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.


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.