This morning, I mesmerized Megan with pretend finger spelling. She was fascinated with it! Here’s what we did: We were playing “high five” and I was trying to catch her paw. Then, I was wiggling my fingers and she laid her paw on top of them to make me stop, but I just wiggled them more at the pads of her paw to tickle her. She perked her head and ears up and cocked her head looking at what I was doing. So, I acted like I was finger spelling on the underside of her paw — like Annie Sullivan did to Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker”. I learned some finger spelling as a child and only vaguely remember bits and pieces of it, so it was mostly pretend. BUT — Megan held her paw there for the longest time looking down at what I was doing and then up at me and back at her paw! I said, “can you understand what I’m spelling for you? I’m saying ‘I love you, Megan’.” She seemed intrigued by it all and when I finally got tired and stopped, she pawed at my hand to do it again!!!! We went through that about three times before I finally quit!
This may just seem like another funny dog story I wanted to share, but it is more than that! Megan has come a long way in the three and a half years that I have had her! I’ve written before about her and her sister, Amy, being found out in the country and rescued from a life in the wild. She was extremely distrustful of humans and scared to death of being trapped or held. After a lot of work with her in the early days, I was able to let her know that she has nothing to be afraid of and now trusts me completely and loves to be held! BUT — she still doesn’t particularly like having her paws held – unless she’s sleepy – then she loves it when I hold and massage them! That’s why we play “high five” and I try to catch her paws — to get her to not mind having them held or touched. She’s gotten a lot better about it, but I view this as a huge break through!!! AND – it was really quite funny to watch! It really did remind me of the Helen Keller movie where she had the big break through at the water pump and kept begging for more and more words!