Thursday, August 9, 2012

Etta's Continuing Adventures

Etta's adventures with Dog Mob continue.

She's joined in their group practices, sometimes successfully and sometimes rather less so.

This was right after Etta had come out of the box and had tons of energy to burn, so she was bouncing around all over the place and could not settle down for the group Sit. I like to imagine that the other two are saying something like "settle down dude, we're trying to earn some treats here and you're screwing it up!" and she went "derp! sorry!" and then sat down.

Crisis averted, chicken patties for all.

This morning Etta went to the dog park for the first time. I was a little hesitant about bringing her, because she does still have her spay stitches in and she's supposed to be on exercise restriction, and sometimes Dog Mob gets pretty crazy at the park.

The fosters usually don't, though, at least not for their first few visits. Most dogs spend their initial visits just figuring out the lay of the land. Like new kids at school, they need to spend some time sussing out the cliques, deciding who's cool and who's best avoided, and tentatively making new friends. There are occasional dogs (usually socially inept adolescents) who just go balls-out immediately, but after living with her for a week, I was reasonably confident that Etta was not one of those. I expected she'd take a friendly but cautious approach, and indeed, so she did. She spent most of her time hovering around me and/or Dog Mob, with only occasional ventures out into the unfamiliar wilds of the dog park.

Hiding under one of the park benches, where she briefly ducked for cover after a park-goer came up to her in a direct frontal approach and tried to pet her on top of the head:

Gradually relaxing in the semi-reassuring company of Dog Mob:

By the time we were ready to leave, she was much more confident and full of smiles:

After a few more warm-up visits, I imagine she'd be happy to play at the park. She is a friendly and socially appropriate little dog, neither too pushy nor too shy, and she gets along well with all the dogs she's met so far. She just needs a little more time to get familiar with the park and its rhythms, and to get acquainted with a few more doggy friends.

She won't get it here, though. This little dog is going home tomorrow.

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