Ryder is the animal who has been in our house the longest (as of 2019). I don’t have a lot to say about her. I bought her intending to work her, and while she was very good at nose work, she was very shy of new places, people, things. For that reason, she’s a good backyard dog but doesn’t cut the mustard as a true working dog.
She is sensitive to reading the room. She really doesn’t want to step on anyone’s toes, so sometimes she won’t go outside because even though you’ve opened the door, you are slightly in the way and she doesn’t want to brush up against you.
I’ve owned her for nine or ten years. She is not a dog that likes being petted, though once every month or two she comes up and demands to be petted. I pet her for a minute, and then she runs away. She doesn’t need anything more.
She prefers women to men, and when we have had international students stay with us for two weeks, they often celebrate the moment when Ryder is comfortable enough to sit next to them or (Hallelujah!) let them pet her.
She is a submissive, shy dog in every way conceivable. If I take her to PetSmart, she will be hunched over the entire time, head low, tail under her legs. This is after months of me socializing her. The only time she is not shy is around Koda. He is perfectly content to let her boss him around. He loves it, and she loves it. I tell you, her years with Koda have been her happiest. She will run around with her head and shoulders high, ball in her mouth while he chases her.
With her shy demeanor, she hasn’t been an influence on my writing. But she has been an everpresent constant in our lives, and she’s loved my son since he was a toddler, so for that I will always be thankful.