Oh how a life can change in 10 days since my last post. Life has been pretty full, in fact there were days I would call it overflowing. I am learning, Kirby is learning....... yes, I changed his name; either that or buy a zig zag brown shirt, a red baron hat and a friend called Linus. He responds to Kirby and eats everything off the floor so it seemed to fit. Just like he fits in this old house, we three call home, and an occasional interloper called, Rufus.
I am now jumping out of bed at 5:30 a.m. grabbing a leash and waiting for me is this face. We have our customary 30 second meet and greet, then hit the backyard, tree lawn and navigate up the driveway to the house for breakfast. Kirby eats while I make coffee.
Food and treats have taken a couple days to figure out. The kibble sent home with him was too big. He had had three teeth extracted from his run in with the Akita and I think the big stuff was just tough to eat. Luckily they make the same stuff in small bites and I added 1/3 can of something called tender chunks that make me want to blow chunks but it was the ticket, it stayed down and he was happy! Tail wags all around. Phew! Entering the realm of treats, who knew there would be an aisle, yes and aisle of treats........ I stepped away when I read a bag called; Better Than Pig Ears. Pass on that "treat" and bought 5 others. I ran home and opened package after package. 4 brands where taken excitedly, rolled around the discerning pallet and spit on the floor; Nope. The last package which I thought for sure would be a dud; Hollywood Stars, peanut butter treats for dogs, $1.99 for a package (the cheapest treat on the shelf) 4 paws up and a full drool bar of success! I went back and bought 3 more bags.
After several days of sleeping, experiencing our first thunderstorm in this summer of drought, hanging out, just getting to know each other, it hit me I had work to do. Oh and on that thunderstorm..... he cleared the back room, flipping a table full of potted plants, a couple pedestals with old pots I didn't mind loosing, disconnected the printer when he crawled under the desk; it was nothing short of experiencing a tornado inside your house. The backfire of a car or a neighborhood kid with firecrackers will send him to the moon. The back room is now decorated in early American dog. I went back to the APL and purchased a crate, then off to buy a cushy orthopedic dog bed and more treats. The ace bandage sits above the crate (works like the thunder vest) and I have a bottle of melatonin at the ready. Installed the window air conditioner. Survival gear and if all hope is abandoned, the crate for me! Noises he likes: motorcycles, vacuums and big trucks....... he obviously has history.
Ok back to work. I put the leash on him after three days and walked him out to the studio. I opened the door, he backed away and dropped to his belly shaking. OK, not today. I had asked so much of this dog in three days I was not pushing the studio. We walked back to the house, I opened the door and for the first time he walked across the threshold without being coaxed and laid on the floor. It was enough and he knew this was a safe place. I stroked his head, told him how great he was, he passed out and I went to the studio to work. We did this for 4 days....... the fourth day, with a lot of coaxing, he put one paw in the studio, then the second paw. I cheered, handed out treats but the back end was just not coming in. I put a pile of treats of the floor as he gobbled them up I hoisted the back end of this 90 pound tank into the studio. I took the leash off, he turned around and realized the door had closed. I waited for the tornado but instead he very carefully paced. I turned up the radio, thank the heavens above he likes NPR, and set about my studio routine. He checked out every corner, under every table, he liked the hum of my old Shimpo wheel but never sat down for three hours. He paced and panted. I finally thought this was enough and picked up the leash. When he heard the leash, he danced! We went for a toot around the yard and back to his safe place and a treat. Phew...... but he had made it to the studio! The next day, same routine, however after 30 minutes I looked over my shoulder and saw this:
I had a bed and blankets on the floor but he decided on dirty concrete..... and how happy am I that I work in porcelain and white stoneware! Life's little wonders..... or I would have gotten a brown dog :)
He does well with routine, as do I and there has been a cadence to my day again.
My morning view also includes this guy....... the romance is going very slow but he is coming around.
Hey, whadda ya do'in?
This is gross...... who eats this stuff?
We can visit from the safety of your window ....... for now.
Kirby has had his nose swiped once but not been deterred and Rufus really needs a snuggle along with his ears and butt scratched everyday so eventually they will figure it out. I anticipate once the days grow short and cold and the wood stove is fired up, we will see détente and the cold war will ease.
I never thought this blind dog would join me on the long walks and hikes I love so much but to my amazement he will. In 10 days he has made one entire lap around the cemetery, 1 mile. Wild cheering on my part! He seems to want to go, his energy level and smell expectations are grand! We have walked to the corner of the street. Other dogs freak him out a bit as does the traffic on the road.... me too so we will find quiet places to hike. Kirby likes to go to the same destinations and each time it is easier for him. He is not of fan of walking at night and tends to walk to the street lights, so he can see some light. He bumps into things ..... a lot. I have learned when he bumps into me I should not jump out of his way but let him because that is how he is building self confidence and getting his bearings. A short leash is a great tool too. We both could use a helmet as we wander through life and boy we both have our bumps and bruises from finding out way......
Nice to have a buddy to find it together. He has fit into this old potters life seamlessly.
Next week we tackle porcelain teapots and car rides ......