Friday, June 22, 2007

How do you know they’ve settled in?

One of the things that people with rescue dogs ponder is just how do they know their new adoptee has settled in and feels they’re there to stay. This is something I’ve found myself wondering about in the last few months with Freckle-Lexi. We adopted her from North Idaho Boxer Rescue on December 9th (see Freckle-Lexi and Ceilidh’s blog for her story and about meeting her for the first time).

Freckle-Lexi has been a quiet girl since we adopted her. She doesn’t bark when someone knocks at the door or rings the doorbell. She rolls out the red carpet for anyone we let through the door. I’ve been thinking that maybe she won’t make a very good protector like both Bridget and Sassy were. You know the kind of dog I mean – the one who wags her tail when the thief arrives, welcoming the company and holding the sack while your belongings are being tossed into it.

But, just in the last week, Ive had a glimmer of the protector Freckle-Lexi will be. Yesterday, I heard a quiet, though “business-like,” growl coming from the living room while I was in the back, working. I went to see what was going on, and saw two people standing just outside our hedge, close to the entryway to our door, having a neighbourly conversation. Once I said it was fine, no danger, Freckle-Lexi stopped the growling.

And just today, Freckle-Lexi was in the back patio while I worked just inside with her in view, and she let out a very loud and deep bark at something she heard on the condo complex property. I figures she was either alerting me about a possible intruder, or warning someone not to come any closer.

I have a sense that she’s finally realizing that she’s in her forever home with her forever family and that she’s a full-fledged member of the Wright/Hourston clan now. This makes me really happy, knowing that she’s feeling this relaxed and loved.