Catching up & Book Available

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Hello. It’s been a busy summer here. I have been pet sitting, and having dogs visiting the house. True to form, Ty does not bother much with any of them. An alpha, energetic Jack Russell terrier returned. We had a one-year-old female Pom and a four-month-old female pit visit. He took little notice of either of them.

We did visit with a therapy dog trainer a few weeks ago, as I had the notion Ty might make a good–or at least decent–therapy dog. Her opinion, after two hours of various stimulation, was he could make a nice therapy dog. However, and she cautioned me, he would not particularly enjoy it. He would do it if I asked him, for me, but not because the work excited him.

So that idea has been temporarily scratched. I have yet to find his button, what turns him on. Perhaps just hanging out in the kitchen is good enough of a life for him, with the occasional road trip. Interestingly, to day of all days, he decided after breakfast, as I was still pottering about the kitchen, he wanted to go lie down in the bedroom. Without me.

Glory! It was nice having the whole kitchen to myself! I am not sure what sparked his interest to vacate the cave momentarily, but I enjoyed the moments while they lasted.

And in other news, I have finally completed the book I’ve been promising to write. It is self-published under the Amazon Select KDP program, and accessible through Amazon.com for Kindle or paperback versions. A portion of each sale will go to the Collie Rescue of the Carolinas where I adopted Ty from.

 

Kindle e-book format

or the paperback format:

https://www.amazon.com/Tys-Journey-Sharing-Lessons-Adopted/dp/1521728518/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Spring Changlings

Winter is gone, spring is almost ready to move aside for summer and Ty enter our 2nd full year together. He is still Ty, and will never become a “Lassie” and I am okay with that. I love him for the dog he is. I admire him for the dog he has already become, all the baby steps and challenges he faced to grow into the Ty I know and love. I respect him for the heart he has, the trust he clung to in his darkest and scariest times, and for trusting me to join him through it all.

Right now–April 2017–I am seeing a dog that prefers to sleep with me at night, next to the bed. However, loud noises from the neighbors still send him scurrying for his cave, but only for a few moments how and he returns to me.

He is more alert in the courtyard than before, standing tall and proud, and dare I say..relaxed even, as he surveys his surroundings. He is now interested in the activities beyond the fence.

April 15, 2017 Saturday. I was invited to take him along to a dog walk appointment I had in town. 8 year old Rosie was lonely and wanted a play mate. I turned them both loose in the big fenced back yard, hoping for play bows and mutual interest. Nope. A few sniffs and they both went their own way. In the end, I played fetch with Rosie while Ty just walked around. The mailman came by with a package and as I waited to sign for it, both dogs stood between the 4 foot fence, the mail carrier, and I. I was happy to see a bit of protective instinct rising in Ty.

Ty and Rosie Ty chilling out at Rosie’s yard. 

April 24, 2017. Monday Another vet appointment for a check up and booster vaccines. He now weighs a solid 81.8 pounds, up 19 pounds from two years ago. He might be just a touch overweight now, but not by much. I will cut down on the treats.

He was slightly nervous during our visit. He did drool and pant a little, but nothing out of the expected normal of any dog at the vet’s. The only problem came when the tech knelt by him, moved in and tried to ‘hug’ him in the traditional tech hold while the other one gave the shot.

81.8 pounds at the vet.

April 25th, 2017 Sweet Dreams. Ty snoozing in the cave.

He tensed and moved away from the tech. His eyes widened and his panted increased. Classic reactive tension. I asked the tech to move away and suggested we just distract him instead with verbal cues and petting instead of restraint. It worked much better.

Sweet dreams. Ty snoozing in the cave 4-25-2017. So peaceful.

April 30, 2017 Sunday. A friend brought her 11-month-old intact male Labradoodle (Rusty) by for a visit and potential meet-and-greet for future boarding. Ty stayed in the cave–albeit interested–as Rusty explored the house and the cats. No issues whatsoever. Then we took them both outside.

Initially they played. Mutual play bows and much tail wagging, leaping and bounding. It was a great site to see. Sorry, no photos, but it was lovely.

Then Rusty became over stimulated and began humping Ty. His mom stated this is a chronic issue with Rusty. Ty snarled and growled, baring his teeth in a warning to back off. Rusty did not “get it” or understand.  Finally, after repeated mounting over several minutes, Ty simply gave up, found a spot to lay down by the fence, and ignored Rusty completely. Rusty proceeded to happily hump away all over Ty. He also groomed Ty by licking his ears.

Ty and Rusty in the cave 5-14-2017

A few times Ty tried getting away, but Rusty just followed, though his overabundance was slowly dimming. The hope between my friend and I was that Rusty would get over his excitement and Ty would defend himself and voice his displeasure enough to curb Rusty. It never happened.

