Susan on…She’s HERE !!!!

Whew…..It is too hot even for us who live here….
Poor Ponya came with her winter coat on.
Oh well, that’s what scissors are for, right?
So…we’ll just take it off her….

Susan

sheshere

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Later that evening…

She’s glued herself to me.

Still panting, but she sounds more like a choo choo now than a freight
train…

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Note from Debby…

Yesterday was difficult for me, much more difficult than I could have imagined. At the airport I had to dig down deep, remind myself to ‘be there’ for Ponya. My own emotions could be released later. I wanted to grab her out of the crate, give her a big farewell, hugging her, telling her how much I loved her. And to trust me, I was doing this for her. That farewell would have created unnecessary anxiety for Ponya. So, as I coach my clients prone to dramatic good-byes at my grooming shop, I acted as if. As If this were the same as leaving her for the day at the vet clinic. No drama. No good-bye.

I am relieved she arrived safe and sound and has already latched on to Susan!

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26 Comments on “Susan on…She’s HERE !!!!”

  1. Susan M says:

    Well, some of this is just so confusing.
    I decided that “favoring” Champ to the extent that I found necessary due to his blindness was not good for the pack in general.
    So, last night when it was time to go to bed…..I just did.
    Soon Sammy and Raji and Rinchen were all on the bed with me….as usual.
    Eventually I began to regret not bringing Ponya in with me, so I went and got her, but my first and only attempt at putting her on the bed resulted in Rinchen snapping at her.
    She retired back to the living room and I decided to just….leave it all alone.

    When I got up this morning she was quite miserable. She wasn’t sure she trusted me anymore….ducked and hid….
    But I talked to her and followed her around for a bit, made her eat some food (hand fed her in fact).

    After a while she seemed to settle down. First she sat with me in this armchair, a place that Sammy has claimed over the past several months.
    Then I got up for a bit….put her on the floor, and next thing she was settled back on the couch where we had snuggled last night.

    Just now she popped off the couch and out the front door.
    Back in after a bit….
    Searching around the room….
    And now….back up next to me sniffing and snorting around and ….wondering what the b**** is going on.
    She’s re-claimed me now….
    Sitting half on the chair and half on my lap.

    I guess she will be fine.
    The other three seem to be holding up fine although they certainly haven’t welcomed her yet.

    Oh….and she isn’t panting anymore….
    Hurrah….

    Susan

  2. shelley says:

    we must have a lot of heart, because stuff like this always takes such a chunk

  3. Susan M says:

    So….we’re about 24 hours into our sojourn together, and….we’re all doing fine.
    She’s kinda mad (which at least is better than sad) that she hasn’t been taken home yet. Today when I went out in the car and left her here, she was crushed. She really really really wanted to get back in the car and …..H O M E !!!!
    The past hour or two she has been going out to the gate and barking….at the car???? To get it to take her home? I dunno.

    Hey, she hasn’t peed or pooped in the house. She seems to like me enough. I’m sure all the rest of it will fall in line in time.

    One question: has she had any training? Is “sit” something she should know? Is she shining me on or am I asking her to do something she doesn’t get at all????

    I think I’ll go outside and bark at her for a bit….

    Susan

  4. lhasalhady says:

    It sounds like all is going as well as can be expected. In her own time, Ponya will settle into her new pack and new routine. This is something only she can do. As you wisely wrote…leave it all alone. As a canine, she’s hard-wired to fit into a pack. As Ponya, she has always chosen to be a lesser pack member, never interested in climbing the hierarchy ladder. In the big picture, this is good for the peace and harmony of your established pack. In the short-term picture, such dogs may need more time to figure out a secure place in their new pack. Additionally, it sounds like Ponya is confused and grieving. Maybe Margo should have gone with her. 🙂

    Susan, at first you should see a lessening in the searching behavior. Her panting, I suspect, was caused by heat and anxiety. That she’s stopped the panting is a small sign in the right direction. From my experience in mom’s boarding kennel, the time-frame for a dog to ‘settle in’ was generally four days. My own experience here is similar. For example, recently Melissa’s Josie seemed fully integrated into the kennel within a week. Can’t tell you the exact number of days. I, too, leave it all alone. I simply follow my own routine, going about the business of my day. Realize that’s to ‘settle in’, which is not the same as be a fully integrated pack member.

