But then again. It was late when I got home, and not a time she was used to being disturbed. No one had been sleeping in the same room with her as I usually do. (The guest room is down the hall and it seemed too much too soon to have someone sleep in my bed, someone who Bella knew slightly and was even less ready to befriend than me. I pictured some sort canine/human version of wife swapping and it just didn't appeal. ) When I came in to greet her, Bella was probably startled.
The next day she remained cool, and I felt like we were starting over. The corner of my bedroom weighed on me during the day. A heap of sadness lay there, sadness spawned by human cruelty, indifference and probably faulty genetics as well. I hungered for a healthy being. A dog who wags its tail and loves its humans. You know, the dogs from the story books and our childhood memories, that one.
Nevertheless, over the next couple of days Bella seemed to figure out that it's me, or so I like to imagine, and our routine resumed. This time, though, she has shortened her walks all over again. It's taken several days for her to accept the challenge of walking the loop that begins by turning left outside my driveway. Bella is, however, allowing pets, looking for her treats, staring at me with perky eyes, and divining who is in the living room, aka counseling space. As she ambles down the hall, she looks warily toward the kitchen and then the couch. Her scanning of the space is quicker and more efficient then it was in earlier days. I've learned not to surprise her with "strange" people in the foyer. Newcomers will be discovered outdoors. Generally, she moves around the space a bit more. She retraces her easter egg hunt several times before bed incase she has missed something, or to go back for a couple more bites of the kibble I leave out for her in the kitchen. Her body habits remain healthy and consistent. I pet her comfortably when I choose, rewarding her with treats. She is accepting of my touch and I am sure she doesn't mind it, though it also doesn't appear that she likes it.
Oh, the oh so slow little dance of Bella's progress...