Tuesday, April 7, 2015

An Easter Miracle

If you've been following Nicki's story, you know a sad truth about chained dogs: they often don't play. Nicki had been chained to a fence for who knows how long, and nobody knows what age that began. When she came to live with us, it became apparent very quickly that she didn't know how to play. Even if I made play bows, she didn't seem to have any idea. Toys were a mystery to her. Her rescuers had told me the same thing. She just didn't play. Having loved every Frisbee and ball-throwing minute of my Border Collie's long life, suddenly having a buddy who didn't get it was deeply disappointing. I tried to teach Nicki to catch a soft ball. She didn't see the point. I tossed Frisbees around the house. She sat by and watched. I played "chase" with soft toys, scooting them over her paws with my hand, trying to awaken her prey drive and channel it into some fun. Nope.

Nicki (and I) are blessed to have some really awesome people in our lives. One of them is Nicki's favourite person in the world. No - it's not me. I've learned to accept that. Nicki loves me, but she loves her big sister (my daughter) more. Nicki's big Sis doesn't even live with us, but the bond between them has always been very strong. Big Sis, in turn, loves Nicki, too. So much so that she made an Easter basket for Nicki! There were lots of little treats and goodies - and a toy. Nicki was having so much fun enjoying big Sister's visit that it didn't occur to me to take the toy out of the basket.

Once everyone went home and the house was quiet again, I noticed the "chocolate" bunny and took it out of the wrapper. Nicki paid attention to it immediately! She didn't take her eyes off of it. Then I tossed it to her - and was completely amazed. She grabbed it, chomped onto it a bit, shook it a bit, got it to squeak, dropped it and took a step back in surprise - then pounced on it!! She picked it up and shook it! She tossed it into the air, then pounced on it again! She was playing!!! We had never seen that before! Her Dad was so excited that he ran to grab the camera, and we did what all proud parents do: we took a video. Here it is. This is our Nicki, finally actually playing. Happy Easter!!

There's a really happy update to this story!! You can read it here!!