|Renae and Susie-Belle meet for the first time
Well Susie-Belle has now been in our lives for a full year and what an enriching experience the past year has been for us and we hope for her. She has brought us a lot of joy, some challenges and certainly brought out the better side of those around her, us most definitely included.
I have learned to be more patient and to give her the time and environment that she needs in order to flourish, and this she continues to do every single day. I’ve also learned to trust that animals will know better than me what another one needs in times of stress or anxiety. Renae has demonstrated such natural companionship with her sister, caring and looking out for her that I defer to her finely tuned canine senses to check how Susie-Belle is doing in new, strange or challenging situations. If Susie-Belle is getting tense – this tends to happen in noisy settings or near busy roads – if I make sure Renae is close by, this swiftly settles her down.
They are happy sisters and Susie-Belle has gradually learned to play in her funny, clumsy way with Renae, who beautifully calms her often frantic and excitable playing to a level that suits her sister. It’s truly wonderful to see the understanding between them. This week, for the very first time Susie-Belle did a little gentle wrestling with Renae, getting into the spirit of the game like we’ve never seen before. In fact over the past couple of weeks, we’ve noticed several subtle signs of her increasing confidence and “normal” doggy behaviour: she’s certainly less intent on staying close by our feet if we’re out and about, she even occasionally leads the way on a walk, unheard of until a few weeks ago, yesterday she ran across the park and her movements were fluid rather than the characteristically bunched up, tense bouncing that’s been more typical of her till now. Her tensions continue to dissolve, cell by cell, day by day, but everything is so subtle that it’s only by us closely observing her and being tightly in tune with her needs over the past year that we’re aware of these changes. Many are hard to express but we know they’re happening and welcome every day seeing her continue to thrive.
Some of our highlights this year have been introducing Susie-Belle to camping…..
To rivers and river swimming……….
…..and to lots of schnauzer friends and mass walks…….
….and of course France and all kinds of foodie treats, too many to mention, too many to remember – although we’re pretty certain Susie-Belle doesn’t forget a single meal she has, such delight is expressed at every meal time, she really, really shows how much she enjoys her tummy being full!
We’ve had an amazing year together, and long may our lives together continue to be so enriching for us all.