05Feb12: Shayna’s in love, love, love…

February 6, 2012 | By | Add a Comment


In this post, I described how Shayna has been developing her first genuine friendship with another dog – Dakota, a sweet 3-year-old male Border Collie, who recently lost his older brother, Tahoe.  She only knew them tangentially, as we would pass them in a nearby park while their dad taught tennis.

Well, now her friendship with Dakota has taken a dramatic turn – to the point where I, as her “dad,” can tell you that she must absolutely adore him to engage in the kind of roughhousing that he dished out on Sunday, February 5, and which I videotaped, below.   I’ve been writing in my book about my hope that it will earn enough money to enable me to buy a little place with a fenced-in backyard, and get her a puppy to raise, and have as a friend, whom she won’t consider a threat.  To see her play like this with another dog has been a dream of mine for ten  years – and it came true, out of the blue, today.

(For newcomers, Shayna has not been able to play off-leash with another dog for nearly ten years, since she got kicked out of doggie day care for fighting, and was diagnosed with reactive aggression.  While she was okay with just saying “hi,” any dog that got into her face or looked at her wrong, it was World War III – and she is very quick, and very powerful.  See her last moments in day care here.)

Note: These videos were taken with my new cellphone, and I didn’t realize that one has to hold it sideways, to shoot correctly; this is the first “vertical video” I’ve ever seen.

Part 1 (1:13): This short video was just of us leaving the park, saying what I assumed was going to be a quick hello and goodbye to Dakota:

Part 2 (8:55): I started taping again when I sensed that Shayna really wanted to stay, and I am so glad I did.  At 4:00, you can see Dakota starting to really draw Shayna out; and her making the decision that she wants to really play with him.  At 5:00, and from 6:50-7:30, he repeatedly jumps up on her, gets in her face, and puts his head behind hers – these are normally acts that will cause her to beat any dog to a pulp; you can hear the fear in my voice as I see him do this – and yet, she loved it:

Part 3 (1:09): This last, short video (1:00) is of our actual goodbye, and Dakota’s “dad,” David, commenting on his boy’s encounter with her today.  You can almost hear the complete disbelief in my voice at what just happened:

After arriving home and reflecting on what just happened, I realized the larger significance of this event, and began to write about it in my book.  Specifically, that it was just about ten years ago today that I was in the deepest depth of my depression, shortly after arriving in Charlottesville (I moved here from Ft. Lauderdale).  I was still about seven weeks away from first encountering Shayna as a ten week old baby, and was so distraught that I would sometimes find myself bursting out in tears, for no particular reason, while walking through a supermarket.

And yet, tonight, as I went through the store to get to the meat section, to buy Shayna (and me) a special dinner, I could not wipe the grin off my face at what had just happened; I was able to witness Shayna, as a senior citizen, finally being able to enjoy the splendor of being a dog, with another dog, and loving him as it’s so evident that Shayna does, Dakota.  A profound moment in a profound day, that I will never forget.


Filed in: Life with Shayna | Tags:

Leave a Reply

Trackback URL | RSS Feed for This Entry