White Dog asked, "It has been what? Two and a half years since Bella joined the White Dog Army? Seems like so very long ago." "And yet, Little White Dog of My Heart, I would have guessed it was even longer in calendar years."
"I was pretty sure my sister was set in her ways after all this time, she surprises me in her new behavior." "White Dog," I said to her, "each of your siblings comes with stories of hardship and emotional issues to overcome. These are not things easily resolved and packed away. It takes a lot of patience and a long time. Sometimes pups are so broken it takes the rest of their lives to find peace." "Then I am happy for this new morning ritual Bella has formed," White Dog said.
Each morning for the longest time, Bella has greeted me by sitting at the side of the bed and sliding her head under my dangling hand. We touch and pet this way and say 'good morning.' If my hand is not available she puts her paws on the top of the mattress to let me know she is there. And then at her whim, she walks away.
Lately, the past two or three weeks, Bella has greeted me as usual and then gone to Steve to ask for help getting up ON the bed next to me as he massages my legs and helps with my physical therapy. At first Bella, would walk over to sit next to me for a few moments and gaze out of the windows and then hop down but as time has passed she now stays to supervise Steve's work and my activity. She rests comfortably without timidness and does not jump as we shift or move around her.
During the "cool down" she lies at the bottom of the bed and we go over plans for the day (she is my time keeper) before she gracefully hops down. The trust her intimacy requires is a huge leap forward for she surrenders herself to limited escape and close quarters; it shows she has come far in finding a sense of security and control.
I am thrilled, and proud. And yes, a bit surprised as well.