Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Jessica still lives

Neither Ben nor Duffy nor I have killed Jessica in self-defense. We have all dealt with her little teeth, her frenetic biting, her daunting energy, and perhaps our barking, snarling, snapping, yelling and actually hands and teeth on chastisement have slowly had an effect.  On the other hand it may just be that she is a bit older. -- 13 1/2 weeks.

Two milestones occurred today.  She is now able to jump up on the couches where Duffy has hitherto gone to be away from her.  I looked down from the stairway landing and there she was lying there on one of them, her crossed, paws dangling over the edge of one of the cushions, looking regal and proud of herself.  The second milestone is that she came up to me while typing (I was doing the typing not her) and stuck her head up through my legs for petting.  I've managed to pet her several times today with out a hint of teeth (from her not me).

The weather and Jessica have kept us away from hikes for several days.  So instead we have been spending more time in the backyard.  It isn't a very big yard as yards go.  Ben can't get up to speed in it.  Duffy can and has chased around madly with Jessica in pursuit.  He at six is still very fast, much faster than she is at this point.  On occasion Jessica has chased about on her own.  She did that this morning: out along side the fruit trees, quick turn,  back alongside Ben into the garage, back out again and repeat -- doing laps that include a quick turn at both ends, eight or ten while we stood there watching her.

For some time now her favorite place to nap when I am at my desk is under it.  I have accidentally run over some part of her (since her ears don't seem deformed I'm guessing it has been on a paw) with a chair wheel countless times.  Pain apparently doesn't teach her anything because it is still her favorite spot.  It has taught me something and most often I look down to see where she is before moving my chair about -- I'm getting better but I still occasionally forget.

Her favorite playmate has become Duffy.  Duffy will still snap and snarl at her if he is in my lap and she tugs at the blanket, but when both are on the floor they will play for long periods of time.  But today Ben took his turn. At one point she ran around him cleverly and then leaped up toward his head.  Her whole head went into his mouth.  Fortunately he didn't bite down.  He is so unbelievably gentle with her - a perfect Ridgeback.  Duffy too is a perfect dog.   I knew that, and that I ought to be thankful and content, but then I had to get Jessica.  More than once I asked myself, "what have you done"?  But we all three keep assuming that this next time she will be sweet and gentle, and are been rewarded a little bit this week for our patience.

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