Every time I feel the need for a chuckle, I sneak a peek at this picture (left) of my silly Olivia and voila! Mission accomplished. I love this picture for two reasons:
1. It's a classic example of a greyhound "roaching" (the dead cockroach pose that greyhounds are known for).
2. Only a happy, relaxed, and content dog will assume this position and expose her belly.
And Olivia has come so far from the frightened, wary dog she was when I adopted her in November; the dog who would stiffen when I'd try to hug her and wouldn't come when called. The dog who bared her teeth and made my hair stand on end with a skin-crawling growl if I got too close.
The dog who didn't trust or love me.
Fast-forward eight months later to a loving, sweet and affectionate Olivia. Friendly towards strange people and strange dogs. She's goofy, playful, silly, giddy. No growls, no way. My biggest problem now is a 70-pound dog who insists on affection, climbing onto my lap and demanding kisses with adoring, love-struck eyes and one very wet nose.
I accommodate her requests. With pleasure.
Because this former race dog, who just ten months ago was living in a crate for up to 22 hours a day, had previously never known any type of love, treats, toys or affection. Today, when I see Olivia prancing about with her stuffed squeaky shark in her mouth and pure, unbridled joy, my heart flutters and I share her joy.
And so, roach away, my sweet 'livvy. You've earned it.