    Provide her routine, your normal daily life, without much fuss about her. Continue to provide the couch time, as it sounds like she accepts that. As painful as they may be, don’t acknowledge the grieving signs; you don’t want to ‘reward’ what would later be classified as inappropriate behavior. Do provide her with security as she continues through this transition. Does she jump up on the couch on her own?

    From the photos and your descriptions, it appears your dogs are handling the situation in the expected manner. They are tolerating her presence without instigating altercation with the exception of Rinchen’s protest about her joining the pack on the bed. Regarding that…leave it all alone. Settle her in on the couch for the night, if that’s where she’s most comfortable. She will let you know when she’d like to join the pack on the bed. That will be an indicator that she is making an effort to become a member of her new pack. At that time, you can either put her on the bed, letting Rinchen know you’re Leader of the Pack and his snapping will not be tolerated. Or you can choose to ignore Ponya’s request, perhaps putting a soft bed on the floor next to the bed. It’s also very possible that Rinchen will accept this without protest.

    I see small positive signs in the photos you’ve sent. The panting has subsided. She is standing on the porch with ?? Raji showing interest in the dog next to her. I think it’s huge that she is comforted by sitting with you on the couch.

    Ya know, I don’t think she does know ‘sit’. Sounds rather silly, doesn’t it. You could teach her that, which should help the bond. To teach it, lure her into sit position by putting a yummy treat right in front of her nose and slowly moving it up and back. Her nose following the treat should make her fanny plop down. Sit! Good girl! Give her the treat. She does have plenty of training. I’ll see if I can come up with a list of skills she had here that can be integrated into your situation.

    Last night, when she was determined to follow her own plan about getting in the car and going home, did she come back through the door? Or did you snatch her up and bring her in? Depending on the answer, I’ll offer advice.

    She needs time to integrate and that’s her process. Neither you nor I can hurry it along. Leave it alone. Words from a wise woman! Thanks again, Wise Woman! We’re all rooting for you and Ponya!

  5. Susan M says:

    Good Morning. We are moving along at what is probably an excellent pace. Ponya is curled up over on the couch. Sammy is hogging the spot right in front of the stove (yup, it cooled off again); Rinchen has given up trying to talk him out of the prime real estate and is on the side of same stove; and Raji is probably back in our bed waiting for me to go in and give her morning massage. Way cooooooooooool. Me, I’m drinking tea and typing…

    As to the question about how she gets back in the house….. She comes when I call her. Trots right back in. She learned yesterday how to go OUT through the dog door, but so far she still only comes in through the front door. We will work on that soon enough, but she’s not really treat oriented enough (or enough to overcome her anxieties) for that to have worked, and it’s also a bit hard with one person to be handling her on both sides of the door. She’ll get it, that’s obvious. She’s just not ready yet. Last night I put the gate over the dog door so she wouldn’t keep going out, going to the gate, and then needing me to go to the front door to call her in..

    She spent some of the early evening (while I was reading in bed) lying on my chest, on my face, etc. When I got tired of having her feet in my eyes I put her down on the nest I had made next to the bed and then I think she trotted back to the living room for the rest of the night. When she got up this morning I brought her into bed with the rest of us where she just sort of watched me cuddle and play with the other three.

    We are definitely progressing…..
    And, really, I can’t believe I had forgotten how much she must be missing Margo. I can try to become her new mom, but there’s just no way to replace her baby girl…

  6. Susan M says:

    And, how is Margo doing without her mom?

  7. gail d. says:

    Hi Susan: Ponya is beautiful and I love that you cut her hair right away! It was SO HOT!!!!!!! What camera do you use to take these pictures?

