Thursday, November 26, 2009

Juneau's Journal 11/26/09

Today is Thanksgiving, whatever that is. Sheri has been next door most of the day and I can smell the most intoxicating aromas wafting from over there. I think they eat animals there - Sheri doesn't, so there are things to smell that are new to me. I'm very interested, but of course, I like being here the best.

I am feeling so much better these days. I hardly cough at all and I am finally getting to go on very short walks with Sheri and her border collie Pearl. It's a little weird because we are on a dirt jogging trail instead of what I am used to - going through our neighborhood. I get a little nervous when people run up behind me. I start breathing a little harder and you can see my cheeks fluff out a little. Sheri gives me treats when those people run by. She calls them joggers. It seems like they are being chased because they are running, but there is never anyone chasing them. Weird! But I am learning that when they come by, I get a treat, so I'm sort of kind of starting to be okay with them.

Every once in a while, someone with a dog walks towards us. Sometimes the dogs are large and sometimes they are little. I don't know any of them, so I am very aware of them. Sheri gives me a treat as they approach. If their owner is giving them too much leash and letting them get close to me and Pearl without asking Sheri, Sheri just moves us to the grass next to the trail, asks us to sit and gives us treats. These treats have a way of making things seem okay.

Oh wow, I forgot to tell you - almost - I had the biggest breakthrough two days ago!

You remember how I was always scared to get into the car? Sheri would climb in first - and then, of course, I wanted to be with her and I trusted her, so I'd get in after her and we'd just sit there for a while. Well, on Monday, I was so excited about driving out to the little jogging trail, that after Pearl hopped in, I just climbed in right after her! I forgot all about being scared of getting into the car. I mean, there were always treats in the car, and we always went somewhere fun in the car, plus, gosh, I'd ridden in the car a bunch of times now, so what was there to be scared of? The car is fun!

So I just hopped in and sure enough, we went to the jogging trail and took a walk. We did it again Tuesday and again today! I even climbed in through the back hatch when it was open. Sheri was so happy. She gave me treats each time. She was sort of teasing me, saying, "I thought you were scared of the car. You're not scared of the car! You're such a brave girl."

So all of that bravery, the yummy smells in the neighborhood, the people next door dropping by to heat rolls in the oven, the walks - oh yeah, and eating my meals in the bathtub (I'll save that for another story), I'm just exhausted. A really good kind of tired.

So, they tell me that today is about being thankful. Well, I was thankful from the very first day I got here 6 weeks ago. I still wag my tail when I drink fresh water out of a bowl. It's there any time I want it. I wag my tail when I see Sheri putting my food into my bowl. She likes me to sit still while she does it, but inside, I'm wagging my tail. I even wag my tail when I am sleeping and I hear her voice.

I know she loves me and I am thankful for that. I hope she knows it. I try to show her all the time. Wagging my tail, snuggling up for a pet, rolling on my back and smiling - that's how I say "Happy Thanksgiving".

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Juneau's Journal 11/7/09 - Brave Dog

I am a brave dog!

I'm almost over my cough and today Sheri took me in a ride in the car.

The car kinda scares me. I'm not used to it and it's weird. It moves and it's like the floor is moving under me and the room is tilting and I never know what it's going to do. This is only my 3rd car ride with Sheri. The first was when she brought me home from the shelter exactly 3 weeks ago. I already told you about that.

The second was with Pearl two weeks ago. Although we'd practiced just sitting in the car a couple of times, this was a full ride. Sheri got in first and then I felt good enough to get in after her. We were in the back seat when Pearl jumped in,too! Pearl loves being in the car and she's real happy in there. I sort of felt since she thought it was okay, maybe it was. Plus Sheri kept petting me and telling me what a brave dog I was and giving me and Pearl treats just for being in there.

She finally got out, but then got back in right away but in the front seat. That time we drove for about 10 minutes. When we parked, we got out and went on a hike. It was really neat. I didn't realize I was starting to get sick, so I couldn't run around as much as Pearl did - she's crazy out there having so much fun. She even jumps around in the water! She enjoyed it so much, I felt like it was a fun place and I started to enjoy it, too. We saw other dogs and people and men and even some small kids. At first, I was pretty shy, but after more and more of them went by, all of them nice, I realized they were okay and I relaxed.

