Things back home are going smoothly. When I arrived on Saturday night, we all had to go through a strict protocol to introduce Hope to the family. Everyone complied nicely and I think that we are all getting along well as a result. It was a huge relief to see that things had been operating brilliantly in my absence. Barry deserves a medal for his performance as head-of-household over the last week. The team pulled together and I can’t see that anything fell through the cracks.
Zoe and Lena are already in love with Hope. Zoe, who struggles with a bit of general anxiety, feels like Hope has added a measure of serenity and security to our household. I think she is relieved that I am home and this big trip is behind us, but I also think that she is amazed by the temperament of this wonderful dog and she is basking in Hope’s affection for her. Lena just likes a big fluffy animal that she can grab. Bella doesn’t tolerate being messed with too much.
Gray didn’t really have much of a reaction to Hope on Saturday night or Sunday during the day. He would run his hand down her back when she walked by, but I couldn’t see that he really thought about her or noticed her at all. And then we returned to our weekly routine this morning…
When it came time for me to take Gray and Lena to school, I put Hope’s service pack on and got everyone ready to head out the door. To my amazement, Gray just walked over to Hope and picked up his handle on the back of her pack. He didn’t look at me or make a big deal about it, he just started walking towards the front door with the handle in his hand and Hope walked with him. They escorted each other to the car and everyone climbed in like we had been doing it for years.
On the way to school, Gray slipped his hand under her pack and gently rubbed her back. Then, he fell asleep. It was truly unbelievable to see him so calm in the morning. When we arrived at school, I got him out of the car along with Hope and told him to hold his handle. He took it easily and walked nicely into the building all the way to this classroom. This is notable because, on a typical morning, I would be struggling to hold onto Gray while I unloaded his back pack and put his shoes on his feet while he pulled and struggled to get free of my grip in the parking lot. After I gathered everything and securely gripped his hand, he would generally walk a few feet and then break away from me as soon as we passed the playground. Then, after running after him and dragging him into the building, he would stop in front of every classroom or whine and protest until we reached his class. None of that happened today. We were calm and normal-looking as we hit the front door and greeted his teacher.
THIS is and excellent start! I’m feeling very optimistic.