Nadia's hands moved slower this time, in fear of spooking Hael into running off completely. Down, over her hocks, further until her hands rested over the houluh's ankles. So far, so good. It would be harder to get her to allow lifting of her back feet, but she had to bite the bullet and try.
"Good girl," She murmured as she began to raise one back towards her. "Good girl, Hael. Stay. There's a good girl."
Hael whined, and her tail twitched, but she moved no further. It would have been a difficult task with one of her feet in the air! She turned her head to look at Nadia, who was gently pressing and squeezing as she had done with the front paws. All in order on this one. The girl could deal with a bit of grumpiness from Hael as long as it wasn't causing real distress, and from what she could tell, it was fear of the unknown and not aggression that was making her act out.
No matter how Hael felt about being handled, Nadia knew that it was important for her to learn to withstand it. If the time came for an illness to befall her, it was vital that she would allow anyone to examine her; Nadia wasn’t going to take risks with the health of her creatures.
“Very good. Now, this is unpleasant, but...” She kept narrating as she went along, hoping the sound of her voice would help the puppy relax. Especially since the next area was even more sensitive. Her hand was gentle as she pushed it under Hael’s tail tip to raise the appendage - the houluh tried her best to tuck it between her legs. “I know. It’s a terrible deal, isn’t it?”
A sad whimper in response. Still, that tail was going up whether she liked it or not. For each new inch it was able to rise, Nadia gave Hael some generous petting.
It was rough justice all round. Nadia didn’t delight in being on that end of her puppy, and would have rather avoided it, but it was important to be thorough. It was over and done with as soon as the woman found the houluh’s performance satisfactory - which, admittedly, was probably sooner than was desirable.
“Round we go. Stay, Hael,” She said as she moved to sit in front of Hael, facing her head. “Okay. Now, sit tight and this will be over and done with very quickly.”
A little white lie, maybe. She started by cupping her face and stroking her thumbs along Hael’s cheeks, to the corners of her mouth. When she saw the houluh’s lips twitch in the beginnings of a snarl, she issued a firm ‘no’. Natural reaction or not, she had to be strong. Next, up to her eyebrows and around her eyes, feeling the contours and lightly pressing the skin.
The next part took a little bravery. Nadia knew Hael was still in possession of her baby teeth, and wasn’t worried about serious damage, but they were still sharp and prickly enough to cause pain. Good advice when dealing with new species was to avoid sticking fingers into their mouths. Nonetheless, it had to be done, for the benefit of them both.
She was careful as she raised Hael’s lip on one side to look. An excitable puppy, Hael was tempted to lick; she whined in protest at the stay command that followed to keep her still. Still, it was better than her trying to bite, Nadia supposed.
The other side, then. Her mouth appeared to be healthy, though the girl was no expert on houluh oral care. For the final test, both sides lifted at once to display her full set of teeth. Hael snorted and sneezed, but stuck to her guns - it was a success!
Nadia loved petting houluh ears. They were irresistibly soft and silky - they were her favourite things to touch aside from equillion noses. That velvet kiss was special to her. She hoped that her time fondling Hael’s ears would make the next part a little easier, even if it was still partially a struggle.
It would appear that fate was on her side. When she raised Hael’s ear to check behind and inside it, there was nary a sound from the houluh. Bolstered by this, Nadia took the chance of gently running a finger inside - not too deep, of course. Her pup did flinch in surprise, but held her stay and even managed a little tail wag.
“Brava! You are so brave,” Nadia cooed to her as she repeated her actions on the other ear. It was incredible how fast such a young pup was picking up on the lessons. “Almost done, my darling.”
Before Nadia knew it, they were coming to the end of what she had planned for the first section of training. Perhaps it wouldn’t cover every kind of handling Hael could be subjected to, but it was a solid start - the sensitive areas had received the most attention, and that was the important thing.
“One more check, and we will lay this to rest for now,” She said to the houluh, petting her on the head. “I will need to do it often, but it will not be so exhaustive. You will grow accustomed to it.”
It seemed that was happening already. As Nadia went about her business prodding and poking and lifting, Hael was less bothered than she had been the first time. A step in the right direction, to be sure! For all her patience, she was rewarded with her first decent chunk of jerky of the day. It was needed, after an examination like that!
Nadia was sure that Hael would enjoy the next trick to a greater degree. It was hardly a trick in her mind; it was more teaching the houluh how to play a game, and that was far more fun than being poked and prodded. She'd picked a blue ball for the exercise, one that wasn't too large for Hael's jaw and wasn't too hard for her young teeth. It didn't have a squeaker or a bell for safety precautions. The girl hoped it would still be interesting enough without them.
