It’s been a year and a half now since Wheaton found us…and there has been so much improvement and progress. And, it does amaze me, but (you could hear that “but” coming) I see so many other people with rescues and their rescues have come so much further? I should not compare Wheaton to any other dog because he’s his own little creature, I just see these other rescues that have been rehabilitated and have become cuddly, approachable, affectionate, confident….house broken…..and I wonder if I’m doing something wrong? Or not doing enough? Or is this just as good as he will get? My boy has his moments but for the most part he still is scared of touch. I have to move slowly, approach slowly, reach out slowly….he spooks easily. I don’t know if that reaction will ever improve? It’s not for lack of touching him, or working with him….but I don’t push him. I wonder if I should push more? Should I take him to behaviour classes? Should I be more stern with him? I just don’t know.
Don’t get me wrong here, it doesn’t matter to me, he’s my boy and I love him. Period. He will be my baby boy for the rest of his days, I will never give up on him! I just wish him peace and confidence. It breaks my heart when he reacts with fear. I want him to know that he will always be safe with me….that I am his MOMMA and I WILL protect him! No harm will ever come to him! No one will EVER hurt him….they would have to get through me first and I would fight to the death for my dogs!!
There are so many situations where he has improved and I see him being more sure of himself and his surroundings….but then there are a few regressions. Some situations where he seems to have lost some of his confidence and I wonder if I did something wrong? Or did he just change his mind? I don’t know. I’m not a professional. I’ve never even had a puppy mill rescue before…this could be as approachable and affectionate as he ever gets? Maybe he’s always going to freak out & get snappy when he sees another dog when we’re on a walk? Maybe he’s always going to duck his head or tuck his tail when you reach for him? Maybe he will always pee when I leave the house…even if I’m just gone for an hour and he peed outside 3 minutes before I left the house?
I’m doing my best. I’m loving him. I’m respecting his space. I’m trying to stay consistent so he can rely on me for routine. I just hope I’m doing enough?
We do have moments….the belly rub sessions. They usually happen on the weekend mornings when there’s no worry about time, however, I’ve been getting up for work late three mornings in a row this week because he’s been super comfortable with getting his belly rub in the mornings. He stretches right out and I can scratch and rub him from chin to inner thighs for like 30 minutes! Excessive belly rubbing I know, but I don’t want to stop when he’s being so open to touch and affection!
These are perfect moments because he has let his guard down completely, he is totally vulnerable and trusting me with that moment.
He just seems to forget a chunk of that trust once we’re out of bed.