Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sophie -Diary of a Southern Belle > 7 days after adoption


While Truman was the ultimate lover, Sophie shows signs of becoming the ultimate seductress. She's daddy's little girl: the sit, looking up into my eyes, the plaintiff paw, the tiny whimper. I mean who could resist? Not me!

In the meantime, Sophie has discovered bones. It took her as many days to discover the knuckle bones I have laying around for her & Stella to gnaw on as it took for her to adjust to our menus.

However, it also took her the same amount of time to realize she could bully Stella Bella. But it started veeeery slowly.

You see, Stella has small area in the living room that has become her woman cave. On the long side there is a sofa -- her place to sleep. Across from the sofa there is a fireplace. On the other two sides are chairs so it's a rectangular space, i.e. a crate, of sorts.

For the first few days, Sophie stayed clear of this space. Then she started to lie down with her head (& maybe a shoulder) in the space. Then she lay down on the hearth across from Stella's sofa. OK, Sophie said to herself "no reaction".

The next set of challenges occurred over the aforementioned bone. Sophie had her bone, Stella had hers. One day when Stella was out of the office, Sophie commandeered Stella's bone. And that was that.

A short digression: since Sophie was picking up bones, I decided to use that as a 'teaching' moment :-) and we have been working on 'pick up', 'carry', 'drop'. She learns fast.

So I had Sophie carry her bone up to the house where she dropped it (on command) onto the kitchen floor. There it lay. But while I was in the powder room, I heard a bark & saw poor Stella scurrying back to her living room 'crate'. I surmised Sophie stopped Stella from approaching her bone (and maybe me) but not having witnessed anything, I couldn't do / say anything.

Finally, it was time for dinner. And for the first time I saw Sophie move from her dish to eating from Stella's (and Stella retreated) at which point I made it VERY clear that this was UNACCEPTABLE behavior with a drastic change in my tone of voice, very serious eye contact, and a few choice words, BUT NO yelling, and nothing physical except for pushing her away from Stella's dish with my leg. 

Then I invited Stella back to her dish while I watched over her eating. Meantime, Sophie, totally grasping the situation, sidled over to me, sat down like an angel & looked up at me. Other than putting my hand on her head, I didn't react much to her overtures.

I think we've sorted out the bullying issue for the moment but we'll see.

One thing for sure, Sophie is extremely intelligent & sensitive. Remember when she 'escaped' & was feral for three months? I don't know what precipitated her flight but I saw that fear in her eyes just yesterday. 

Tomorrow I will try to explain my encounter with her 'flight' issue & what Sophie & I did to get past it for the moment. You know these Bouvs -- they have VERY long memories.

Ya'll come back, now.