I can’t really go back 6 months and tell all the stories. We have to “Coles Notes” this stuff and move forward.
Summer – camping camping camping. Done. I miss it!
Autumn – more camping. Then back to regular office hours and work work work.
Christmas chaos and I was sick with a terrible cold virus…it lingers still.
We are now week two into the new year and I need to let you all know how awesome Wheaton is doing!!
He’s such a character! Yeah sure he’s still shy and scared and skittish but whatever…..that’s so down the list now that I don’t notice it as much until someone points it out. He’s SO curious ~ just don’t try to lure him and trick him into letting you pet him….he’s onto you. He is an observer. He misses nothing. Don’t get greedy for the head pat….he hates that. In fact, just ignore him and let him quietly observe and the more curious he gets. It’s pretty cute to watch him want to be involved. We’re a lot alike I guess….terrified to join in but super interested in what’s happening. As a kid I would show interest in activities, yet cry from fear if you told me to go play the game! I get him. Hell the fact that he’s right in there trying to see what people are doing is huge. I’m happy with that.
When he lets loose and is just being a dog enjoying himself….man it’s the best thing to witness. For example, when we go out in the yard (leash free), which is easy right now cause there is 3 feet of snow and he can’t veer off the backyard path, he does his business, runs around the loop a couple times, waits for Daisy and then races back to the stoop at the back door. Then he hops around all excited like a giddy child waiting for a present. He knows that when we get in the house….he’s gonna get a peanut butter dog treat. He’s pumped!!! He turns in a circle, he hops around, he pounces like a puppy…..he gets in the door and sits on the mat…..”ohhhhh here it comes”….he can hardly contain himself…..”COOKIE!!!” !! Yes. This is what dogs do!! It’s taken 2 years to get him to do this!!! He’s not scared that I’m coming towards him at the doorstep. He’s not running back down the steps away from me and then bolting in the door as soon as I open it. He’s excited to see me coming….he’s anticipating that a very good thing happens when this door opens and we go back in the house….yay!
For months he stopped jumping up on the couch with Daisy & me. I would have to go get him and put him on the couch. He’s happy to curl up and stay once up but he wouldn’t jump up on his own. Now he does. He’s awkward with the stool that is there for Daisy, he seems to try to jump over the stool….not understanding that it’s there to help. But still, he jumps up with us…I usually have to ask him and cheer him on a few times but most of the time he does on the first or second request. However, if I’m walking to the couch with my plate of food…he has NO hesitation!
He’s always loved Daisy…since day one right out of his kennel when the FAAR rescue team brought him over for our trial meeting. Daisy loves him too…on her own terms. The dynamic is quite funny to watch. When Daisy wants to be left alone she goes in her “house” (a small soft sided, collapsible travel kennel) or she picks a dog bed and lays right in the middle (as if to say “I’m NOT sharing”). Wheaton then slowly backs himself into the doorway of the kennel, or the dog bed, and settles himself down, half in/half out…respecting her space but still with his sister. He just loves her! And it’s heartwarming to see them interact.
Bed time, as in time in bed morning or night, has changed too. I lift them up on the bed and he finds his spot and gets comfy. I get in and Daisy decides which spot she’s gonna start with….could be on my pillow (face) if she figures she didn’t get enough attention that day or it could be under the covers up against my belly like a little dog “spoon” or it could be against my back. Wheaton watches where she is, waits for her to find her spot, and then he moves in…he use to stay down at my feet but he’s moved closer…sometimes up against my back or even sometimes on the other pillow beside me. I’m telling you, the best sound is the sound of your dogs doing that snore whimper in their sleep. The biggest movement/progress though has been the mornings. He wakes up and crawls up closer to me and puts his paw on me to ask for a pet, a scratch, a chest or tummy rub….or all of the above. And if I stop, he puts his paw out to get more. On the weekends when we have a lie-in, he lays down beside me and puts his head on my tummy or up close in the crook of my arm and goes back to sleep. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t see me as any threat laying in bed….maybe it’s because he knows I’m his Momma and it’s safe….I don’t care I’m just happy to have him cuddle on his terms.
Earning his trust has been a long journey…it’s not complete yet but it’s so much closer.