"Now, look at this, Hael," She said, offering the ball to the houluh to be sniffed. Hael ran her nose along its rubber surface, her tail beginning a cautious wag behind her. "Doesn't this look fun? Look!"
Nadia straightened up, and tossed the ball across their plot of land. Hael watched it go with obvious confusion. What was all that about?
"Fetch, Hael!" Nadia gestured in the direction of the ball, which had landed in the grass a decent distance away, and flapped her arms. "Go get it! Fetch!"
Hael didn't have the slightest idea what the woman was getting at. Obviously quizzical, she tipped her head to the side; what was she trying to say? It didn't sound like any of the other words. So, she looked between Nadia and the ball, none the wiser as to what she was being asked.
"Okay... perhaps I was optimistic to believe this would work first time," Nadia said with a laugh. "Alright. I will fetch it. Stay."
Off she went, across the plot to grab the ball from its resting place. When she brought it back, she brandished it in front of Hael's nose with a triumphant grin.
"Fetch. You see? I fetched it."
If the pieces were connecting in the houluh's head, it wasn't showing on her face.
There was no shortcut with this kind of thing. Nadia was simply going to have to demonstrate until Hael understood, or at least took a step in the right direction. That was okay by her! She'd been doing it a whole lot so far and it had worked reasonably well.
"Ready? Here we go!" Once again, she tossed the ball into the air. More interested this time, Hael watched its flight, her tail beginning to wag. "Yes! Fetch, Hael! Fetch!"
The houluh faltered, but did not chase after it. Seeing the promising movement, though, Nadia jogged towards the place the ball had landed, encouraging Hael to follow her. The puppy did, beginning to get excited about this new game. Once they were both at the ball, Nadia pointed to it.
"Fetch, Hael!" The houluh sniffed at the rubber, then cautiously closed her teeth around it. "Good! Now let's go back!"
Back down the field they went, until they were at their previous position.
"Good fetch, Hael!" A little disjointed, but they were making progress. Hael was rewarded with some jerky.
While Hael was distracted from the ball, Nadia picked it up again and tossed it up and down. As per usual, the houluh was quick to finish her treat and was back to staring at the girl, waiting for whatever would happen next.
"We are certainly getting there," She said cheerfully. When she raised her arm to throw the ball, Hael flinched in its direction - that was a very promising sign! Delighted, Nadia threw it along the field. "Fetch, Hael!"
Like lightning, Hael bolted after the ball this time, her tail wagging fast enough that she might've taken off if possible. It was hilarious to see her skid through the grass to get a grip on it; Nadia giggled, and patted her thighs once the houluh had caught it at last.
"Good, good! Fetch!" Hael appeared somewhat confused, so Nadia supplemented it with a command she knew. "Come, Hael! Fetch!"
That aided the understanding. Hael trotted back triumphantly.
Nadia was very happy that Hael was seeing the fun side of the exercise. It was miles better than having to stand there and be rubbed all over by prying hands! The houluh got to run and enjoy herself. The ball was a little slippery with saliva when the girl picked it up, but it was amusing to her rather than disgusting. Nothing that washing her hands wouldn't fix!
"Very good. This is fun, isn't it?" She cooed, leaning down to scratch Hael's head. The wagging tail was all the confirmation she needed that her companion agreed. "Right you are. Fetch, girl!"
The ball went sailing, further than it had gone before, and Hael shot after it without any of her former hesitation. Now she understood! It was a game, and she knew how to play. She came to a skidding halt alongside the ball and snatched it up, and turned to return to Nadia without having to be told again.
Having a solid foundation of basic tricks was making it far easier to teach new things. Nadia was glad she had stuck to it and gotten the important things out of the way first; no doubt that the next command on her list would be all the simpler to teach because Hael knew to lay down already.
'Roll over' was basic, but getting Hael to do it on command was a little bit more tricky. Of course, a puppy would happily roll on their back whenever they felt the urge, but waiting for her to make the decision wasn't sustainable. So, Nadia had cobbled a different method together. If she was lucky, it would work, and if she wasn't... well, they'd work on it.
"Okay, Hael, lay down," She said, smiling when the houluh flopped to the ground without hesitation. "Very good. Now, let me see..."
In her hand was a little piece of jerky. Hael's sniffing nose was already reaching for it.
"No, no. Stay," Nadia said, firm. Hael wasn't pleased, but snorted through her nose in acquiescence - she supposed she could wait, if she must! "Good. Now, here we go..."
Her hand started in front of Hael's nose, with her fingers closed around the treat. Then, in a slow circle, she drew it around the back of the houluh's head. Confused, Hael followed until she was about to turn, and then hesitated.
