(Post 74 of 233. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)
I had no idea when I adopted Bonita two and a half years ago that we had come into each other’s life at the exact perfect moment. I needed a presence to keep me company and rooted in Mérida for a few years; she needed a home and creature comforts in her old age. It’s crazy how I had just started to get the travel bug again and was trying to sort out dogsitters when the pandemic hit. As things stand, I suspect I’ll be staying close to home for the rest of her life, which is what my anxious girl needs. We’ve grown so close since lockdown started, finding each other in a way that we had difficulty doing so in our first two years together. My being home all day every single day really gave her the routine and security she needs. She’ll always be an anxious dog wary of strangers but she knows for sure now that I’m her human and that she has a home, of which she is fiercely protective (it took a long time for her to find her voice, but now she’s not shy about using it!).
I don’t know how she knows it, but I’m no sooner up and about in my room upstairs in the mornings that I hear her barking up at my bedroom window. She’s had a night alone and is eager to see me. Our reunion is the best part of the day, when she is most playful and affectionate. If it rained overnight and she got wet and/or muddy, she gets a bath or at least a toweling down, the latter of which she adores.
Ours is a quiet, simple routine. She’s an old girl now (going on 15!) and while she often passes as much younger to those who have just met her, she has the energy of an old dog. By late morning, she’s happy to slumber at my feet or by my side on the couch, depending on what I’m working on. She likes one meal a day, and preferably at the same time as me. She’s developed a taste for cheese, homemade chicken broth, pork gristle, and cooked carrots, but will literally spit out fruit. Her favourite treats are jerky sticks that she can happily spend an hour chewing to pieces. Due to her immune system being weak and there being a lot of feral dogs in the neighbourhood, we don’t often venture out, but when we do, she knows we’re going to her Uncle Jan’s house, something we started doing again a few months ago. She loves going there and feels safe.
Here are some pictures from her lockdown so far, uploaded as WordPress decided they would be, so not in chronological order.
This was today. It was a cold wet day and it was funny to see her timidly head outside to pee and then race back to the warm cosy couch by me!
She doesn’t snuggle a lot, so close contact like this makes my heart go boom.
We had some roof work done over the summer. Her sad expression at her view being blocked is pretty funny. She loves supervising workers!
She will sometimes extend her rear paw like that as an invitation to massage it.
Post bath. She loves snuggling up in a towel!
Snoring and farting. LOL!
Very rare snuggles!
The look of love!
Guard dog mode activated! This was HILARIOUS. My neighbour was working on his roof. She’d periodically run outside to our shared wall and bark up at him to stay on his side of it!
Happy to be visiting!
She’s shyer with Jan at home, but friendly at his house.
She even lets him pet her when she’s visiting.
She was snuffling and “running” in her sleep. I feel privileged that she trusts me enough to fall asleep so profoundly in my presence.
This is her leash for around the house, so I probably had workers. She was happy for a distraction.
When she stares at me like this, she slow blinks a message of “I love you” just like a cat does.
Enjoying her favourite treat! Her teeth had been bothering her for a bit, but it got sorted out.
I was shocked when sharing a picture of her with my professional association resulted in this post by another related professional association that follows their Twitter!
B and Dodger. Because she lived with so many cats and dogs, Bonita isn’t particularly bothered by animal strangers.
She’s just so cute. 🙂
These are different, chewier, treats. This one took her DAYS to finish.
She’s so goofy sometimes. Doesn’t she look like a walrus here?
I managed to get a picture of a rare time that she slipped her paw under my hand. She even curls it around to hold it.
Ah, another ritual. When dinner’s done and the kitchen is cleaned and I’ve shut down the office for the night and I’ve finally sat on the couch to watch a little TV, she has to give me a bath. I swear she’s a cat in disguise!
More rare snuggles
How can you not feel seen by such a stare?
Thank goodness she’s not a slobbery dog!
She LOVES ear scritches.
I think he found the right spot!
This was during the heavy rain from Hurricane Zeta. Doesn’t look too bothered, does she?
I had a hard time imagining myself with a dog-friendly lifestyle and I can’t imagine it happening again. This was the right dog at the right time and I am so blessed to have her.