that Lexi has really come on in the last few days and is far more confident
compared to even a week ago She has discovered she likes a cuddle -
she lay in Anne's lap this afternoon as she finished getting her ears nice
and clean and even let her trim her dew claws,
which were very sharp without so much as a murmur They are still having to use the Elizabethan collar because the minute they take their eyes off her she
goes straight for her stitches, but they do try and leave it off as much as possible. They gave her the Frontline yesterday - the first totally dry day since
the wound on her back healed completely.
13th May 2011
Peter brought Lexi to us this afternoon as they are going away for a few days and taking four dogs in the caravan is a bit too much. Lexi will be fine here and although shy to start with she will soon be enjoying the freedom of our large garden and running to stand by the gate to greet the bed and breakfast guests as they come and go. Although only here a week the experience of following the other greyhounds and seeing our guests and their dogs come and go will be good for her.
20th May 2011
Lexi has been no problem at all during her week stay with us and was a pleasure to have here. She was rather shy and reserved at first, but we all ignored it. She came for her food and ate from the same dish and place in the kitchen each time so she knew it was 'her place'. We had no accidents from her, she loved roaming the garden and followed the others everywhere. It didn't take her long to work out our routine nor that when our bed and breakfast guests come and go the other dogs go to greet them at the gate and are often made a fuss of. Lexi hung back most of the time, but towards the end of the week she was beginning to mingle with the others for attention. She walked lovely on the lead with the others and when they were all told to 'side and stay' because a car or milk tanker was approaching so not to move till it passed, she did as the others did and quietly waited till they were told to 'walk on' and off they went again. The only thing we had to watch out for was when she was nervously wandering around the garden Coaly
wanted to 'chide' her for it, and dogs do this by nipping the neck to tell them to stop being silly and behave. As Lexi, when she is nervous darts about a bit we were worried that Coaly
might actually misjudge his distances and nip her, so we put a muzzle on him when he was outside with her. She's a really nice little girl, we will miss her when she goes back to Peter and Anne's tomorrow, and she will make someone a lovely companion.
21st May 2011
Peter and Anne called in to collect Lexi this afternoon following their return from holiday. Lexi certainly remembered them and gave them a lovely greeting. Jumping in the back of the car with their other dogs off they drove to take them all for a walk then off back home.
22nd May 2011
We received an email from Peter and Anne today letting us know that this morning Lexi was on her back with legs waving in the air and thoroughly enjoying a tummy rub - a first for them.
25th May 2011
We received an email from Peter and Anne this morning letting us know that last night Lexi discovered the delights of the sofa, and they think she will be there from now on whenever Prince
and Celt aren't in residence - which is quite rare !!
She is still a little wary of strangers and can be a bit jumpy when introduced to new things in her life, but she is getting better as each day passes as she is introduced to more and more new people and surroundings. Peter and Anne say she is really nice and now she knows them she is so
easy to look after and is a real pleasure to have.
5th June 2011
We received an email today from Peter and Anne letting us know that Lexi is fine She is very relaxed indoors and is interacting more with them - coming to them regularly for some fuss, following them around
the house and even barking at Peter if she thinks he's a bit slow getting her meals ready. They now feed her with Errie, so there are two 2 dogs on each side of the room because Lexi was getting a little grumbly if any of the
others wandered into her side of the room. No problems at all now and she loves her meals, but it looks like all her nervous energy prevents
her putting much weight on.
Lexi has had quite a lot of encounters with new people over the last week or two and has let some of them stroke her. Sometimes Peter and Anne feel she is really making progress, but then other times something
upsets her and they seem to go back a step. There is still no sign of her wagging her tail or any playful
interaction with their 3 dogs.
7th June 2011
We received an email saying Peter's son and his wife were staying for the weekend and although to begin with Lexi hid away upstairs gradually she began to settle in the same room, albeit keeping a wary eye open to
keep a check on what they were doing She is now quite relaxed being with them and has allowed his wife to stroke her This morning they drove up to Tarn Hows and being the Bank Holiday it was a busy place so Lexi encountered quite a lot of people and some large groups of walkers as they walked round. She was passed lots of times by people and after her usual nervousness to start with, men were soon walking by quite close to her without much
reaction at all.
