That first deep sleep after coming home from the shelter. The hesitation, the waiting for permission to jump on the couch. To go in a room. To eat the food or treats. The ears back, tail between the legs, “are you really sure I can do this thing, this basic-needs thing” that they damn sure have a right to do…
Beds made and blankets given, dens created and spots for sleeping. Food dishes and various treats to try and toys, bones, ropes. The building of their places to call their own.
And then the gradual earning of trust and accepting of comfort, and the weeks and weeks of building a routine. The anxiety slowly, slowly, calming down and taking a back seat.
The wiggles and squiggles of seeing each other, the blurring of comings and goings. Bellies exposed and rubbed. Love sniffs and face rubs and haaaappppinesssssss…
We don’t know where they come from, what breeds they are, how many years they’ve been alive, what they’ve endured, or how they survived.
We do know that they have had it rough, and are afraid, and that they have enormous amounts of love to give.
And we, in turn, want to make up for all of their woes with all the love we have.