Tanya was gone for just over a day but the time away seems to have changed the way she looks at being with us. Now, for the first time, Tanya is coming back to a place she calls home. This is where her comfort zone is and this is where she feels safe. The permanent dogs snuffled Tanya and she snuffled them back, and then we all went for a walk in the woods. Tanya stayed close by my side for a while and then wandered off to investigate what Tyger Linn was doing. Usually she sticks to me like Velcro.
I’ve got a friend in the vet’s office who said that Tanya bared her teeth at someone trying to get her out of the pen but didn’t growl or bite. She also wasn’t as vocal as I had feared she might be. I believe Tanya is passing through one stage of her life, that one as a fearful stray to a dog that believes she will receive good care. All of this has to be very confusing to her but at the same time she seems to understand that what I do, and what I allow other people to do, is for her own good, even when she doesn’t understand it what’s going on. That’s a fine distinction but a very important one.
Last night Tanya stuck very close to me and that’s as it should be. There for a day she was back in limbo as far as she could tell and being back on the bed at my side is pure comfort. I made her sleep in the crate, which she did not want, but until she’s totally house trained she will remain boxed. She stopped at the door this morning and peed just a few feet away from being a good dog. But at least she realizes that the process of her peeing involves the door. She just has to make sure she is on the right side of it.
Despite the public sentiment that would have Tanya here as a forever home I still think she isn’t a good match here. Lilith still doesn’t like her at all and Tyger Linn likes her on every other day, and Tanya’s training seems to hit or miss every other day as well. She was good on the leash yesterday and she didn’t lunge when we got home. But at the same time, this is a dog that needs a more training and more time than I have right now. Don’t get me wrong here; I would turn her loose to be adopted without hesitation but the right home has to be found for Tanya.
So this morning I get up, let the dogs out, let the dogs in, feed the dogs, and there for a few moments in time, I lay on the bed and let Tanya lie on top of me. She nibbled my fingers and ears, and cuddled. She still smelled a little but like the vet’s office and I think this was her way of trying to change that. She wiggled and turned over on her back, moved around, turned on one side and then the other, just trying to find a way to get closer. The smell of the house, the other dogs, the bed, me, and everything that she knows of home is something she wants to wear for the rest of the day. Just like people like to wear clothes the dogs like to wear scents.
Tanya nibbles my hand, experimenting with how hard she can bite and showing me she won’t bite too hard. See, I can play without hurting you! And for a few minutes before my day begins I let Tanya be the only dog being petted and the only dog being played with, and in her world, the only thing she wants at this moment. Tanya allows me to inspect the sutures and all looks well. Alas! It is time to go to work and leave the dogs to themselves again.
Someone will adopt Tanya. Maybe this weekend she will find a home. But before I could adopt her out I had to get her to the point she realize what a home meant and now, more than ever, I believe that Tanya knows how to fit into a home. This little one still needs some polish and training but her life as a stray living day to day is fading more with each time she falls asleep with her head on my arm.