Happy Tails

Blanca 2

Amy Gowertz - Monday, December 09, 2019
Blanca came into our lives on Feb. 2, 2019. Her small heart and body probably went through a lot by the time I met her. She was cautious at first and did not quite trust me. It took her some time to warm up to Sebastian, my existing Dachshund, I had adopted early in 2016. I had never looked after a Chihuahua and my impression was that they were loud, squeaky, rebellious creatures.  But I also trusted that love and patience conquers all. So we began our journey together. Having arrived from California to Calgary in the middle of winter must have already been a shock to her system. 

She was scared of any kind of long sticks, such as my walking stick or my "reachy-grabby stick" and it took her a while to trust I was not going to hurt her in anyway, physically or emotionally. We slowly got into a daily routine and she watched her brother intently, learning that they had to go to the bathroom outside - she followed him into the snowy cold yard and did her business to great applause from me. She only had a few accidents in the beginning. I did have a training pad laid out for her near the door, especially for night time. I imagined if she had to go and it was very dark, that she might be scared. She learned that food is available consistently and in her own bowl. She learned we do not beg at dinner time because mom (me) will feed them first. 

As it warmed up, we started going for walks. She was fantastic, not pulling, walking alongside while listening to my stories. I would talk to them about the grass and the leaves and the cars etc etc. I talk to the babies a lot and they listen. Still waiting to hear them say MA MA. Blanca decided that she will sleep with me at all times in the beginning. Might have been the fear of abandonment. I do not leave the house a lot and if I did, I tried and took her with me if it was possible. We were getting to know each other and she was very clingy at that point.

When the time came for a spa day, my daughter took Blanca, Sebastian and her dog to the doggy hair dresser and I went to pick them up. She was very happy to see me, but then would not talk to me. She sulked for and entire evening, if I picked her up  - she would jump out of my arms, not even look at me or show any affection. I think she was mortified that she would be sent away again... But little by little trust was built and now, 10 months later, she feel that this is her home and is secretly the "boss" while allowing the alpha Dachshund to think he is.

She is so very playful and pesters her brother endlessly for play time. In the beginning he was reluctant to - whether because she was so tiny or whether he thought it was below his status to allow such frivolity. Now he does engage in vigorous play with her, when she endlessly bites his ears and he pretends to bite her leg - it is such fun to watch them play together. She is still not into toys, although I do buy some periodically, hopping that they would spark her interest, One of her favourite things to do is hide a treat or a piece of food somewhere in the day bed or in my blankets. She works so hard at it I wonder why she does not have rug burns! When Sebastian has enough roughhousing he goes and finds a spot where he can hide his head and rests. In the back yard he found his best spot: sausaged in between the coffee table top and bottom.

During the summer and autumn we went daily into the back yard, where she inspected everything carefully. She gave me a reason to go outside and spend time in fresh air. She also gave me a reason to cook delicious protein and vegetable food. We became a tight knit family making sure no one is left out of hugs and pets. I love observing the two dogs interact and respect each other. In September a large dog moved in next door (bull mastiff 10 month old, the size of a small horse) and Sebastian is not accepting him at all - when he is not around Blanca does not mind the large dog, but the minute Sebastian is there - she is on his side and growls ferociously as well. 

Now, Blanca has regained trust and is a full fledged member of the family. NO ONE greets me with such fervor like she does. She jumps up on two legs while I slowly make my way up the stairs and then gives me a milliard kisses. You can feel the joy vibrating in her. She makes going to bed a gift of warmth and affection. She can clean my hands with determination, making sure both sides are to her specifications as well as in between the fingers!  She snuggles with me and watched a movie. If I feel ill she is right there to lay where it hurts and warm me up - I can feel her love and affection all the time.

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