White Dog did a double take as she passed us her way out but she knew enough not to break stride or callout the historic moment in progress.
Opal was sitting in my arms on the bed. She has a hesitant look in her eyes but with a body language that said, "Momma, I trust you!" I spoke softly and stroked her ears and side of her face. Then I passed my hand over her side.
Besides being shaved for her life-saving surgery when she was rescued less than a year ago, I do not believe that she has ever been groomed, Tufts of fur came off as I worked her with my hand and fingers. She sat and tolerated the activity, not quite willing to admit it felt good even though for weeks she has been rubbing against everything possible to remove the itching floof...and has watched with interest as the others get brushed.
"Do you think she would let me brush her?" Steve asked, "If you hold her in your arms we could get most of her at least as a once over." I looked in my shy girl's eyes.
"How about it, Opal? Are you brave enough to trust me." I asked her. "And not be set backward in your progress or hate us?" Steve added.
She did not move as Steve laid the brush on her back and drew it along her spine. That one swipe filled the brush. He pulled off the fur and continued while I whispered in her ear and rubbed her cheek.
I could feel her body relax as she realized that it actually felt good. But as with us all her brain took over after a while and she began to worry. Opal shifted and looked done.
At the word, Steve stopped. I stroked her a few more seconds and told her how proud I was that she was so brave. Then she hopped down without a backward glance and went outside.
"I hope we did not traumatize her," Steve fretted. "Well, I am not sure she will be begging you to continue but trust her as well. She knows it felt good and that she was safe. Opal may keep a distance now for a while but do not fear it a setback."
True to my words, my Sparkling Girl was back to normal at breakfast and now lies sleeping at the office door. It was not an epiphany or cataclysmic change to total trust and acceptance, but as she and I exchange glances, I believe we have moved closer.