Today, Maia has been with us for three months. It has been a good time, and she has learned to trust us. Last week, for the first time, she licked my face. I was very pleased, because she hadn’t done it before (although some might say, ewww…). She’s still got her issues: chasing everything that moves, acting up, barking and lunging when other dogs are in sight, pulling on the leash… there are ups and downs, sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse, but overall, I feel, things improve. Some of the basic training, the Watch Me, the avoidance of confrontations, gentle treatment, patience… I think it’s starting to slowly pay off. She’s less insecure/ fearful.
She still cringes when some unexpected sight or sound scares her, unless she feels she has to take a stand, and then she lunges and barks. But more and more she looks at us when she’s insecure and waits for guidance. She’s starting to play with us, something she only did alone, mostly. And she’s daring to be bad, which is good. I don’t mind if she hops around and jumps up on me, it rather makes me glad. There’s time to teach her not to jump up on people later , but for now I’m glad that she feels secure enough to try things, to act like a healthy, happy dog acts. She’s fearful of some people, that’s something that only surfaced slowly, and definitely needs work. Overall, she behaves more like a puppy than a grown dog. And so we teach her, and sometimes treat her, like a puppy. Too bad she can’t go to puppy class, to learn how normal doggie communication works. But anyway, the changes in her outlook on life can be seen in her expressions, I think. Here are some faces of Maia.
Looking dazed, confused and worried on her first day.
A few days later, things are more relaxed, although the worried look is still there. Her closed, drawn back mouth and slight frown show that, and are typical for her. But of course, there are relaxed moments as well. Tummy rubs are always good.
Now, three months later, she looks different. I haven’t seen many big grins from her until now. But now that it’s started, this is the look I want to see on the face of my dog often:
Face soft and relaxed, tongue covering the teeth, mouth slightly curved upwards. That’s a happy face. And now let’s play, come on, throw something…