Saturday, April 22, 2017

Working the charm

I drove up to a Promises adoption event today with Cookie and Jack. Maya came along for the ride. Mostly it was about meeting a couple who were interested in adopting Cookie and getting her to meet their current dog. To jump to the end of the story, they want her and will adopt her after her surgery next week.

Cookie thoroughly enjoyed herself. It was chilly and rainy so we were inside a rather small and cramped store, but Cookie positioned herself to see and greet everyone who entered. She soaked up the attention like a dry sponge but gave back at least as much love as she received. She was good with everyone and everyone liked her. She kept an eye on me and checked in occasionally, but she was happy to have other people handle her, walk her, and love on her. Very un-shepherd-like behavior, but it worked for her, I wish more of them would try it.

Her surgery is Tuesday. We are hoping for the best possible outcome from both the surgery and the subsequent biopsy, but she has a new home regardless.

No stress, no anxiety, just love.
You can see the large tumor on her belly here.

The tips of her ears are rounded, eaten
down by flies.

"Just touch me, I will heal your soul."

And then there's Jack. I debated about whether to take Jack along today but in the end, I did. It should have been obvious to anyone who read yesterday's blog post that Jack and I have been at odds. I keep a mental shit list and some shepherd is usually at the top of it. Many days it seems that they are all vying for the top spot. Jack has held the infamous position unchallenged for days.

As I said, we were inside the store, in a rather small space, and for much of the day there were other dogs around. I left Jack in the van with Maya. After Cookie's adopters left, I put her back in the van and got Maya out for a few minutes. She appreciated the walk over to some grass, but when we went into the store she practically climbed into my arms, so I put her back in the van. I think she knows what adoption events are about, I hope she knows that she's just along for the ride.

When the dogs had mostly left the store, I took Jack out so he could at least meet the other volunteers. Everyone was impressed with him, of course, but I soon was as well, much to my surprise. I held his leashes, but Debbie started to work with him and soon had him literally eating out of her hands. He would "sit," "down," and "shake" on command and stayed surprisingly focused as long as a treat was in view.

He was good with strangers too, taking treats and even performing his short repertoire of tricks. I didn't let him meet other dogs and I should have gone over to Debbie's house to do so after the event. I had this crazy idea that the rain would stop and I could go home and get in a hike. The time would have been better spent socializing Jack. Anyway, it was a good experience for him but it was even better for me. I needed to see another, better, side of Jack for a reminder that it's there. He's a good dog, he just needs work. I've gotten so lazy that I prefer the easy ones like Cookie. I guess Jack is the karmic price I pay for having Cookie. It's a good reminder that good dogs are made, not born. Cookie is 7-8 years old. Jack isn't much more than 1. Everyone knows that shepherd brains don't even begin to work until they are at least two years old. It takes time, patience, and more than a little effort. Giving up is not an option and failure is not an option. I will, no doubt, need this reminder again.

1 comment: said...

I'm so happy for Cookie, she appears to be bouncing back to be a wonderful dog. Jack will come around, he just doesn't have a brain yet...
Thanks for all you do.