Friday, April 9, 2010


I suppose I should introduce the 2nd canine member of Arwen's pack. She is Nyxie, named after the dark dragon boss in World of Warcraft's Onyxia's Lair. Now they say the name you give your puppy is an indicator of their future personality, or is it the other way around? Well, in Nyxie's case, she has lived up to her name.
We brought her home at 9 weeks, when she could still curl up into a tight little ball on the trucks' console. What is it with our dogs and consoles?
She was precocious and quiet, all the while watching and learning. Her favorite time of the day was mealtime, when she would devour all her little raw chicken necks by gulping them down in record time. She was weaned onto raw chicken straight from her mama's bosom, and just the mention of the word "chicken" would send her little tiny black German Shepherd head tilting every which way. Now if anyone has ever been lucky enough to raise a tiny German Shepherd, you know exactly what I'm describing. That famous head tilt that makes us grab our cameras and squeak in hopes for more. The giant ears flop to one side and then the other as she tries to understand every syllable of squeak.
Nyxie was a dog park puppy. She would romp and play, but was nervous around the dogs that played too rough and preferred instead to fly through the giant mud puddle hunting her tennis balls and retrieving them for me. We bought her all the latest interactive toys and several different leashes and collars, what a pampered baby she was! She could follow many commands by 12 weeks and was potty trained with ease. She did enjoy eating her own poop, though. A habit I'm forever grateful she's dropped.
So how does this lovely puppy become a dark dragon of lore? Well, I can't be certain, but I know that as she grew older, she became mistrustful of strangers and one day decided that other dogs stressed her out too much at the dog park. I suppose the signs were always there. She was a nervous puppy, and shy. As an adult, this became more pronounced and we continue to battle her fears daily. She is a tender, loving, observant and playful dog with us, but there's some internal alarm that goes off in her head when an unknown person approaches, "stranger danger!". A German Shepherd barking loudly at you is a scary thing and she's learned that it keeps people away. Like I said, we work on this every day.
With that being said, my youngest baby has learned so much from Arwen. She torments her constantly with playful licks and head smacks to entice her to play, but Arwen only plays when Arwen wants. She is older and wiser, but also, I'm quite sure she enjoys the mastery over her pupil. Arwen has never been a fan of dogs, but upon first meeting Nyxie, she couldn't have been more thrilled. "You got me a minion?!" She nuzzled at her and licked her and followed her around until Nyxie was hooked and then it began. The hero worship. So in bringing Nyxie home we really got our dog a dog of her own. A fellow compatriot in a foreign land. It must've felt so good to be understood at last, even by this pushy, bouncy little black dragon whelpling.

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