I'm guessing in a household with three dogs, a girl would have to have some muscle to be noticed. But China was definitely a beta dog, showing no inclination to oust the leader. Ali sometimes has thought he was the alpha dog, but he was only a wanna-be. The true alpha dog was Mai Lin, China's mother. And as any good woman will do, she let Ali think "alpha" many times, but when he got too heady about it, she reminded him. She wasn't aggressive about it; she just was the leader of the pack.
Since Mai Lin left us in October, both China and Ali have done a lot of changing. They have grieved, but they have also done a lot of "role exploration." Interestingly, Ali seems to understand better now about his position, and seems to be alpha in our house but less "in your face" when we are away. That's a good thing. And as for Miss China . . . she has apparently decided to step out and take life in her own hands, uh, paws! Within the last couple weeks, she has discovered that when she goes to the door and barks, we let her go outside. That's good. Buuuuuuut . . . for the last several days, she is parking about every half hour or so. I let her out, and she goes out and always does her business, but not until she has wandered and sniffed and wandered and sniffed. She has always love being outside, and I think she misses having a fenced yard that she can come and go in. But her new found power to make the doors open is inconvenient as hell for me! For one thing, it is cold out there! I like cold weather, but I don't like to just go out and stand around for 15 minutes while she wanders and sniffs!
In addition to that, she is becoming braver by the day on how far she wanders. The house sits on more than an acre, and she apparently thinks she has to wander, sniff and potty on as many square feet of it as she can before we leave here! Lately I have usually put my snow boots on when I take them out, but occasionally I've just had on house slippers. That is when she most often decides to explore. I holler at her to come back, and it is hard to know if she is ignoring me or if her decreasing hearing truly limits her from hearing me. At any rate, when she trots away from me with purpose like that, I have to go tromping behind her in the snow to be sure she doesn't go onto the road or into the woods.
We'll both be glad to have the fenced yard at the new house! It is a small fenced area, but at least she can go out without me having to monitor her! It will be very nice!
On another note, the snow is melting. Duh. The sun has been shining a lot, and it is obvious that melt will occur. That isn't a problem by itself, but over the past few weeks we have had a lot of snow. The ground is now seriously saturated. Lots of snow + lost of sun = lots of MUD. Today I ran to the post office, and getting out and back in through the driveway gave me more problems than the snow did! My car went sideways both directions and I had mud to the rims! What a nasty mess. I have to watch, also, where the dogs go because they are tracking mud in when the get out of the grassy areas. OK, I like snow, but I really abhor mud. I'm ready to be done. Thank you.
Finally, I've begun the process of listing all the tasks I need to undertake in the next six to eight weeks. Utilities, telephone, satellite dish hook ups. Moving truck rentals, people to call to help at each end of the move. Lists of supplies I will need, such as colored tape to make destinations locations for boxes. I called my friend in KC and asked him to go by that house and take down the porch swing, now that I know I have a place for it. I don't want anyone looking at the house to think they're going to get it. I also had him remove a wagon wheel that was in the front yard,
as I plan to put a fence on the front corner of the new property that includes wagon wheels and posts. Those wheels aren't necessarily easy to find or cheap, so I'm bringing that one here!
OK. I'm ready to move. Let's get it on!!