  8. Susan M says:

    Ponya is a little stoic !!!! She’s getting a better idea of what it’s like to be here, and she’s not unhappy with that, but she is still waiting to be picked up and taken home. The sound of a car starting up pushes all her buttons; she rushes to the nearest door or window in anticipation of salvation. Sigh. It’s okay for us. We know it’s not us she doesn’t like, just that she is a bit sad and lonely. She hasn’t quite decided if I’m the good guy who has rescued her or the bad guy that is why she isn’t home. She tends to run from me if I’m standing up and walking towards her; if I sit down she comes and sits with me…..It’s a puzzlement, probably to her too….

    Oh, Gail, the pix are just my same old Canon Powershot S500. It was a generation before the really big screens on the digital cameras, which makes it less than optimal for seeing what I’m trying to get a picture of. But it’s mine and it’s doing its job of keeping records. As to the haircut, it really is pretty slapdash; but on Monday all of the dogs are going to the groomer, and Kathy will sort out the shorts and the longs so she really will be prettier. Well, except for her tail, which isn’t very lush at all. Has she always had such a “thin” tail?

    Last night Ponya slept with the rest of us in my bed. Everyone was quiet and comfortable, although obviously my portion is getting smaller by the dog….. She is still the outsider and Rinchen is still making “go away” noises, but if he didn’t, he’d be slipping. No one has adopted her or vice versa. Anyway, we seem to be slipping into what passes for normalcy around here. I will try to take more pictures soon.

  9. Susan M says:

    Saturday Morning and the Blog Hog is here again. Sorry to take up soooooooo much time and space, but ….

    I’m very curious about one behavior that I am seeing. Maybe someone could give me some insight.

    Ponya appears to be terrified of me whenever I am standing up or walking towards her. She goes whale-eyes and bolts. On the other hand, the minute I sit down….like right now ….in the armchair, she is all over me, glued against my side….

    Any ideas about what boundaries of hers I am violating? Obviously it isn’t me (or she wouldn’t come to me for cuddling); but my behavior, but I’m not quite sure what behavior it is or how to modify it to make her more approachable. if I get down on my hands and knees it works, but that’s a bit radical for every day giving of treats, etc…..When I do get down on the floor she’s fine. It would, however, be nice to be able to walk towards her without having her bolt.

    Any ideas are gratefully accepted….:-))))

  10. Katy says:

    Maybe she’s just startled, momentarily. All three of our Apsos will alarm bark at us if we come in the door unexpectedly, wearing sunglasses and/or a hat. Just noticed both Wyatt and Zeke giving Ken the dickens as he comes and goes doing outside chores, wearing hat and sunglasses. First time they saw me “all dressed up”, they barked, too. I think it might just be momentary circumstance. She’ll get used to how tall you are standing, as opposed to sitting or laying down, all soft and cuddly! Sounds like things are going just fine.

    Next month, 20 6th-8th graders, are coming to my house for a “field trip” to see my studio and our veggie gardens, goats, chickens, etc. I am only anxious about one thing: Zeke! He met most of these kids when he was a puppy, but I’m not sure how he is going to handle them all coming at once to HIS house. Any suggestions, Apso people!

  11. Susan M says:

    Boy oh boy oh Zeko….

    I’d say a crowd of youngsters definitely qualifies as a situation for confining all of the dogs in a safe space of their own…..No way to keep your eyes on all of them (the kids, I mean), and at least one of them will be overly tempted to tease or otherwise provoke. All you would need is one nip or one jump or one…..and you’d have a lot of mad parents, kids and dogs. Is there any place in the house or in a barn or in ???? that they could be confined without feeling like they were being punished? Or is there any way to offload them on someone else for a few hours????

  12. Couple of suggestions … Susan, put Ponya on a 4-6 foot tether at all times for a couple weeks. If she’s not tethered to you, she’s tethered to a chair or door right next to you. She’ll learn to move with you and to you. Pretty standard at my house with the new fosters. And, yes, it is a PITA for a while.

    Katy … you could confine the dogs to an ex-pen and limit how much contact the kids have with them. IOW, the dogs get to decide when/how they approach (kids on the outside of the pen) I would limit it to 5-6children at a time so the dogs are not overwhelmed.

