Just Ducky

Ducky is a mixed-breed that my husband and I rescued from our local animal shelter on September 17th, 2012.  She is part Cardigan Welsh Corgi and part (Black) Labrador Retriever.  I don’t even want to think about how that happened!!  LOL!  But to continue…when we first rescued/adopted Ducky, I went online to www.amazon.com in search of all the books I could find about the Corgi breeds.  I was already familiar with Labs, but aside from a few cute pictures I’d seen online, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

So, back to the story.  Ducky’s personality is all Corgi.  She’s “bossy”, extremely vocal, and a little “nuts”.  She tells us, quite vociferously, when it’s time to go outside.  And, she makes us laugh until we cry at her antics.  (Except when she gets “snarky” with older sister, Shadow.  That’s when it’s time for a firm “no”.)  Her coat is more like that of a Black Lab … short, coarse, and thin … but her tail has a little bit of feathering at the end of it.  And, if you look closely, you can see some brown mixed in with the black on her torso along with some white/light grey around her muzzle and chest.

I first met Ducky when I was in the beginning portion of my hands-on training phase of my Animal Behavior College dog obedience training instructor course.  I went to the adoptions area and asked which one of the dogs needed me most.  The response was unanimous:  “Duuuucccckkkkyyyy!”

“Ducky?” I asked. “Where on earth did you get a name like that for a dog?” I asked, half laughing and half serious.

“Because”, Jennifer replied, “when she was first picked up by Animal Control as a stray, we didn’t know what to call her until Kayla saw her and said she’s ‘just ducky’ and the ‘Ducky’ part fit her perfectly.”  So, back I went to the puppy room and found her sitting at the front of her kennel with the most pleading look on her face.  She just seemed to say, “please get me out of here, puullleeeezzz!”  So, I grabbed a training lead, opened the kennel door, put the lead around her neck, and got her out of the kennel.  I carried her out to the courtyard to work with her.  And I fell in love with those ears…..

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Fast forward a few weeks.  Ducky is now a part of the family.  With tons of anxieties made worse by all the time she spent at the shelter and being bounced around like a Ping-Pong ball.  I sometimes have to make myself stop feeling guilty about not having adopted her right from the start.  Anyway, after a month of living with us and driving her (much older) sisters crazy, I knew there had to be a better way.  So, I took her to the doggie daycare that a friend of mine recommended for an introduction.  Ducky did so well that I decided to leave her there for the rest of the day.  WOW!  What a difference that half a day made!  The other dogs managed to teach her HOW to play nicely and by the time I picked her up, she was too exhausted to pester her sisters at all that night!  She slept like a baby!  She’s been spending at least a half day at daycare almost every day since that first time.  She has been with us now for over 17 months; and I’ve been cutting back on her daycare time so that she can bond a bit more with her sisters.  She still has her moments; but we’ve accepted her the way she is and we love her dearly.  We can’t imagine our lives without her any more.  She is definitely part of the family.  And her sisters have been helping me teach her how to be a good dog.  Callie is SO patient with her that it’s as though Callie decided to be her surrogate mother.  Shadow has accepted her and pretty much ignores her little “outbursts” now.  Or, just walks away from her when she gets “snarky”.

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10 thoughts on “Just Ducky

  1. Nature by Dawn says:

    What a great story! I can easily see why you fell in love with those ears. They are simply adorable! Despite all the work she needs, sometimes it is that extra work that helps create the bond. My Pierson is quite a challenge too. But I love him so much that it hardly matters.
    BTW, I got my dog trainer’s certificate at Animal Behavior College too! 🙂

  2. Jodi says:

    I think those ears would get me too. Glad you shared her story (it’s a good one) I always wondered where that name came from too!

    It’s good to see she has adapted so well, honestly with some of these dogs it takes time. You are doing a great job with her Sue!

  3. somethingwagging says:

    I really enjoyed seeing the whole story in one place here.

    I remember when Ducky came to live with you and how frustrated you were. It seemed like you were second-guessing whether you should have brought her home at all.

    I’m so glad that day care was such a good solution for you. And it’s great to hear how far the whole family has come in forming a bond over time.

  4. Donna O. says:

    I love how she got her name. So cute.

    I also have to wonder how many ABC apprentices leave the shelter with the dog they volunteer to train? I’m guessing it’s kind of hard not to. One of my trainers got one of her dogs in a similar manner. She went to a pit bull work shop, where each trainer worked with a pit in need, and guess who came home with her? 🙂

    • The Golden Life says:

      I spent some time — after we adopted her — trying to come up with a different name for her; but by then I was so used to calling her “Ducky” that nothing else seemed to fit. So I gave up and stuck with it.

  5. 2browndawgs says:

    Tiring out those young ones makes all the difference. We keep Thunder and Freighter apart mostly because they can get snarky with each other in the house. Outside they are fine and play nicely. On occasion they growl at each other in the house. Its quiet, like they think we can’t hear….lol. Anyway, since we have been able to get them out for more exercise, we noticed they are a lot more tolerant of each other in the house. Too tired for trouble I guess.

  6. Agnes Lu says:

    I know a trick to tame dogs like ducky from a tv program: You just keep on playing fetch game with the dog till he or she gets exhausted!!! Then that dog will be quiet!!!

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