Were you expecting a photo of a child? I know this blog is about ancestors and living family members - but I couldn't resist commemorating the birthday of our Airedale, Hannah, a furry part of our family. Unlike most Airedales, she seems to be an introvert and would probably be appalled to find herself in public view on a blog. But if you don't tell her she has photos here, I won't either.
Hannah is a rescued girl who came to us 2 years ago from a situation of abuse and neglect. She'd been tied to a tree with her brother, had never been in a house or a car, and wasn't housebroken. When she first arrived she was afraid of everyone and everything - doors, steps, paper, kitchen utensils, loud noises, quiet noises, the tv - everything! - and especially men! Every noise sent her diving for cover.
She bonded to me when I spent the first night on the floor with her cuddled in my arms. (I couldn't let her go for fear she'd get up and pee on the oak floor!) I suddenly became her source of comfort, food, and all good things. The initial plan was that we would foster her, help her adjust to life in a home, and then she would move to a forever home. She didn't have to move after all!
She's overcome lots of fearful things and we find that she's very smart. Once she learns that whatever we want her to do won't harm her, she'll practice with us till she can do what we ask. I consider it a great accomplishment that she'll push our kitchen door open from the outside when given the command; and a greater accomplishment that she'll take the kerchief on our bedroom doornob and pull it open, into herself. (Of course, the doors are pulled closed but aren't latched. I don't think I want to teach her to unlatch doors!)
It's been rewarding to see her steps toward becoming a secure, confident Airedale. And it's been great fun to have her in our home. When she's with my husband and me she has loads of personality and often does things that make us laugh or to engage us in play.
Happy Birthday, little Hannah! We'll try to make it a fun day for you.
Photos above, left to right: either apprehensive or sleepy during her first weeks with us; Hannah the digger; asleep - we don't know why she sleeps this way but often she does; ignoring the camera.
Copyright © 2010 by Nancy Messier.