White Dog used to jump down from our chair and throw a mean look over her shoulder when one of other members of the White Dog Army came into my lap. Time has softened her stance. No one yet usurps her spot on the arm of the chair but she tolerates the occasional intrusion onto my lap. She has come to realize, I believe, that her act of kindness does not take away her status. She is patient when Sachi or Bella or Zsofia...and now Daisy or Jupiter sit with us.
She is more than happy, these days, to sit devotedly at my side (but only in the front room), to place her paw on my foot and sit in the quiet congeniality of being old. Still Another White Dog patiently sits in front of me to be brushed and groomed; she actually seems to enjoy this attention. She will line up to gently accept treats from my fingers...or head rubs as she leans against me. But sit on my lap... no.
On November 19, Puff The Magical will celebrate her 4th Gotcha Day with us. NEVER in that time has she asked either Steve or I to pick her up to cuddle...until this morning.
I almost missed her request, at first it was so tentative. But she asked again with more demand and her look conveyed a genuine desire. I reached down expecting her to scoot away but she moved into my arms. I choked up as my heart filled with amazement.
Four years. I was grateful for how far our Girl had come just in reining in her feral-ness and learning to trust that when we reached out she had no reason to flinch or run. I was willing to accept her terms of affection and to not press her beyond her comfort zone. I understood that she would probably always hold something back...to protect herself and to not be vulnerable.
But this morning my sweet beautiful feisty old lady decided that maybe it was finally OK to lower her shields, even for just a few minutes. It may never happen again. But it happened this morning. And it felt REALLY good.