Daily Dose of Cute

Zelda the Black-and-Tan Mutt lying on the sofa

Zelda has been with us just over four months now, and she's doing really well. She's so settled in as part of our family, I can't believe it's only been four months.

As she's gotten more comfortable, it's become clear she's more anxious than I originally thought. That might seem counter-intuitive, but she's not as shut down as she was when we first brought her home from the pound, and allowing herself to express her emotions has revealed her insecurity, too. She wants constant reassurance that she's doing the right thing and is safe and valued, and I'm forever navigating that thin line of validating her place in our family without encouraging anxiety.

She's much more independent now, and many of her other anxieties are falling away. We can touch her paws, and hold and stroke them, although we're still not quite able to trim her nails yet. She's great in the bath. She's increasingly playful with us, even though Dudley is still her favorite playpal. And I think he always will be, which is just fine with us.

Her new favorite game with me is to follow me into the kitchen, prompting me to turn around and chase her out with a finger pointed to the door. She scurries out, then comes in halfway; I chase her out again. She pokes her head in, grinning. I run out after her: "I'm going to get you, Bad Dog!" She flops on the carpet, belly up, tail wagging, and awaits her ticklish fate.

Zelda lying on her back, paws in the air
Zelly Belly, at home.

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