May 14, 2017 Sunday. The coming of Rusty. The house has been in an uproar since Rusty exploded into our rooms. Two cats disappeared completely, slinking from the closet to the safety of the cabinets. He delights in continual humping of Ty, who tolerates and ignores it only so long in his cave or outside before he bares his teeth. A few times he added some loud snaps at the thick-headed pup. I am still hoping they will work it out with minimal input from me. I defend Ty when I can, and encourage him that he is right and good.

It took about 4 hours since his arrival for Rusty to settle down, back off from Ty and the cats,  steal a bone and crash in the foyer.  Trips outside are a mix of gamboling play until the humping begins, in which Ty goes from a playful pal to a teeth baring displeased dog. I dug a choke collar and halti lead from the garage to give me some control of the unbridled Rusty.

May 16, 2017 Tuesday Ty remains in the cave, bedroom at night. Rusty wanders and explores and barks. He is not housebroke. His maddening humping is now limited to outdoor excursions and returning from outside. Walking them separately is great for Ty, but destructive to my house. Baby gates and crates are a waste of resources and time.

May 17, 2017 Wednesday. Rusty left and peace was almost instantly restored.

May 20, 2017 Saturday, I took Ty back to the annual fundraiser Barq in the Parq. This was his second time going, and he handled it well. No bolting, no crazy frantic circles like before. He panted because it was uncomfortably hot and sunny. He did sit for an artist to draw a caricature of him. He tolerated the other dogs, lots of requests for pictures and petting from passers-by and the loud music.

May 26, 2017 Friday. I took Ty to the dog park to meet a fellow collie fancier. She had two dogs, one collie and one mixed breed. Ty spared them no more interest than he does any other dogs. A curious sniff and he was pretty much on his way. He sort of hung out, not that he felt friendly toward members of his own breed, but their owner and I hung out to talk, and we did so under the only shade tree available.

Ty, Trey, and Maggie. I love Ty’s head tilt.

Taking a brief run 5-26-17Just chilling in the shade 5-26-17

A brief friendship with a young dog5-26-2017Mutual play on a hot day. This episode lasted about 2 or 3 minutes and then it was over. The young brown pup found new playmates and Ty took a break under the tree.

May 27, 2017, Saturday. Another meeting at the park, with a male blue merle collie. They could have passed for brothers, however, Ty had no more interest in Keeper than he had in Trey and Maggie yesterday or most the other breeds he encounters.

Seeing double. Ty and Keeper at the park 5-27-17 First photo, Keeper recalling in the lead. Second photos, Ty exploring and Keeper following along.

Yep, seeing double. Ty up front, Keeper in back.

                                     Just wandering on his own 5-27-2017

Storms still worry Ty. When thunderstorms are forecasted and  I will be gone, I have him wear a Thundershirt or one of my shirts. I give him things with my scent. I leave the radios up loud.

When I am home, he stays in cave or bedroom. 5-27-17 we had evening storms. I was putting away laundry when thunder cracked and he raced to the bedroom where I was. I sat down next to him on the dog pillow and we just hung out for a bit, till he felt safer.

He looks so beautiful, and sports a lovely coat. Yet I still see a dog with fears, always lying just below the surface. Today it’s the thunder. It is always something that comes along.

I see a collie desperately wanting to trust, love and be loved. I see a soul searching for something. I wish I could help him find it. I hope that when we reach the end of our journey together, I will have at least been a good companion for him, as he has been a good companion to me. Without words, he is telling me his story and his thoughts and I am learning his unique language as we travel this path together.

Winter wishes — Jan-Feb-Mar 2017

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January 8, 2017 Sunday Happy New Year. Today I heard the sweetest sound from my dog. This morning, while still in bed, I heard nails clicking and movement at the foot of the bed. Glancing down, I spotted Whymzie Belle sitting between two dog beds and stoically swatting at Ty as he play-bowed and tried to encourage her in a game of play.

Yes, Ty was trying to illicit play! Too bad he picked the cat who hates everyone who isn’t human. Still, he continued. With disdain, she continued to swat at him and finally he barked. Yes, Ty BARKED!  Thrice, still trying to get Whymzie to play with him.

January 17, 2017 I caught a nice photo of Muldoone the Maine Coon cat hanging out in the kitchen not far from Ty. I kind of think they are becoming buddies as this isn’t the first time I’ve caught Muldoone hanging out there.

Ty and Muldoone Buds 1-17-17Buddies?

February 2, 2017 Thursday. Ty had a PTSD flashback today. Thank fully I had not left for work yet and was in the study to hear him. Ty was in the kitchen. Cats Kryshnah and Whymzie were in the kitchen as well, not near him though. Suddenly a loud slam sounded out, followed by yelping from Ty. I raced to the kitchen.

My saddleseat was lying on one side. Ty was spinning in circles, blind with fear or pain, eyes glazed and drool pouring out of his mouth. Ears laced back, tail tucked, he was a mess. It took several minutes to get him to stop spinning, but he finally folded into my arms and cowered, his heart racing in fear. I sat with him, cooing and loving on him until he settled down.

