Friday, September 10, 2010

The Eccentricities of a Rescue Dog

There are many different qualities about my relationship with Hilga (joined our family at 3 yrs) and my relationship with Jack and Lemon (raised from puppies). There are many times when Chris and I are befuddled by Hilga's quirky actions, whereas we typically know or can determine the source of Jack and Lemon's quirkiness. Even three years into our life together, Hilga continues to retain tendencies that are bizarre to us, and that over time, we've come to accept as just a part of who she is.

#1. Bedtime

When Chris and I went on a week long spring break, we got an email from our friend, Kate, who was watching the girls and the house. She asked, "is there some kind of word or command that you use at night to get Hilga on the bed?" I responded, "there isn't, but if you figure one out, please let us know."

Hilga loves to snuggle, and she sleeps on the bed EVERY single night, and she has since she's lived here. However, every night it is like a brand new, anxiety-worthy endeavor. Chris and I get into bed, occasionally Jack or Lemon will jump up and settle in, and Hilga starts the pacing. She pants heavily, running from one side to the other, sometimes for 20 minutes, before jumping gracefully and gently on the bed. She then sneaks up to either my pillow or Chris's and gives a few sniffs, just to make sure she is in the right bed. How embarassing if she were to fall asleep in the wrong bed? (Not that there are any other beds with people in them here). After she makes sure that it is us in the bed, she lays down, calming immediately and goes to sleep.

Chris and I have speculated to great extents what this is all about. For monthes, we tried to sweetly convince her to just jump on up. She won't do it. We tried teaching her a command. She won't do it. We worried that maybe it was painful for her to jump up (but we catch her on the bed all day long). We've finally settled on the idea that perhaps in her former home, she wasn't allowed on the bed. If you know Hilga and what a good girl she is, and how important being a good girl is to her, then it is easy to imagine that even three years later, that idea is still so deeply set within her that it is a moral struggle for her to get on the bed at night.

So, every night, for 20 minutes, Hilga runs side to side around the bed. Chris and I ignore her. She eventually jumps up and settles in. Sometimes it is what it is and it is just easiest for everyone involved to let her do it her way.

#2. Fear of Pillows

This dog is terrified of pillows. Picking it up and moving it will send her scurrying from the room. Adjusting one beneath your head will get you a very wide-eyed look. Did her previous home torment her with pillows? Who knows, but being careful with pillows is one of those adjustments we've made in our lives that we do now without even thinking about it.

I'll have to finish the rest of the list later. We love our Fishy-Dishy, and it is intriguing to wonder what she went through in her first three years that shaped her into the beautiful, gentle, sweet girl (not without her quirks) that came to live with us three years ago. But now, off to finish packing for Des Moines dog show!

1 comment:

  1. this post made me laugh out loud. I know exactly what you mean...we go through the same thing with Abner. His nemesis is the fan...He stares at it every single night light it is some sort of monster..or like it is going to fall down on his head or something...I spend a lot of time wondering what his life was like before we got him...and I would give just about anything to see what he looked like as a puppy :)