Ava would NOT get out of the car. She had cowered on the floor of the back seat all the way home, refusing to even sip water when we stopped for us humans to hurriedly eat a hamburger in the car.
What HAVE I done?After unloading everything from our day-trip to fetch Ava home, in desperation, I pulled and tugged and dragged our beautiful, two-year-old Lab out of the car. WRONG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Too late I realized my error. She was frightened and I strained my back!!
Ava is decidedly "people shy" but thanks to the patient and gracious telephone advice from Fredericksburg's own Go-To-At-The-End-Of-Your-Rope expert dog lady, we backed up and started over again the next day.
And now, just counting the things that Ava originally rebelled against doing, she has successfully:
- slept in her own new, soft, luxurious bed on her own
- walked out the door and walked back in the door, sans leash
- wandered around the property with the leash hanging free...at first she would only come close enough to sit and she forced me to bring her in with the leash (?? sigh)
- eaten a whole meal in front of us
- learned to casually walk around the house, without leash, comfortably inspecting each room
- been allowed to roam the property without the leash because she willingly answers my call and comes inside on her own (oh wild excitement!!)
- decided on her own that her "best spot" is in the Sun Room (my favorite praying space. Hummmmm)
- AND today, on her leash, she obediently walked with me to the driveway and ON HER OWN climbed INTO the car
Ava, inspecting the property just this Sunday--free but with leash
Then the four of us drove down our country road about two miles, turned around and came home. The three humans got out of the car and as we happily called to Ava to join us we casually walked to the front porch. (she loves sitting there with Dear Heart)
Before we even got seated on the porch, Pretty Miss Priss carefully climbed out of the car and trotted over the the porch. Daughter M gave Ava a bone treat--and she ate it!!!
You see, for the first 3 days, I felt a total failure. I did not think I could do it. Then I cried for 2 days. A LOT. But, each day Ava decided to accept a little more love.
You have read some of my sad, frustrated postings this week and you've followed along on this trying, exasperating, desperate, joyful, exciting, exhausting, unhappy, and absolutely thrilling trip. Let me tell you, we count all of this a dynamite success story !!!
Thank you for all the encouragement you sent. Miss Ava has now adopted US.
Now I'll go cook my family a supper of fresh salmon and salad with finely crushed sunflower seeds and I will give thanks.
Our Holy Heavenly Father DOES hear the cry of the weak.
"Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my hight places." Habakkuk 3:18, 19