Every time Annie does something remotely “dog like”, I take note.
Behaviors that might seem completely normal and maybe even annoying in other dogs, are behaviors that she is learning. She wouldn’t take a treat from my hand. She wouldn’t come into the same room with me. She wouldn’t go through new doorways. She wouldn’t go upstairs. She wouldn’t voluntarily leave her crate. She wouldn’t leave our yard to go to the car or for a walk. Slowly, as she got more comfortable with us and her new home, she started doing these things. One day at time. Sometimes she would regress, and we would start over, trying to make her comfortable.
She still won’t roll over for a belly rub. She still barks out of fear when someone other than my husband or I walks through the door, even if it’s someone she knows well. She still hides behind me when we are out for a walk and someone is walking towards us.
Imagine my surprise Sunday morning, when I heard a commotion at the front door. Maisie and Winn were crowded together with their tails were wagging and I could tell they either saw someone on the sidewalk or even on the porch that they knew. Annie was in the middle of the living room barking her alarm bark.
I went to the door and my next door neighbor was there. He didn’t ring the bell but when I opened the door, he said one of them was wandering outside in front of his house and he had just brought her back. Winn had recently brought in the paper and maybe I didn’t latch the door all of the way. I was a little surprised, but thanked him for returning the rascal. I figured it was Maisie. As he turned to go down the stairs, he said “it was the dark one”. The dark one! I said, “Annie?”. “Yep”.
I couldn’t believe it! I was cleaning the bathroom when I heard her barking, and that’s when I went around the corner and saw the other two with their wagging tails at the door. Apparently he had returned Annie, she ran inside and then started barking which led the other two to check out whatever was happening. I can not believe she actually left the house and went for a stroll. That is something completely new!
I certainly don’t take it lightly that she got out, but there is a part of me that can’t help but smile because it’s one more little sign that lets me know that she is confident enough in her surroundings that she thought she would go say hello to the neighbor.