Sunday, March 10, 2013

Niki's Happy Tail

Hello all OBG volunteers and especially foster family, Nicole and Jim.

On October 20, 2012, Janet and I met Niki, formerly Connie. We changed her name in honor of her foster “Mom”, Nicole. There were at least 12 dogs at the event that day. Niki was the one sitting apart from all the other dogs. She was very reserved, quiet, and emotionally restrained. We assumed her cautious personality was due to her trying time of being lost, ending up in a shelter, then, gratefully, being rescued by OBG!! Understandable, since everything and everyone was new, and not her family.

We had several hopes for our forever dog. We wanted a good walker, a cat-friendly canine companion to our two, rescued Siamese cat brothers, a dog that would be comfortable with our extended family, and a dog who could adjust to our work schedules.

Well, she is a champ. It took all of two minutes for her and the cats to do the customary greetings (you know what I mean). They’ve been best buddies ever since, even sharing sleeping quarters and beds. The cats even like her food so much that we stand guard while Niki eats.

For the first few weeks, Niki had a slow, hesitant, wag to her tail. I theorized that she had learned to subdue her enthusiasm to cope with life’s surprises. Over time, the cats, Cliff and Lee, taught her how much fun it is to run up and down our long hallway. Every morning Niki and the boys start out the day with several runs (about 30 feet) from one end of the hall to the other. Her short tail started wagging right along with the boys’ tails. Now her tail wags enthusiastically!

She is still reserved and has only barked once, at my mom. Freud would have a good explanation for that behavior! She prefers not to meet other dogs at the park, but is always up for a long walk. She has endeared herself to a neighbor who comes by to take her on her “business” walks during the days we are at work.

Niki is a lovable companion who has become a Velcro-dog with Janet. Our hope of giving a Cocker a safe, happy, and caring home came true with Niki.

We hope she enjoys our first vacation together next month. We’ll do some exploring in Asheville, NC, where we have rented a dog-friendly bungalow with a fireplace and large yard where she can run to her heart’s content.

Thank you, OBG, for bringing our little girl into our lives.

Pat C.

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