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.