March 31, 2015 and Ty took a horrible step backward with the sensory overload from the roofers next door. All our progress in the last week seemed to be lost forever and I was at a loss how to help my new buddy.
April 1. And who is the fool? Ty’s tail, which had slightly, ever so slightly, started to peek out from beneath him, now firmly returned to hiding. Entering the fenced area of the yard brought on heavy panting, ears laced back, mouth wide and eyes wide. And no voiding of his personal needs. So I surrendered the desire for him to use the fenced area as his bathroom and instead took him to the far end of the open yard. Walking in circles at the property line, he eventually found a suitable spot and felt comfortable to do his business. But it has been a rough day. I wanted to shake my fists at those roofers but I knew they were just doing a job and were oblivious to the fright they caused my dog and the keen disappointment I carried.
April 2. Ty and I have been together eleven days. What little emerging confidence he had finally experienced was now gone. I had been brave enough to start dropping the leash when he was in the fenced yard, giving him some freedom and choices. Well, that is done with for now. Instead, he stays on the leash, held in my hand, at all times. Trips outside are quick and to the point. He leads me to the far end of the property, tail tucked, circles several times, does his business and leads me back to the porch. One inside, he makes that mad scramble for the cave of comfort he has made for himself. It’s heartbreaking to see his fear. To feel his anxiety. I left the music playing when I must be gone. I only want to give him a huge hug and let him know everything will be okay, but he still holds himself tight and reserved. I don’t think he’d snap or bite, but I don’t think he would welcome the touch either. How sad.
April 4. Because of the Easter holiday, we have had no roofers for two days. And I can see a slight improvement. We still won’t enter the fenced section or wander beyond the cave of comfort. But I did attempt to introduce a little leash training, mostly heel so he won’t pull as much. And I did get some brushing done while lingering on the porch instead of madly dashing back inside. He tolerated both with his stoic silence.
Later, we drove over to my friend’s house so he could meet them. Their little dogs were left in the bedroom, barking madly. He handled meeting the humans well, tolerating their petting and liking their snacks. I left him to walk around the house and while he never attempted to follow me, he did watch where I was at. I consider that a milestone. And he actually appeared happy to be riding in the Jeep. First sign of happiness. Even getting home, he wasn’t in such a hurry to rush back inside. So I am optimistic enough to think we are past the worse.
Until the roofers return after the Easter break.
April 8, 2015 and the roofers have returned. Ty is not happy about it, but he isn’t freaked out either. I heard them arrive as dawn was breaking and rushed to get Ty outside for a potty break before they started their loud equipment.
By now, in the last few days, he has learned his name, turning to me when I call it. He likes to lounge next to me in the swing–the one in the fenced yard we only just returned to. He can walk around without panting and pacing. Though he still prefers the non-fenced area of the yard.
He walks pretty good on a fairly loose lead now, but tends to crowd me to the right side. And he still rushes ahead, especially when approaching steps, gates, etc.. For correction I have found a soft clucking sound works best. He doesn’t need anything else. He gets it with just that soft noise. He won’t look at me, but he stops what he’s doing.
He can totally ignore loud motorcycles, loud engines, barking dogs and airplanes. Nail guns and compressors from next door are clearly hated though. He is starting to leave food behind in his dish, as if he has figured out there is more coming. He is eating slower too since he realized there is no competition for the dish. No accidents in the house lately, but he still doesn’t always void when outside. I feel he is still trying to figure that one out. Is it really safe to poo? I wish I could tell him it is.
He likes all forms of treats, but cannot be lured into exploring the house yet. We are not bonded yet. Inside, he stays by choice in his cave of comfort. Outside, he prefers to stay near me, within sight of me. No interaction with the curious cats either. No interest in his toys.
He almost seems a paradox. He’s aloof, quiet, and confident, yet he has very little confidence. He keeps his tail tucked low. No barking. No whining. Slow to process new things. Is very shy. Outside, he is scared of the plants flanking the steps and bolts past them if I am not prepared. Despite all this, I see a quirky sense of humor lurking under his stoic personality. I think he wants to let go and be a dog. I wish I could help him get there. the trip to see my friends was the most rewarding so far.