White Dog and all the others were out in the yard with Steve. It was just Opal and I. My shyest girl usually avoids most group romps preferring to watch from the dog door or to talk with me.
Opal and I talk all of the time; she is an attentive listener and seems to enjoy our conversations. But she has strict limits. Still she does not walk at night during bedtime walks. She prefers not to be touched. She keeps a respectful distance from Steve.
But she is good with verbal interaction and is clever at figuring things out. After hearing me ask the trained members of the White Dog Army to "sit please" for treats, our Sparkling Girl has begun taking a seat as she waits in cue for her turn. A voracious chewer, she is learning the command, "Don't chew that. go get a toy." and she does...making a point to let me see that she has complied.
Time, patience and love is what we always say here.
So this morning when Opal came closer to me as we talked, I was excited by her moving the boundary line closer. And when she leaned forward inviting my touch, I nearly swooned.
Not quite believing that she meant for me to actually touch her, I slowly moved my hand from my lap as I asked her for permission. She did not move until my hand rested on the side of her face and my thumb caressed her ears; then she pressed herself against me. "Oh Sweet Girl, what a wonderful gift on this not so nice morning," I whispered.
She shifted asking for me to stroke her side and under her chin. Her eyes never left my face and her body position told me she was relaxed and comfortable.
I petted and touched and talked for several long loving moments of exchange. Then we heard the kitchen door slam and the others heading up the ramp. Opal quickly moved away. When Steve poked his head in My Girl was lying her usual distance away.
"Someday, Sweet Girl," he told her. "Someday you will be ready to come out and play with us."
"Maybe sooner than you think," I whispered and smiled at Opal.