With all the goings on here, the one creature who has had absolutely no special attention at all is Angel. Angel is a rescued Eskie mix who came to live with us nearly three years ago as a middle-aged, passed around, very unhappy dog. The shelter where we found her told us she was shy, but I had no idea how far shy could be taken by a dog.
I have a soft spot for Eskies. Eskies are one of those breeds that people think are sooooo cute when they're puppies, but then get dumped when they grow up because of their simultaneously needy and ornery personalities. I know this because my first dog as an adult was an Eskie rescue. He was D.I.F.F.I.C.U.L.T.. I thought he'd never adjust, never sit down and never shut up barking. His powers of destruction and stubbornness were things I'd only read about in books. But he did eventually bond to me, and I to him. In the end, he was the best dog ever, etc.. You know how people say. Anyway, ever since he died several years ago, I keep an eye out for Eskies in the shelters. They are, sadly, one of the most commonly listed breeds on Petfinder.
Enter Angel. Like I said she's shy. For at least a year, I couldn't look at her without her piddling. She spent 23 1/2 hours a day hiding under the 11-year-old's bed. She wouldn't go outside without a leash. In fact, we usually had to crawl under the bed to put the leash on her before she would even budge. I eventually put the 11-year-old's mattress directly on the floor because it was so tiresome trying to get her out. When we moved to the farm, she took up residence under the sofa in the livingroom. The secrets she and Tortellini must have shared.
I decided early on, not to push her. Her fear is too extreme and there was simply no need. She weighs 20 pounds. I can pick her up if I have to and do anything that needs doing. So, for the most part I've let her take things at her own pace and not worried about it. She's safe, she's healthy, she's well cared for. That may have to be enough for some animals.
But in the past 6 months or so, and I don't know why, she has started to come out of her shell. She sleeps on my bed, instead of under it. She goes out with the other two dogs, without a special invitation. She has started to PLAY with Boomer. And why not? Boomer is a great big goofball who loves to play with anybody. Even the cats like Boomerang. And just now, which is why I started this post, she jumped up on the sofa next to me to get a cuddle. These are pictures of Angel enjoying a bum-scratching, by her request.
Meet Angel. Wonders never cease.