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Tawny

 

3/20/19

The warm weather has brought invaders to our Queen's kingdom and she does not like it at all. It has now become a daily search of her kingdom's boundaries to make sure none of them are inside the castle walls. I am of course talking about the moles and all of our dogs’ arch nemesis, the groundhog. Yes, it has come out of hibernation to taunt and torment our queen and her loyal subjects. We were out back doing some training when it made its grand entrance into Tawny's life. Man, she came alive going on full alert, hackles raised, tail straight up, ears pointed skyward, and totally focused on it. The groundhog was the same with her. We had us a Mexican stand off. I told Tawny to leave it and let's go. She did of course, but she would walk about 4 steps and turn back, barking at it. Then I would repeat the commands and we would go another 4 steps and repeat. It was like she was telling the groundhog you’re so lucky.
Tawny did achieve a huge milestone this past Friday. Tawny does not like to walk on surfaces that she is not sure of especially waxed tiled floors. We went to a block on Friday where that is all they have. I knew it would be a challenge, but we took it on. After a shaky start and a little bit of coaxing, she did great. She did so good that we went to another area where it is the same way. Again, Tawny knew she had nothing to fear and she did great. That's all it takes for her timidness in new environments. She just has to see that nothing is going to harm her and she will be fine. You just need to have a little bit of patience and take it slow.
Tawny went for a home visit on Saturday where she met her potential adopters and their dog and it went great. Now, she has to meet their cat and if all goes well, Tawny will have her forever home. Let's keep our fingers crossed that all goes well because my girl deserves her parole. She has earned it. She has not had a single misconduct, has taken all of her groups where she has overcome all of her issues. There is no reason for her to be incarcerated any longer. She has paid her debt to society. #FreeTawny

3/13/19

I am starting to wonder if I have a dog or an ostrich. Tawny loves the snow. She also loves to bury her head in the snow just like an ostrich does with sand. It is so funny. As you all know, Tawny is very friendly and loves to say hi to everyone. This week we had a nurse walking on the sidewalk that leads to our block. We were outside doing some harness and loose leash walking training and Tawny saw her and started going all wiggle butts on me so I told her to go say hi. Man, did she ever. She went right over, tail a wagging away and sat real lady like to be petted. The nurse was loving all over her and then had to go. The only problem was Tawny wasn't done with her. She started to walk away and Tawny stuck her front paw out and hooked her leg and pulled her back to her. I just laughed. The nurse laughed and gave in and gave her some more loving. I have seen Tawny use this very same paw to open doors if they are cracked open, but that was the first time I have seen her hook onto someone's leg to keep them from leaving. What a difference from the scared, timid girl who I received a month and a half ago. All she needed was some love, attention, and training. My scared little girl is now a bold, confident Queen. She just needs a new kingdom to rule. She even loves and plays with her subjects Neiko, Shadow, and Ace everyday. She and Neiko play off leash with no issues often.

3/6/19

First, I want to thank whomever donated the easy walk harness for Tawny. It has been an overwhelming success. When she has her new purple harness on, she doesn't pull at all. When she feels the slightest resistance, she comes right back to my side. Then she looks up at me for some loving which of course she gets. She literally walks with her side on my leg. We also worked on her off leash training out back. Her recall is excellent. She likes to play soccer. Yes, I took a soccer ball out and was kicking and dribbling it around. She immediately got into the game. Tawny would pounce on the ball and kick it around with her front paws. She would use her nose and head to roll it all over the yard. We would play keep away from each other. She is so happy when we are playing this game. My chick-a-dee can be stubborn though. Sometimes we just have to go inside and she does not like that, especially if she isn’t finished playing. Tawny LOVES the outdoors. She will go in, but the look on her face says it all. If only she could speak English... I'm quite positive about what she would say in that moment!

2/27/19

Normally, I would talk about the training and milestones that Tawny reached this week, but I must share something that she did outside that was so cute and funny. I have seen Tawny chipmunk or cheek her treats and hide them under her dog bed and then come back for more. She has only done this inside, but this week changed all of that. We were out back training and playing with Neiko and his handler. They both had a good training session so Neiko's handler gave her a special treat. I saw her chipmunk it right away. She immediately turned from him and waltzed right to the middle of the yard and dug a small hole. The ground was soft after all the snow melted. She dropped the treat into the hole and used her nose to cover it up with the dirt being perfectly flat. She spent about five minutes making sure it was perfect. The only way you could tell she dug anything was by looking at her muzzle which was now all chocolate brown. For three days, every time we went out back she went right to the spot to make sure it was still there. Today we went out there after I got off work and did some training and playing. When we were done, she went right back to her stash. Tawny dug it out, dropped it on the ground, and covered the hole back up before picking it up and taking it to a bowl of water. She then dropped the treat into the bowl of water to wash the dirt off of it before eating it. I just laughed the whole time. What a girl!

2/20/19

It was Valentine's Day week and I must have done something right because Tawny gave me a lot of kisses and she is not a kisser! Tawny passed a huge test for she and I this week. As you all are aware from our previous journals, Tawny had a confidence issue, especially in new environments. We have worked a lot on that and it was put to the test this past Friday. We go to different areas of the prison for wellness visits with other inmates on several different blocks on Fridays. I asked if I could take Tawny this week because I felt she was ready. She went. She acted like she owned the places we went to. These were all new places and new people. My queen was strutting her stuff. These guys live the dogs. Tawny made a beeline for a guy in a wheelchair to get loved on. She made several rounds getting petted and loved on but kept going back to the guy in the wheelchair to make sure he was alright. She kept checking in on Ace and Shadow to make sure they were behaving themselves too. Tawny was sitting side-by-side with him taking treats. She was exploring everywhere and had a smile on her face the whole time. I don't know who enjoyed it more, me seeing her so confident and not afraid or her getting all that love. Tawny was very tired when we got back and promptly hopped onto my bed later. She put her head on my pillow and fell right to sleep snoring. It was all worth it. I was so proud of her. She's expanding her kingdom. Who out there wants to give her a new kingdom to rule?