"It's okay, love," She cooed, and brought her hand back around to repeat the rotation once more. "Roll over, Hael. Roll over."
The only way to reach the jerky was to roll onto her back, but Hael wasn't convinced thus far. Her head cocked to one side - what exactly was going on? She didn't like the idea of flopping sideways like that. That was perfectly okay by Nadia; she hadn't expected her to find it agreeable straight away. They'd get there!
The circular motions of Nadia's hand were necessary to help Hael understand, but the houluh didn't like them very much. It was frustrating, to see the treat disappear like that and not know how to get to it! She whined softly, shoving her nose towards Nadia's chest - she wanted help!
"Allow me to assist you, darling," The girl said. This time, she placed a careful hand on Hael's side, and gently pushed as the treat rotated behind her. "Roll over, Hael. Here we go."
With the guidance, the houluh managed to get halfway onto her back before startling and stumbling to her feet. Nadia rewarded her nonetheless with the treat and some kind words; she was trying her best, and was headed in the right direction, so it wouldn't hurt to encourage her a little.
"Very good. Lay down, Hael," She asked, and Hael complied. A fresh piece of jerky was procured. "We can try again."
It was a good thing that Hael was so treat motivated. It was the only thing keeping her from wandering off, Nadia thought; if there had been no jerky on offer, they wouldn't have gotten anywhere! She presented the treat in front of her nose once more, and drew it in a slower rotation over her head, letting her follow each movement and using the other hand to roll her.
"Roll over, Hael!"
Something must have clicked, because she rolled right over and scrambled to her paws. Excellent! Nadia was only too happy to feed her some jerky and scratch her ears as a reward. They repeated the process once more with guidance and no treat, just to make sure - although Hael wasn't as happy because she enjoyed her food so much, she settled for some pets after the trick was completed.
"Yes! Very good, Hael, very good! Nearly there now!"
Riku: From what I loosely understand about the fish is that it isn't one-use, whereas the berry is. I feel like there wouldn't be any consequence of 'using' the fish...which I'd think just ooc wouldn't be counted for whatever rolls or whatever it is that it uses
Jun 3, 2020 14:14:30 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for that piece of info Ren! <3 | But would it be allowed for the flavor of the rp if the berry wasn't filling enough for the Lotine?
Jun 1, 2020 6:09:21 GMT -6
Renathan: There is no need to double up on a fish and a magical berry (doesn't change the effect of the berry at all) in a lotine breeding.
Jun 1, 2020 6:02:21 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Does anyone know if it is possible to combine both a magical berry and a fish in a Lotine breeding? Or is you can only choose one of them? (right now writing a Lotine breeding)
Jun 1, 2020 5:36:49 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I am still interested in trading it for a green drake.
Jun 1, 2020 0:31:33 GMT -6
Ridelys: If you are still interested in a trade twilight, for your fidelity result, let me know.
May 31, 2020 22:49:49 GMT -6
Riku: I got three pet levels and 15c out of it. <3 And all the necessary posts for my job salary form.
May 31, 2020 18:49:26 GMT -6
Riku: In mine my crossbreed used foxfire to burn it - but then it used incendiary illusion, which was extra scary because my cross is a plant pet with thick fur. It used the distraction to escape. I’m proud of it, and it’s okay that I won’t finish this month.
May 31, 2020 18:48:42 GMT -6
Renathan: *But of course, the RNG was not having that. / In Morgan's story, the Nyssa was a real thing, so I wanted to have two different situations for the variety.
May 31, 2020 18:15:27 GMT -6
Renathan: Yeah, the 'finished the story but the RNGods are being a butt' thing is a rather unfortunate situation to be in. I had already decided that in Ren's story, the elderly woman had lied about the nyssa and just wanted someone to talk to*
May 31, 2020 18:14:49 GMT -6
Riku: That makes sense. I've considered that before. -nod- I hope your non-hxr life is going smoothly.
May 31, 2020 16:38:08 GMT -6
Haix: Just quitting the job. Don't believe I'll be making the ten posts required per month any time soon. XD
May 31, 2020 16:34:01 GMT -6
Riku: Note to haix, I believe you can post the new application form at the same time as the quitting form. Unless you are simply taking an overall break from the job system.
May 31, 2020 16:30:58 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: even AT the gardens yet. XD It sucks when you've finished writing your story and haven't gotten a success, because then its like "well... now what?" XD
May 31, 2020 15:51:47 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: ive found that when there's a quest that might take longer like this, its a good idea to try and space out the story beats to try and roll a success before i get to the meat of the story. XD Like, by the time i was 5 posts in my character wasn't
May 31, 2020 15:51:21 GMT -6