I have a new mantra. I say it over and over in hopes of changing the world. Try it with me.

“We do not chase kitties!”

It is true that kitties are small and furry and they run in such satisfying ways. But if you catch a kitty then they slap you on the nose with their sharp parts and hiss at you.

I’ve been working with Riley on bravery. He’s decreased his hiding. Now he sits in the open but on tables that make it hard for the dog to reach him. This morning she found him out in the open. She doesn’t want to hurt him but she wants to touch him. Today he didn’t run from her. I reached over and grabbed her collar and repeated the mantra. Riley came strolling over. He walked closely past her. She could have touched him but he knew I wouldn’t let her. He gave her a look that clearly said, “Dog” in a tone that was superior and dismissive at the same time. He punctuated it with a tail flick that showed his distain. Then he sashayed out of the room in slow motion without looking back like he knew that no lowly mutt was a threat to him. I noticed that he ran up the stairs though just in case I let her go!

Powder, on the other hand, is still freaked. She spends most of her time on the armoire when Freckles is in the house. Last night when we came home she was outside and panicked when she saw the dog. She ran up a tree that is easy to get up but very hard to climb down. She was stuck up there for a while. Riley sat on an outside chair and watched her try to figure out how to get down. Entertained him to no end.

The real test comes tonight though. Z is meeting the dog. This kid’s life was changed by the movie BOLT. She went from being a girly girl who only wore dresses to wearing jeans like Penny. She got a Penny haircut. She wants a dog with super powers. (The whole point of the movie is that the dog does not have super powers but she doesn’t care.) She’s been asking for a dog ever since. At the time Snowball was still alive and I pointed this out. Sure, Snowball at that point was an invalid who hardly moved but Z was still afraid of her. That’s the sticking point. For all her dog dreams, she’s afraid of dogs and won’t admit it.

She likes to look at them but if they come up to her she screams. We were walking through the farmer’s market once and I pointed out a pretty poodle. She asked if we could buy it. I said no, that it had a person. During this it walked past us. It never even looked at Z but she buried her head in my side until it passed. She’s afraid of the cats touching her but she’ll carry on long conversations with Powder. But she’ll run up to the horse in the pasture and kiss her on the nose. It makes no sense. The only thing I can think of is that the horse isn’t jumping up and down but neither is the cat. Anyway this should be interesting.

My plan is to have Z go with us to the dog park tomorrow and then to the pet store to help find Freckles some toys. Hopefully she’ll feel involved and not be too upset that the dog doesn’t have super powers! Maybe she’ll even play with her.