I suspect Kryshnah launched off the saddleseat like she is apt to do, and it toppled over, striking Ty where he was sleeping. The sudden attack of something while sound asleep sent him right into full-blown panic mode.

Ty 2-11-17

Just random photos of Ty outside in the courtyard, February 11, 2017

Ty 2-11-2017

Ty 2-26-17 in yard

Handsome boy, 2-26-2017 with sunshine casting shadows of trees over him Yes, he still wears a leash even in the fenced yard. One never fully knows, and I’d rather let him carry a leash around and never need it than risk losing him because he didn’t have one on.

February 13, 2017 Monday.  I kept a five-month-old Australian Shepherd puppy over the weekend as part of my side job of pet-sitting. “Tobias” was a cutie, with all the energy and curiosity of a puppy. I’d hoped his puppy antics and barking would lure Ty from his cave. Nope. Not a once. Within a few moments of arrival, Tobias approached Ty in his cave and stole his monster dinosaur bone from Christmas. And then he returned for the knuckle bone. Then the antler bone. He stole both stuffed animals as well. He hauled off all his looted goodies to another room to savor.

And Ty? Ty never flinched or lifted a concerned brow as Tobias robbed him blind. A few times Tobias even tried eating food leftover from Ty’s bowl. He was okay with that too. Tobias even climbed over Ty to get to bones and goodies. Ty had  no problem with that either.

Tobias and Ty 2-11-17Thief!

Tobias 2-11-17Tobias with stolen bone.

Tobias and Ty II 2-11-17Not very concerned.

 

Outside, they each checked one another out, but no play engagements offered. Ty just went about his way, urinated where Tobias had, and Tobias chased a tennis ball and did his own thing as well.

The more I interacted with  normal five-month-old puppy, the more I realized how damaged Ty really is. How “un-normal” he will always be. It’s sad to know there is a brokenness inside him that I will probably never be able to reach. Or fix. A part of him that I cannot “make happy”. He has gained freedom, confidence, and has known pleasure and joy. But he is still a broken dog. And that hurts me.

March 9, 2017 Thursday. I came home at midnight and took Ty out for a walk. He remained on the patio in the courtyard, refusing to go out into the grass. He stayed on alert, ears up, tail up, head up, and watching the grassy area and pacing. No bark, no whine. Just intense concentration.

I heard no noise, nor saw any movement. The leaves were dry so any movement would have rustled them. Finally I scanned the area with my flashlight and spied an opossum hunkered down next to a tree trunk, just quietly waiting for us to leave it alone.

March 12, 2017 We had a small snowfall overnight. I hurried to get some photos of Ty before it melted. Once again, no romping or playing, but he does look pretty in the snow.

Ty 3-12-17 snowfall I

Ty 3-12-17 snowfall

March 21, 2017 Tuesday. Today we had thunderstorms, which  bothered Ty. Ty 3-21-17 after the Tstorm

Tomorrow will be the two-year anniversary or “Gotcha Day” for Ty. Last night, while I was sleeping, Ty got a hold of a plastic cat litter scooper and chewed the handle in to a misshapen mass. His first time at destroying something. And I love it.

Ty chewed handle 3-20-17

March 22, 2017 Wednesday. Happy Gotcha Day, Ty!

March 25, 2017 Saturday. Off visiting friends again today, and running errands. We stopped at the dog park for a brief visit, then headed off to see our friends. He had a pleasant visit.

Ty 3-25-17 at Paws 1

Ty 3-25-17 at Paws IINot too sure about those stairs, but Cutie Pie is trying to lend support.

Ty 3-25-17 at Paws III

Ty 3-25-17 at Paws IVClose up of that beautiful, happy smile.

Ty 3-25-17 at Paws V

Ty 3-25-17 at Paws VI

Sometimes I just go camera happy crazy.

 

 

December Gifts…wrapping up our 2016 Journey

December brought a fantastic gift from Ty. I doubt he will never know how delighted he made me. Or maybe he already does.

December 6, 2016 Saturday Ty has his first ever professional grooming appointment. A bath, dry, and brush out with a nail trim. I almost cried when it was time to leave him. For two hours, it might as well have been two days. I hadn’t realized how attached I’d become to having him with me when out and about. I cautioned the salon crew not to upset him, if he panicked or became fearful–just stop. I’d be okay if he’s still wet or whatever. Doubtlessly they thought I was a nervous mommy. I hung around for a while, waiting to see if they called me because he was freaking out. Finally realizing he was evidently not going crazy, I left, after making them promise to call me the second he was ready to go. I had no idea how much it would affect me to drive away and leave Ty behind. When I last saw him, he had his tail down and a worried expression on his face, but he stood on a loose lead and followed the salon gal through the little gate.

One and a half hours later they called to say he was ready. I almost broke the sound barrier to get back to pick him up. They brought him out. He looked beautiful, of course, but bewildered. There was no instant spark of recognition, no wagging tail. He looked like he’d retreated into some private place of his own making. His coping technique. My heart broke.

