Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day, Maera!

It's Maera's first Gotcha Day!  We have now lived with her for an entire year.

And what a year it's been.

Maera is such a fun, high-spirited, young soul.  In the beginning, I'll admit that I was overwhelmed with her.  She was most emphatically NOT like Argos, and though I should have seen that coming, I guess that in the end it surprised me.  But as the weeks and months blurred together and moved forward, I fell in love with our youngest "daughter" and love her exactly the way that she is.  She is not Argos, she is MAERA, and I would not have it any other way.

Even when she still tries to steal my dinner the moment I am distracted.  Not that it would ever happen.  Right, Maera?

In the year that we've had her, Maera has come a long way.

Many of you were reading my blog back in the "early days" when I mentioned, with some consternation, that she peed on the floor EVERY time we left and came back home.  Submissive/excited urination is not completely uncommon in a young female dog, but those statistics mean nothing when it is your hardwood floor that is getting drenched in dog pee once a day, every day at a minimum.   I think we went through several gallons of Nature's Miracle enzymatic cleaner!   Thankfully she has largely gotten past that now.  We have the occasional accident, but it isn't the daily occurrence that it used to be.  Yay, Maera!

In the fall, we took both Maera and Argos through basic obedience training, offered through trainer Lilian Akin.  Maera learned a lot - and so did we. She learned that a "sit" was required to get a treat.  And now she sits all of the time.  Sometimes she sits without me telling her to, when she sees that I am eating something that she thinks she might want to try.  "See how good I am, Mom?  Can I have some of that?"  

She is so very eager to please, and this training class gave us the tools that we needed to be able to harness that eagerness.

At first, Maera started to show some worrisome tendencies to be afraid of other people... even other "dog people" who knew what they were doing, and knew to approach her in a non-threatening manner.    Jeff and I, she had decided, were just fine, but other people just freaked her out a little bit.  If someone would reach out to pet her, she'd shy away, or hide behind me.  Some of that was just unfortunate circumstance.  She was naturally shy around strangers.  Compound that with me getting terribly ill not too long after we got her... and then having bronchitis for several months afterward.  We didn't have very many house guests in that time period, so she wasn't actually exposed to very many people.   But as I got healthier, we started having more people over.  She's learned that other people (besides Jeff and I) can be good too, and now she LOVES seeing our friends come over because she gets extra attention and petting.  And now - I took her to a Meet & Greet at Petco just today, and was marveling at how open and friendly she was... to everyone.  It was pretty fantastic to witness, actually. There was no tucked tail, no hiding.  She'd take the initiative and walk right up and greet people.  It brought a tear to my eye to see how much confidence she has gained.

She's made such tremendous progress in one year's time... and we've had so much fun with her.  It's impossible to not be happy when she does the "getting the leash dance" or when she prances down the outside stairs, or when she races to the car, sooooo excited that she gets to go for a ride.  Her tail held aloft.  She greets the world with such enthusiasm and joy, the perfect antidote to my natural pessimistic streak.

I can't wait to see what she has in store for us in the next year!   Happy Gotcha Day, Maera-bean.  I couldn't be happier with you, and am so glad that we adopted you.   


  1. Happy Gotta Day!!!!!

  2. Happy gotcha day!!!


  3. What a great story. So glad you have such and wunderful home Maera. I totally understand the 'shy dog' thing. I was the same way because I was sick as a pup, and couldn't really be around other dogs or people. I use to bark and bark and both people and dogs. I don't bark and people anymore (dogs can be another story!), but I still don't like my head touched. Well, maybe one of these days I'll mellow?? Yea, probally not.BOL
    Well, have a fantastic gotcha day, and I hope you get lots of foodables and lovies!



  4. Happy Gotcha Day, sweet girl! I'm so glad she found you. Those little pistol girls always steal my heart! I thought she was completely charming when we met her in Gettysburg. She's such a social butterfly!

  5. Yay, Happy Gotcha Day! I love hearing Gotcha Day stories, and the progress that gets made as dogs and people get to know one another. It's funny what a year can bring, isn't it?

  6. Happy Gotcha Day! I love seeing them come out of their shell and allowing themselves to enjoy life.

  7. Me is very happy Maera has had such a wonderous year! She is a great looking girl and the story of her progress is touching! Me shall sing Maera the Gottcha Day song!
    Happy Gottcha Day to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*
    ¨*•♫♪ Happy Gottcha Day to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
    ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Gottcha Day Dear Maera!!!!! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
    ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Gottcha Day to you! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

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  9. Shoot! Sorry we missed this post. :(

    Happy belated Gotcha Day, Maera! We are so glad you were gotcha'd into such a wonderful family. It's clear that they love you so very much. :)