Sunday, March 15, 2015

Wilma: the Report

Wilma has been living with us for 9 months. We're a family. I remember this with Boz, the feeling that his presence transformed us from a couple into a family. But we're a different family with Wilma because Wilma is a different person. She's more rambunctious (gross understatement), though only a few months younger than Boz was when he moved in. Boz was an old soul. Wilma is young in all her parts.

It's impossible not to make comparisons. Boz was an angel, easy to live with from the start. Wilma has required training, consistency and love to learn to walk peaceably on the leash and to not freak out when she sees other dogs. There have been frustrations, family discussions and time-outs for each of us. But with every step backward there's a forward leap. Wilma wants to be part of the family and she demonstrates it at every opportunity, unless she forgets. In other words, she's a normal dog.

And she has a tail. Boz's was removed by someone before us who might have been loving but certainly was ignorant. Wilma's tail is a fascination. Sometimes she wags it so hard it has a circular motion. Among her many nick-names: Propeller butt. (Who needs cable?) She's incredibly and immediately expressive at both ends, though sometimes she uses her outside voice indoors. That's ok. It would never occur to a dog to hide her feelings. Even Boz used to wag his little stump like crazy, though he almost never barked.

Because Boz's tail couldn't be heard from a distance and because he'd lost his bark, he was forced to communicate in other ways, like a look, a movement or even a breath. He taught us Doglish slowly, over time. With Wilma we're all speaking it now.


Another difference between Wilma and Boz: Boz sat symmetrically. Wilma sits like this. 


A similarity: both sun bunnies. 

28 comments:

William Kendall said...

A dog sitting like that: total serenity!

Dina said...

I love these photos and Wilma's human way of sitting!
Give her a kiss from me.

Petrea Burchard said...

I know she's happy to be here, William.

I give her lots of kisses, Dina. I'll give her two from you for good measure.

altadenahiker said...

Any month of the year, I think you can count Wilma as one of your adventures. (Smart, smart girl. She thinks; she gathers new information, and is able to reconsider old conclusions.)

Petrea Burchard said...

She is smart, its' true! I like the way you put it. She's reconsidering her old conclusions about dogs. We've had some blessed help from the HoundHikers, and Wilma really takes to her studies.

Speedway said...

Maybe Wilma is copying people, sitting as she does, except her hocks don't bend the "right" direction.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I wonder if she sits like that to balance her weight? My neighbor's mastiff has to sit against a wall to help support his back (due to his weight)

Petrea Burchard said...

Wilma only weighs 50 pounds, though she may look bigger. She sits this way whether she's got back support or not. So I don't know.

Boz had a bad knee. Apparently Wilma has a bad ankle. Maybe it's about that.

John Sandel said...

Somewhere, W picked up the trick of channeling her anxiety or wildness into chewing, Best transference I've seen in a dog. If sirens wail outside & she has trouble containing her BARKITY-BARK-BARK, we have but to find her Nylabone and she falls to with a vengeance. It's a job skill—& so far she hasn't chewed anything of ours.

Bellis said...

I was going to say something about boxers and their overdeveloped prey instinct,but I'm sure you've noticed that already. So I'll just say that they really like people, especially ones like you. Wilma is really lucky with this new turn in her life. Hurray for you and John!

Latino Heritage said...

I see the second picture and have to wonder what thoughts are wandering about her mind. Is she asleep dreaming in doglish? Is she wondering what you're going to do next? Is she just so darn content that she's simply breathing deeply and basking in love and the sun?

Kalei's Best Friend said...

@Petrea: bet it is the ankle.. u see how she puts less weight on the inside of her foot? instead of having it set upright? animals are pretty smart...

Unknown said...

Love your observations about Wilma!

Petrea Burchard said...

Bellis, Wilma's prey instinct is so overdeveloped that she almost doesn't notice people when we're out walking. When we're indoors she welcomes guests, yet she somehow makes a distinction between welcome ones and unwelcome ones even before we know who's on the porch. Boz must have been more Pit than Boxer!

LH, you know how they are with routine. She likes to go out and sit in the sun every morning. Because of her ankle there was a time we couldn't let her out (she would run and hurt it again). I took this photo during the transition, when she wore her harness so I could grab her and slow her down if need be.

KBF, it's her right foot, but I agree it could be because of the ankle.

Thank you, Unknown!

Jean Spitzer said...

She has so much character shining out of her. I am happy to learn she still has her tail. It is so sad to see the docked ones.

LOLfromPasa said...

The photos are delightful. What a wonderful family you are. I'm really happy for you all.

Petrea Burchard said...

I agree on both counts, Jean.

Thanks, LOL, we are, too!

Shell Sherree said...

She's beautiful, Petrea. Her signature posture cracks me up, as does your 'propeller butt' nickname. Perhaps it's easier in a way that she's rather different from Boz.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

She's so cute! I want to pinch her cheeks and feed her hamburgers.

Petrea Burchard said...

You're right, Shell, it's best that she's different. Dogs are such individuals, as are cats!

PA, she is going to love you.

Nathalie H.D. said...

So pleased to read that you all fit in well as a new family. Your story is wonderful to read and all 3 photos have something to say. Keep love rolling!

Petrea Burchard said...

While searching for our Wilma to rescue we began to realize that we could love almost any dog. That made it easier.

Book Dragon said...

Love this! Give Wilma a hug for me please

Petrea Burchard said...

So many extra hugs for Wilma this week! Plus a new bone.

Ms M said...

Good to hear Wilma's doing well and fitting right in! Another hug and treat for her :)

Petrea Burchard said...

She's going to be tubby.

Ann Erdman said...

Wilma carries on a wonderful legacy of pooch in your family -- in her own inimitable way.

Petrea Burchard said...

That's the perfect way to put it, Ann.