    In the alternative, pick out one dog and use him/her for a meet/greet. Dante is an old hand at the pet expos now. He’s on a grooming table and I control how he’s approached (one or two at a time, please). The children are taught how to let the dog smell them first and then how to pet on the shoulder or chest (do not alllow them to reach for the head). Some kids, he’s fine with just the pat or two. Other times, he initiates contact, freely giving kisses or cleaning the top of their head. I do watch carefully for any negative reactions from Dante and react accordingly. IOW, if he doesn’t want more than a pat or two, they’re not alllowed to force themselves on him (and I point out/explain his body language).

    Sounds like a great field trip!!

  13. Susan M says:

    We’re getting closer to integration.
    This morning I figured something out. P knows how to go out the dog door, but hasn’t figured out how to come back in. So, when she’s outside and the front door is shut, she goes out to the gate and barks. I then go and open the front door and she comes running in. Whoopee. It’s just her way of telling me she wants to come in…..(For me it was not obvious; obviously I would expect her to come to the front door and bark for me to open it…right?)
    Okay….off to buy her her own pink harness and leash so we can go to the groomer in style tomorrow.

  14. lhasalhady says:

    Oh, I would never call you a Blog Hog. I love that people use the blog for sharing and trouble-shooting.The more people that contribute, the less I feel like The Blog Hog.
    Margo has been living with the Girlie Gang for almost two months and seems to show no signs of missing Ponya. Ah, the luxury of one’s own pack. She has playmates within her immediate pack and she’s been going to the shop with Anna’s (younger) daughters. Just this morning her younger friends – Norma Jean, Lana and Rita – got to run with the big girls. Margo is doing fine without Ponya.

    Regarding Ponya’s skimpy tail… that’s what happens when you play with your daughters and allow them to use your tail as a pull toy. Females also lose quite a bit of coat due to hormones during pregnancy and nursing. She has a big full tail, which should return in the next few months.

    Now, to the main subject of this comment. Ponya’s whale-eyed, bolting behavior… Susan asked:

    Any ideas about what boundaries of hers I am violating? Obviously it isn’t me (or she wouldn’t come to me for cuddling); but my behavior, but I’m not quite sure what behavior it is or how to modify it to make her more approachable. if I get down on my hands and knees it works, but that’s a bit radical for every day giving of treats, etc…..When I do get down on the floor she’s fine. It would, however, be nice to be able to walk towards her without having her bolt.

    From questions I’ve asked Susan privately, I have concluded the behavior is indeed directly related to Susan’s standing position, particularly when approaching Ponya. Ponya sleeps next to her head in bed. She sits next to Susan on the couch. She puts her head in Susan’s lap. If Susan goes outside or walks around the house, sometimes Ponya follows right along. When invited, Ponya will jump off the couch and join Susan at the computer. But, if she calls Ponya or walks toward her or extends a treat, she goes whale-eyed. If she approaches her, she flinches and may take off running all the way around the house.

    I contemplated this on the back roads, delivering Anna into the hands of my sisters. I discussed this with Rick last night, as he became friends with Ponya during the months she was in the house with her puppies. Rick suggested ignoring the behavior and time will take care of it. Rick has a nightly ritual while cooking dinner. Eli and Yangsom look forward to him being in the kitchen. Throughout dinner preparation, he doles out treats. When I have a nursing mother in the house, he includes her in this ritual. If her puppies are too young to leave alone, or if she’s uncomfortable leaving the puppies, Rick will simply bring her treats. As time goes by, the mother joins us for the evening, her puppies just down the hall in the library. By far, Ponya took the longest to join this ritual, but eventually she did so of her own accord.

    In the introduction of The Other End of the Leash, the author writes about safely removing two loose dogs off the interstate with traffic whizzing by:

    “We ‘called’ to them at a break in the traffic, bending over in a play bow and turning our bodies away to encourage them to come to us. Then we would turn and stop them like traffic cops when the cares in the next lane loomed over the hill, coming so fast, I was sure they’d be killed. This silent dance of life and death continued, our bodies turning back and forth, our only means of communicating through the noise of the traffic. It all seemd to happen at the speed of light, the dogs oblivious to the danger, moving forward toward us, then stopping,then back up as we moved our own bodies to thread them through the traffic.

