White Dog gave a quiet little cheer. "Don't notice, momma, but Opal is making a gigantic leap forward right now," she whispered. "Kind of tilt your head and look out of the corner of you eye but don't let her see you looking."
Opal is VERY shy. Mill dogs usually come fearful and timid and after all our newest girl has been through, she is even more skittish than most. Although she stops and turns recognizing her name, if you look directly at her or make a move toward her, she hurries back to her "Safety Zone," the ortho mattress she and Pearl share in the corner of the bedroom. It is enclosed on three sides and makes a protected den.
Progress has been made over the few days she has been with us. She comes out to check on what is happening more often but then, curiosity sated, Opal heads back to the bedroom. The little one is fast and slippery and still wears her drag line as a precaution.
But White Dog wanted me to notice something more. Opal had trotted past us in the living room and made a circuit of the kitchen. Ferguson was just waking from a nap and struggled half-awake to gain his footing in there. Opal stood next to him waiting patiently and once he was balanced, rubbed her muzzle against his.
Then she came out to the living room where we were mostly gathered. Puff quietly rested on her mattress on the hearth. It is a large mat and Puff curls up into a compact ball. It was the same mattress Puff so graciously let both Pearl and Opal use when they first arrived.
Opal paused for a moment and then walked over to our sleeping matriarch. The new girl moved next to her on the mattress and snuggled her backside against Puff's spine. She waited a moment as if expecting to be chased off. Puff never even awakened. Opal slowly lowered herself; tensed to jump up at any movement.
Lying next to Puff now, Opal stayed alert and expectant. Slowly the comfort of the bed and Puff's body heat pulled Opal's defenses down...and she closed her eyes to nap.