Friday, September 3, 2010

Two Days In......

So we've settled in a bit after two days.

In the beginning, the only way to describe our little man was shellshocked. He was suspicious of everyone and while he walked on leash with me, he remained at the end of the leash seeking escape, eyes wide as dinner plates and shaking heavily as everything he knew had just been ripped out from under him. He took up refuge under the kitchen table, and then under the bed in *his room* that I had set up for him. We did end up removing access to under the bed, so that we could safely handle him to get him outside.

Treats were a no-go for the first day altogether, although two days later we did share a philly cheese/steak wrap and he did approach to take several pieces of steak from my hand. Although he did reject the pure salmon and freeze-dried chicken. He only ate his supper after we had gone to bed and we could hear him crunching kibble in the other room.

The next day he got to meet my guys through baby gates and expens, and while not over friendly, he did not appear to be too worried either. They spent the full day seeing each other with no contact. I continued taking him outside to do his business, and just spent time sitting with him and being there. Only making contact if he wanted, the first day went pretty much touch-free except to put on and remove his leash. However, he did bring a smile to my face when he approached me the following morning while I was on the computer and gently nudged my hand with his nose for some verrrrrrrrrrrrrry small attention. Fast forward to last night I was sitting in the living room with him, I sat on the floor and just sort of looked out the window, singing softly. And much to my wondering eyes did appear, Harley came out from under the coffee table to sit beside me, and nudged my hand again. I gently put my hand down and brushed his back, and when I stopped he placed his head under my hand to acknowledge and give permission to continue. We sat there for about fifteen minutes, following this pattern of 30 seconds of massage and gentle touch, and leaving him to decide if it was enough or he wanted more. It was satisfying compared to the day he came home.

He is still frightened of quick movements and I cannot say there is any sort of trust yet, however I think it's under there and he's trying to reach out. He is now dragging a leash through the house during supervised times, and follows me (and my partner) everywhere when we leave the room. He is now loose with my three dogs in controlled situations, and we'll see how things progress. He's not showing any interest in them at this time, and is quite tentative understandably, but he's also not being inappropriate. He made one totally appropriate warning to Shimmer when she got in his face a little too quickly and assertively, and a quick "Leave It" was a solution to any pending arousal.

Time will tell how further progress is made. I am most surprised, and impressed, with Gaci, who I thought would be the last dog to be understanding of his situation, with all of the issues she has gone through. Yet she is the one who is sending out the most calming signals, is the most relaxed with him, and seems to understand that he is in a bad place right now. Who knows, maybe even she can understand where he's coming from. It's definitely the opposite reaction of when I had my last foster here.  Whatever it is, she seems to know where he's at, and is responding accordingly.

One day at a time, that's all we're at.

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