Wheaton had only been with us for a week when I had to go house/dog sit for my aunt & uncle. They have a nice big farm house on 9 acres just outside of the city…we call it “the ranch”. It was a Friday night, I took the dogs to bed and was reading my book before shutting the lights out. Daisy was in one of her usual spots, up by my head, when I felt a slow movement of weight creeping up the bed….slowly Wheaton was making his way up closer to us. I was so excited! But I didn’t want to move and spook him! This was the first approach and I respectfully ignored him while inside I was screaming “YAY!!!!” He slept up beside my shoulder/side while I read my book. Amazing!
Turns out this was a one time occurrence. Maybe because of being in a new place with new people and a new dog, he wanted to be close to “his” pack in a strange bed. Whatever it was, I took it. We had a great weekend out at the ranch and Wheaton fell in love with his new dog cousin, Thule. Thule is my aunt & uncle’s beautiful black lab…she’s the most chilled out, easy going lump of love you’d ever meet!! Wheatie kept trying to climb onto her dog bed with her! He just wanted to be beside her!! It was pretty cute.
Back at home, the weeks turned to months and Wheaton started moving closer to us in bed…but only after I turned the bedside lamp off. He has a blanket at the end of the bed by my feet…that’s where he started. I read for a bit, turn off the lamp and wait a minute….here comes the creeper….slow little moves….first spot behind my knees. That was his new spot for a week. Then he got brave and crept right up against the extra pillows beside me…but if I moved at all, or acknowledged him being there, he’d go back to his blanket at the end again. And for anyone thinking it’s the blanket…don’t worry…there are a few dog blankets around my bed for options!
The funniest thing is when the light goes out and he starts climbing on top of me. Like if I can’t see him I won’t know he’s exploring and climbing me like a mountain goat! He’s also brave when we first wake up in the morning. He gets curious. He comes up closer to me and lets me reach out and pet him. Slowly. But if I sit up or move…he moves away from me.
I swear every day there’s a tiny, minute bit of progress somewhere with him. If it’s him letting me pet him more or him coming to me for something…..a few days ago he was wrestling with Daisy and he flipped over and exposed his belly! He’s never willingly exposed his belly! He doesn’t even understand having his tummy scratched! How sad to have this lovely little guy afraid of a belly rub! But the sight of him rolling over onto his back while playing with Daisy was awesome!
So now, I turn the bedside light off and I feel/hear him rustling around and sneaking his way over to cuddle up closer to us, when he settles into his spot I slowly slide my hand over to him and scratch his neck and chest and he stays and relaxes. I am so proud of the progress we’ve made!
Coming soon….Wheaton has his first grooming experience!