By Lynne Watkins
Lucy is a 4 year old deaf Queensland Heeler. I found her shortly after my 16 year old deaf heeler passed away. Her family re-homed her to me 2 years ago due to their new baby starting to crawl. They were concerned about negative reactions if the baby startled her. They loved Lucy enough to find her a loving new home. I drove five hours each way to pick her up. We have done obedience training and are now we are doing agility, which she loves to do. Most heelers are great heelers, but fortunately, she had no interest in my horses . She is obsessed with playing frisbee and chasing balls.
Lucy didn’t have much training when I got her and I felt like we needed to go to an obedience class where she would be around other dogs. She did learn my hand signs pretty fast. We live in a small town in Southern California (Morongo Valley) and we train at the Blue Barn Ranch in Yucca Valley, CA, which is about 22 miles from us.
Lucy does well in obedience, but she gets excited around all the other dogs. She barks a lot, so I was introduced her to the Pet Convincer, which is a small hand held device that gives her a puff of air ( use on her shoulder only) and she stops. When she gets excited and starts barking, all I have to do is show it to her.
Lucy excels in agility, but we have to work harder on the weave poles, but she is improving with every training session. When I have to go out of town, she is boarded at Blue Barn. Lucy knows when we are going there and she gets very excited because Blue Barn is an amazing place and it is family owned.
Kathi at Blue Barn is a certified dog trainer who works on training search and rescue dogs. Her kennels are climate controlled and the dogs get their own outdoor pen during the day. Kathi has a doggy play yard and she lets the dogs out to play in play groups several times a day. She knows which dogs get along with Lucy so they get to play and stay safe. She also boards horses and her place is immaculate.
Lucy attached herself to me as soon as I got her. We go on long walks and there are places I can let her off leash and she never goes far away, always keeping me in sight. She is my shadow. Wherever I go she is at my side. I can be sitting in a chair with her lying next to me, but as soon as I get up, she’s up and by my side. I am blessed to have her. I keep in touch with her first family and send them pictures and updates often which they really appreciate.