When they got back to the car park they stopped to chat to the National Trust warden. He had been brought up with Greyhounds so was very interested in the dogs. Within moments Lexi was allowing him to stroke her and although her tail was
tucked well and truly up between her legs she made no effort to move away from him - a major first with a total stranger, and a man at that !! He was a really nice guy and as they had explained who they were fostering for, they asked if he minded them taking a picture which may help to rehome her, which they did. They are still waiting for Lexi to wag her tail but this encounter really made their day !
14th June 2011
We received an email today from Peter and Anne saying they were quite concerned about Lexi's nervousness as it doesn't appear to be getting any better, and sometimes she seems worse. They continue to ignore her fearful behaviour and not pander to her reluctance to go certain places but sometimes it is very difficult.
Indoors she is an absolute dream - no problem whatsoever. She is calm and really affectionate now - a really lovely natured dog who immediately responds to her name. Taking her out is such a different story. She is so fearful of people and at times she is very difficult to manage. Children seem to cause her the most problem and as they live on an estate and particularly when the weather is nice they just can't avoid them She has had no bad experiences with any while with them but the sound of them playing make Lexi a bag of nerves. The other day they took her down to their allotment with Prince
and two bones for them to enjoy in the sunshine Prince
quickly got stuck in but Lexi just could not relax and stood tethered the whole time as a couple of young children were playing in a tree about 40 yards away Today they tried her with a bone in the garden and though obviously very interested in it she again would not settle Even when they brought her into the utility room with it she could still hear the neighbour's children nearby and for ages she walked round firmly holding it in her mouth After about half an hour she finally felt safe enough to lay down and enjoy it.
Recently when walking her if people are coming towards her and up behind her she panics and gets behind you and tries to back away The best way to handle this is to stand still and say nothing, give her time to watch what is happening. If she's jumpy say and do nothing and when she has quietened down praise her for being quiet before saying 'walk on'. This way you are praising the good behaviour and not re-enforcing to her that she has a need to fear.
Nervous dogs learn four phases and each must be obtained before the next can proceed. The first is to trust you, the next is that their kennel (your home) is safe, once they feel that they need to be sure their yard or your garden is safe and once they realise that then they need to work out that while they are with you the big outside world is also safe as you are there to look after them. It's a lot to take in and for some dogs its a long slow process.
Being unsure of children is because children often move fast and have higher pitched voices, voices and movement the dogs haven't come across before in kennels, so it is a new experience to take in.
Dogs, like humans learn things or to learn to cope with things in stages, they learn a certain amount then 'plateau' while what they've learnt has time to sink in and be retained, then they learn another batch of things and 'plateau' again while that information is being digested and stored. If you didn't, you would 'burn yourself out'. When teaching children with disabilities as was my son Mark, who was born with Down's Syndrome along with working with nervous dogs or dogs with issues we often don't notice this plateau has been reached until we say to ourselves 'I'm just not getting anywhere' at which point, the plateau is often reaching it's end, and the children or dogs leap forward again before reaching the next plateau. This is what has been happening with Lexi.
Peter and Anne love her to bits and think she is a beautiful dog with the most amazing eyes when she trusts you enough to look into
them. None of her behaviour is a problem to them, and if you worry about it, then they sense it and it makes them worse, so the best thing to do is smile, laugh and think it's all so cute. Personally I find it very satisfying when a dog like Lester
or Lexi finally bonds with you because when they do they are worth their weight in gold!
16th June 2011
We received an email today from Peter and Anne letting us know that Lexi in the past couple of days has been much better while in the garden and on their walks.
22nd June 2011
We received an email today from Peter and Anne letting us know that for the first time Lexi and Prince
have both been on the sofa together and are obviously quite happy about it!
