Emma Epps and her dog Lacey have been together for 16 years and while Lacey does not get around as much as she used to she's still a gentle dog and a loving companion.
Pet of the Week: Lacey is a long time companion
Emma Epps has been with her pure bred Collie companion Lacey for 16 years. Lacey came from a veterinarian, "out in the country but I don't remember the name of the town," said Epps, " I was 11 years old.
At her age Lacey isn't as active as she used to be and, "she sleeps pretty much all the time. I don't have a lot of expectations of her."
But in her younger years, Lacey was fond (and still is a bit) of getting under things like furniture and at one point did have quite an adventure.
"We were at a friend's place who is a dog groomer but she also boards dogs for people, and she lives near Mt. Vernon. We were going to be out of town and couldn't take Lacey with us. So we came back and the next morning my Mom wakes me up and says, 'I'm sorry honey but Lacey has run away.' I knew she would come back eventually but she was gone for three days. Just after she was lost in the countryside I had a craving for Chinese food (which I don't usually like). My mom and I went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. My fortune cookie: "You will find what you have lost."
Epps continued, "She had gone up into the logging trails. This is a dog who was basically a city dog. She never went out. But she was returned to us by some hikers who had been up there. They had seen signs that we put up and contacted the groomer. She had said, 'You can tempt her with a piece of cheese but don't approach her. She's very shy.' So they took a piece of cheese and went back to where they had seen her and got her to come with them. They didn't know why she had run away. They thought maybe she had been abused. But never. They said they thought she was such a sweet dog they would have kept her if they thought she was abused."
"They had her in their car and when she saw me and my Mom she started jumping up and down and was really happy."
Lacey is on a raw food diet due to her food allergies that had affected her skin. Raw turkey and raw chicken are her primary foods though she can eat scrambled eggs from time to time.
Lacey can't hear now and her vision and mobility are limited but she used to be able to do the normal dog behaviors of sit and lie down. Now, slapping your thigh will still get her attention though it's not clear exactly why.
Lacey has been very submissive her whole life said Epps. "She's very much a Beta dog. When she was at her training class as a puppy there was a little tiny Shitzu who was very dominant. He was probably a quarter of her size. But Lacey was completely submissive to him. She laid down and he laid on her back. It was hilarious. Everyone in the class broke up laughing."
She summed up Lacey as, "She's just my friend. She's always been a sweet dog and at this point she's very old and she doesn't do much but she's still very loyal and loving."