Harley was a traumatize puppy. Without the intense psychotherapy a human in her position would get, she has done well, in her little doggy mind, to work her way through this. One of the largest behavioral changes I have witnessed is her grudging acceptance of my niece and nephew. Children, you see, are near the top of her “I hate you” and “I fear you” lists. Other things on that list include, bicycles, tractors, shorter adults, people who smoke, people who are drunk, people who smell like red wine, and coins rattling in a tin can.
She really just is fearful. She tries to play this off as if she were tough. I have proof that she is not.
The very last time that Harley visited Grandma—in fact, the very last time I saw Grandma alive—Harley was attacked by the therapy dog. I know, I know. Therapy dogs should be your kindest, sweetest, gentlest of creatures. Max, apparently, was not. Max attacked Harley and she shrieked! She also snapped at Max. She always stopped short of biting him though. She would pretend she was going to and then she would hide between my legs.
Back to the story at hand: the kids terrify her. When they came to visit in Chile, after several days in her “house”, she agreed to come out and put up with them. She didn’t snap or bark at them, but she was wary and scared. Fast or erratic movements freaked her out.
While I was in Almaty, Harley was at my sister’s house. I will admit, while I was very happy that my sister and her family offered to watch Harley, I was terrified that something would go wrong: that she wouldn’t be able to calm down, that she would escape out the front door, that she would scare some little friend that came over to play.
Turns out—this was a great idea. Harley actually started to feel at home. At one point, my sister, worried about Harley’s behavior, called Dad to ask what to do. Harley was running in circles, pouncing, and very wound up. My father told her the truth: this was Harley at play. My sister had never seen it before and the fact that she now has puts my heart at ease.
Apparently it put her at ease too. Having had a two week trial run, they brought home Sadie. And here she is: