Friday, March 13, 2015

The Princess Diaries

We've been pretty much house-bound for the past few months. Between deep snows, bitter cold and some health issues for me, a good walk outside has not been an option.

But Nicki is unfazed.

She seems perfectly happy to be a fluffy couch potato, endlessly soaking up petties and affection. A little TOO happy maybe! I can't feel her ribs - so that probably means all these treats and inactivity are taking their toll on her girlish figure! Well, the weather seems to be breaking somewhat, and I've been able to get out for a short walk several times this week. Nicki is so happy!!! OUTSIDE! It's the best!

A friend came to visit last week. She did some reflexology on me to help me heal. It was wonderful! But apparently, it was stressful for Nicki. My friend, who is a lovely human being but not a pet person, was completely taken aback by Nicki's foot-chewing. Like many dogs, Nicki cleans her paws by licking them and nibbling between her pads. Like many herding dogs, she can be a bit over zealous about it. And like many rescued dogs, she can sometimes use this behavior as a stress reducer.

I didn't want to get into a big explanation about it, so I just explained to my friend that it was like people who bite their nails; a nervous habit. Actually, it's exactly like that, and I know first hand. You can usually tell how stressed I've been by the condition of my cuticles. Apparently, my friend's placement on a foot stool before me, my refusal to allow Nicki into my lap during this, and the friend actually touching me for a prolonged time made Nicki very uneasy. She may have felt that her place with me was threatened. She may have simply been confused. After all, people don't drop by to massage my feet very often! For whatever reason, though, this visit and act of kindness were stressful for Nicki.

That's why it's good to be Princess. When you're Princess, nobody just leaves you to your own devices, then yells at you for getting it wrong. When you're the Princess, people react to you in predictable ways. They reassure you and comfort you if something is upsetting. Or they mark the borders of the situation for you so you know what to do. When you're Princess, dinner time is guaranteed and so is that very comfy bed.

Nicki is a Princess. She has to be. I'm pretty sure she's also a large part of the reason for the improvement in my cuticles........

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