INTRODUCTION As told by Lilly
Have you ever heard of the book Of Mice and Men? It’s about two guys – George and Lennie – who are best friends. George, more confident, knows his way around the world better than Lennie. He also understands that Lennie gets nervous in new situations. So, he takes Lennie under his wing and helps him.
That’s kind of how it is with Rosy and me. Except that we are dogs. And girls.
We both are retired from breeding and had the good fortune of coming into AGaG. At first, we were at different foster homes. We had so much to learn that it was overwhelming, especially for Rosy. She was not used to people and didn’t yet understand all the love and pets and treats and attention that awaited her.
Meanwhile, my adjustment was going pretty well, though I, too, had a lot to learn. Potty training was a big project, and I’ve made great progress. I understand the basics, but on occasion I have a little accident. Turning my world upside-down (even though it was in a good way) unleashed some anxiety, and I sometimes released it by chewing on inappropriate things like wood (I do NOT recommend it). I will also confess that I destroyed a TV remote. But that behavior is pretty much behind me now that I’m getting used to the pampered life of a pet.
I’m a pack and people dog. I’m good with (and love) everyone (and every dog), and I’m very adept at managing the dynamics of different groups. My foster mom and dad call me a “golden ambassador” because I do such a good job of meeting people. (I’m no dummy; these folks give me belly rubs!) I’m active and need to play. A lot. The only time I get whiny is when no one is playing with me or paying attention to me. I (and Rosy, too) would probably do best in a home where someone is home most of the time.
Foster mom and dad call me Silly Lilly. I like to roll around on my head with my butt in the air to make people laugh, and if no one is around, I might toss around a toy just to amuse myself.
I need to know where my pack is, so I’m not a fan of being alone. If I’m outside and mom is in the kitchen, you might find me up on my hind legs peeking in to see where she is. I’m the leader of the pack and an attention seeker, so I’m not shy about pushing to the front of the pets and treats line. Mom and dad are helping me think more about others. I’m still a work in progress.
So how did Rosy and I meet? Good question. One weekend, my foster mom offered to dog-sit Rosy. All the adults were concerned because she was struggling with her new life. But once she arrived, she was so glad to see other furry, four-legged friends! She started to let her guard down. After a few days, it became clear that Rosy needed us – especially me. It turns out that I am a heck of a mentor dog!
Yes, I am Lennie to Lilly’s George. Thanks to her (and my foster mom and dad, of course), I am learning that life as a golden retriever is pretty darn satisfying. I get good food, a warm home, playful companions and all the love that I could ask for.
Like Lilly, I love to play and race around the yard. My potty training is really coming along, and I’m getting better at letting foster mom and dad know when I need to go. Full disclosure, I still have an accident now and then. I know what I have to do; it’s just that going outside sometimes unnerves me. And then, once I’m out there, sometimes I get a little skittish about coming back in the house. Fortunately, mom and dad are so patient with me and my insecurities. And Lilly will often show me that it’s OK to come back in. I trust Lilly, so I follow her example.
Foster mom and dad have noticed that every day I get a little braver. They proudly watch me explore my widening world. Well, they are mostly proud. I’ve been known to explore things with my mouth and let’s just say a few things didn’t survive, like a lottery ticket (I’m sure it wasn’t a winner). I have come to love the attention mom and dad offer and no longer let Lilly hog it all. Still, there are moments of anxiety and fearfulness where I might dash to my safe spot and hoard toys. I can be leery of new people and a little slow to warm up. I’m less intimidated if people are willing to come down to my eye level. Mom and dad are patiently working with me on that and my other quirks. Luckily, mom says I’m well worth the effort! She tells people that while I am sweet and shy, there is still a shadow of fear that surrounds me. But the shadow diminishes every day as I gain confidence and learn to trust.
One sign of my growing trust is the goofy way I sleep – on my side with my leg in the air. It looks laughable, but it shows a vulnerability that I would never have exposed even a month ago.
There is a saying that “still waters run deep.” I think that’s true of me. I may have started out cautious and guarded, but with Lilly by my side and YOUR love and attention, I know I will learn to be carefree and joyful. Once I bond with you, we’ll be best friends for life. Interested? Let’s talk.
BEHAVIOR BOTH LILLY AND ROSY
- Still learning commands.
- Adjusting to harnesses and walking.
- Need help getting in car (can jump out)
- Do not know how they’d respond to living with children
- Do not know how they’d respond to living with cats
- Rosy has been diagnosed with a heart murmur. Recheck in 3 years.
- Lilly weighs 68 pounds; Rosy weighs 59 pounds.