Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thank you to volunteers!

What a wonderful group of friends and volunteers we have! This morning I sent out an email requesting fresh straw for dog houses and some waterproof toys for the pups (winter thawing is not a good time for the stuffed toys I have on hand). I was bombarded with emails offering to help and fresh straw was here within a few hours (thanks Brenda and Kim!), with more coming tomorrow (thanks Sue!). The puppies were so happy with their piles of fresh straw in the dog houses, they've even begun to use the igloo dog house now that it has a pile of straw in it. I took them out a few new rubber dog toys this morning, they LOVE getting new toys. They barked at me when they saw me coming, and Natasha and Nora stayed out to see what I was bringing them (they're starting to catch on that every single time I visit I have something for them). Natasha grabbed a toy and Nevada ran out of the dog house to snag one right away. I know several people are dropping off new toys for them this week, I can't wait to give the toys to them. Mark came out for a very long visit with the pups this afternoon and we saw more wonderful progress. I watched out the window as Natasha ate out of Mark's hand several times! I wish I had grabbed the camera but was too caught up in the excitement of the moment. Nora came very close to his hand, I don't think it will be long before she tries it too. Nevada and Nina wandered around and ate treats off the ground close to him. A little while after Mark left I went out and tried something new. I sat on the wooden deck in the pen which is just a few inches off the ground. I had some jerky treats with me. The puppies were pretty full from their afternoon getting kibble from Mark, but within a minute Natasha was eating treats from my hand and licking my fingers. If I moved my hand she would jump back a few inches, but then come right back. Nora and Nevada weren't very interested, I think they were too full, but I had what I consider a bonding moment with Nina. After Natasha went back in the dog house, Nina walked out by herself, across right in front of me and into the igloo only a couple feet away. She poked her head out and looked at me and I tossed her a couple of treats on the ground which she ate right away. Then she left the igloo and walked out a couple steps and sat looking around. She was only a few feet away from me and seemed very relaxed. I was still and didn't look right at her, but I did talk to her. After awhile she casually walked off and I got up and left. Tonight I saw something similar with Nina when I fed them their dinner. Just like this morning, I stood several feet away and faced them while they ate. At one point I shifted my weight and Nevada backed away from her bowl. Nina on the other hand actually came forward and was very relaxed. Nina and Natasha both seem to be comfortable with my voice now, Nora for the most part too. The only one who is still skittish when I start to talk is Nevada, but we have seen some good progress with her too, it's just a little slower than the other puppies. I didn't use a dog in the pen with me today, since they were doing so well, but tomorrow I'll be taking Paige back in again. I'd really be happy if Nora or Nina would take a treat from me tomorrow. I don't think it will be long before I will be able to touch Natasha.

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