What a different dog this girl is now. She’s still a little timid, but only when she wants to be. She sleeps on my bed at night now so I guess the crate isn’t plush enough and she has to lay right next to me. Actually, I have to move her butt over or I can’t get under the covers!
I’m starting to see her personality more and more. She definitely likes to be dominant and I believe she will do best with another dog, as long as that dog doesn’t compete for dominance. She’s not aggressive at all, has never growled at Kody or any other dog however. She is very independent.
Mandy likes riding in the car and will enter and exit all by herself. She also has gone up to the car door and looked up at me as if to say she wants to go for a ride. I think she simply doesn’t want to be left behind.
She lets me hug her, give her kisses, hold her, and pet her with no problem, but there is still some concern in her eyes sometimes. She will lean away from time to time until she feels comfortable. Like I said, it’s only when she wants to be that way. At night when it’s time for bed, she snuggles right up next to me. I’m noticing her breathing is much deeper and much calmer when she’s next to me now, versus short labored breaths she exhibited when she first started laying next to me.
She sticks pretty close to Kody and wherever he goes, she tends to follow. They have been good for each other. Kody is not alone when I’m at work, and Mandy has learned a few things from him, mostly to start trusting humans and that it’s okay to lay on the sofa when Dad is at work but you have to make a beeline for the bedroom if you hear the garage door go up and pretend as if you’ve been on the bed all day.
Outside, she is shyer and will get close enough that I can pat her on the head but I cannot get much closer, unless Kody is lying on the grass next to me. Then she will lie down too and let me pet her.
She’s been going to all of Aaron’s baseball games so she’s had a lot of exposure to people, especially the kids. I tell them to approach her slowly and she’s been great with all of the kids giving her attention. She is very well behaved. She lies on the grass and either chews on a treat or takes a nap.
She’s doing very well with the martingale and there are a few times when I’m glad she hasn’t been on a regular leash/collar. She was frightened of Aaron’s baseball bat as he was carrying it to the game (not swinging it, just carrying it at his side) and had she been on a regular leash/collar, she would have probably backed out of it. I kept trying to figure out what she was so afraid of and then I watched her as he would move the bat a little. I don’t know if she’s been hit by a broom or something but anything with a handle she’s very afraid of.
Potty training was going well for about 3 weeks without incident but the last 3-4 days she’s decided to poop on the rug while I’m at work so we’re going back to square one there. I thought she could hold it for 4 hours at a time (which I know she can) but we’ll work on that more. I do believe however, that she is missing me when I’m gone.
I guess that tells you she has free reign of the house. She spends very little time in her crate these days, except when I call her name or ask her to come to me. She will go in, come out, go back in, and back out, so I know she wants to trust me.
I’ve been greeted most mornings with a kiss on the side of the face and a wagging tail, but I’m still waiting for that time when I walk in the door and she’s there to greet me with a wagging tail like Kody does. Most times she waits for me to come and find her on my bed. I find when she is on my bed, there’s not as much fear and I can do most anything with her. I did find it comical one day when I came home at lunch to let them out. I purposely went to the front door and rang the doorbell. Kody was right there and saw me, but Mandy was standing at the top of the stairs and barking at me. When I walked in and started talking to her, she kept barking as if she was telling me she didn’t find the humor in what I did. In fact, as I let her out the patio door to go potty, she let out one last little bark as she walked past me.
The ability to touch her front paws has improved. There are still times she will tuck them in and other times when I can touch them with no problem. There are also times inbetween when she will flinch a bit when I first touch them.
She loves to play with Kody in the back yard and she can really go. She tries to get him to play and chews on him sometimes just to aggravate him. She rolls in the grass, does playful moves like bounding and pouncing. She throws toys in the air or pushes the ball with her nose but mostly, she likes to chase Kody. He gets these streaks where he runs as fast as he can and I pretend I’m a monster and that I’m going to catch him. Mandy joins in on the run until they both need a drink of water. We call it the 90mph run. It’s so great to see that puppy in her yet.
Compared to the other dogs I’ve helped foster, she is not as dependent upon or trusting of people as she is another dog, even after the same amount of time in foster care. It could be just Mandy’s disposition, but I’m a firm believer that in every living creature, there is a part of them that feels love to the depth of their soul and sometimes it’s just more difficult to reach or they’re afraid to allow themselves to feel it. I think this is the case with Mandy. There is a beautiful girl somewhere in there that wants to please her human companions. I sometimes catch a glimpse of it when I look in her eyes. I’m still trying to reach that part of her and set her free from all her fears.