Wendy is a regular visitor to the sofa now (to the point where there are often snarling exchanges between her and Ronnie when one won’t budge up and allow space for the other. On a large, 3-person sofa) but has continued to bolt should I so much as twitch and catch her unawares.
She has been happy to lie with her feet up and allow a tummy tickle to happen, but again, any sudden movements and she has been off like a shot.
Today, I happened to be sat in the middle of both dogs. Wendy put her head on my lap and kept it there while I stroked her head and tickled her under the chin. I was astonished.
She is so frightened of everything unexpected. We had been doing really well when seeing other dogs (something she has struggled with since I got her), and a couple of days ago, a crazy springer spaniel was walking off lead and came bounding up to us. He was keen to play, and just wanted to sniff and make friends, but for poor old Wendy, this is terrifying. She hid between my legs and somehow, managed not to bark, or shriek, or snap or lunge. The owner was terribly apologetic, he’d tried to call the springer off as I’d said Wendy would probably snap. I was so pleased that she behaved so beautifully, but now it’s undone and all other dogs are back to being a source of terror and the barking is back.
I’ve had my beautiful hounds for just short of a year. Ronnie has settled really well, making up for lost time and enjoying a delayed puppyhood. He is a big soppy boy, excited by the world, loves to play and is ridiculously pleased to meet everyone. In fact, I swear he thinks people were put on the planet to give him cuddles and fuss, such is his enthusiasm to greet anyone new. Wendy has taken her time, and I think I’ve said before, I admire her style. I think we have a long way to go before she is ever comfortable with other dogs (if ever) but fortunately, round here, there are plenty of other dogs who struggle with their manners too and everyone is so friendly and happy to put their dog on a lead when we go past, or wait for us to cross the road to avoid confrontation.
Wendy is simply the most stubborn dog I have ever met. She acts as if she has never heard the word No. If she is somewhere she shouldn’t be, she refuses to budge and goes absolutely rigid making it very difficult to move her. She gives so little of herself, but when she does, it makes it all the more rewarding. It’s very special when she relaxes enough to seek out some fuss. She’s extremely camera shy, so she must have been out for the count when I snapped this picture.