    “But that, plus a lot of good luck, was enough. Just by shifting forward with our arms out, we could stop the dogs, and be shifting backward and turning away, we could get them to move toward us. No leash, no collars, no control but the effect of our bodies, communicating ‘come’ and ‘stop’ with the turn of a torso. I still don’t understand how they made it. But they did. I will forever be grateful for the responsiveness of a dog to the right visual signals.”

    As you’ve just read, upright, head-on body position will stop a dog in its tracks. Enter timid Ponya, still going through a major adjustment in her life. Ana, one of my current training instructors, speaks often about the dog’s ‘space’. She uses that knowledge in training. My point is every dog has it’s own comfort level in ‘space’. Given Ponya has been with you less than one week, surely her ‘space’ requirement for her own comfort has increased. Does that help you understand her behavior?

    You could follow Rick’s advice, ignore the behavior and let time take care of it. Myself, I’d add several things, particularly being aware of my body language and its effect on Ponya. IWhen a shy dog enters my grooming shop, I approach the dog backwards, offering my open palm. This body position is non-threatening to the dog. Rather than approaching Ponya head-on, standing up, try offering the treat standing backwards. Pay attention to that invisible ‘space’ line with Ponya. This line will vary, depending on the situation and activity. When you see she’s uncomfortable about you getting into her ‘space’, turn your back and walk away until you’re no longer in her perceived space.

    I’d also teach her ‘here’. Start with being on the floor. Lure her to you with a treat. When she gets to you, touch her and give her the treat. ‘Here’ means come close to me, let me touch you. When she’s doing that regularly, start to expand the envelope. Sit on your knees, your rear-end on your heels, and repeat the exercise until she’s okay with that body position. Continue to increase your body position, height-wise. The next step would be on your knees, not sitting back on your heels. Then a squat. And on and on. You might incorporate this at feeding time, using her food dish rather than a treat. This might take 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 months. Don’t put a time-frame on it. Just watch for baby-step improvements, expand the envelope each time she’s ready. If she hits a bump in the road, lower the criteria, let her be successful, build again.

    Keep us informed on her progress. I think you and her are doing great! Frankly, better, faster, than I would have predicted!

    Last, but not least, the latest from Susan:By the way, you can see Sammy and Ponya thinking about their futures as playmates in this picture. No one has played with her yet, but……it will happen. Tomorrow is grooming day for all four. For starters they will all smell like each other then….

  15. Debby says:

    Got to thinking about the ‘barking at the gate’ behavior. There are two big fenced areas for the dogs here. The further yard is attached to the nearer yard. There is a gate into the further yard, which is the girls’ yard. So, when Ponya came back inside here, she did have to go through a gate. At breakfast time all the dogs are very excited to come back in and eat. Because the girls are furthest away, they are last to come in. Ponya would be very excited. She’d stand at the gate and tell me to Hurry Up!! I’m wondering if she thinks barking at a gate is the way to accomplish coming inside.

    If so, I’m not sure how to re-condition her in your situation. I wonder if the answer may lie indirectly with her figuring out how to come back in the dog door by herself. Then there would be no need for her to alert you about her wish to come in.

  16. Susan M says:

    No question about it. Barking at the gate means “come open the front door for me” !!!! I figured it out yesterday. No matter that it is 30 feet from the house and looking away towards the driveway. She goes out the dog door, and when she wants to come back in, she goes to the gate and barks. I rush to the front door, open it, call to her, and she dashes in the house. She has me very well trained.

    Life got so smooth yesterday. Right now both Sammy and Ponya are lying on my lap….
    We are definitely “settled” now and everything from here on in will be fine tuning.

    This is the perfect pack….
    Oh, though, I couldn’t find the harness and lead I wanted in pink, so Ponya will be red to Rinchen’s black, Sammy’s blue, and Raji’s purple.

    Off to baths and haircuts for them and a doctor’s visit for me to see if she has anything helpful to say about my bouts of vertigo….

    Susan

  17. Kathy says:

    For Ponya & Susan…Your Lady in Red

    Please share photos of her with the pack!