They reported he was nervous but okay for the bath, then they put him in a kennel with a cage dryer. He didn’t like the dryer but was fine being caged. Well, sure. He was left alone when in the cage. So he was slightly damp when I got there, but he still looked beautiful to me. I put my leash on him, kneeling at his side and talking a mile a minute. I could see teh moment he was ready to go. No mad bolting, no panicked look, just that steady determination that said he was eager to leave. ty-12-6-16-after-bathHome again after his professional grooming. Glad to be home.

ty-12-11-16

Beautiful boy out in the yard, December 11th, 2016.

December 14, 2016 Wednesday, I was running errands this morning and had Ty along, riding shotgun. I took him down to visit a person in downtown that I’d scheduled to stop in at. As we were chatting, Ty stopped his pacing and sat right in front of me. He stared deep into my face. It was a little unnerving with his direct stare.

Soon he tried climbing onto the sofa with me. It took several attempts to get his back legs up there. He stopped once, and returned to give it another few tries.Finally he succeeded with all four feet and settled next to me looking pretty satisfied with his accomplishment.

ty-12-14-2016Outside, Dec 14, before his wonderful gift. Just sitting on the porch here.

I hugged him, sang Dr. Seuss’s song “Oh the places you will go!” and made the biggest deal over his achievement. It was a moment of happy celebration. My friend snapped photos with my camera and hers. He stayed, head on my lap, for the rest of our visit.

ty-and-i-ii-12-14-2016I am signing here.

What a super gift me just gave me.

ty-and-me-12-14-16Oh boy! Happy times!

December 15, 2016 Thursday. While I was in the bedroom, stacking and sorting through some boxes, he approached the study where I had previously been. He stared in to the room, whined once but did not enter. Turning, he returned to the cave.

December 21, 2016 Wednesday. Just an observation as I wrap this year old. I’ve noticed lately that Ty sometimes leaves food behind in his dish, especially in the mornings. Not just a few overlooked kibbles, but a measurable amount. Considering he’d been starved, over ten pounds underweight, and knew years of constant hunger, I find that incredible. I also take it as a sign that he is confident it will still be there later, and he is exercising faith it won’t be stolen or taken away and he won’t be forced to go hungry again. There will always be food for him.  For someone who spent years fighting for scraps, that is a pretty big leap to make in less than two years.

 

November Surprise

We have had a canine guest staying with us, a sweet little Jack Russel Terrier, an alpha female. She returned home November 25, 2016 and I am sorry to say there were no merry romps between her and Ty. There was only a barest of interaction–in the kitchen cave, of course– when she entered to investigate. He tolerated her like he tolerates everything else in life.

She, on the other paw, bullied him. She stole his toys and bones, taking them to the den where she set up temporary camp. She boldly approached him and stole the goodies from right beside  him. He watched, mildly interested, and never even offering to curl a lip. Sweet to the point of pushover. Not even a hint of alarm that his belongings were disappearing.

When it was time to go outside, I’d leash one, then the other. Regardless who I leashed first, she turned snapping teeth at him, warning him to step away from the door. She was to exit first! He politely backed aside.

Finally, after she had made quite a stash of stolen contraband in the den, Ty happened past. He stood and glanced into the room, concerned his belongings were in there, but not concerned enough to mount any sort of rescue. I gave him back the bones, and let her keep the toys. The bones were more valued anyway.
She took the bones back within half an hour. Then the game was on. She even tried stealing treats out of his food dish! Although she seldom wanted any of her own treats that mama had provided. Ty, sweet, dear soul, even allowed her to take his treats from his dish. Pushover to pitiful.

Then, as suddenly as she blew into our lives, her mama returned for her. Toys and bones were returned and the house was set to rights. Ty barely blinked an eye. I honestly believe I can have a herd of buffalo thunder through the house and doubt he would do much beyond look up at best.

November 26, 2016, Saturday. Ty and I went to the grand opening of a new Pets Mart near us. We were one of the early birds, something like number four in line. At first he was nervous. It was cool and rainy, and lots of people and dogs soon joined us in line. He stood, tail tucked, pacing, and checking in with me frequently. Barking dogs bothered him. It was sort of crazy and certainly out of his comfort zone.

Then we went inside. It was chaos! Madness! Claustrophobic. People, kids, dogs, shopping carts, and displays everywhere. Nowhere to walk. Crowded. Stuffy. Not a place he would excel in. Even I questioned the sanity of my early bird decision.

Ty, wonder of wonders, Ty handled it well. Better than I actually. I got a cart and piled goodies into it, including a two and half-foot beef bone for Ty.  We covered almost every foot of that store as I crossed things off my list, and he stayed beside the cart every step. The longer we were there, the more frazzled my patience got, but the more he accepted the chaos. He never pulled or bolted a once. He stayed beside me and checked out the endless action.

ty-11-26-16-at-petsmart-1In the checkout lane at PetsMart

ty-11-26-16-at-petsmart-ii

Once, a sale associate offered to take his lead and go up a couple of aisles while I maneuvered the cart around a blocked corner. (because sometimes people don’t care how much space they block with their carts). I accepted. She and Ty went ahead, and I followed. He trotted merrily along, until he came to the corner two aisles up and realized somehow she wasn’t me. He stopped, backed away from her, and looked around. Spotting me coming up behind, he wagged his tail and looked relieved. Once I had his leash again, his world was right again.

