Meeka: the first year

There’s been so much going on in our lives lately that I missed commemorating the first anniversary of our adopting Meeka from the North West Animal Shelter on April 7, 2012.

So, here’s a short recap.  She’s much less nervous than when we first got her, although she really did settle in pretty quickly.  I suspect that it helped that I visited and walked her at Dog Digs several times before bringing her home.  She was probably about 18 months old at that time.

She got walked pretty regularly through winter and, now that the ice and snow have gone from the valley once again, I’m back to running her more-or-less daily with my mountain bike.  She clearly likes the running a lot better than the walking and her need for exercise helps me stay in somewhat reasonable physical condition.

She’s had a few health issues in the past year.  It turns out that she has a bit of a sensitive stomach.  I have to be careful not to let her get into anything that’s too fatty or she gets diarrhea, which can create a really, really nasty mess.  I’ve been vigilant enough that I haven’t had to deal with that for many months now.  However, if it happens again, I know what to do.

She’s also had some trouble with yellowish discharge from her eyes now and then.  Not sure why.  The vet offered some eye drops which do the job nicely.  She used to hate getting the drops.  So, I started giving her a Milk Bone after every treatment.  Now, when I pull out the drops tube, she sits expectently and submits quietly to receiving the medication, just so she can have that little treat afterwards.

She’s smart and she’s playful.  And, she’s usually quite gentle.  She got away on me once when I was taking her out of the car and hadn’t got her leash on her yet.  Unbeknownst to me, a neighbor’s small terrier mix came up behind me while I was taking her out and Meeka bolted after her.  I got scared, imagining the vet bills for repairing the little dog.  My fears were unfounded, though.  Meeka made allowances for the other dog’s small size and they played and played.

She’s extremely interested in other dogs.  My friend, Steve (bass player in our band), has a dog of similar size, also a spayed female.  I bring Meeka over there from time to time and they have a great time together, chasing each other back and forth, wrestling, taking turns being the one to roll over.  I often leave her there when we’re playing a gig.

She still sometimes gets nervous about adults visiting our home.  She’ll bark and pace back and forth, which tells me that I need to remove her from the room.  However, she’s great with kids.  She seems pleased to see them and is tolerant of their poking and prodding.

I haven’t given her the opportunity to show me what she’d be like with a cat.  I suspect that she’d just want to play but, if the cat ran or responded defensively, I think her instictual reaction would be likely to yield an unfortunate outcome.

She’s strongly bonded to me and, fortunately, I’m able to take her along most of the time when I leave the house. She’s also become close to my wife, of course, and she is always very happy to greet our thirteen-year-old granddaughter when she comes to visit.  Other family members have also become familiar visitors.  She welcomes them, seeks pats on the head, and tries to play with some of them.

We crate her overnight or when we’re gone for a short time and not bringing her along.  She was reluctant to enter the crate at first but, as soon as I started offering her a treat every time she went in there, she got comfortable with it.  I’ve covered it with an old blanket so it feels kind of like a “den” for her and she sometimes goes in there on her own.

We’re happy with her and she sure seems to be happy with us.  She fits into our home quite nicely and has become a part of the family.  Thank you, North West Animal Shelter, for what you do.

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