Apologies for the long update, and also descriptive for a female dog.
As I mentioned in my last post, Lacey got another “big groom.” I noticed when clipping the sanitary area that her vulva looked swollen. As in, it wasnt visible a week before and suddenly I could see it clearly. I’d kept it in the back of my mind that she’d probably be going into heat soon. Sure enough, exactly one week later, she began her first heat.
The day before she started, my boyfriend remarked that she’d slept most of the day. I didn’t think much of it because I’d also slept all day and figured she was following my insomniac/RN sleep schedule as she often does.
The day she began I had taken her to the hockey rink for some off leash running, but she wasn’t zooming around much. I thought it was too soon for the novelty to wear off as we’d only just discovered this new activity a couple days prior! She saw her submissive yorkie poo boyfriend on the walk back home and was kind of jumpy with him.
I took her on a short car ride with me later that day. I noticed some faint brown blood spots on the car restraint strap and the center console. initially I thought she’d stepped on something sharp outside and inspected between her toe pads, but there was nothing. Then I remembered she had been swollen a week ago and checked her vulva. Sure enough, that was the culprit! It hit me with sadness, joy and surprise. My little girl is on her way to becoming a woman!
From the time period of writing this post for her cycle, 4/20-4/25, she is MUCH less her playful self. She is still enjoying long walks. On day 3 or 4 she began occasionally marking on walks. I am keeping my head on a swivel and we won’t be doing any off leash time in the hockey rink for a long while.
She has become very cuddly. Normally she prefers sitting on the end of the couch but not laying next to my chest or on top of me for any significant amount of time when I’m laying down. Now she drapes her body over me and rests. She is very obviously enjoying being pet and held by her daddy, having a relaxed look on her face that all is right in the world. She’s definitely getting extra tender love and attention from me!
I was scared she’d rip into her dog diapers the same day I started to use them, based on the training sessions we did before she started her heat cycle. She’d been picking at them and she normally picks at the seams plush toys. I was pleasantly surprised that she’s tolerated them when the time came. I take them off and let her skin breathe for 8 hours a day. Im having her sleep in her x pen/crate during that time. She cleans herself often since she can reach the area even with the diapers on. She’s not bleeding a ton but there’s still little bits I’d rather not get on the furniture or carpet. My sweet girl is doing well and being so cute. I think the hormones along with her semi recent hair cut made me take more pictures than I normally would.
Lacey is now day 7-13 in her cycle as of this week. I noticed on day 10 she was on another level. Every single time before taking her outside she’d uncontrollably bark, run back and forth, and nip at me while in the entryway. It took extra long and even more patience than normal to get a calm sit so I could put on her walking collar or harness and leash. This seemed to coincide around the time she possibly was ovulating. I can’t tell how much she’s still bleeding. When I check her when her diapers are off I haven’t seen anything. but she continues to clean herself.
She’s become more playful in her mannerisms like her normal self, but still gets tired easily and sleeps a lot. Still is cuddly and is enjoying being picked up and held, and laying on or against me. She’ll rest her head on me while being cuddly and my heart melts because she’s never been like that before. She’s also much more needy in general. Every time I got upstairs to use the bathroom she’d start loudly crying. Normally she doesn’t care if I go upstairs because she knows I’m still in the house and not actually leaving the house.
The highlight of the week, at least for me, was meeting a 3 year old rescue greyhound named Thrim. He was gorgeous and had a brindle coat. I had never seen them before and got excited because I never see greyhounds. I talked to the owner at a distance. Slowly during the conversation I moved closer with Lacey so I could gauge her and Thrim’s behavior toward each other. As well as ensuring he was neutered. They sniffed each other a short while and then pretty much ignored each other while I talked to his owner. Thrim had such a docile and sweet personality. I kind of wanted to steal him.
Lacey continues her cycle days 14-20. Still some bleeding. I noticed lumps formed underneath her nipples as well.
Suddenly she has an increase in appetite and is happily eating her kibble which makes ME so happy.
She hadn’t been interested in chewing her toys since she started her cycle, but that interest is back. She’s definitely much more herself in that way. Still sleeping a lot and gets tired easily.
She’s still feeling anxious. When outside she is quick to let out a bark in response to hearing other dogs barking in the distance or bark at a stranger she can’t go up to, when normally she’d ignore it or just try to get to the stranger without barking. A few times this week she randomly barked at things that normally wouldn’t bother her. For example, an upper cabinet in the kitchen left open when nobody is in there or her reflection in the oven door.
