Three months ago today, a beautiful little Ninja came home to live at the Ranch. This little girl was a puppy mill survivor and needed a whole boat-load of socialization and instruction on how to become a dog. Luckily, she had a good teacher, nope not me, but instead Sam, the best big brother a novice dog could have to show her the ropes. Although the process has been ongoing and we often take two steps forward and one step back, the little girl who must not be named (Sam insisted I continue to refer to her in those terms though I think he may come around to actually referring to her by her name at some point soon), is definitely bringing joy and laughter to the Ranch.
Some of the more salient observations are:
- She who must remain not be named is affectionate in her own way. She obviously took good notes when learning the efficacy of the Standard Poodle trademark nose nudge whereby the upright’s arm appears to be flailing around like a whirling dervish. And she is never dissuaded to stop nudging until it supports her timetable.
- Even though she is still as quiet as a Ninja warrior, she is becoming more vocal and definitely discovering her voice. “I am Elsa, hear me roar!” She has taken to given the Akita dogs next door the ‘what for’ whenever she goes out to pee despite both of them being much larger and more dog aggressive. She will stand next to the fence and let both of them have it for several moments then suddenly and without warning, merrily bounce toward her spot and quickly squat. It’s as though she’s mocking them over her shoulder. “Oh yeah. well take THAT, you stupid fur-ball Bozo heads, up yours!” Love this new-found canine confidence that likewise is assisting her when she meets dogs on our walks.
- Her tail is becoming more animated with each passing week which provides my heart a warm, gentle hug. I love it when it wags as she greets me. And while she will never compete on the same level with Mr. Happy himself, the fact that she’s doing it more and more is progress and reassuring.
- I love how this little girl can plop on top of a freshly folded pile of laundry without a care in the world and fall fast asleep in a nano-second, but when she retires for the night, she must dig and scratch like a Chilean miner at her bed for as long as 5 minutes. Uh…hel-lo…we’re trying to sleep knucklehead (whereas Sam just circles 87 times and then plops down and lets out a huge sigh)! This “Princess and the Pea routine” makes me happy. When she drifts off to sleep and snores like a Maine woodsman, I smile even though it may keep me awake. She’s demonstrating a level of comfortableness in her own fur, with her pack and that’s progress in learning how to become a dog. There are no late night stress induced heavy panting sessions in Elsa’s world [shhhh, don’t tell Sam I said her name].
- Knowing that the medication she is taking to control seizures is probably responsible for certain odd reactions, it amuses me to see her stand stone silent for moments on end and then without warning, inexplicably bursting into a frenetic zoomie. The joy she clearly and suddenly experiences when she tries to turn me into her very own human kite as she races down the street on early morning walks making me giggle like a breathless school girl. Way to love the moment, kiddo!
These are just a few of the many subtle things I’ve noticed about this little girl’s progress into life around the Ranch. No doubt, the list will grow as she refines what it means for her to be a real dog and not a puppy mill producer. I only hope the next 3 months are as interesting and smile inducing as the first 3 were. Smile inducing, except for that whole munching of multiple eyeglasses thing. We can do without any more of those moments.
As an additional note of progress on her ‘wagiversary’ timeline, she is now two months seizure free. Stay strong and keep making progress, little Ninja.
Live, love, bark! <3