learning to love

Lol and me: a self-portrait.

Who knew that some dogs have to learn to cuddle?

From day one, Lollie Wonderdog was full of love and energy. But she had no idea how to express herself or direct her excitement. Her main forms of expression were a trotting pace around the house or yard, back and forth, back and forth; and a constantly flapping tongue—licking the air, but always pointed in the general direction of your face. Come to think of it, I should post a video of this phenomenon.

A few weeks have passed now, and we have taught Lollie to redirect some of her energy into productive things, like going for walks, solving treat-filled puzzles (kongs, Gatorade bottles, etc), and learning new commands. (Have I mentioned what a fast learner she is? It’s amazing how quickly she picks up new things.) But until a few days ago, she still didn’t know how to express affection.

You can imagine that my heart dissolved into a little puddle of goo the other night when she quietly walked over and plopped her 55 pounds of pure muscle into my lap, and rested her sweet face against my chest. As my hands stroked her still-skinny side and her mystery-scarred face, she slowly closed her eyes, looking oh-so-content.

I swear, this dog could melt anyone’s heart.

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9 responses

  1. I love this! Blackie also had a really hard time learning to cuddle! He still prefers to lay alone on “his” chair then smushed up on the couch, but every now and then he comes over and just wants some love and those moments melt my heart too 🙂

  2. So true! I didn’t actually realize it at the time, but this sounds just like Miss M; she was so intense, bitey, and so excitable she didn’t know how to sit still. Learning the commands stay and down literally changed my life (I could shower and not have to worry about her) and now she just loves cuddling with her brother Mr. B. Though I can’t say he likes it as much. Lollie really shows how amazingly resilient she is. I love seeing your photos and hearing your updates.

  3. Isn’t it funny how different they all are?

    Two Pitties, how did you teach Miss M to redirect her excitement into productivity? We still struggle with Lollie’s distractability. It takes next to nothing to make her lose her concentration.

  4. This made me a little teary-eyed. Our first pit adopt, Toni, was much the same but instead of acting out, she sort of shut down. For the first few weeks we had her, all she seemed to do was curl up in a ball and wait for something horrible to happen. When she was finally able to start interacting with us, we knew we were making some sort of incredible progress.

    • That must have been so rewarding. Lollie was really easily spooked at first, but very social from the start. Sounds like Toni had a lot longer way to go. Have you picked up Lost Dogs yet? It’s so fascinating, reading about the different personalities and progress of the Vick dogs in their foster and forever homes . . .

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