Kim and I decided to bring Jaida with us to a housewarming party last weekend. Personally, I've always been a tad concerned about how Jaida would react to a situation like this. Because of all her illnesses and surgeries as a pup, we weren't able to get her out into the world for as much socialization as we would have liked.
So we got to the girls' house on Saturday afternoon, and there were loads of people, dogs, children, food, music, commotion, noise...it seemed like a lot and I expected Jaida to be clingy and whingy. I couldn't have been more wrong.
After a quick tour with her around the property, a brief scuffle with our friends' dog, and showing her where her water bucket was, Jaida (a.k.a. Little Miss Independence) was off doing her own thing.
She was fascinated with the children. I think she liked having pople at her own eye level. She let them pet her and lean on her and play with her tail, then spent HOURS running back and forth between them as they tossed around frisbees and badminton birdies. She never took their toys. She watched them closely when they were playing in the kiddie pool. She nudged them on their tummies with her soft nose, making the littlest ones squeal and giggle. It was truly awesome to watch.
She didn't ignore the adults either, and introduced herself to most of them, often plopping down in the middle of a group of lawn chairs to score a few quick pats and scritches as she rested between bouts of play.
She didn't beg, steal food, cry, whinge or cling to her mums. She played nicely with the other dogs who wanted to play, and respectfully gave space to those who didn't. We couldn't have asked for a better-behaved puppy.
Jaida's three-leggedness was definitely a conversation starter. Most of the time the conversations started with "why is she limping?" ... people had no idea she was missing a leg until we pointed it out to them. Although I did catch one person staring at Jaida from across the lawn counting aloud with a puzzled look on her face:
That one made me giggle a bit. Once they saw how well she was getting around and how much she was enjoying herself, her disability stopped being an oddity, and people simply commented on what a great dog she was.
The little squirt has turned out o.k.
Thursday, August 16, 2007