Friday, February 11, 2011

Love in Progression

It starts slowly at first. Very slowly.

Hanging out on the couch next to my sweet older girl, Aspen. Her lifeline. Being near me, this strange human, is too much at this time. But with Aspen as a buffer, she can cope with me being on the same couch with her.

When Aspen leaves us, we start again. She joins me on the couch but only if I pretend she is not there. Always, always at the other end of the couch as far away from me as is possible. Uncertain. Fearful. Alone in her own world.

If I leave the couch or the room, she is gone like a flash, with only the hint of a whisper. Silently. Ethereal. A ghost.

Over time, she discovers that an exposed belly can bring delightful touches. Belly rubs. Softly spoken words. Love.

When a new man enters our lives - a furry, curious, attention-seeking little guy. She discovers competition. Attention to be shared. With it brings little movements - a little scooch closer, and then a little more. And always, the exposed belly. Waiting. More belly rubs to be enjoyed.

As time passes, little movements progress into sideways glances and the thump, thump, thump of a tail. "Will you be my friend?" she seems to ask. The answer is "Yes. Always." And then, slowly, a nose to my cheek.

One day, there is the lick of a tongue and a yellow head on my shoulder and again that thump, thump, thump of a tail. Confidence. Happiness. Joy. A smile. A new light in her eyes.

Three years pass. Patient, loving, gentle years. Now there is the automatic entrance and leap onto the couch followed by the exposed belly and questioning look "Belly rub?" Me on my computer. Working. And, then it happens... the slow, steady scooching. Closer. Closer still. Thump, thump, thump. Sideways glances now coming with steady progression. Thump, thump, thump. A sigh from me and the moving of the computer to a side table. My hand comes up to pet her ears, her head and neck. A kiss to her cheek. Loving words.

Ahhhh. Sweet moments in time. Savored. Treasured. Enjoyed.



  1. Heartwarming! Love and patience can do wonderful things.

    My aunt was telling me the story of a coworker who had adopted a rescue dog. The shelter workers told her that this dog was aggressive, she was wrought with behavioral problems, she would destroy the house, she was a biter. The coworker adopted her anyway.

    A year later, this dog was "a new dog", so to speak. Loving, calm, patient, smart, gentle. My aunt asked her what she had done so differently, what made her change everything about this fearful and reactive dog. The coworker's answer? "I guess I just loved her better."

    I loved that story, and I love yours.

  2. Oh wow. I LOVE stories like that AJ. What a wonderful ending to such a precarious beginning. I think we are too quick to judge sometimes when it comes to dogs. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story!

  3. Such a sweet post. Love in its purest form!
    We've signed on as your newest followers, and hope you can hop by for a visit, too!


  4. What an inspiration! And such beautiful writing, Mel. There are no words to express the love we have for these shy ones. Yet you found them!

  5. Amazing, isn't it, the way a mistreated dog can start out like a wild animal and gradually learn trust, love and true dogness.

  6. Thanks to all of you for your loving and very kind comments.

    Sherry - Yes. I am always amazed at their resilience. I never knew how far Daisy would be able to go, but she has made amazing strides and I am so very proud of her.

    PrairieHomeLiving - Thank you for the information. I called every single committee member on the list last year and told them to read Daisy's story and to pass the bill. Alas, it was for naught. But, I am not giving up. I am already linked up with AnimalFolks, but will also sign the petition. Thank you!

    K9 Friend - Thank you for your kind words. I will hope on by today!

    Mary's Dogs - Thank you Mary. As you know all too well, watching the progress of dogs like Daisy and Aaron is an amazing journey and so rewarding!

  7. What a beautiful story of love. So glad to have discovered your blog on today's Hop!

  8. Ah, the power of belly rubs! Such a sweet story, so lovingly told... she's a lucky girl you found her.

  9. Belly rubs have lots of power! Great story!

  10. Belly Rubs do indeed have great power! Thanks for stopping by Tucker, Ruff Roy Review and lillj!

  11. Beautifully said - how they teach us to have patience, and to love!

  12. What a wonderful story. May God Bless you, your family and all of your dogs. With patience love can grow and grow and grow. She has won the "dog lottery"...keep up the good work. Happy Valentines!

    xoxxo Lexi and Christina

  13. Thanks Cindy Lu. They do teach us patience and a whole lot of other things too!

  14. Thank you Christina. To be honest, I think I won the lottery. Daisy is an awesome dog and she has taught me more than you could ever imagine. Happy Valentines to you too!

  15. What a beautiful love story. Isn't it wonderful when they start to come around and feel a safe and loving enviroment? One step at a time, one thump at time. Thank you for sharing your story. Beautiful.

  16. I started reading your blog from the beginning and I am humbled. How this beautiful girl ended up in your arms is so wonderful. I have the upmost respect for someone for having the time and patience it takes for such a delicate dog.

    There is another puppy mill rescue story at: Go to Marshall. Read it from the beginning. It is fantastic!

  17. Thanks 24 Paws. I have treasured each and every step forward, no matter how small. Daisy has made so much progress, that sometimes it's hard for me to remember how she used to be. Thank you for your kind words.

    I also read about Marshall on their blog. He has progressed so much faster than Daisy did. It's so cool to see isn't it?

  18. Love in Progression? Anyway, this is the best story I have read in a while... I just got back from a Valentine vacation and when I come back I come across your blog and was amazed.. Such a great story. I'm a dog lover and I always love dogs.. I can relate on your article, really!!

  19. Thank you for your kind word Deborah.

    For Daisy I think it was a love in progression. She didn't trust me (or anyone else for that matter) when I first brought her home. For her to show affection and wag her tail is quite a work of love... in progression. :)

  20. Earned love is such a precious and wonderful thing when it happens :)

  21. I could not agree more Vicky. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a wonderful comment!

  22. If it gives you further hope & support...

    I have an ex-feral cat. I started interacting with him when he was still living in his colony and was probably about 6 months old. I had him altered & vaccinated when he was about 1 years, though he was still living with his colony. Then I took him with us when we moved.

    He now lives in the house with us full-time. After *7 years* of living with us, he still is adjusting and learning. Every time I think that he is doing so well, he adjusts and does even better.

    So I hope you have many more steps of progress from Daisy.

  23. Thank you Anonymous! I have seen quite a chance in Daisy in teh past year. She is a completely different dog than the one I adopted. I am so sorry I did not see your comment until today, but I am sure glad I did!