Like any progression of success, there must be forward momentum and baby steps, along with a few slides backward. Ty’s experienced his backsliding during the time the roofing team was working next door. Now, as he was growing accustomed to their racket, he settled down emotionally, resuming his previous emotional placement.
April 12th and I decided it was time to nudge Ty gently into something new. We’d been handling the roofers pretty well. After one of our walks outside, instead of unleashing him at the door, I coaxed/ pulled and more or less dragged him to the den. I rested on the sofa and he sank down next to me on the floor, kind of on the rugs I had placed there for him Tail tight and ears down, he was not pleased. The only good thing he discovered was the left over bird food he found littering the bottom of my bird’s cage.
This is human food (pasta, veggies, etc… that is routinely dumped by the bird, who at this moment in time was on his perch in the other room away from Ty and myself. Ty nosed around and cleaned up the discarded food.
Two of the resident cats came nosing in to check him out. My mature Maine Coon Cat, Muldoone, was unimpressed with the encroachment of the interloper and sat down to think about it. Ty ignored him.
The youngster, year and half old Avery Faith, took more of an interest. She hunkered down about two feet away to study him. Deciding he was harmless, she worked her way closer, until she was practically nose to nose with him. Ty’s curiosity grew as her boldness did, but in the end, he ignored her and she gave up, opting to join me on the sofa.
Our little side journey lasted maybe half an hour. Long enough for him to see it’s okay to g beyond his comfort zone and hopefully plant a seed in his mind. In the end, I unleashed him and he retreated back to his cave.
April 15th, no more visits to the den. We’d experienced lots of rain lately and he’s totally cool with our daily rainy walks. I introduced a new challenge. It’s along the lines of introducing obedience training. Upon returning from our walk, instead of him doing that mad bolt to the cave, he stands, quivering, ears back, as I slowly undo his leash. Then I step back one pace. Then he dashes to the cave. It’s progress. I can get him to stand, quivering, for almost 30 to 40 seconds.
April 18th and I can sense a fragile bond forming between Ty and myself. It is very thin but it’s starting. Twice now he has come to the door, standing on the rug, asking to go outside. He is starting to suggest we linger on the porch or swing in the yard instead of rushing back inside to his waiting cave. He had his first really good brushing session today.
He still keeps a lowered head, avoiding most eye contact. When he does look, it’s brief and be quickly looks away.
Ty’s ‘selfie’ on the 19th. It took me a long time and lots of coaxing to get him to look at me long enough to snap this picture. Most were caught with either a lowered head or his white ruff as he looked away. Even this shot was caught scant seconds as he turned away. Here he is, resting in his cave of comfort before I interrupted him for a photo op.
I decided to start is official obedience training in earnest this week. He has a pretty decent grasp on ‘heel’, ‘come’ and ‘kennel’, So I’ve added ‘sit’ with hand signals. So far I only tried it a few times out in the fenced yard and once upon entering the rug inside the front door. I have the sudden crazy notion of training him for a CGC, Canine Good Citizen certificate some day. I think–at least for now–he might be able to pass the test.
April 17th. during one of our late night walks. His tail is starting to emerge once more, but he still holds himself tight, not relaxed or confident. This is the unfenced area of the yard, at the end of the driveway where he likes to piddle. Physically he is looking better, his personality nuances are coming slowly out. However, he still lacks confidence and true happiness.