Dog Blog

Friday, February 09, 2007

Peaches has been with us over a month now. She seems more settled in her new life, although she is still very fearful of loud, banging noises when we go for walks. If she sees someone coming toward us, male or female, she wants to drag me to the other side of the street. Men are worse for her, though, especially if they are using power tools or making any kind of racket. She tucks her tail completely and nearly flattens her body to the ground, pulling like a train (shades of Daisy) and doing kind of a crab walk until we are past whatever is spooking her. I don't force her to do anything she doesn't want to do and try to soothe her fears by sweet-talking her and stroking her. I hope that she'll become less fearful as time goes on, but I'm beginning to wonder what in her past has made her so afraid. I suppose being in two shelters with all the loud noises and strange people filing past her kennel could be partly to blame. doG only knows what her former life was like, although she is very gentle and loving, so she must have learned that from someone. Having puppies may have taught her to be gentle, too, although I certainly don't espouse littering just to make a dog gentle or for any other of the stupid reasons people add to pet overpopulation and create more unwanted pets like the ones I've adopted. She's had at least one litter, I'm sure. She doesn't seem as though she's been abused, but you never know what these shelter dogs have previously endured. She was very undernourished when I got her so she could have been a puppy mill dog, hence her fear of the outside world.

She still is very emotionally needy and demanding of attention from me, and I give her as much as I possibly can, but I have to come up with more ways to keep her entertained so I can get some work done. She'll just have to learn to be a writer's dog. She goes through lots of chewies and cleans out a Kong in no time. This summer I'll try freezing food inside the Kong so it takes her longer to empty it. I suppose I'll have to refer to my own book, "150 Ways to Entertain Bored Dogs," for ideas when it comes out in April. I'm definitely going to get some aromatherapy Plug-ins, for her and for me! Having a younger dog than Bubba would have been good because she'd have someone lively to play with her, but I'm not adopting another basset--two at once is quite enough for me! She's pretty good about busying herself with chewies when I tell her to go lie down. When it finally stops raining, I'll try her at a dog park and see how she does. She might be afraid of people but she loves other dogs and always wants to make friends.

She wants to come and sleep in the bed again, but not tonight. Mom needs her beauty rest for a book signing tomorrow at Barnes & Noble. I'll be signing copies of "What's Your Dog's IQ?" I'd say Peaches' IQ is doggoned high. In true basset fashion, she already has her slaves very well trained.


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