January 4, 2013
My dog is what trainers call “reactive.” She barks, she gets freaked out when things are different or chaotic. I got her as a rescue, and near as we can figure she had no socialization as a puppy. Which is really unfortunate, because she really does like people and cuddling, once things settle down. She just has no idea how to act around people. Or dogs, or loud noises, or alarm clocks, or… You get the idea.
So, this Christmas I was worried about how Lily would do with my almost-year-old niece, who is toddling with conviction these days, and grabby, and all the other things that year-old toddlers are. I was prepared to keep Lily in her crate the entire holiday if I had to.
In fact, she did fine.
(I know the picture is dark, but you get the idea.) At first Lily was very curious — I imagine Emmy is the most interesting thing she’s ever smelled in her life. When Emmy got a little too grabby, Lily did what she was supposed to and left the room whenever the kid appeared. I was pretty proud of her. We had to watch them both and make sure Lily was out of the way when she got stressed (she was very good about letting us know she was stressed, so we could swoop in for a rescue). But you always have to do that when animals and babies are involved.
Also during the holiday break, I went with my Dad to the Air Force Academy to visit the new(ish) Southeast Asia Memorial Pavilion, which was funded by Dad’s Academy class (1970) to memorialize grads who were killed in the Vietnam War (including one of his roommates).
It’s not quite finished yet, some of the informational displays aren’t there yet. But it’s a beautiful and poignant structure, and seeing it with my dad was pretty special. If you’re ever visiting the Academy, you might take a few minutes to check it out.