She is learning that I will come back even if I disappear outside or into the bathroom without her. She is learning that she has to sleep in the x-pen (she only cries for about two minutes now, before settling down for the night), and that she eats in the mudroom with the baby gate closed (to avoid potential resource guarding by Charley, my slowest eater). She now understands that when we go into the back yard I want her to go to the bathroom, and she is beginning to do it on command. And she can make it to the end of the block and back on leash without showing signs of stress.
As for me, I am learning about Lucy. I have learned that:
- Lucy thinks 5:00 AM is the correct time to get up (hmmmm....Belle's spirit at work here?), and she can shove an x-pen all over the room in order to get as close to my bedroom door as possible.
- Lucy likes women better than men. She's not aggressive to them, but is more apprehensive - backing up, ears flat, watching silently. She has done this with both my male neighbours and with two males we met on the street, but not with the females we met. Her former owner was male, but perhaps he had some unpredictable qualities.
- Lucy thinks the best place to lie is right under my chair. This is a dangerous practice when the chair is my office chair with wheels, and her ear is tucked next to a wheel. It is also a dangerous practice when I have the recliner in the "footrest up" position and she tries to slide underneath it. We are working on having her lie a wee bit further away.
- Lucy loves food. Any food. It's a good thing she's too low to the ground to countersurf!
Needless to say, Lucy shows no signs of labour yet, and my personal opinion is that she likely has another week or two to go. Since both of the next two Tuesdays would be horribly inconvenient for me (an important medical appointment next Tuesday, and a one-day trip to the mainland the following Tuesday - the only two commitments on my calendar this month), I'm betting she will go into labour either next Monday or the Monday after, and deliver in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
My vet is dropping by tomorrow to have a look at her, so we may know more about her due date and potential litter size then. Doctor Nancy is also bringing flea treatment for all the critters, as Lucy brought an unanticipated entourage with her. I wonder if I can teach my herders to herd them right out the back door?
My girls have not needed flea preventatives for years - an animal with a healthy immune system generally does not - but given that Lucy had been in the house for a while before I discovered them, I figured I better take a proactive approach. I am also sprinkling Lucy's favourite areas and much of the carpeting with diatomaceous earth, a safe and natural product to kill the little b***ers. So far, I seem to be winning the battle - from finding a dozen fleas on her the first day, to only one yesterday. Next time I bring a new critter into the house, I will remember to first check for an entourage of tiny black hoppers. Another lesson learned.
And those are my Lessons with Lucy for today. Stay tuned for more adventures in the days to come.