Monday, June 23, 2008

Absolut Citron

Shalom is doing well.

The family dynamics has changed drastically since Janka came home last year. It requires a lot of time training and exercising her, which would make for a difficult adjustment period for Shalom.

But despite being forced to share her time with Janka, and not being able to have full reign of the household anymore, Shalom has handled the new addition and the attention split very well. We were dreading a period of reactionary objection from the stimulus of welcoming home a permanent family member.

In the past, Shalom wasted no time in letting us know her opinion when I dogsat Sparky and Soul. I was under attack by a barrage of cockatoo yodels and willful rebellion day-in and day-out. But before either of us cracked under that pressure, the invaders would suddenly leave as they had come, and Shalom settled down to normalcy.

She was most displeased when Kennedy came home and immediately knew she had the upper wing as far as he was concerned. If Kennedy even glanced at Shalom cross-eyed or twitched a ear while they being supervised together, I would roar my displeasure and send timid Kennedy scurrying. Shalom caught on. I am sure the neighbours were wondering if we were butchering monkeys for a month straight.

But when puppy Janka stepped through our door in my arms, Shalom immediately accepted her into the flock. And she took to the little tottering ball of fluff without fuss, feeding Janka through the cage bars and greeting her every time she trotted by the cage.

While I encourage this heartwarming inter-species friendship, I do not trust instincts. Not even with an extremely well-behaved dog. Because hard-wired genetics and the innate reactions of Nature triumphs Man's capability to control.

I am looking forward to watch this sibling relationship develop and grow, and I hope to capture more of these wonderful moments together.

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