During the check out process, which took a long time due to the crowds, he was a patient pup. He stood, ears up, loose lead, checking out all the action. His monster bone looked like it came off a dinosaur and by evening he already had the knuckle end worked off it.

ty-11-26-16-monster-boneTy and his monster bone back home in the cave!

 

November’s Thanks

ty-11-5-2016November 11, 2016 just walking around the courtyard on a sunny afternoon.

November 13, 2016, Sunday Ty has been spending considerable time sniffing around in the yard lately during our outside trips. Today I found out why. New dogs have been wandering through, leaving their scents behind. I was in the yard alone today, raking leaves, and two females and an intact male–all pit types–came in and urinated in various spots. The male even dropped some poop for good measure. I was interested to see how Ty reacted to fresh remains from different sexes so once they left, I rushed to bring Ty outside.

He sniffed carefully and thoroughly, missing nothing. He lifted his leg everywhere the male had urinated or pooped remarking his property. The male pit came back while we were outside. He stood at the gate, seemingly friendly enough, at least with me. However, I still had to get Ty inside.

Ty, noticing the dog, approached the gate, whining. He pawed at the gate. They sniffed noses through the fence. Then Ty’s bushy tail went up and he wagged it, whined again and offered an invitation to play. So did the pit! They were both friendly.

However, I didn’t want to take any chances when I brought Ty out through the gate, so I asked the pit’s owner, who was over in front of my house, to please come get his dog and take it aside. It all ended easily. Ty went in, back to his cave, and got a treat.

ty-11-12-16-wait-for-dinnerNovember 11th. Dinner please?

As a side note, I have noticed Ty nudges me a more with his nose, when I am in the kitchen—at the sink or stove. It’s just the briefest of touches. Then he’s done. I am not sure if he’s hoping I might drop something if he reminds me he’s there or if he just want’s that reassurance, but it’s a nice gesture.  He also likes to lie in the bedroom, without me  being in there, and chew on the bone he took in there some time ago. He will follow me into the bedroom as I clean the litter boxes.

And he is asking to go outside more. For a dog that never asked for anything, he is starting to stare at me, rising when I approach the door, giving me that look that says, “I’d like to go outside, please.” No barking of course, it’s all action and telepathic communication, but he is exercising his right to an opinion. I love it. And he is much better about accepting kisses and hugs from me. It’s still more of a tolerating thing, instead of relishing them, but at least he no longer stiffens in fear/dread like he used to.

ty-and-taz-11-14-16November 14th, Taz the macaw getting a little too friendly and Ty isn’t sure what to think.

November 23, 2016 Wednesday A pet sitting client of mine is coming today for a three-day stay. She is a nice little Jack Russel terrier–or Parson’s Russel as they are correctly called. She is a confident dog, an alpha female. I hope her generous amounts of self-confidence and assurance will rub off on Ty. I also hope he gains a playmate for the next few days.

Despite his sometimes lack of confidence, like when Taz wants to visit and he isn’t sure about playing with a bird, (hey, who can blame a smart dog for being cautious?) I am still so very happy and thankful for having this wonderful dog in my life. He is growing at his speed, trying new scary things, and making up his own mind on life’s situations. However, I do wish he’d move out of the cave, since I really would like to have my kitchen back.

Oh well. In time maybe. Perhaps with the canine guest who is visiting us…

 

September Notes & October News

While my calendar says it is now late December, I am making a valiant effort to catch up on Ty’s blog. Not a whole lot has happened, but there are some noteworthy strides since my last post/ My apologies for my tardiness. New Year’s resolution is to keep Ty’s blog more up to date. I think 2017 might be the year I compile it all into a real book, available for sale, with proceeds going to the rescue group where I adopted Ty. More on this later in 2017 as time allows me to pursue this further.

In the meantime, please enjoy our journey through the autumn months.

ty-9-7-2016-at-davidson-iii

September 7, 2016 Wednesday I borrowed a friend’s Shih Tzu. Ty knows Cutie Pie well, and enjoys his company, even if Cutie is temperamental whether he wants to be friends or not. I wanted to try an experiment with Ty. I thought bringing a familiar dog into the house, a pal of sorts, who would explore each room and get on the furniture and bark and basically act very much like a normal dog, some of it might rub off on Ty. I’d be happy with any behavior to rub off.

Cutie Pie did great. He investigated each room thoroughly, tried to make friends with the cats, however they were not having it, and hung out with me when not crashed on the furniture in the bedroom or den. In short, he did everything I expected of him.

ty-and-cutire-9-6-2016It looks like they are buddies, but it is misleading. This was the only shot I could get of both dogs in the same picture. Cutie on left, Ty on right, out in the yard.

