Monday, September 15, 2014

Wilma's First Three Months

Today marks 3 months since Wilma came to live with us. Together, we've:

graduated from the Reactive Rover class at the Pasadena Humane Society
 where we acquired evasion tactics for avoiding malicious fluff-dogs;
learned to walk politely on the leash (mostly);
not killed any squirrels;
and
begun to sort of ignore cats.

I don't know if Wilma will ever feel safe with other dogs or if she'll ever gain self-control around the squirrel concept. But isn't it amazing that a dog can learn self-control at all? She's come a long way.

In the house Wilma is more able to focus, and we're learning each others' language. Except see that blue toy in the picture? She ate it. We knew she had done so when one evening we were sipping our non-alcoholic beer by candlelight, and Wilma was gnawing away at her blue toy, and we were feeling all domestic and rosy. And we looked over and the toy had disappeared. Speaking of self-control.

The adjustments you must make to a new family member are real. Wilma requires more attention and training than Boz did because she's Wilma. Boz was an exceptionally easy dog because he was Boz. It's unfair to compare them, though difficult not to.

I was relieved when Wilma upchucked that little pile of blue cloth a couple of days ago. I imagine she was, too.


**********

Remember, the Pasadena Humane Society's Wiggle Waggle Walk is September 28th. You can sign up to walk or donate money at the PHS site, or do the same with my friend Paula Johnson's Rose City Sisters team (a.k.a. pack).

21 comments:

Maya said...

Awww, sweet girl! Charlie took a bit of work in the beginning, but it was well worth it! We love him to bits.

Dina said...

Wilma is so lucky to have you.

I've heard of dogs eating homework, but TOYS?? Glad she got rid of it in the end.

José Mendonça said...

I agree with Dina, Wilma is very lucky to have you.

Gretchen said...

I am impressed that you and john have the self-control to drink non-alcoholic beer. how do you do it?

Petrea Burchard said...

We already love her to bits, Maya, but you know that. That's why the three of us are doing the work. Maybe her previous owners weren't willing, but it's their loss.

We're lucky too, Dina and Jose, though I know what you mean. I encourage people to put in the small effort it takes to rescue a dog instead of buying one at a pet store. "Puppy mill" dogs can come with health problems, whereas mutts are generally healthier.

Gretchen: regular beer: headache. Wine: tipsy. I used to have greater tolerance but no more. It's kind of a drag.

Bellis said...

You've done really well with Wilma, who's still young and full of energy. Most of the things you list (apart from eating the toy, which seems to be a boxer thing) also applied to Tessa and Abby until they got too old to care about squirrels and rabbits. Wasn't Boz older when you got him? If I ever adopt another a dog, I think I'll get one aged 6+. I'm too old for another youngster.

Petrea Burchard said...

You know how it is, Bellis, shelters and vets can only estimate. When we adopted him, Boz was supposedly around 5. Wilma is supposedly around 4. Boz was just an old soul and Wilma is a young one. We may look for an older dog next time, but I don't regret our Wilma choice. Our morning walks are rigorous, getting me into shape.

altadenahiker said...

I think Wilma will come around. When I first got Phoebe she only liked giant, and I mean giant, boy dogs with names like Bronson and Lugnut. The rest she wanted to fight. And then, somewhere down the line, fighting lost its appeal.

Petrea Burchard said...

We're waiting for Sprocket to return from a business trip. I have high hopes.

Wilma's had three play dates so far, all with females. Two were successful, meaning the dogs sniffed then ignored each other. Both were with older, calmer dogs. I had to remove her bodily from a female her age who didn't understand her signals ("I don't want to play!").

William Kendall said...

She's such a sweet looking dog.

Petrea Burchard said...

She is, William. Like 99.9% of dogs, she is all love.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Wilma is so sweet!
I agree with your friends, Wilma is very lucky to have you and John!

Petrea Burchard said...

Sonia, we're glad she decided to stay.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Wilma landed in just the right spot. Funny, I thought I'd own a dog after Tovah passed. But the more I hear and talk about dogs among friends, the more fearful I become of ever owning one. I think I would screw it all up.

Ms M said...

Congratulations to Wilma - and to you and John! All of you deserve a treat :-)

Katie said...

Sounds like Wilma's doing pretty well for just 3 months. And she's keeping you active! The photo of her in the Wiggle Waggle Walk post is priceless! What a sweetie.

Petrea Burchard said...

Dog stewardship is definitely a learning process, PA.

We regularly have treats, Ms M! Although I don't have a taste for Greenies.

She is very sweet, Katie. And happy birthday, by the way!

BettyS said...

I'm impressed with all of your hard work. I hope someday my little they-only-appear-malicious non-fluff dogs will be able to make friends with Wilma! Their senile attention spans are getting shorter and shorter ...

Petrea Burchard said...

She's tolerating your little ones from relatively near distances, Betty. But after seeing how she "kills" her rope toy I'm not going to push it.

Nathalie Beaumes said...

Congratulations to all three of you on these three months of successful life together. As you say, it takes time to really feel comfortable around each other but your account seems very positive. Well done Wilma, Petrea and John!

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Nathalie! It is indeed a family effort.