There have been one or two firsts in the last few days This morning
Lexi was playing happily with a tennis ball - chasing after it when Anne
rolled it along the floor and pouncing on it and throwing it in the
air - a lovely sight !
After seeming to go backwards for a while she seems to have gained confidence and has a different gait about her when walking outdoors. Since walking her next to Prince
who is much older and just plods along instead of Celt who is younger and more bouncy she is enjoying being outside more.
She now stops and sniffs, the delights of which Prince
her to, and a thing she was never able to relax enough to do before. Although still easily frightened by some things she seems to find her walks much more
The other day while they were out walking a whole hoard of cyclists
taking part in some event came up the hill on the other side of the
road as they came down.
One cyclist is usually enough to spook her but she just stood there
and watched in amazement as they all whooshed by them - as Peter and Anne did watching her !!!
4th August 2011
Peter was telling me today that since all the children broke up from school for the summer Lexi has gone back a step. She is really unsure of their shouting, playing and running around, so much so some days she doesn't want to go for a walk and is happy to stay in the house and garden. However, on these occasions they walk her with Prince
and once she's through the garden gate she settles - it's just going through the gate she doesn't like when there are children around.
5th September 2011
This morning Lexi went to her new home where we hope she will have a long and happy life with her new family that includes Billy the greyhound.
8th September 2011
We received an email today from Lexi's new owners letting us know how Lexi has settled in, She's been playing in the garden with Billy today and she makes everyone laugh when she wags her tail. They say she is going to enjoy the rest of her life with them and she's not coming back to us (sorry!). She is eating her food well and some of Billy's, but he doesn't seem to mind, and she's met her Gran and Grandad and they love her.
4th October 2011
Another email arrived today letting us know that Lexi is really coming out of her shell now, loves playing with Billy and her owner's mum, dad and brother. She gets lots of cuddles from the friends and family, and loves pinching Billy's toys. She loves going for walks with them and has been out for lunch with their family where she was very good - the cafe staff brought Lexi and Billy a plate of sausages!!
21st October 2011
Lexi's new owner emailed to let us know that Lexi is doing well. They say its like they've always had her with Billy. They have bought both Lexi and Billy new winter coats and fleeces with their names on them, and they look so cute, Billy looks after her when we go out, she loves going out for her dinner at Fettlers at Rufford.
Lexi is still a little shy with children but they still take her out with Billy, and she walks by his side where she feels safe. They also take her in the garden when the school children are out playing and play ball with her. They had a man come to take down the greenhouse with his son and she was watching them from the conservatory, then the next thing she was outside with Billy, not at all bothered that they where in her garden.
Lexi loves her new Grandma, Granddad and Uncle because they all spoil both Billy and her.
2nd November 2011
We received a surprise visit this morning from Lexi, her new owners and Billy the greyhound she lives with. Didn't they both look smart in their bright red coats and Lexi looked so well and relaxed. It was just wonderful to see her like this, a far cry from the nervous little girl who first arrived.
22nd December 2011
Received an email today wishing us a merry Christmas and to let us know Billy and Lexi have already got 5 christmas presents each under the tree!
21st November 2012
We received an email from Lexi's owners this evening saying they were so pleased with her. She's like a different girl, and she's so much more confident now. She's still not happy when she hears children, but her and Billy-boy are so funny together, they're like they've been together all their lives!
17th December 2013
We heard today that Lexi is not the same little girl her owners brought home, they say she's become quite a little madam and puts Billy in his place. They are both wonderful.
23rd December 2013
Received an email today - Lexi and Billy Boy send us lots of love and they are looking forward to Christmas!
19th December 2015
We received Christmas and New Year wishes today with an update on Lexi. This is what they said:
"We are so Happy the tell you Lexi is become such a pawfect little girl from the first time we saw her little face we fell in love with her. She has changed so much since the first time we met, it's such a true saying that love can conquer anything. We knew with time and patience and lots and lots of love her life could be completely changed. She never stops wagging her tail and she can nearly talk.
She kisses Billy and they act like a little old couple"