And Ty…? Yeah, he never even left his precious cave. He never sniffed when Cutie stopped in to check him out. He never investigated when Cutie barked. He never cared there was a dog in the house at all, until I took them both out for a walk. Everywhere Cutie stopped to urinate, so did Ty. He followed Cutie’s tracks from a few feet away, and paused to sniff everywhere Cutie had, lifted a leg where Cutie had and at no time tried to interact with him in the  space of the yard.

I am utterly convinced I can bring a rhino into the house and Ty would not care one bit.

September 8, 2016 Thursday  Ty and I went to the river today. He is terrible at the river. It is meant to be my relaxation station, a place of mediation, deep thought, peace-seeking and zen-like atmosphere. Where I recharge myself mentally and creatively.

Ty paces, drools, slops through the water and generally upsets  my peace and stillness. He never settles down for more than a few moments at best. I did manage to snap a few selfies of us while he was moving about. And a truck backfired loudly while we were down at the water. He climbed, wet and drooling, into my lap for protection from the unseen snorting dragon.

ty-9-7-16-at-davidson-ii  ty-9-7-2016-at-davidson-i

Thankfully it was a short visit, though it gave me more shots with the camera and it made me feel good he sought me in his moment of fear. Much better than bolting to the end of his leash like he had in our early days. It tells me we are developing a bond of trust.

September 12, 2016 Monday. Wow, what a huge breakthrough we had today! This morning, while I was still lying in bed, working up the determination to get up, I heard Ty stir at the foot of the bed. Nails clacking on the hardwood floor, he pranced and frolicked at the cats, particularly Muldoone, the male Maine Coon.

First he faced the doorway, then whirling in collie fashion to face the bed. He play bowed in each direction, tail aloft and waving. Just when I thought it could get no better, he yipped. Yes, a real yip. A joyful sound he emitted. Just once, but it was his happy invitation to the stoic cats to come and play.

I watched, heart leaping for joy at his spontaneous pleasure. He stopped and looked at me, seeming rather pleased with himself. And perhaps a little shell-shocked as well. I was so shell shocked, but delighted, I barely made it out of bed. to take him out. What a wonderful way to wrap up September.

October 1, 2016, Saturday.  This morning I again awoke to hearing Ty clicking his nails on the bedroom floor. He was frolicking, play bowing and trying to entice Muldoone into a game. Muld was buying it, and there were no more playful yips this time, but he was persistently trying to win over a playmate. Much like a puppy might try wining over an older dog.

ty-10-2-16-at-park  Some good pictures from a visit to the dog park October 2, 2016. No interest in the agility equipment. ty-10-2-1016-at-park-11

ty-10-2-16-at-park-close-upSuch a handsome lad. October 2nd at the park.

 

ty-and-muldoone-oct-2016Muldoone visiting Ty in the cave in October 2016

October 23, 2016, Sunday. This morning Ty had brought his knuckle bone into the bedroom at some point during the night. He left it on the bed he sleeps on. I take it as a sign he is growing more comfortable and wanted something from his cave to move into his other bedroom, the one he shares with me.

ty-and-taz-10-6-2016Taz the bird making a visit to the cave. Taz is checking out how to get into the cabinet and Ty is cautiously checking out Taz.

Dog Days (Daze) of August

August has finally yielded to September. The turn of the calendar proves we survived another summer. My darling Ty has made some real strides this past month of August, as well as providing me with a medical worry.

August 3, 2016 Wednesday. I had left a can of Prescription diet A/D down for my cat, Whymzie Belle, to polish off. She had lost some weight recently and I was trying to bulk her back up again. A/D is very palatable, very high in calories and nutrients, and very expensive. She ate most of it and I left the small bit left for her to finish. I was in the study, working, when I heard an odd crushing sound and some gagging and a cough. Highly suspicious and not feline in nature. Following the noises to Ty’s cave, I discovered the chewed up and punctured can of A/D and very innocent looking Ty.Ty 8-3-16 after eating stolen can The picture of innocence.

 

August 6, 2016 Saturday. Ty and I went to the dog park to cool off. He adores the kiddie wading pool– or the puppy wading pool– each time we go. I ended up buying him a duplicate for his exclusive use at home. Interestingly enough, he barely gives his own pool a second glance. Perhaps they are more fun when shared?

Ty 8-6-16 at park pool

Scary times. I’d noticed Ty had wet his bed in the bedroom two nights in  a row. Since his initial learning curve back in March 2015, he has not had any accidents. Suspecting something medical, I gathered a urine sample–which was an adventure in itself with a dog who values his privacy during private moments. After the vet analyzed it, she reported he had lots of bacteria and a bad bladder infection. Okay, these things happen sometimes. So he was started on strong antibiotics for ten days and then a recheck. I bought a package of cheese slices and he took his pills each day rolled in a tasty cheese ball.

