Sometimes the snow falls so violently that I have to spell stupid with three o’s to really express my feelings about the weather. Today was uggg-lee. See, look at me with all the extra letters. Sorry. I’ll try to get a grip. Edmonton roads were so wretched by this afternoon that our secretary had a backlog of sixty messages on her phone from parents calling to excuse their kids from school partway through the afternoon, or to catch a ride with someone rather than walking. Some snow angel cleared all the cars in our parking lot at school, though, which was a good deed I’m still grinning about. Thanks, whoever you are.
In the midst of all the crummy weather and my stress about driving on roads nearly buried in snow–it’s not the roads that bug me, it’s the idiots attempting to drive on them–I didn’t have my hopes up for any good news today. This whole week is kicking my butt; any week that starts with a basement carpeted in dog poop tends to do that to a person.
At risk of setting myself up for disappointment by saying anything too soon, though, I’m just going to casually mention that Caroline and Sherman played in the snow this afternoon. After having to watch her like a hawk whenever they have been together for the nearly three weeks she’s been with us, because she took any opportunity she could to rough him up, Caroline seems to have slowly decided she likes Sherman. Thank goodness, because having to keep two large dogs mostly separated in a very small house (in winter, no less) took a lot of coordination.
Here’s what happened. I brought Sherm outside to where Caroline was hanging out and chomping snow out of the ever-deeper drifts. She gave him the stink eye, sniffed his business, and trotted down the back steps. Unexpectedly, she dropped into a full-on play bow, barked the first woof we’ve heard from her, and started a friendly game of “chase me.” Just so you know, Caroline has a voice that would make her an excellent Barry White impersonator. For fifteen minutes, they tore up the backyard with their big dog tongues flapping in the wind behind them. There is something hilarious and rather unbelievable about seeing a hundred pounds of big red mutt playing like a puppy. It was awesome.
Later, figuring I’d see just how much things have changed on this miraculous Wednesday, I brought Sherman downstairs to our family room where Caroline is fed and kenneled. It’s been sort of “her” space since she moved in, especially since she crapped all over it Monday, and I have kept Sherman upstairs to avoid stressing her about another snout on her turf.
Everybody (well, the four-legged everybodies) sniffed bits, and then Caroline flopped onto her bed. After a moment, she rolled belly-up, and offered Sherman the first submissive pose she’s shown since arriving. Two weeks ago, she couldn’t stop snarking at him long enough to actually get acquainted, and there she was, introducing him to her sensitive underbelly. I wanted to dash upstairs for the camera, but the battery is almost dead right now and I don’t want to press the situation by leaving them unattended, even for a minute. I don’t quite trust her yet.
Within six minutes, they were spooning. Yes, Sherman was the little spoon: he didn’t seem to mind.
It is a Wednesday miracle! I’m still not quite over all the liquid feces, but I’m so grateful for the breakthrough. Seeing Caroline snuggled up on her bed with Sherman made my heart full. It’s amazing what good care does for a dog, even in such a short time. Like any other living thing, even teenagers, patience, clear expectations, and showing the critter you can be trusted goes miles to creating change.
A red letter day for a big red dog. Huzzah!
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