Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Paw Prints - A Dog's Life: Part Two

In Case You Missed It - Part One of A Dog's Life

A Dog’s Life
(Part Two) 
By Kate James 
(and contributed to by Harley and Logan) 
In February, I introduced Harley and Logan, and explained how they came to be members of our family.

As a quick recap, they came into our lives unplanned. They were fourteen and sixteen months respectively when we first met them, intelligent and with great temperaments. Although they were never abused, their behaviors were greatly influenced by having spent their "childhood" exclusively in kennels.

Here’s an update on how we're doing.

Crating, Then
I never crated a dog before, but Harley and Logan needed the comfort and security, as that's all they'd known before us. I had hoped that in six months to a year, the crates could go. A year later, they still loved to spend time in their kennels, but preferred to curl up, or stretch out, together in one kennel.
Crating, Now
Some things haven't changed. We still haven't been able to remove the crates from the breezeway, despite having luxury dog beds throughout the house.

It's their happy, "safe" place. And they still prefer to share a single kennel. What has changed is that Logan occasionally likes to redecorate...or perhaps let us know that the top beds need to be washed!
Outside Behavior, Then
Logan was generally quite good outside. Harley was the challenge. He'd see a butterfly, a little switch would go off in his head and the rest of the world would cease to exist as he chased it. We had to fence our property to keep him from running over the back into the valley, where there is a steep incline. He stayed safe, but our gardens suffered.

Outside Behavior, Now
Logan is still (mostly) an angel. Harley still has his obsession with butterflies. But now he'll also cry like a baby, in addition to dancing around in hot pursuit. (If you heard him, you might call the humane society on us, thinking we're hurting him!). The good news is that he is starting to listen (a little) when we call him. Also on the plus side, our front gardens are in tact.
Well, mostly...other than that itsy bitsy spot where he hopped right in.

Inside Behavior, Then
Despite not having met until they were fourteen-and sixteen-months old respectively, they established a close bond very quickly. They would routinely lie on top of each other, snuggle and seek out the sun. On the negative side, Logan used to get up on furniture.
Cute as he was, the black dog on the white couch thing didn't find favor with us.

Also, because they didn't really have toys to play with as pups, anything on the floor was fair game to be swallowed. Finally, Logan thought he was a lap dog, and on one occasion when he tried to climb into my lap while I was writing, his tooth happened to connect with (and destroy) my laptop screen.

Inside Behavior, Now
Logan no longer tries to get up on furniture. They still like to sleep together and snuggle.
They still like to seek out those little slivers of sunshine.
And, yes, they occasionally still like to swallow things they find on the floor (or sneak out of a laundry basket). When one of my new RWA 2016 Harlequin socks went missing, I had no idea which dog had swallowed it, thus a trip to the vet didn't make sense. They were both eating and pooping normally, so there was no clue in that regard. Of course, despite our vet's assurances, I was worried about them. Finally, four weeks after the sock went missing, Harley decided to return it . . . on its own, without his dinner. Harley is, thankfully, perfectly fine; the sock (even after washing) not so much!
Finally, Logan still likes to think of himself as a lap dog, but fortunately no laptop screens have suffered the consequences.

Although Harley and Logan have come so far in the time they've been with us, yes, they still have a few idiosyncrasies due to how they lived their formative years. The constant is that they continue to delight us each and every day, and the unconditional love and affection they bring into our lives is limitless and unparalleled. Idiosyncrasies and all, we wouldn't trade them for the world!

Do your pets have any particular idiosyncrasies that make life interesting for you?

(Published in Still Moments Magazine digital September 2017)

© 2017-2018 Kate James All Rights Reserved
Along with being Harley and Logan’s Mom, Kate is a civil engineer by profession. She has had a fun and challenging business career, but she always loved to read and, for some time, she’s had a strong desire to write. It was her husband who started her down the path to publication when he gave her a personal laptop for the sole purpose of writing. She was fortunate to get a publishing contract for her first manuscript, which was released in September 2011. Kate loves to hear from readers and interact with them!

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