Monday, March 22, 2010

Ttouching Bonita

We'll be leaving here in less than two days. In January we met Bonita, a scared little pup of less than six months. Initially feeding her was difficult. Her mother, Blondie, and Stormy the resident street dog had her so terrorized she would not try to take the food we offered. She was starving to death.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about her progress. She has been remarkable. Her beautiful brown coat and her confidence has blossomed.
A big thank you to our kind hearted friends who came by to sweet talk and hand feed her. All of the little bits and pieces have come together for Bonita.
Each week she got closer to us.
Bonita now plays with toys, which is something the older two dogs do not do. At 3 am when I hear the cylinder rolling with the clothes pin inside, I know it is Bonita playing, smile.
The last couple of weeks her soulful brown eyes follow me where ever I go. She wants get close, but is so afraid. When Bonita put her front paws on my leg, she looked like such a big girl. I was so proud of her.
Each time she improves, there is always a little back slide. At first I found that disheartening, then it became just the way she deals with the stress.
Other than when we took her to the vet to be spayed, we have not compelled her to do anything. Building trust has been my most important goal with her.
Today we put all of that to the test. I put my kennel lead around her neck. The look of sheer terror as the rope tightened around her neck was fairly quickly dissapated. We talked to her, telling her how wonderful she is. Dogs love to be talked to even when things are bad; it calmmed her down.
I stroked her sides. If she just felt how good it is to be pet, I knew she'd like it. When my hand went near her, she opened her mouth to bite. She thought better of it because she stopped herself. No tug on the leash required to save my hand, oh happy day.
She did a big sigh of resignation, then laid stiffly whild I began to softly caress her the way I've been wanting to for a long while. She closed her eyes. The tense body told me I could do what I wanted, but she wouldn't like it. I worked quickly to apply the Front Line to her skin. We had no idea if the stress would be too much for her, she could blow up at any time. After all she had no handling during the imprint phase, this was an unknown.
Once the flea preventative was applied we relaxed. She was still shutting it out, but when I did some ttouch (A Linda Tellington Jones technique) she melted. I did the circles near her tummy; she rolled over exposing her belly. Her rear legs kicked out, the way dogs do when they are enjoying a belly rub. My husband was at the ready, but not needed. I cut her sutures out unassisted! What made this particularly remarkable is that I took the lead off her after I did the flea repellant.

She took in the petting and ttouch for another ten minutes. Occasionally I'd stop, she opened an eye. I'd pet her again, so she closed her eye. When we were finished, she took a couple of steps, then plopped in the corner for a long nap.

Thank you, Linda Tellington Jones for some great techniques. This would not have gone as nicely without it.

1 comment:

  1. I love these last two posts. I think Bonita is falling in love. :)