Something I was not looking forward to happened this week. She was wanting to be let up on the couch, and when I didn’t let her up right away she jumped up with me. I said “no” and put her down. She did it two more times that day but then didn’t do it again since. I will have to start training that she’s only allowed to come up on the couch when asked to. Even though I do have her up there with me most of the time.
She’s still being very cuddly and enjoying laying with her body leaned up against me or even resting on my lap. This is something I hope continues forever. It makes me so dang happy.
@Rose n Poos thank you! Every day I just stare at her and think about how lucky I am to have an adorable, happy, healthy girl. I still have to hold my squeals back because I’m so crazy about her. But she gets to hear everyday she’s “so cute girl” while getting pets and scratches.
Last week I went and looked back through all my posts in the thread so far. Around week 30 you commented that she was looking like a young puppy lady. I agree, I think that’s when she started to look more grown up and less rolly polly puppy.
I agree she and Peggy are soul sisters! I appreciated you sharing her experience because there’s not much to be found about that here.
I’m so happy Peggy continued to be a cuddle girl, yay! Those sweet moments make the testing times so worth it.
When I weighed Lacey I expected closer to 9.5 lb. She feels healthy and not too bony so I’m not concerned. I know she’ll continue to fill out. Especially after her spay in July, which I scheduled today (eek).
Week 43 was day 21-27 of her cycle and I believe the end of it. I stopped using a diaper. She’s pretty much back to her normal self. She never did the flagging sign when I touched her tail. Maybe has something to do with it being her first heat.
Lacey made some new friends. A couple and their “mini golden doodle” named Sandy. Apparently 75% poodle. She is a year and a half old and 25 lb. She’s a nice dog. Lacey chased Sandy around and could outrun her in bursts! Sandy’s owners were amazed at Lacey’s speed. They were having fun and got along well but also took breaks and did their own sniffing around. They saw each other a couple times this week. Lacey really liked Sandy’s owners, and spent just as much time going up to them for pets and attention.
Lacey’s walking on leash is showing great improvement! I had gotten a 2 inch wide flat collar, originally for a class that was supposed to be back in March that only allowed flat collars. I’ve been walking her with that since March and working on no pulling. The nice thing is that she can’t pull as hard as when walking with a harness, because I have a bad neck and shoulders and walks were extremely painful before. I’m becoming wary of continuing to use the flat collar because I really don’t want to damage her trachea, even though she doesn’t make audible choking noises when she does pull. I’m going to look into getting her a front clip harness recommended by others here.
I agree that you definitely don't want to mess with a mini's trachea. The damage doesn't show up immediately, and can be very distressing.
Maybe look into the Freedom harness, which has both a front clip and a back clip option. The back clip responds to pulling with a tightening action, which is technically an aversive, so best for a dog that's already learned how to walk properly on leash (as Lacey has) and just needs an occasional reminder. I think a back clip would also be less likely to tangle the leash on a little dog. The front clip can be a little frustrating in that respect.
Or you can get a leash that splits in two at the end, and clip one to the front and one to the back. This extra control might have the added benefit of protecting your neck and shoulders.
I’m glad you posted this! I was so curious on lacey’s size. Usually with my toys I leave a collar on 24/7 very loosely just incase they were to run out. Then for walks I like the step in harnesses as they’re easier to put on and take off.
@PeggyTheParti I just ordered a padded, inexpensive, no name front and back clip harness to try. Right now Lacey is just slightly too small to fit the xs freedom harness but it’s on my radar for as she fills out. I thought that one looked the best of the recommendations I saw here. The pet safe 3 in 1 harness was another option. I definitely don’t want to accumulate damage to her little throat until it’s too late.
@Whoiscoconut Lacey also is always wearing a normal width collar, but has a special extra wide one for walking and a step in vest harness to go potty in the yard (no fence). I can’t walk her in vest harnesses because she pulls HARD and constantly in them. It’s tough to find options to deter pulling for small dogs!
Just checking in with your Lacey thread - she is super cute and I love her 44 week clip. I like the look of the shaved face. She has grown much since my last visit. Will try to check in more often to see how y'all are doing.
Ohhhhhh! Look at how much she has grown. I looked back at her first photos when she was tiny Lacey. I love her hair like that. What is you favorite clip of her? So you want to try something new when her hair gets long enough?
My favorite clip of hers would be the head, ears, and body that she had around the week 40 and 41 pics, but much longer legs. I also like the shorter face too, so I will probably clip it short every other groom to have both. Since she’s going through coat change I am keeping her body and legs on the shorter side until her adult hair comes in. I may end up attempting more artistic clips some day. We’ll see!