Today in My History
2000: No Entry
2002: The Awkward Dismount
2003: Fire Breathing Dragon
2004: Writing Down the Bones
2005: There ARE Perks
2006: It's a Long Way to Sacramento
2007: Organizational Paralysis
2008: If I Had a Noseful of Nickles
2009: I'm Not Feeling Well
All Shook Up
Books Read in 2010
"The Last Jihad"
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(updated 3/17/10) And Then I Ate
VIDEO OF THE DAY/WEEK
Look at these Videos
Spirit of '43
Ned's Video for Bri's 2nd birthday
No You Can't (John Boehner)
Jim Brochu closes NASDAQ
Stupid, Callous, Homophobic, Hateful Legislation
New on My Easter 2010
Mirror Site for RSS Feed
2 May 2010
We've come a long way in the short time since Xena and her babies arrived here, but today was a red letter day.
Xena has started jumping into my lap, even when Polly is there. Neither one of them is particularly happy about sharing my lap, but they are both resigned to letting the other one be there, so that they can each get a piece of me. This is a great point gained! When there is low growling from one or the other of them, a quick "Ay!" from me stops it.
I wanted to take it slowly with Xena, to give her time to feel safe. On her second day here, she let me stick my hand in to give her food or water, but if the hand stayed too long, the growling started.
On day three, however, she hadn't been out of the cage since she arrived and she must have been bursting. As soon as the door opened, she came out. Walt and I worked to keep all the other dogs away from her as she ran into the living room and made her mark(s). (I don't even think of that as a living room any more--it's the foster dogs' toilet. Yes, we will soon take up the rug!)
Walt and I were very wary and very cautious. We didn't know what to expect from this little warrior who was so fiercely protective of her babies, but what we discovered is that she's really a very calm, sweet little dog who seems to crave affection.
Dogs usually warm up to me first, because I'm the one who feeds them, but they are frequently nervous around Walt for awhile.
Not Xena. She was so hungry for touch, she didn't care whether it was Walt or me. I think she is the very first dog who has come here scared and then went to Walt right away when she realized nobody was going to hurt her. She sat like this, at his feet, with him petting her for a very long time.
We did put the big dogs outside and she wanted to be sure they were going to stay there.
She also wanted to make sure that Polly knew that her babies were definitely off limits.
When I fed her yesterday morning, I closed the cage door, but didn't lock it. Later, I felt a dog at my feet and when I looked down, it was Xena. Since then I haven't closed the cage door, but have let her come and go. The bigger dogs give her a wide berth, and if Polly comes too close, Xena lets her know, but the puppies are now big enough that I can see Xena wanting to get away from them for longer periods of time. She wanders outside, she comes into my office, she climbs up on one of the chairs to sleep, she joins me in my lap if I'm sitting down. But it only takes a squeak from the puppies and she is right there.
She's also not really sure that Walt and I are 100% OK. She was on the patio when I leaned down to gently pet one of the puppies and in a second she was at the cage. I moved away before she could decide I had invaded her territory. And while she will greet Walt when he comes down the stairs, tail wagging, with the other dogs, if he walks past the cage, she grabs his pant legs in her teeth and growls. Now he walks the long way, through the kitchen, to get down the hall. Our little Warrior Princess is always on guard to protect her babies.
You'll just have to watch the video of the day. Itsy seems to be the most adventurous of the pups (I think this is a boy from what I think I can see in photos) and was sleeping on his back near the door of the cage.
Xena was in my lap. I had just said to Walt that the puppy is so squirmy that one day he was going to fall out of the cage when -- plop -- he did!
I was going to put him back, but I decided to see what would happen if I let Xena handle it.
The pups are getting more mobile and starting to be a bit vocal, so I
think it's only a matter of a week or so before they will be starting to explore outside
the cage. Now THAT should be a challenge for our warrior princess!
PHOTO OF THE DAY