Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy New Year from Leia!

Dear Kitty, Neola, Deborah, Sharon, Kathy, Megan and Rebecca,
Our darling little Cairn has been with us almost five months now, and I thought it was time for a Happy New Year update to all of you, who helped foster her and bring her into our lives.
In previous emails I’ve gone on and on about how much we adore Leia, so…… rather than bore you, ditto on that J
Each new day brings a little bit more confidence for Leia. For instance, yesterday for the very first time she put her paw on our older son while he was petting and playing with our two other dogs (he adores our dogs and cat). She has been fearful of our three young adult children and she still is if they approach her directly, but if they are looking away she will come right up to them, sniffing, taking food if it is offered. Occasionally she will let our daughter pick her up. You can tell that she wants to be part of their lives but she’s still a little afraid. Yet, every day, the fear retreats a tiny bit and one day I think we will just notice that it is gone.
Leia is our snuggle bunny Cairn, and loves sleeping right next to my husband and me whenever possible. Unlike her brother Wookie, who leaps off the bed the moment his beauty rest is disturbed by the slightest under-cover movement, nothing deters Leia from the bed or the chance for affection. I wonder if she is making up for lost time in the cold puppy mill. Wookie was always in a loving home; he is just the most confident guy who thinks he owns the universe, and he doesn’t need us for affection the way Leia does. She is a lap dog if there ever was one, even when we are typing at our computers. She wiggles around and works her way into our laps until she finds a stable position, and just stays and stays. Of course we love it!
She’s a foodie, just like her bro, so we are using little training treats to shape her behavior. She’s had “Sit” for a couple of months, and we are working on “Come.” We are just about to fence in the back yard (it’s on order) so I want to have the “Come” command established so the dogs will come running when I call. And, I think it’s about time to go to obedience training classes. I feel that when Leia first came to us it would have been too much for her, but now she is a pretty confident little girl and I think she can handle it. In fact, given how assertive she is starting to be with the neighbor dog, it might just be the perfect time.
Leia’s had fun in the North Carolina snow, although the first time when it snowed Christmas Day, it was quite a challenge for her. She kept jumping all around like the little terrier she is. What was this chilly white stuff, anyways??? But, she’s managing to do her business and all is well.
Both Cairns are getting a good amount of exercise and it helps that walking them is one of my true joys and one of theirs as well. I just LOVE being outdoors with the doggies!
Well, ‘til next time……

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