...is Mina with a squeaky tennis ball (her most favorite thing) in her mouth, trying to figure out how to eat a treat off the ground without dropping the ball.
We had our first trip to an off-leash dog park on Sunday. We went to Magnusson Park, and first we visited the "Small and Shy Dogs" area, Mina being mid-sized and shy. It went pretty well until a very cranky Corgi tried to engage her in a fight, and she just ran off with her tail between her legs, poor girl. It was hard to convince her to "go play!" after that. So we walked around a bit, and ended up at the beach area. The dogs there were so loud and barky and excited that she wouldn't go near them. Maybe next time. We may also try the Edmonds off-leash area I've heard about. I am told that it won't be long before she's running and playing with the other pups; she just has to get used to it.
In all other ways, Life With Dog is starting to even out. She sleeps peacefully through the night, stays in her new area - our workroom, in the basement - with no complaints or bad chewing, and is a general joy to be with. And like in the example above with the tennis balls, I love to see her think. It's very different from cats; you can almost watch as she tries to solve puzzles or come to terms with new situations. Sometimes I'll do something just to confuse her, like hiding a ball and a treat behind my back to see which she wants most (the ball!). She's becoming the sweet companion I always wanted, my good pup.