What makes a dog “good”? I guess many people would answer that question based on behavior and how little of a path of destruction they leave in their wake, but, for me that is only part of it. To me, what makes a dog good is as much about who they are as it is about what they do. Jenga is a good dog. In both ways: she has shown tremendous capacity to learn new things and her personality is just a tremendous. And, when a dog has such a great personality, I think bad behavior is sometimes overlooked. We, at the Nanan house, are working very hard not to do that, because it would be a disservice to Jenga. There is one thing that I do overlook: her love of the bathroom rug. She picks it and brings it to lay down with her, no ripping, no shredding. That’s okay with me. She just likes it. Weird, but, it is one of the things that make her uniquely Jenga. One day last week, I heard all this rustling around and went to check. She came walking towards me with it in her mouth and turned into the bathroom and put it back. She could have just dropped it in the hallway, but, like a good girl, she put it back where it belonged 🙂
I found out this weekend that Jenga will play with virtually any dog she is introduced to. She has played with our Savannah, but, Savannah is older and smaller and not as rowdy as I think Jenga likes to be. On a walk on Saturday, she met an off-leash yellow lab and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t instantly panic as the dog came near us. **A bit of background: our Rocco is very reactive on leash, a DINOS (a “Dog in Need of Space”: http://notesfromadogwalker.com), if you will. So, for years, I have tensed up at the sight of an off-leash dog in an area not designated for it.** I’m still not keen on it, but, was very relieved that Jenga had a much more positive reaction. They had a ton of fun together and both left panting and wagging. Then yesterday, we took her to an adoption event, where she loved meeting lots of new dogs and played quite a bit with a few of them. Though she throws more punches than Rocky, her play style is appropriate for a young dog and she never used her mouth in an unacceptable way.
I am not going to lie and say that Paul or I are looking forward to the day that Jenga moves on to her forever home. But, we are committed to doing what we set out to do: finding her a great place to live. It is going to be harder than Angie, for sure, and that one was truly tough. It’ll be harder for so many reasons. Jenga is so much more “go with the flow”…she is the dog who is okay with whatever you want to do. Angie was just more demanding, which I think had more to do with our set-up here than her personality. Angie also showed much more terrier-like behavior in her pit bull terrier mixed genes than Jenga does. Angie was go, go, go and Jenga is go, go….whatever. Jenga is much more a lazy hound who occasionally likes to have a rousing good time.
I am currently in contact with a potential adopter that I like. If everything goes well, Jenga will be adopted mid- April. By that time, she will have been here 2 months and I am confident that we will have trained Jenga, nurtured her and built her confidence to the point where she can move on safely and happily. As for how Paul and I will handle it, we’ll remind each other that we have a goal: help a dog heal, love a dog, teach a dog and send the dog off to someplace where he or she will be loved and cherished for life. Angie remains securely loved in our hearts and in her adopters home. We want the same for Jenga. And, will want it for whoever comes next. And next and next 🙂 Because one can never have too many smiling dogs in one’s life!