Roo's fear in the night

Most of what I’ve been sharing about Roo over the past several months is about the tremendous progress she’s been making. And though she has, the other side of Roo hasn’t disappeared. She’s still the damaged puppy who worries about a lot of things. Daytime has become more or less a piece of cake for Roo. She’s generally happy and bouncing around, and not worried. If there’s some noise that concerns her, she usually gets over it as soon as she sees what it is. I think that’s a direct result of the way she learned, one by one, about all the noises that frightened her to death when she first became my foster puppy. Now, she spends her days having the time of her life, interspersed with patiently waiting for me do do my work.

But as soon as the sun goes down, always at the exact same value of darkness, Roo still feels a bit threatened. The extent of that changes from day to day. For example, we were out for her last few minutes outside - an exercise she always resists no matter where she is - a few nights ago, when the headlights of a distant car shone through the leaves and threw up a big moving shadow on the side of the next-door house. Roo ran inside at top speed, and that was enough to keep her from going outside again at night for nearly a week.

The good news is that none of this depresses Roo any more. I can see that she’s just avoiding, not getting sad, the way she used to. She just prefers to avoid it. While she likes to lounge around up on the bed during the day - I have to cajole her into coming and sitting with me somewhere else, and then she will - and even into the evening, I learned something important about her in Arizona. There, the bed had plenty or room underneath it for Roo. That was the place she was drawn to. And once I put a quilt down there so she had a bed, that became her favorite place to sleep. She waits until it’s really and truly the time to go to sleep - after a last couple of cookies - and then she would crawl under there.

Here, in the cheap apartment we’re in, I spent the first night on a bed that must have been 30 years old. I got the manager to exchange it, for another lousy one that you still can’t get any sleep on, but asked them if they had a bed frame instead of a box spring. They did, even though it’s for a bed of a different size, but it provides lots of room down there. So the Kahoo, at the end of an evening, when she’s ready to call it quits, likes to go down under the bed and conk out. And if denning up like that is what comes naturally to her, I’ll just keep trying to make sure she has a den to retreat to. Maybe an open crate will make her happy. I don’t know. If I ever get a place, I’ll make sure to get a bed with room beneath it. Or I’ll build her an enclosure of her own.

She doesn’t spend her nights in fear. She sleeps fine. I hear her snoring all night. The best thing is that when the sun comes up, there is always the sound of a little Rookling crawling around under the bed, and then the smiling little bear emerges and goes through a couple of minutes of scratching and grooming before she hops back up on the bed. 

This morning I took this little cell phone video of her sleeping.