I enjoy my activities with Pepper. She finally got the hang of going jogging with me. Her training is still held behind by her nervousness, but Paul reminded me how much she has improved. She used to be afraid to take a treat from my hand. Now she begs for treats! She was practically anorexic. Now she's more of a resource guarder. She growled at everybody. Now she greets everyone at least for a few seconds before she decides to growl.
And yet I know that she is bonded to me more than anyone else in my family. And while she tolerates my kids it doesn't necessarily mean she likes them.
Bella came to our radar through Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue when she was dropped off at the Mat-Su pound REALLY pregnant. The poor little pit bull terrier was dropped off at the pound during the night too. She was pulled by the rescue and fostered in Wasilla.
Bella turned out to be a total love bug. For the rest of her pregnancy and her delivery all she wanted was to have someone pet her. She followed her foster mom around the house, dragging her big pregnant belly around.
She delivered 8 puppies, and by the time they were weaned you could tell she was done with being a Mom. You could also tell she was only used for breeding and didn't know what it was like to be a companion animal; though she craved it. She didn't want to raise puppies, she wanted to sit on your lap and chew raw-hides. Got excited about playing fetch but didn't quite know what to do with the ball.
Since foster mom had 4 out of 8 rambunctious puppies left, I took Bella to foster and give her a break. Pepper tolerates her, although she doesn't want to play with her - but Pepper is kind of a grumpy old soul and it takes her a while before she wants to play with anyone anyways. Leo goes from threatening to scratch to rubbing himself against her, I swear that cat is bi-polar.
But when we get home, the kids all jump on the sofa and she jumps in the middle of them to cuddle and give them all kisses. Caleb, our toddler, can lay on her to watch TV and she doesn't mind it at all. I think the only adjustment is that when she gets too excited she can easily knock the kids over and they don't appreciate that much. But on the other hand, she's so gentle and careful around them that she hardly ever does.
Considering Paul changed her name to "Aspen" and we have a coat, a gentle-lead harness to teach her how to walk without pulling (and holy moley can that dog mush!), I'm pretty sure once she's spayed and vaccinated we are the ones to adopt her. Even to the greatest home, I don't think we can let her leave.
She's housebroken by instinct, doesn't have a chewing complex, seldom barks. She knows sit and waits for you to release her before she'll eat her food after you put the bowl down in front of her. She's only about 30 lbs and shorter than Caleb. It hasn't been an inconvenience at all.
If anything her face is so funny. Her expressions are hilarious! Specially when she's trying to play but not quite sure what to do with you. It's a little painful when I sit down, and she sees Pepper jump up on my lap, and she jumps up too. She puts her front paws on my shoulder and licks my ear, tries to hug me like she's one of the kids.
And she tunes into Paul like no other. She's constantly watching for him, waiting for his permission, and for his affection.
Well I don't call this blog "Dog-gun' mad" for no reason. But it feels like our family is complete. It's odd that I go to work, see a bunch of cute puppies and doggies and kitties, and the only thing I think about is how bad I want to get home to cuddle and play with mines.