|Do you know how hard it is to catch this animal being still enough to photograph?|
Tyger Linn has decided that perhaps, after all, she might be, just maybe, here to stay. She’s currently experimenting with places to sleep during the day which have included but are not limited to, the sofa, no get down, the comforter in the spare bathroom, the kitchen floor, get out of the kitchen, the bed, Lucas you know better than to lead her up there, the comforter on the floor near the bedroom window, which belongs to Lilith but she’s taken over the crate once again. Tyger walks by the crate and looks at it as if to say, “Alas! Poor Yorick, I knew him Horatio!”
But so far, Tyger has yet to push Lilith’s buttons at all. Lilith hasn’t snapped or growled or so much as thrown an Elvis sneer towards Tyger but there seems to be some sort of understanding. Tyger is not the Pibble Princess that Lilith is. She’s go out in a driving rain and not look back at the door. Lilith waits for me to get an umbrella. The two are similar in the fact that they both like to be alone and will find an out of the way place to nap. When these two begin to bond it is going to be very interesting.
Sam still hates Tyger but he’s not growling as much. I’m teaching Tyger how to ignore Sam and she is learning to just turn away from him. She’ll curly lip at him but so far she seems to have decided not to engage him again. She’ll move from one side of the bed to the other to get away from Sam and mobility, as well as damn near everything else I can think of, is on her side. Today I watched her avoid him while he and Lucas were drinking out of the water tub outside. She waited for Sam to finish before she started drinking. I can tell by the hair on her back she doesn’t like being close to him but so far she’s doing her part of keep out of his path. Lilith seems to accept this as part of the show. When Tyger and Sam get too close to one another Lilith sits down and watches. She’s giving them both some needed room.
Tyger is a “small” dog for one of mine for she’s only pulling about twenty-five pounds, maybe thirty, at most. Because she was a stray I suspect that she never was really fed well. The word “stunted” was used to describe how Lucas would turn out as far as size goes and that is a word that I still toss back at my vet when we talk. But I really do not think Tyger will get to be more than fifty pounds at the most, which again, is small for my pack.
At the same time, Tyger has a very large heart. She is fearless in the same manner that Lucas was when he arrived. She explores without hesitation and this is a dog that plays hard as well. When she took Sam down she wasn’t merely trying to get some space between herself and a much larger dog she was doing her best to pin him and she did. True enough, Sam is ancient, but my little brindle girl dog learned to survive in conditions that kill, maim, and scar, among the canines mistreated so terribly by humans. Tyger has no manners whatsoever.
The worst habit she has is biting my face when she greets me. Yes, indeed, these are just love bites, tiny nips of affection, but I am no Loki Mutt. So now we are learning to not to nibble on Mike’s face. We are also learning not to swat at Mike’s face with a paw while playing. The little girl has exceptional aim, unfortunately.
There are very bright spots and very good moments. Tyger has learned that there is only one bowl in the house that she is to eat from and that bowl is hers. She has learned that she has to be in her crate to be fed and now she runs and lies down to wait for me to feed her. She doesn’t rush the bowl or try to knock it out of my hand, but she waits until I put it down for her. Tyger is learning that she cannot always be right next to me, where Lucas likes to be, and sometimes Lilith. She’ll listen to me when I tell her to get down, or to move, or when I ask her to lie down. For a dog that came straight out of Death Row with nothing but the skin on her back, I think Tyger is doing quite well.
So today is stay at home and bond day. We will all get on the bed while I write and snuggle. We will walk in the woods. We will hang out and be a pack and a family, just like we ought to be. Tyger is learning manners and she is learning to respect her elders. Tyger is beginning to realize this is home, not only for those that have been here but for those who have just arrived.
It just occurred to me that Sam is the first dog that I have owned that will have lived out his entire life here at Hickory Head. Tyger Linn may well follow in his footsteps but that is a future that we have yet to see.