2/13/19

I’ve had Tawny for 2.5 weeks now and what a change. She had a great week of training. We worked a lot on her confidence. She will now explore the whole bottom tier and we have started working on teaching Tawny how to use the stairs. She is beginning to play with her ball outside and has learned to give it back. It didn’t matter that there was snow outside. Tawny just puts her head down and plows through it. She has learned the leave it command. Her stay has gotten a lot better and I can now get about 25 feet from her before she moves. She has learned the wait command and I can now go through doors before she does.
Tawny has become the queen of the block. Neiko is her king, but Ace is quickly trying to win her heart. She will go into both Shadow’s and Ace’s cell while they’re there to say hi with no problems from any of them. Tawny will take treats alongside another dog without issues, even when the other dog is getting one and not her.
Everyone loves Tawny. Today, maintenance came and did some work in my cell while I was at work. The boss came back to my shop and said your dog is trying to make me adopt her. He said that she was such a sweetheart. Way to go Tawny! That’s my girl! Her loose leash walking has improved dramatically and we will continue to work on this every day. She loves to go with me wherever I go. If I make a move towards the door, she is right there giving me those puppy dog eyes wanting to go along. How can I say no to that?

2/6/19

What a difference a week makes. Tawny came to me a very scared and timid girl. I had to carry her on and off the block because she was too afraid to come inside and walk on the block for two days. Not anymore! After a lot of confidence building, she now wants to go everywhere with me. If I make a move towards the door, she is right there at my feet wanting to go along.
She had no obedience training, but in only a week she has already learned to sit on command, auto sit for pets, and come on cue. Tawny is working on wait and stay. I can put her in a sit/stay and get about 15 feet from her before she gets up. We will continue to work on this.
At first, I only brought her out into the day room when it was almost empty to slowly build her confidence. Now, she comes out and says hi to everyone when it is completely full. Tawny loves to go over and play with Neiko during dayroom. It is funny because she will give him kisses on his muzzle. If he doesn’t play with her, she makes him.
She loves Neiko, Shadow, and Ace. She is not treat motivated or toy motivated nor does she act aggressively when Neiko is getting treats right beside her. She’s very timid in a new environment until she sees it is safe and then she opens up. Tawny’s had little to no leash training and tries to pull everywhere she wants to go. We are working on this using various methods. If I put her in what’s called, a suitcase, she doesn’t even try to pull. She will walk right beside me. I’m alternating using this and regular loose leash training until she is right beside me on her own all the time. Tawny actually does very well off leash on the block. She is not ready for this outside yet, but we will get there.
Tawny does place very well. If I tell her place, she will go right to it and sit down. Neiko’s handler and I have been working on place training in the day room. One of the times we did this, she went to Neiko’s mat and laid down beside him before kicking him off of it. It was so funny. Neiko didn’t know what to do. Tawny definitely likes to be the center of attention. My little flower is blooming! She is quite the sweetheart.

1/30/19

I got the new girl this week and her name is Tawny. She came from rural West Virginia so I call her my moonshine dog. Tawny appears to have lived a hard life. I don't think she has been kept indoors because she has old callouses on all of her legs which means that she must have been laying on concrete for a significant amount of time. She was very scared when I got her on Saturday. Tawny would not come inside through the doors so I had to pick her up and carry her the whole way to my cell. Once she got in there and found her new, warm bed, she was in heaven. She would not get out of her bed for anything. I had to give her food and water in the bed. She didn't want to walk out of the cell so I had to carry her outside to use the potty. When I would put Tawny down, she would freeze and lock up. After many hours of training and patience, we can walk most of the way out of the block and she will now walk into the block. She freezes right inside the door so I'll pick her up and carry her about 15 feet before putting her down. From there, she'll walk very timidly back to the cell. We are working on getting her to walk the whole way in and out of the cell and the block.

Once Tawny gets outside, she comes alive and is a whole different dog! Her nose goes right to the ground and her tail goes a mile a minute. She wants to say hi to everyone she sees, including all of the other dogs here. She acts real ladylike and approaches them calmly which is good. Her favorites are Shadow and Neiko. She hasn't had much, if any, leash training because she wants to pull you wherever she wants to go and lock up and pull backwards if I try to change direction. We've worked on that and now if she pulls, I stop and she'll stop too to look back at me. If I say this way, she will go with me so she is making great strides with that already.

Tawny has really opened up in the cell. She wouldn't hop up into bed at first so I put her up there. She would stay until I sat up and then she would jump off and go right back into her bed. Now, she will lay in her bed and just stare at me because she’s waiting for me to invite her by patting my bed. Once I do, she'll jump right up with me tail a wagging as she curls up beside me.

Tawny loves the attention and really enjoys being petted. When I come back from work, I can hear her tail thumping away on the bed as soon as she sees me.

As far as I can tell, Tawny hasn't had formal training and knew nothing when she first got here. She's proving to be a quick learner because she's already picked up on Be a tree and Look at me. I have to take things slow with her as she gradually becomes more and more comfortable in her new environment, but I'm encouraged by the improvements she's already shown. She will now go to her bowls to eat and drink and she has yet to have an accident in the cell. Tawny already has a favorite blanket that she must have whether she's up in my bed or in hers. She will actually grab it and bring it with her when she jumps up onto my bed! I have even gotten a few kisses on my hand. Tawny is a very lovable dog once she opens up. She's just shy.

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