Friday, January 22, 2010

Magic at Home

Magic came to live with us two months ago this evening. As with the four rescues that preceded her, I had moments in the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours when I wondered just what sort of challenge John and I had taken on. Magic, like Portia, had been in a foster home, not a kennel, before coming to us. Unlike Portia, she had had an extended stay in foster care and had formed her first trusting relationships with humans with her foster mom and her foster mom's daughter.

Given Magic's history of severe neglect, it seemed to be asking a lot of her to leave the only human bond she had ever established and learn to trust new people, learn a new routine, and come to terms with the resident dog--Bingley--who considered our house and yard to be his personal domain.

Last night dramatically illustrated just how far she has come.

Bingley and Magic usually have their last walk between 8 and 8:30 in the evening. They come to the kitchen for their yummies--a small chunk of canned dog food for Magic, a small chunk of canned dog food wrapped around a Soloxine pill for Bingley--and, perhaps a late snack of kibbles if their second meal had been early. Bingley will usually hang out after that, frequently needing a trip out on the deck for a last potty break before retiring. But Magic goes to her bed and settles in for the night.

Last night, the storms that have pounded Southern California this week, grew a little noisier. We had thunder and lightening--quite unusual for us. At 11pm, when I was sleeping peacefully, Bingley--who sleeps on the other side of the room, began to whine and bark. I struggled into a warm robe, turned on the deck lights, opened the bedroom door, and took him out through the kitchen door to the deck.

I thought he would settle after that, but, for almost an hour, he was up and down, wouldn't go to sleep, whining and sometimes barking. Back and forth we went, right by Magic's bed. She never stirred.

Since I didn't want to turn the light on and disturb John, I don't know whether she was sleeping or just staying on her bed for safety and comfort during the storm. But, either way, she was telling me that she feels secure here. She has her own safe place and can weather a storm and Bingley's upset without being upset herself.

Another milestone.

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