Anyway, today, 2 weeks later, Sheri and I got in the car, just the two of us. First she got in the back seat and motioned for me to join her. I climbed in and she gave me a treat just for doing that. I wagged my tail and it was like I knew where I was and I was okay. We stayed back there a little and then Sheri climbed into the front seat, started the car and off we went.

Where were we going this time, I wondered. Should I worry?

I did a little on the left turns. Sheri tries to be smooth on those, but the floor still shifts around and the whole room tilts. I started getting a little nervous. Sheri could tell because my cheeks started puffing out a little. She kept reassuring me and I calmed down and breathed more slowly. I even sat down and lied down a few times, just looking out the window and watching things go by.

We finally pulled up in front of a store that sells tires. Sheri and I both went into the store after they told Sheri she could bring me in. I hate going through doors because at the shelter, I never knew what was going to happen. None of us did. They'd yank us through doors and then lock us up. It was frightening. Some of us got pulled through doors and never came back.

Anyway,Sheri never pulls me through a door. She just stands in the doorway, holding it open and waits for me to go through. So we finally went into the tire store. Tile floors, I can do that. Guys behind a high counter, not too interested in me - no problem. She had to get a tire replaced on her car. I waited with her at the counter very quietly and she kept telling me what I good girl I was.

We had to wait in another room while they replaced the tire. There was a football game on and newspapers to read. Another woman was in the room and a few men came and went. I just lied on the tile floor. It really wasn't a big deal. Sheri petted me and read the paper. It was very calm in there. I just relaxed and stretched out.

After a little bit, our car was ready. We went back to the front room and Sheri paid the guy at the counter. Then we left. We walked around in the grass a little. I think Sheri wanted to be sure I was "okay" before the ride home.

We both got into the back seat. It was a little different doing this in a new place instead of Sheri's garage where we always have been. But I did it. I got a treat, too! We drove home with no problems. I'm still getting used to the car but it's a little easier each time. I was really tired when we got home. I ate dinner and took a long nap.

The whole time, Sheri kept telling me what a brave dog I am. If that means trusting someone you love when you're scared, then I am!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Juneau's Journal 11/5/09

I am feeling so much better this week.

When Sheri first adopted me from San Marcos Animal Shelter a little over 2 weeks ago, I was really scared of everything. But I liked her. I trusted her the minute I met her and I wanted so bad for her to take me with her.

When she first took me out to the fenced yard at the shelter, I was so happy to get this chance that I stuck by her every second. She sat down on the grass with me - I couldn't believe it, she was down at my level. I was so relieved that someone was being kind to me that I just crawled up into her lap. I know I was smelly, I'd been out on the streets for so long, just looking for something to eat and a safe place where no one would hurt me. Anyway, I put my head in her lap and she just petted me.

She got up and walked around the yard. There were dozens of barking dogs all in their kennels yammering at us. I knew how they felt. They wanted out, just like I did. We are all desperate for it.

Well, she took me home that day. I was still so scared, because it'd been so bad for so long, I think. I didn't really understand what was happening and I kind of had an accident - a couple of pretty stinky ones, in the back of her car on the way home. I'm not used to cars. I was afraid to get in hers even though she tried to lure me with treats.

How did she finally get me in? She never forced me. She never forces me to do anything. She just climbed into the back seat herself and them motioned for me to join her. No problem - I just wanted to be with her anyway because she was nice to me. I hopped in and she told me I was a good dog.

She drove to Tractor Supply where she bought me a new crate with a soft white fleece pad, a leash, toys and three kinds of treats. It was a smelly ride home, and I slid all over the box holding the giant crate, but I never complained and neither did she.

We got to her house and I met the most curious assortment of animals. A border collie-type dog named Pearl and quite a few cats. Two black ones, a grey striped one, a little brown one and a black and white one. All of them were pretty curious about me. Me - I felt so shy. I just tried to make myself small so no one would get mad at me.

Sheri fed me some great dog food soaked in water and gave me a new bone to chew on. I loved the food. It was so good and it was all mine! No one to fight for it. No one to wait after before I gobbled it up. I really couldn't enjoy the bone. I just sort of ignored it. I was still way too wound up to relax enough to chew on it.

That night, I fell asleep on my soft white pad inside my crate. it'd been a long day and I was too tired to think or even to be scared.

As I drifted off to sleep, I heard Sheri telling me, "You're safe now. From now on you're going to be loved and safe. I promise."