Baby steps have kept coming – sometimes quickly, sometimes haltingly, some a few at a time, some at a run.
Dani is now sleeping outside her kennel and has been for nearly two weeks. The Mister and I, mostly the Mister, have been camping out in the living room to monitor Dani’s nocturnal movements – to curtail destructive (no evidence as of yet that she is a chewer) and scatological (she hasn’t had any more bathroom accidents) behavior.
I think she’s finally ready to sleep in her big girl bed without mommy or daddy in the room.
Our mini Lab, Asta, has taken to Dani and the pair are becoming cautious friends. With Asta’s help (Asta taking the lead on potty breaks), we don’t have to carry Dani outside any longer. She is going out and coming in on her own. She hasn’t retreated to her safe place (the far southwest corner of the back yard) in over a week.
Mister and I stand at the back door watching the two of them out the window. Our running commentary of Dani’s achievements would make any new parents proud… “oh, look she’s going pee,” “is she pooing now?” We are practically giddy over a dog using the bathroom.
Dani is also eating on her own. I no longer need to start out hand feeding her. She still won’t join Asta in the kitchen, we do have to set her bowl directly in from of her. Dani is going into the kitchen to drink from the water bowls, though.
Asta and Dani are sitting together more often. Neither seems completely comfortable, like step-siblings getting accustomed to each other, but I can see them building a closer friendship.
Earlier this week, Mister carried Dani into our bedroom and put her on the bed where I was sitting reading. Asta was already sitting with me. Dani didn’t immediately jump down, like she has done previously. She stayed about 15 minutes, letting me pet her and rub her ears.
This lead to her coming down the hallway by herself later, and even lying down on the dog bed in the bedroom.
Dani has been with us for almost a month, and it’s only this week that she has left the living room to explore more of the house.
There has been more tail wagging and hand licking than running away and hiding. We see glimpses of a dog who feels like she can have fun, who feels at home, who feels safe. There are more baby steps to take, and they are getting easier each day.