Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Little Dog That Could

I think this bowtie is a bit big for me!

The spunk and intelligence of many dogs who come into rescue from sad circumstances never fails to amaze me, and my newest foster Petey is no exception. He may be all of ten pounds soaking wet, geriatric, completely blind, deaf, with rotten teeth, and obviously has been terribly neglected, but no one ever told HIM that. He is one independent dude, who in five short days has learned to negotiate the whole house and most of the back yard, much of it without even lowering his head to sniff the ground any more.

Let's see, kitchen ahead and to the right....

He can now find his way between the living room, kitchen, and my office without bumping into a thing. With a few missteps, he can make his way from the mudroom at the back of the house to the kitchen near the front. The dining room is more of a challenge because of chair legs, but he does amazingly well. Mostly he will try to find his own way out of Chair Leg Forest, but occasionally when he gets stuck he will sit down and squeak until I give him a hand. I try to wait a little bit longer each time he squeaks, keeping in mind a poem (by Ogden Nash, I believe) I learned when my daughter was about two and which I think I have quoted on this blog in the past:

I see him stumble on the rung,
But do not run to get him.
He's learning how to climb, and I
Am learning how to let him.

Petey is also very competent in the back yard – he no long bumps into fences. The large puddles currently forming from our first day of heavy rain in a long, long time are a bit of a challenge to him, but usually I just carry him over them to higher, drier ground.

Petey is not keen on his crate, voicing his opinion loudly before settling down to sleep, or waking up and demanding his servant come let him out. However, he loves his oval dog bed and can find his own way in and out of the basket with no problem. While the crate is a necessity at times - like on our trip to the vet yesterday - he has the run of the house when I am home, and an xpen around his basket when I must go out for more than a half hour or so.

He is completely comfortable with Sadie and Becky and Allie, though they are not so sure what to make of him.

Sadie:  MOMMMM.....He's staring at me again!
Petey:  Silly cow! Doesn't he know I can't see????

Petey chows down like there's no tomorrow - he has no problem at all finding his dish! Because of his rotten teeth, he is on canned food only, and he likes most varieties. But today's salmon and sweet potato was a Big Fail. He flatly refused to eat it, backing away in disgust until I, needing to get his medications into him, opened a can of lamb and rice and offered him that. Half a can was gone in a heartbeat.

I dunno about the service here.  A guy could starve waiting for dinner to arrive.

He is incredibly clean – not a single accident in the house - and does his business as soon as he feels his feet on the grass outside. He likes to be warm, and gets quite trembly when naked. I stopped by the SPCA yesterday and they loaned me a sweater which fits him perfectly - much better than wearing his fleece-lined parka inside, and warmer than his "Born To Run" teeshirt, though both have their uses.

Just watch me - Speedy Petey!

We’ve begun a little leash training - trying to get him to follow the tug of a leash in the yard or house. He will follow for a few seconds but then he plants his butt on the ground and rolls over. It’s rather like trying to walk a cat on leash – I follow him rather than the reverse! See, he's no dummy - he knows who's in control!

But the most amusing aspect of this little dog that could is the effort he puts into make his bed. Sometimes it takes him a full twenty minutes of scratching and shoving and twisting and turning and pulling and pushing and mouthing and tugging to get his blanket just where he wants it. Try taking the blanket away and he is inconsolable - he will scratch at the pad in the basket and then give up in disgust and walk away to search for a better spot. Here's a video taken part way through his bed making effort - and although it ends with him settling down, he was back up working on it again as soon as I switched off the video. (I apologize for the darkness - I cannot seem to get the camera to allow in more light in the video mode).


Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

Petey, that looks like an awful lot of work to do. I just plop down wherever I can even if there is no room for me. As for your great attitude & nothing can stop me spirit, I keep telling the Mrs. that people should be more like dogs; no grudges held & endless perseverance :) Go Petey!!!

Pauley James

Audrey (Birdlady) said...

What a cutey-pie Petey is. Poor wee fellow left and neglected - how very sad. Thank goodness for the rescue and you for fostering him. At least he will know he's loved now. Love how his bed has to be "just so"!!!!!!!!
~ Audrey ~