August 18th I took a fresh sample back for a recheck, betting we’d cleared up the infection. Mope. He still had nasty urine. Trouble was, he acted fine. He never at any time acted different than he ever did. No indication of pain or discomfort. Had he never wet the floor, I’d never suspected he had an infection. So I made an appointment to take him in the next day for the vet to examine him herself.

Ty 8-19-16 at vet

August 19, 2016 Friday. Ty’s weight is now a healthy 75 ponds. His medical exam is what they call ‘unremarkable’. Nothing stood out on physical exam, yet another urinalysis showed nasty junk but his blood work was completely normal. There was no hint of anything except his urine is highly concentrated and full of bacteria and crud. He drinks all he could want, never lacks for fresh water and still gives no indication he doesn’t feel well. Our plan is to just wait and watch. Should he ever hint at something feeling wrong, ws can tackle it then.

August 27, 2016 Saturday. There have been no more wetting accidents for about two weeks now. Tonight, we experienced some bad thunderstorms. Thankfully I was home with Ty. The house shook a few times from the rumbling. Ty came into the study where I was working. He immediately left, returned, left and returned. He looked anxious.

On his third trip back to me, he laid down on the right side of the desk, at my side. Wow! Finally! I’d only wanted this and waited for this for seventeen months. I froze, scared to even breathe lest I scare him away. I knew he was beside me there only because he was scared of the storms, but I loved it. Finally, my dog was next to me as I worked. What a glorious feeling! He sought me out in his moment of fear.

His visit lasted about five minutes before he got up and returned to the cave.

August 28, 2016 Sunday Ty returned to the study again. No storms this time. He did not lay down, but he still visited a minute, sniffing and saying hi for a moment before leaving again. I slipped  him a doggie cookie I’d kept in the drawer for just such an instance.

August 29, 2016 Monday Evening feeding after I returned home from work. I fed the cats in the foyer, and fed Ty in the cave. As I was returning from the den with the bird’s dishes, Ty was in the foyer, snitching food from the cat’s dishes. Spotting me, he retreated, backing to  his bed in the cave, looking all innocent. Unable to be mad at his new found courage, I gave everyone extra scoops of food, lest anyone go hungry.

Ty 8-19-16 with knuckle II

Ty 8-19-16

August 30, 2016 Tuesday am. Ty repeated his snitching of kitty kibble this morning. I tried for a picture but he retreated too fast. I should have scolded him, yes, but it is so nice to see him acting like a real dog. Dogs steal kitty kibble. It’s what they do. And finally so does Ty.

August 31, 2016 Wednesday. I finally got a picture of Ty, busted thieving from the cat’s dishes at breakfast. What a way to round out the summer and the month.

Ty 8-31-26 busted with cat food

Ty continues to make me so proud in his growth. I barely handle his leash now as we go on and off the porch and sidewalk to his fenced yard for potty breaks. It’s been a slow climb for both of us, but I am so happy with where he is mentally and emotionally now. And  I can’t wait to see what the fall and winter bring us.

 

 

 

Summertime Blues

Sorry, I could not resist the reference to Ty’s lovely blue merle coloring. I love blue merle collie colors. I like them in Australian Shepherds, Australian Cattle Dogs and the occasional other breed I see in a blue merle. And I smile to myself each I time I encounter someone who never knew collies came in any color other than “Lassie”. If television’s “Lassie” had been a tri-color or a white, people would think the sables looked like mixes.

But I digress. Ty is a blue, he is a collie and I happen to think he look’s just splendidly handsome. And July has been a month of giant leaps for Ty, a real turning point in his personality.

July 1, 2016 Saturday. Early fireworks before the Independence Day celebration. Ty tolerated them initially, curled into a ball in the corner of the cave, panting heavily. I had Taz’s radio blaring the classics and the area fan whirling to create more noise. Then I went to bed, Within an hour, there was a particularly loud round of booms and pops and I heard his feet scrambling for the bedroom. He raced in, landed on the pink bed beside me and did his best to sink into it. Poor baby.

July 7, 2016 Thursday. The celebration is behind us for another year. Ty did okay. I stayed home with him each evening and he liked my reassuring presence. Hopefully by next July he will be more confident, enough so to not be bothered much. I have noticed lately that Ty is playing with and trying to catch the water when I spray it from the hose into buckets to water the shrubs He is also changing the locations of where he is relieving himself.

His new confidence really showed through today–Thursday–at the dog park. Someone brought a plastic kiddie wading pool for their dog. Ty climbed into it twice. He mostly just stood there, but he did paw at the water for a few moments. I got some nice photos while he stood there, looking around.

Ty 7-7-16 at park Ty 7-7-16 in pool at park In the pool.

I was reminded of the first time he raced into the river, leaped about and stood on the bank, feet soaked clear to the elbow and he glared at the water as if to demand what the cruel prank was about. He also avoided the river for multiple return visits. So this is definitely something new.

And then, true to form, when he was ready to leave the park, he simply walked over to the gate and looked back at me. I swear that dog and I are getting mentally connected.

