.Last night I realized another sign of progress with my canine family.
When Lola came here, she was a friendly little girl. I guessing, however, that her previous family didn't cuddle with her very much. She didn't seem to be scarred, as some of the others did, but it seemed that she didn't know what to do with physical contact from humans. She would let me pet her or scratch her for only a minute or so at a time. She seemed somehow uncomfortable with it past that brief period. Then she would scramble away, sometimes to play (understandable, as she is still very much a puppy), sometimes it seemed she just needed to put space between us. It was peculiar to me because all my others loved to be fussed over, even during their hardest times, and wiggled to get closest to me to the attention.
I didn't push it. I petted her when she let me. When she scrambled away after 10-15 seconds of petting, I let her go. I certainly didn't want to let petting become a punishment. Then, last night it dawned on me that she is now allowing petting, belly rubs, ear scratches go on for as long as I will indulge her. In fact, she comes in now, runs and plants herself next to me, and even nuzzles my hand to get my attention! She is not only accepting loving attention, but she is actually seeking it out!
Lola has been with us for six months now. Her adjustment has been fairly uncomplicated. Rules to learn, expectations established, and now I'm thinking, a trust established for accepting physical contact. It is very nice to know she has reached a new level of "owning" her home and her place in the family. :)