the dog yard and after she did her perimeter sniff for moles and playing fetch with her tennis ball, she went to get a drink. She put her whole muzzle underwater and was drinking. I’ve had dogs my whole life and have never seen a dog do this. I just laughed. She likes to run with me. She also made friends with Reggie, Dexter, and Penny. She doesn’t mind or pay attention to the other dogs when we are outside. The other day she and Reggie did get into a barking contest when they saw our resident groundhog. We have a cat that is running around here and she pays no attention to it. Gracie has started to let people know that she is there when someone knocks on my door. She barks up to three times then runs to her food bowl and grabs a few pieces of kibble and promptly brings them back to her bed and stashes them for later. She has been going out in the day room every night for socialization and she has been doing great. Gracie is greeting more and more people. If I tell her to say hi to someone, she will go to them for a quick pet and then she will come right back to my side. What a sweetheart!


First Calvin. Then Diesel. Now I have Gracie. I have been very fortunate to have such great dogs to work with. Gracie is such a sweetheart! She is extremely smart. I have been spending this week getting to know her, what she likes and what she doesn’t, what she knows, and what she needs to work on. Gracie knew sit very well when I got her. Now she knows down, stay, shake, look at me, and with me. Like I said, she is extremely smart. She picks things up very quickly if you just spend the time to teach her. I am amazed at just how quickly she learns her commands. She nearly has auto sit, place, and wait at 100% too. She will not get up onto my bed until I tell her up and when I tell her off she gets down. She wasn’t sure about the crate when she got here, but we worked on it and now when I tell her crate, she goes right in. She has already made friends with Ace. It’s funny because she will play with him running around and when she is done, she will turn her back to him, sit down, and put her nose straight up in the air. She will totally ignore him. Gracie loves to play and fetch her tennis ball too. If you throw it up in the air, she will catch it in her mouth. She is very inquisitive and loves to go out and sniff around the fence looking for moles. When she sees or finds one, both of her ears will point to the right and she will lay down and stare at where it was. She is a pleasure to walk as she doesn’t pull. If you stop, she will turn around and look at you. When you point to your side, she will come back right beside you. If you tell her let’s go or Gracie come, she does. If you tell her to leave it, even if you throw a treat on the ground, she will. If you tell her to find her ball, she will. She is a great dog! Gracie is a little shy when she first meets new people and doesn’t like it if someone walks up behind her and touches her on her haunches, but we are going to work on her socialization more once she gets used to this environment. She is fine when people approach her head on and I tell her to say hi. I will only put her in situations to succeed. I can’t figure out why she doesn’t have a forever home. I have only had her for about a week and I would certainly adopt her if I could! P.S. Gracie loves water!!! She was desperately in need of a bath when she got here. She just stood there and loved every minute of it. Then we were playing ball and I threw her tennis ball into the dog pool. She jumped right in and got it. Then she just hopped in because she wanted to. What a dog!



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