July 8, 2016 Friday. Lots of thunderstorms tonight and lightning. I’d just put Taz bird to bed and went back to the study to get his dishes to clean when Ty came from the kitchen cave into the study. Yep, a first! He sniffed every corner, each pet bed, litter box, plants and chair. Then he stood by the French doors, looking very much like he was studying the view beyond the glass and blinds. Mostly he just stayed around Taz’s perch where I was, pretty much in shock by his visit, though I knew he was scared by the thunder. After four or five minutes, he went back to his kitchen cave. I gathered Taz’s dirty dishes and that was the end of that.

July 11, 2016, Monday. More thunderstorms this afternoon. It was before work and I was in the study trying to get some work done before leaving for work. Ty ran from the kitchen to the bed room, trying to hide. No study visit today.

Ty 7-11-16 weatherin the storm Weathering the storm in the bedroom. His “Sister” Kryshnah (on bed) wonders what woke her up. He just wants the storm to end.

July 30, 2016 Saturday. Another big step for Ty today! After a long overdue brushing session on the porch, I lead him inside to the bathroom. He swung first into the bedroom, then tried for the cave and finally joined me in the bathroom, via a four-foot leash.

He was a tiny bit nervous at first. I sat on the edge of the tub, holding his leash and chatting away. He sniffed around. He laid down at my feet, pretty much resolved that it wasn’t horrible and he’d wait to see what I was doing next. I ran some water so he could learn the sound or water were not bad. I have grand illusions of giving him a bath this summer yet. Three of the cats came to visit us. After a few moments, unhooked his leash. He stayed until I finally stood up to go. Then he slowly ambled over to the bedroom.

July 31, 2016, Sunday. For the last few weeks I have noticed Ty’s been spreading out his deposits in the side yard. He spends a great deal of time sniffing, especially along the fence perimeter and around the big tree on the patio. Today I think I finally figured out why. He is finally feeling at home here, this is his home. He is marking every possible space with  his scent for others to know— this is his.

Ty 7-22-16Late night photo of Ty in his yard, standing tall and proud July 22nd.

Later tonight, we’d just recently returned from another walk outside and I was in the study. Ty was in the cave. It was thundering in the distance. Ty went into the bedroom, which is not unusual. A moment later he entered the study. Yes, a second visit in one month. He went over to the French doors again, peered out and sniffed around under Taz’s perch. He sniffed my chair. I tried to offer him a cookie from the drawer but he headed back to the kitchen cave once more.

 

 

 

June (merle) Blues

Ty 6-8-16 at Paws IIPretty boy!

June 14, 2016 Tuesday. Today is the first day I brushed Ty’s teeth. I noticed some tartar and a bit of angry-looking gums over his canines yesterday and had to scramble to find the proper tools. He tolerated the procedure well, sitting politely, and slobbering profusely. I’d probably slobber too if someone shoved poultry toothpaste in my mouth.

Ty 6-8-16 at Paws III - CopyStriking a pose

He is also starting to sleep in the bedroom again, on his fluffy pink bed. It’s a hit or miss thing, he might stay, he might not. He might come back, he might not. At least he is at the point he can make his own choices, and play around with those choices.

June 22, 2016 Wednesday. Today is 1 year and 3 months since Ty and I met.  Today I see a dog who has evolved  into a beautiful collie inside and outside. He is trusting, gentle, and confident– at least more so from the shut down shell of a dog I first met. He lifts his leg to pee now. He obeys pretty good, considering the tiny bit of real, formal training I gave him. He is still clueless on heel, (though he does it perfectly at the dog park) down (which we just never both with) and almost sits on command. (another hit or miss)  He does them without commands because he knows I want him to do that function.

Ty 6-8-16 at PAWSConsentration.

I’ve said it before, and I believe it still, that I swear he reads my mind. And he wants to please me, because it pleases him in the end. Smart dog.  He still stays in his kitchen ‘cave’  but he weathers thunder and gunshots better. Bad storms in the forecast? We have a shirt for that. He still has yet to bark. I get an occasional whine at the park when he’s nearing that threshold. He whines sometimes during his PTSD dreams, but they are no where as bad as before. He loves car rides, dog park visits and trip to see my friends. The last few trips to the river have been a little stressful so we might curtail those.

Ty 6-30-16 at riverAt the river

I would love to throw my arms around Ty and give him a huge hug, because that’s how he makes me feel sometimes. However, I know he’d never appreciate that. Tolerate it? Sure. Enjoy it? Nope. I can sit by him, on floor, porch, even the cave, and he welcomes the talking, petting and brushing. But he still has a short span of being handled before he feels uncomfortable.

Ty 6-30-16 chillingTy 6-30-2015

Cooling off on his cooling pad                                                 Head’s up! Both from June 30th

More than ever, I really wish he could talk to me. I’d just love to hear his thoughts.

Ty 6-8-16 at Paws III - Copy (2)