lula 3 – one year with lula at home
“You wait. You’ll see. In a year, you’ll have a completely different dog.”
I heard that refrain – “she’ll be a different dog” – again and again last year from neighbors and other dog walkers. People with exerperience of adopting an adult dog into a family and had shared that slow canine/human journey to trusting and settling in at home again.
a different dog
They were right. In all good senses of the statement: Lula is a different dog from a year ago, and we loved her before, and now even more because that’s the way love works. Woof love forever!
We adopted a lovely, quiet, yet slightly anxious dog. One of her most heart-breaking tendencies was her night nerves. Her last pee walk would always end with her coming home panting, shaking and she’d immediaely hide under the bed.
We did some research but really didn’t find much about this nighttime problem. It sounded like it was all just part of her bigger adjustment and settling in.
So we just kept up a loving, regular routine and didn’t make a big deal about her nightly trembles. And one day we noticed that they had simply stopped. She came in and went to her bed and turned in for the day. That adjustment took about 3 months.
Another difference from most dogs I’ve ever known, she didn’t bark. The door bell, a neighbor knocking, nothing. She did not bark at home or out on the street for the first three months we lived together. It seemed odd and was noteworthy, but otherwise she seemed “normal”.
Then sometime during the summer we were out in a sidewalk bar/cafe and I heard a dog barking but I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Oh, from under the table! It’s Lula! She had found her voice! Most of the time, she is a good, calm, quiet dog, but like most dogs, she sometimes barks and it can sometimes be annoying. But that’s dog-life. Woof love forever!
Lula is also pretty good about not running off or losing the plot when walking in the park or at the beach.
She does sometimes wander down cheeky lane and chase (or day-dream chase) a cat or bird.
But by and large she is respectful of other beings, partial to humans for pets, and social with some dogs. This is now. A year ago, she stuck pretty much to my heels in the park and was indifferent to other dogs and most people.
Her comfort and ability to make herself to home has grown as well. If the rubbish contains anything too interesting, the humans should take it out, or be prepared to clean up a mess after Lula has had a look at it. She is not one of those timid houseguests who doesn’t dare help herself to a cup of tea. She is a Spanish dog and fully understands “¡mi casa, es tu casa!” (make yourself to home!).
Again, woof love forever. She is simply a dog after all and only as well behaved as we – the humans – are!
good on her own
I am most proud of her slowly learning to spend time by herself without being a nervous wreck.
We started with short 5 minute practices and now she can stay up to 2 hours alone. She doesn’t like it, and prefers company, but she does not dig at the floor, whine or bark. She’s a quiet, good dog, just waiting for us to come home.
She continues to be a good cyclist, loves the beach and is well behaved on trains. She enjoys outings to the countryside or nearby villages, in fact we all do!
one year at home, and lula turns 8, hurrah!
Hurrah! A life is such a gift and I am grateful to have Lula in my life. She will turn 8 years old this June and I look forward to many more years of these anniversaries and landmark life events.