  18. lhasalhady says:

    Sharing the ‘gate mystery’ with Carol, she suggested faux painting the doggie door to look like a gate. 🙂 Red is my favorite color. I like that it’s her color now.

  19. Susan M says:

    My Lady in Red went out AND came back in through the dog door this morning. So much for the faux gate painting, which sounded like fun if it got done and like work if I had to do it….

    Yesterday all four dogs went to the groomer. I was concerned about upsetting Ponyas applecart so early in her stay, but she was fine. Not that she didn’t whale eye a bit and bolt a bit as we were getting ready to go, but….there doesn’t seem to be any damage, and she came into the bedroom and slept right next to me and all the other dogs just like she has been doing. When I did go pick her up, David called her “speedy gonzales”, and I had to laugh, because she certainly does run around a lot more and a lot faster than my other kids. My three others, had their own story at the groomers. When I got there, no one was about to help me unharness them. So, I opened up on of the cages at floor level, and without so much as a backward glance, they all just walked right in and sat down.

    This morning Sammy has reclaimed his place right here next to me in the armchair. Ponya tried to stare him out of it, but he seems to have decided that she has gotten enough newcomer’s preference, and so she gave a big sigh and went back over to her place on the couch.

    I love my dogs ! ! ! ! ! !
    And four Gompas just fit in a line down the side of my body as we sleep. Of course they snuggle closer and closer so that by morning I am just clinging to the 18 inches or so that separate me from a fall to the floor and we could easily fit another 8 or so on the other side….but we aren’t going there. No, we aren’t !!!!

  20. Susan M says:

    And to celebrate being here for exactly a week, tonight she wiggled around on the couch and let her belly be exposed. That’s it !!!! She’s comfortable. Sure she still gets spooked easily and darts away from me, but I have now re-interpreted that to be her trying to figure me out rather than her being frightened of me…..She just wants to be sure she zigs when she’s supposed to rather than zagging if she’s expected to zig….

    Can you tell that we are euphoric? Much (MUCH!!!!) as I was totally smitten with Champ, he was HARD. This girl didn’t snatch my heart away at first glance the way Champ did, but she sure is worming her way into it fast….and EASY.

    Nite all and thanks for letting me burble on all week.

  21. gail d. says:

    It didn’t take long for them to become a pack…They look very comfortable with each other….I love the one of Sammy sticking his head out the door…You better watch out for Sammy and Ponya ….they look like they could be up to causing some mischief….and its only a week!!!! You worked magic….Now you can relax…..and enjoy each other…..!!!!!!

  22. Susan M says:

    Well, I dunno. When I woke up this morning, Ponya was right next to my head, but she was as tight as a piano wire and trembling, trembling, trembling. I do now see that she is allowed to stare at me, but I’m not allowed to stare at her. Okay. But she’s scaring me just a bit.
    And so, I’ve done what I do when the going gets rough. I’ve emailed Linda Thomas (http://www.ispeakanimal.com/) to make an appointment. I know, I know, how can a person in the middle of the country talk to me dog and tell me what she has on her mind???? I dunno, but every time I have called her, she has given me a bit of insight I just hadn’t had and…..life gets enough easier that I’m willing to suspend all of my natural skepticism. Heck, I can’t seem to believe in god, but I do believe in at least giving Linda a chance.
    Almost certainly I won’t speak to her until next week, and by then maybe Ponya will have told me everything I need to know anyway, but, this is a situation in which too much just might be the right amount….I do so want this girl to be comfortable, and although she has learned the ropes, she is not even slightly relaxed.

  23. gail d. says:

    I think its good to talk to Linda. Remember its ONLY been a week since she has been at your house….It takes MONTHS sometimes for a dog to really settle in to a new household…Don’t lose perspective…Even tho she is with her relatives, still it is so different from where she has lived….and you are a different caretaker and the environment is so different….I will be interested in what Linda has to say…Be patient with yourself, Ponya and the situation…..It will be ok….

