Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Magic Update

One of the joys of adopting a rescued dog is watching them slowly gain confidence and begin to show you who they "truly" are.

Today is the fifth month's anniversary of Magic's arrival in our household. During those five months, Magic has made many adjustments and has begun to settle in, realizing that this is her "forever" home.

She has learned to walk on a leash and clearly enjoys her walks. She no longer panics and insists on returning home after going only a short distance.

She is less frightened of strangers and is more accepting of men--particularly of John. She even--sometimes--permits him to put on her harness and leash, especially when he is sitting down.

And she is slowly learning to play, both with stuffed toys and with Bingley. Just last week, I saw her carrying a toy in her mouth as she walked across the living room to check out the scene through the front window. She is making play overtures to Bingley. She seems to like to chase and be chased. Sometimes she interferes with Bingley's serious racing circuits in her eagerness to join the fun. But being the "aw shucks" guy that he is, Bingley takes these episodes in stride.

We had some times of intense sibling rivalry when Magic wanted to sit beside me on the sofa when Bingley was already there. But she seems more secure now and is more willing to let him have his turn without making a scene.

We think that there is a more confident look in her eye, indeed, in her entire demeanor.

I usually think that six months is the minimum time a new dog needs to settle in and relax enough to start to be "themselves." I eagerly await what new aspects of her personality Miss Magic will reveal in the coming months and years.

1 comment:

  1. So happy to hear Magic is finding her own security. We’ve always been amazed at how the older dogs we’ve adopted have adjusted to a new home. With some, it was instant and with others, it took a bit of time. In the end, they all learned that they were family.

    Pepper, the Yorkie, was 15 when he came to live with us. When he arrived, he let the cats know he was now on the scene and in charge. He settled in as if this had always been his home. 9 PM was bed time and by golly, he wanted on the bed and the TV on. He picked out his chair and no cats allowed. What a little character! We were Pepper’s 4th owner; all others either died or had to go into assisted living so changing residents was old hat to mighty dog. He spent 3 great years with us before joining his previous owners.

    Molly, on the other hand, took a few months to settle in. She was 12 when her owners passed away and very spoiled. Their life revolved around Molly so Molly girl wasn’t used to sharing a house with other critters. She was a very large Lhasa mix about 45 lbs. I think mixed with Shetland pony with the disposition of a Tasmanian Devil. However, Hannah the Hell Cat immediately set the house rules for this new intruder. Poor Molly was petrified of the cats for a couple of months until she figured out that rules could be broken! She did settled in, accepted her order in the pack and was with us 3 more years.

    Then there was Buttons aka Butthead; a very large Bichon Frise! His owners were our good friends. We always said that we would give Buttons a home if anything happened to them. So, another 12 year old dog came to live with us. Buttons was happy dog and just didn’t know a stranger. He liked the other dogs and tolerated the cats. It took him about a day to figure out…okay, this is the kitchen, here’s the door to outside and this is my bed. Now, don’t change anything! Everything was okay with him. Even when he went totally deaf and blind, he was just a very happy dog!

    Whether it takes a day or months for a dog to adjust to new surroundings and rules, the rewards are worth the effort. Magic is a very lucky girl to have found her forever home!