Springtime often brings out the best in us. Casting off the cold and dread of winter, New Year and Christmas bills, the slight change in temperature changes everyone’s behaviour. I noticed it at work and with my friends. I also noticed it in Aneira.
Up until now, we had only really known a dog who liked to lie on her side, often come for pats and occasionally lie on her back while next to year. She was also quite temperamental, and wasn’t afraid to snap back at you if she felt you were stroking one particular area too much. Like most dogs, she would warn with a grumble beforehand; if you chose to continue, the end result would entirely be your fault.
By now Aneira had a mountain of toys. Some from day one, others from Christmas, which due to us receiving so many, we decided to keep one of those wrapped up for a future milestone. Toys for Aneira ranged from balls to ‘squeakies’. In the beginning, she didn’t understand their function and purpose, and would often give up after a few minutes. Each extended play was progress. For Nini, Poco a Poco (little by little) was the mantra.
We began to see a change around March. March brought about a change in temperature enough to pack away the oil heater and a change in duvet on the bed. Aneira too was becoming a little more active following a summer of being on the floor and a winter as far away from the floor as possible (often on my side of the bed), we suddenly began to witness a new kind of a Aneira – one that was beginning to act her age.
Spring Aneira was energetic. Spring Aneira was more playful. Spring Aneira talked back. Up until now we had wondered was lying down all she was good at! If you tried to do some work on the couch, she took offence to that by bringing to you a toy, show it off, then run away with it. Her dropping said toy on the ground would soon follow, and then she would bark in your direction – imploring you to come down and join her.
Such talking back would then extend to the couch. Being the madam Aneira is, she would often let you know how upset she would be if one stopped stroking her, or if one took their hand off her. This would become quite difficult if you needed both hand to type, or prepare lessons in my notepad. Her back talking would come to a point where all you could do was raise you voice and tell her NO. She would soon get the point.
In the end, it was these NO’s that would eventually teach her to entertain herself, something she would have had no idea of doing when we first brought her in. While playing with your dog is one of the many contractual obligations upon deciding to bring one home, there are moments in the day when you are glad that your pooch knows how to play, chew and be content on their own.
Aneira took her time, but at least she thought herself.