  24. Susan M says:

    Just talked to Linda.
    It took her a while to find Ponya, probably because Ponya is so timid that she isn’t very vocal….Eventually she found Sammy and asked him first, and he told her that Ponya was just not used to having so much attention paid to her. Eventually Linda got to Ponya and figured that she was very “worried about feet”, that she hadn’t been stepped on, but she worried that she needed to get out of the way of feet. She was also worried that she was going to be taken “back”; not that she had a problem with where she had been but that she was afraid that this was going to be taken away from her. Linda reassured her that this was her forever home. I could practically feel her (Pona) relax; she was sitting here in the chair right net to me, and she sort of stretched her paws out in front of her and relaxed her brow…..
    I’ll let you know how it all goes.

  25. Katy says:

    Hurray for Linda Thomas and Ponya! From a little dog’s perspective, feet loom large and potentially dangerous. And, bless their little hearts, they must trust us; they have no choice. Every time we put them in their crates, take them for a ride in the car, they don’t really know where they will end up, do they? Such a relief to know that sweet little Ponya didn’t suffer trauma on the flight to CA, that she is an emotionally healthy little lady with some very normal fears that will be overcome soon. I’m sure she feels quite relieved and happy to now know that she is in her forever home !

    On March 30, Ken and I had Linda Thomas speak with our three Apsos. We were concerned about the relationship that had developed between Zeke and Sadie. When she first came, they played continually and seemed to be best of friends. Gradually, that changed into one in which it seemed like Sadie spent much time “bullying” Zeke, actually picking fights with him, and he just took it, but was unhappy about it.

    Linda spoke with our Apsos for an hour, and we learned a lot! Some of the things she told us were totally convincing of the fact that she was, indeed, speaking to our Apsos! But on the subject of Zeke and Sadie, she told us that Sadie felt like she had to boss Zeke around because he wasn’t taking care of her the way she wanted. She felt she deserved to be catered to, and that included Mom and Dad. Linda’s advice to me was to re-assert my alpha position over Sadie, and she “told” Sadie that this was unacceptable behaviour and that it made me very unhappy. From that very hour, their relationship changed. She has not “bullied” him once since, and they have re-established a friendship and now play together again. She still growls at both Zeke and Wyatt when their violate her “space”, but no more bullying. There has been one more fight between them. The very next morning, I believe Zeke initiated, and “won” a very brief argument between he and Sadie. He had never done that before, not even really “fighting back” when Sadie would attack him, at least not to the level I know him capable of. Anyway. things around here have been much smoother and more enjoyable for all since we talked with Linda Thomas. She told us so much more, too, about all aspects of their lives, and answered every question we put to her, through the dogs. What amazingly logical creatures they are! I have “known” that animals can communicate with us in some way since I was a kid, and I have experienced several, very profound , verifyable, and direct communications with animals recently, in the past few years.
    Since I also know, profoundly so, that God is real and that He created these wonderful beings with a spirit and a soul, and that at some point long lost in our history, man also communicated freely with the animals, I am not at all in disbelief that certain practiced individuals like Linda can train themselves to, once again, speak with the animals. She is very careful to state that she is not a psychic, and I appreciate that very much. You gotta just “crack open that door of Maybe”, once in a while.

    As far as Zeke, Sadie and Wyatt go, with the Field Trip coming up next week, if Ken is home, he will take them all out for a “field trip” of their own for the time the kids will be here. If he’s gone, then I will put them all in a secure room for the duration of the kid’s visit. Better safe than sorry, and even with the best of dogs, that’s just waaaay too many kids all at once! Thanks for the advice!

  26. SusanM says:

    Today I went to check on when Ponya’s one year anniversary with us was gonna be, and discovered that it had already happened. Guess she’s been here for a year and a couple of weeks now, and I still marvel — as I do with each of them — that I ever lived without her.

    Most (?) interesting is that Ponya is still…..Ponya. She is a little barker (her squeaks morphed into barks, and when she knows dinner is on its way she just starts barking…”.Hurry up, Mom, for goodness sake, can’t you get that food out here any quicker than that…..?”; she bounces (I mean really bounces) when she’s excited; she is still timid and hides whenever she loses her grip or needs a time-out, and she’s as likely to stay/sleep out on the front porch as come in when the weather is good.

    She’s a doll!!!

    Susan


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