Today is actually Ty and my one year anniversary. I need to go prepare some specia treat for him soon, but I also feel I need to update this blog. All my good intentions are getting lost in the demands of everyday life. So we ended last time in late November, a time of progress and better understanding. We are  now into December.

December 7, 2015 Monday I have noticed lately that Ty is bad for not wanting to come back inside at night after a walk. Since he’s been cooped up most the day, I can’t really blame him. He ignores my requests at the gate or appear overly concerned I might leave him alone out in the yard. No, I wouldn’t but he doesn’t know that. Or does he?

So last evening I sat on the bedroom floor with him, just petting and loving and brushing. This morning I took him out and he gave me no issues whatsoever. At noon, I took him out again and sat on the swing, watching as he tried to catch a squirrel. He failed. He walked around, sniffing and pooping like normal. Afterward, he went to the gate and asked to go back in. I took his leash and guided him back to the swing and started gently to pet him. He cowered down, tail tucked, head turned, eyes down. He didn’t pull away, he did show curiosity, but he was very unsure.

I started at his ears and slowly massaged backward as he slowly inched forward until he was lying at my feet and I had reached his fluffy butt. Five minutes later I took him to the gate and he was ready for inside.

I have also realized I backed off from always giving him a treat when we go out and come back in. He’s put on enough weight finally where I can’t feel his ribs easily anymore.

December 10, 2015 Thursday. Normal settings have been restored regarding Ty’s reluctance to come to the gate to return inside. Since spending that extra time with him, he’s been better about coming to the gate when called.

So today we tried something new. I took his leash, squatted down and called him to come. He started bolting. I held fast, giving him about three feet between us.Then I pulled  him to me, repeated the come command. At one foot, I stopped pulling and stretched out to pet, scratch and baby talk  him. I let him go to the end of the leash and called again. He came straight to me!

Great progress! We repeated this three times, with lots of praise and petting. Then we went to the porch and I tried it again. He didn’t bolt but he didn’t come either. He stayed, tail tucked and cowered. He waited, uncertain. Pet and praise for not bolting. It was progress. And then inside for treats and the safety of the cave to mull it over.

December 12, 2015 Saturday. We went motoring over to our friend’s house. He stayed in the car because they were having roofing work done with lots of men and noise. Remembering how he can be with roofing noise, it was a short visit. Mere minutes. Next, a visit to the vet. 69.2 pounds. Up from a start weight of 63 pounds back in March. Leaving the vet’s, he leapt up on the counter with his front feet as if he had always done that.

Humm. I have to wonder now if I have mistakenly blamed the cat for some of the counter surfing that takes place. Next stop–the dog park. He was eager to go, very playful at first. There were lots of dogs, all types and sizes and temperments. He played with the ones he wanted to and ignored the others. He is very good at ignoring what he doesn’t want to deal with. A coping skill of his no doubt. I didn’t get any pictures taken this time, but he had a fun time for a while.

After about half an hour, he just stopped and seemed to mentally shut down. He reminded me of a lost person, unsure of where to turn. He whined. I called him but he ignored me as well. The place was very full, about 20-25 dogs and a dozen people. I suspect he just hit his threshold for stimulation. He stumbled a couple steps. I went to the gate and called him. He seemed to finally recognize me and fell into a perfect heel like he’d been trained all his life. I think he was just glad to get out of there.  He came home and had  no more limping or signs of pain. He just wanted to rest.

Ty 12-8-15December 8, 2015 walking around the back yard. Tail still not up much but not tucked tight anymore.

December 17, 2015 Thursday. Today I realized I’m seeing  a lot more of  his tail waving in the air as he goes around the yard. He checks things out more. Looking around. He still won’t bark at anything, but he’s taking a notice.

Ty 12-17-15 II

December 17, 2015 walking around the back yard, just watching me.