Lizzy the full-time yorkie dog and part-time phlebotomist

We adopted a really cute Yorkie in the fall. She looks to be pure-bred. Most of the time she is sweet and cuddly, but, when she is not, she will draw blood (phlebotomist - get it?)

She does not like being groomed. She will reluctantly let you bathe her, but try to wrap a towell around her to dry her and look-out! Same with scissors or a clipper. It is war.

She is getting better about these things. We are working with her very slowly to modify her behavior. But there is one strange behavior we do not see to be able to get at.

Lizzy hangs out in our bedroom when my wife is in there. If the door is closed and I open it and come in, Lizzy will viciously attack my feet. Actually, she has not done it if I am barefoot, so maybe it is more accurate to say my shoes. She especially does this if it is dark in the room. Does she think I am an intruder? Is it possible she cannot see in the dark? She has strange-looking sort of clear green eyes.

Over Christmas, my wife dropped some cooked chicken on the floor in the brightly lit kitchen. Lizzy was lapping it up and I tried to use my foot to nudge her away from it. She went crazy. When she does this, there is no calming her. I call her name and she seems to calm a bit, but, if I reach for her, she snaps. The rescue folks told us they thought she had been abused, so maybe someone kicked her.

Also, when I pick her up to put her out side to see if she needs relief, if she is not in the mood to go out, she growls at me, even though she should have learned by now that she usually gets to come right back in.

She has bitten the blood out of my hands more than once, but I am content to keep working with her. The groomer loves her and has taken it as a personal challenge to earn her trust. My concern is that she might hurt a stranger or a child. She has never acted hostile in any way to a child, but it concerns me. Most of her hostile moods are directed at me. We have noticed especially that, if I do not have a shirt on, she is threatened by me.

It is very strange. We would welcome any ideas on how to get through to her.

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