Saturday, June 6, 2009

The difference a few days makes

For a dog to adapt to any new situation sometimes takes a few days. For Darlin', because she was so fearful, it's taken a lot longer. I find it interesting that the number eleven holds some significance for her.

Thursday marked Darlin's 11th week in her new home and Thursday was the first time she laid her chin on my lap! She has pressed her face against my leg when we are sitting on the couch, but usually because someone has entered the room and she was hiding. She was pressed tight against me because she heard my husband in the kitchen. Once he left she turned her head and actually relaxed with her head on my leg. I stroked her head just like she was a normal dog. That night she felt closer to me than ever.

As far as the significance of the number 11 - She was the 11th dog that I rescued since December. I trapped her on March 11th. Eleven days after I trapped her and brought her home was the first time she actually looked at me without turning away. She turned away many times after that, but that day in particular I remember when I walked outside she looked right at me. I ran upstairs and grabbed my camera so I could get a picture. I wrote everything down and have taken hundreds of pictures since bringing her home. I stood at the top of the deck taking pictures and talking to her, "Hey pretty girl." I was so excited my camera was shaking so my pictures were blurry. I was so amazed by her response that I told my family that perhaps soon she would be standing in the kennel when I walked outside.

Then yesterday morning when I rolled over in bed and checked on her she sat straight up, stretched, and walked over to me. I sat up and she wagged her tail gently and licked my leg - just a feathery like touch of her tongue, but that was enough.

I was gone about an hour yesterday afternoon. When I came home she was standing in my office doorway whimpering and let out a yelp. She was calling me to her! I put my things down, pet all of the dogs quickly and as I approached she gave me her paw! I then stroked her head, kissed her, and picked her up as though she was a small dog. She is heavy and not the size dog I would normally pick up off the floor.

Last night I took her outside, closed the door so she couldn't run inside to hide, and asked my daughter and her boyfriend to meet me out back a few minutes later. I have a strategy for everything when it comes to helping Darlin' adjust to new situations. I knew when the downstairs door opened she would run and hide, but I also wanted her outside getting some fresh air. My daughters boyfriend stepped out first. Darlin' knows Ricky's scent and voice. She probably knew it before I trapped her because they fed Darlin' when she was wild several times because I couldn't. As soon as Ricky walked outside Darlin' let out a woof! Not a true bark, she just woofed about four times by blowing breath through her cheeks. She did hide in the corner, although not immediately. I don't want her to become territorial, but I so enjoyed her acting like a dog!

Since Thursday when she laid her head on my lap, it feels as though she has allowed herself to get even closer to me. I'm thrilled that she loves her new Mommy!


  1. I love darling :) And I love you for be a kind person and help her to live with love, God bless you, sorry for my english :(

  2. Artistalight, your English is perfect! My translation on your blog was terrible. I hope your stray dog is feeling better and lives a long happy life. God bless you for your rescue efforts! ((HUGS))

  3. I stumbled across your site and was transfixed for ages as I read your entire adventure with Darlin'. What a heartbreaking and inspiring story! I'm hooked and can't wait to hear about her next adventure!

  4. Thank you, Michelle! I must find time to update. I started back to work after taking a lot of time off to rehabilitate Darlin. My time writing isn't what it use to be, but Darlin' is still just as important today as she was when I trapped her. I also had 20+ pages on Petfinder before I came here. We have lot's to share, please visit again.