August 2002

Little bit of advice, concerning Lucky. Lucky's being good dog, very protective when you're laying like *ERRRRRRRRRR* and wags her tail, especially her Daddy, more so then me. She only asks my mom to go out. LOL! Question.. please answer me when you can, how did you cut her nails? We've tried so many things but she practically bites your hand off. She snipps and snarls. We did have a previous dog, Stanley and it didn't bother him, he let you cut his nails. How can I cut her nails?! Do I have to take her to a pet parlor or to the vet? Please e-mail me back.

Dani, Darlene, Dean, and Lucky

P.S. I have attached some recent snaps of Lucky.



I love the pictures! I can't believe how much different she looks with all that hair!

It sounds like Lucky doesn't like to have her feet handled. So, her nails need to be cut pretty soon... take her to the vet or groomer for now. Warn them that she might try to bite and don't be offended if they want to muzzle her. I don't recommend trying to hold her down yourself at home to just get it over with. This could set you back in terms of your long-term goal. Let a professional take care of the immediate problem, and then you can concentrate on desensitizing her to having her feet handled.

Get some really good treats that she never gets at any other time. Briefly touch her somewhere she tolerates (maybe her back or shoulder) and give her a treat. Repeat until she accepts this touching with no problem. Now, touch her shoulder and move your hand slightly onto her leg, and give a yummy treat. You get the idea. Break it down into tiny steps, and repeat each step until she is relaxed and doesn't nip or pull away.

Eventually (over multiple sessions -- not all at once) you can work up to touching her foot, holding her foot, touching her nail, etc. Go gradually and slowly enough that she never gets uncomfortable. If she jerks her foot away or tries to bite, you went too far too fast. Back up to where she was comfortable, and go more slowly this time.

If she's afraid of the nail clippers themselves, you can desensitize her to them by just leaving them someplace where she can get used to looking at them. I did this with a little foster dog who was afraid of the brush. I left it on the floor and she had to walk by it dozens of times each day. She got used to seeing it and didn't spook away from it after
a while.

After she's comfortable with the foot handling and the clippers separately, you can combine them. Will she let you touch her shoulder with the clippers? her leg? near her foot? on her foot? on one nail? Pretend you're clipping; hold her foot in one hand and wave the clippers around with the other hand.

When you actually start to clip the nails, just take off a tiny sliver at a time. Make sure you know where it's safe to cut. The vet or groomer can show you if you aren't sure. It's a little harder with dogs that have dark nails because you can't see the quick.

Give it a shot and let me know if you make any progress, or if you have any questions. I know it's a lot to digest! =)

Thanks for taking such good care of my girl!


She loves pet-pets. She loves brushy. She doesn't growl when you try to take her food. She doesn't really growl when you try to take a toy. She usually thinks you're playing. Sometimes she'll walk up to you, drop her toy in your lap and wag her tail and give you this dumb look she gives you. The only thing she hates is the clippers. She lets you touch her paw to a certain point and the she growls. We recently got the computer moved here to home. And I'm on like all the time, she comes up to me and wags her tail and sits her head in my lap. And I'll pick her up and sit her on my lap. She'll sit like I sit and she'll just lay there and "type" on the computer. Hehe. I printed out your e-mail and I will show it to my Mom and Dad. Thanks for your help Amy. =)


Hi Dani,
That's good if she already lets you handle her feet a little. Make sure she's comfortable with really having them touched in different ways. Make sure you can hold her paw for a couple seconds without her trying to yank it away. See if she lets you play with her toes. And then you can just start getting her used to the clippers like I described in the other message. It should go pretty fast once she understands what you want her to do.

One of my dogs doesn't like it when I touch her feet, so sometimes when we're just sitting around watching TV, I'll just kinda mess with her feet a little bit so she gets used to it. So you might try that, too. Good luck!


Dear Amy,
Diamond is such a wonderful dog. Each of us is so taken with her! Her personality is incredible and delightful. We feel that she is the perfect dog for us. Thank you so much for civilizing her and for saving her for us.


You're welcome! I enjoyed having her here. I can't remember if I told you her previous owner had adopted another dog (a seven year old beagle) after giving Diamond up. Well, I now have the beagle. :(

I hope you got the pictures I sent a while ago. I never did find the old video I had of Diamond. I'll keep looking...

Thanks for taking such good care of "my" girl!



All day today, Lucky has been like hacking when she gets exciting, she sounds like she's choking, but as soon as she calms down, she's ok. What's wrong with her? My Dad said we don't have the money to take her to the vet. Is she going to be OK? Is this normal? Please help.


No, it does not sound normal. It could turn out to be nothing, but it could also be something serious. She should see a vet. If you are a member of the humane society, they can do the exam for free and will only charge for medicine or whatever. It is $25 to become a member. The Animal Rescue League also has a low cost clinic and you don't have to be a member. I think a trip to the vet is in order if the problem continues.

I hope everything is okay.


From My Mom: She only gets this when she digs in the garbage. It could be coffee grinds.

Could that be it?



I have no idea. =) If it happens when she gets excited (and hasn't been eating something she shouldn't) I still think it could be something serious. If it only happens when she gets into the garbage... find a way to keep her out of the garbage from now on! We have a can with a lid on it. If she was in the garbage there's a chance she got something
stuck in her throat. Keep an eye on her and see if she seems better tomorrow.

My rule of thumb is... if a dog isn't acting right, I just take them to the vet. Even if it ends up being nothing, it gives you peace of mind. Good luck.


Well she just ate a few minutes a go and she seems to be fine now. Whatever was stuck must of went down with her food.