Sunday, February 10, 2013

Higgins Update

So we signed the papers to officially adopt Higgins.

Mary liked Higgins right away, but was reluctant to confirm the shift from fostering to adoption because Higgins had a few issues at first. He bit me, for example, deep enough to require a quick trip to emergency, and he bit Tigana on the neck, and we couldn't keep Kasia from constantly putting her face an inch from Higgin's teeth because she had gotten so used to Jackie, our other dog, who would never bite her under any circumstances. But I discounted my bites because I definitely deserved to get bitten (I was behaving stupidly with a new dog) and after Mary calmed down when Tigana was bitten, we were able to reconstruct that we had heard a yelp before the dog bit her, so we're pretty sure that Tigana must have accidentally hurt him, either by unknowingly leaning on some part of him that was under a blanket, or perhaps scrapping him with her dagger-like nails (teenager!). And it was not a serious bit, so under the circumstances showed a lot of restraint.

Higgins was a bit tentative about us at first too: besides the usual adjustments to a new home, he was from San Deigo and here I was dragging him out for walks in 40 below weather, so pretty sure he was looking at me with a "why are you torturing me like this?" expression. The weather is milder this week (unseasonably so) but I think Higgins will be okay if it gets colder again. He has been working hard to figure out the new routines and he already trusts me enough to come sit on my lap, so no worries about further biting, unless one of us does something careless again. The one problem with Higgins is that previous owners seem to have trained him not to growl, which is of course extremely stupid because you want a dog to warn you off if you are provoking him to bite. Higgins gives no verbal warning, so we have to constantly watch for body language. But he seems generally relaxed with us already, and gets along with our other dog really well, so we are satisfied he will fit in. Our dog now.