Friday, November 12, 2010

It's a Dog's Life

This Sunday makes one month with Kasey, our goofy English Shepherd. It's funny the changes that occur with a rescue dog. The first week and a half were like living with Lassie. This was a dog that was quiet, polite, wanted nothing more than to be petted and get a good meal.

As the days went on, and she became more comfortable with us and started to understand that we weren't going to drop her off in the middle of a field somewhere, she became bolder. Her actual personality began to surface.

Most of it is good. She's wonderful with people. Last week I brought her in to the church to see Suzette. At the same time a group of physically challenged individuals were finishing up their meeting, most of whom were using motorized wheelchairs. Kasey was amazing. She sat quietly while they approached. She even scooted forward so they could pat her on the head. Sometimes that patting was not so gentle, but Kasey was happy as could be.

This is the behavior that makes me think, "Gee, maybe she could be a therapy dog."

Then we take her on a walk and the Wild Child comes out.

It's obvious that she was never socialized to other dogs and animals, and that for a good amount of time she had to hunt for her own food. She doesn't know how to greet other dogs, and given half a chance she will sniff her way through a patch of grass in order to eat a worm or a snail.

But she's getting it. Slowly, with the help of wonderful trainers and a whole lot of effort on our part, she's starting to see that there's a big, wide world of fun out there. A world that if she is calm and behaves she can experience in full. All we have to do is take the time to introduce this world - and the proper manners for approaching it - to her slowly, one step at a time.

And while we do, she's more than welcome to crash on our bed. She's not going anywhere.

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