On SuperBowl Sunday 2015, all the puppies were taken to a shelter where they were adopted within a week. Puppy was taken to MAC and we decided to keep Momma Bear. The day the puppies left we let Momma Bear in the house where she went straight to the couch and made herself at home where she proceeded to 'sleep it off.' The next few months were quite tumultuous - she was fixed and then started losing weight. We discovered she had Valley Fever and Tick Fever - treatment for both took months. After a while though her energy returned, she started putting on weight and she went from a somewhat listless girl to one who leapt, jumped, and generally got in your face.
Lessons Learned from a year with Momma...
- Hospitality and relationship often begin with available food and water.
- Providing food and water do not guarantee relationship...hunger and thirst are primary needs secondary to relationship.
- One has to earn the right to be heard and earning this right is dependent on trust.
- Trust comes from consistent presence. Being there, caring on her terms, and availability.
- Having been 'dumped' and then roaming for food fosters trust issues and insecurity.
- Relationship and touch cannot be forced - these things have to be earned. While Momma more readily received some physical attention early on it was always on her terms. I remember a time after she had puppies where she crawled into my lap and leaned real hard into my body. When trust is given it's complete and demonstrated physically.
- Eyes reveal the soul - Momma has old soul eyes - sometimes loving and sometimes wary.
- Rebuilding a life takes time - it is an inner journey that she must take in our presence.
- Play is a daily group activity.
- Best thing of all is time together.
- Hello kisses are always in vogue!
We did not need a 3rd dog especially a somewhat neurotic insecure girl. She can be jealous, insecure, wary, too aggressively in your face - all of these things and more. And yet. She's part of our crazy family - sweet, tender, always loving. She still gives full body hugs, loves to cuddle, and cannot wait to say hello when we come home. I'm so happy this beautiful girl, our Momma Bear, adopted us!