The dog I adopted was so cute, but was very sad and frightened of everything. She literally spent her days on her sanctuary (my couch). I took her to obedience level one and she had a rough time but did pretty well considering. She still spent lots of time on the couch and wouldn't play even when I (how embarrassing) actually carried a ball around in my mouth showing her how to play. She was just too afraid to even try to venture off the couch. She did instantly love my grandchildren, and really loved having them around. That meant there were more people to pet her....she still didn't really get off the couch. She cowered away from my hands and reacted to my feet if they moved around by her. That just broke my heart.

Over 3 months have passed and Kelly has come a long way. This is what her day is like:

=After sleeping with me all night on a comfortable bed, she awakes like this: she sort of leaps or prances to the door to be let out often picking up a toy in anticipation of taking it outside with her. Of course, I don't let that go outside because when she did it once she left it out there. Duh!

=She is then fed meal number 1 which consists of premium dog food with sweet potato and/or some left over lean meat moistened with water or low-salt chicken broth. After that is downed she waits patiently for her dessert which is a piece of an oat/peanut butter based treat that she absolutely loves. She has another of the same meal later in the day. I do not feed her from the table or my hand nor give her lots of things she shouldn't have. I taught her the command "couch" which means go get on the couch. It works good for leaving people alone when they are eating or cooking.

=She then talks to me (amounts to low growling and quiet whining) while I try to have some coffee and read emails and such. Her efforts for attention finally wear me down and we begin to play. That amounts to playing tug of war and chase with one of her many stuffed animals. She will fetch them (leaps and prances to get there) if I throw them and she loves to take them out of my hands as I run to the bedroom. I then go after her to pretend to take them back. She is so happy to play. She also like to just play chase around the house with me.

=Today was warm enough so we did 2 walks around the neighborhood where she was in seventh heaven smelling all the deposits by other dogs as well as her previous markings. She loves to go outside for walks but her paws cannot take the bitter cold. I suspect they were frozen at some point in her former life.

=A large part of her day consists of being pet and/or scratched and loved on. She gets a lot of attention, probably too much but since I am retired she has me to herself a lot.

She has gone from a dog that never made a sound or left the couch to a dog that sometimes actually gets on my nerves because she expects to play with me all the time. It is however, a nice problem to have.

She barks if she thinks someone is around outside who shouldn't be and is just the most delightful animal I could ever imagine. My thanks to anyone and everyone who protected her and got her to the point that she could become my companion.

Now, if I could only get her to take less of the bed.....sigh........!

Update 8/07: by "Kelly" herself!

...emailing you with an issue that has come up with my adoption. It was not disclosed to me that the family I was going to needed so much from me. I am only one dog and they expect me to be available all day for their kisses and petting and stroking and playing.

How much is one dog supposed to do? I have my needs too, you know. I need some alone time but, oh no, I have to be receiving their attention all day long. You did not tell me I was going to be a therapy dog for such a needy group of people. Sheesh!

My owner keeps having surgery and I have to look at her fat legs in those TED Hose all day and all night. She got a new bed that has a sleep number but did not get a bed with 2 chambers so I can have my own sleep number. I have to sleep with her number and it is too hard in my opinion. She got a bigger bed this time cuz she claimed I was taking up too much room on it. Yeah right, I weigh around 36 pounds and she won't tell me how much she weighs but I guarantee you it is a lot = lol!

Now her daughter is here helping her and she is a dog maniac. She is all over me all day. I do feel sorry for her because she had to have her pug named George put down 2 weeks ago as he was very old and had a brain tumor so I can understand why she wants me all to herself but it is just too much. She loves me way too much and I am exhausted for heaven's sake.

Then her other daughter comes over and expects me to go on long walks with her and I must heel all the time. I want to smell and pee, nolt heel. She has 2 kids who expect me to play with them and I just cannot take one more minute of this. I am used to kids who are a little mean and then leave me alone.

Why didn't I go to a family who would ignore me most of the time, keep me off the furniture, feed me inferior food, fail to train me to be a good dog citizen, leave me alone all the time, blame me for everything that is wrong with their lives, so I could just relax. I feel very cheated and overworked and overloved. This may seem strange as most dogs would just love it but I feel so overworked most of the time. It makes it look like I have it good and then have nothing to complain about but it is a lot of pressure on a little dog. But then, I think I must just be being silly because I think I am loved more than any dog in the world right now and so I guess I should reconsider and say "thanks Leana".

I saw myself on your new website and think I look pretty darn cute, well maybe beautiful is better. It is nice to be a star after all.

My best friend and companion Caron wants you to know that she is out of the hospital and having much more pain this time but feeling well overall. And, of course she wants you to know that I am helping her so much. Yada Yada Yada. She is so pathetic and so in love with me but can you blame her?

UPDATE 12/11/07

By the way, do you know I love my dog?  I am so into her; I cannot imagine life without her.  She is like my other half.