Answer: One week. Question: How long does it take a rat terrier to take over her environment? She came, she saw and she's conquered. She has firmly wrapped herself around our hearts.
I had forgotten what it's like to have a baby around. Everything goes into her mouth to be tasted and evaluated. I spend a good part of my evenings chasing her down and prying various contraband out of her jaws. She has found innumerable candy wrappers that have been hiding under furniture. I've had to drape electric cords above her reach. When she goes outside, she immediately grabs a leaf or a piece of pine bark to carry around with her. I, who hate touching dead things, had to twice wrestle pieces of bird away from her. Leftovers from an afternoon cat snack. Surprising what you can manage to grab and dispose of when it's your baby that's in danger of eating something bad for her.
It's taken the better part of a week, but big sister Xana has finally started playing with her. Coco follows Xana around like a groupie, soaking up the knowledge to be a "cool" dog. Xana is being extraordinarily patient with her, allowing Coco to lay claim to the toys that I throw for them. She will occasionally growl and Coco will immediately roll over on her back in submission. I can almost see Xana's satisfaction that another lesson has been learned.
It's not easy to find a collar that will fit a 2 pound dog, but I finally located one at Tomlinson's. We started leash lessons this morning. We have a l-o-n-g way to go. She surprised me by immediately taking the leash into her mouth to lead me. That was a Bebop trick. Sometimes I think she's channeling the old boy. When I get home from work, she runs to me, wiggling her little bottom just like he did. She's claimed his spot in bed, tucked into my side, and she snores just as loud as he did.
From the first, Coco has liberally doled out lavish affection to Mother. She doesn't seem at all fazed by Mother's physical limitations. She will eagerly run up the bed and cover her gran's face with puppy kisses. A fall out of bed this evening resulted in Mother crying out for help. Little Coco was right on the spot, trying desperately to figure out what was wrong and trying to kiss away the problem.
I've always felt that somehow the right pet will find its way to our house. Coco came into the house and acted like she had known all of us before. She's already made her spot in the family, helping our hearts heal and bringing laughter back to the house. She's truly a special gift from heaven. May she rule the household for many years to come.