Odie was very shut down when he came to us, unable to communicate afraid of just about everything. He was especially terrified of any open space, even indoors and unable to accept the lead and collar. Ode does not like having his collar touch and grabbed I should imagine because he had never worn a collar and it must have felt a strange and scary thing to have something around your neck. When he first arrived he didn’t really have an idea of house training due the fact he had never been outside to toilet and lived ate and slept in the same area, it didn’t help that the even the garden was a scary place to be. Now we know he is going to try and escape the garden he is aloud outside unsupervised for short periods and he has learnt to to do his business outside and when he needs to go he will stand at the door, looking back at us, if he does have an accident we go ‘oh dear!’ and clean up with out making a fuss so not to make him fearful.
In the beginning he had a bed in the kitchen next to the radiator and began to fell secure spending his time there even when the rest of us went in the lounge or upstairs to bed. We allowed it to become his safe space. During this phase we would stroke and pet him gently as his skin was still quite scabby and sore from the terrible flea infestation he had when he first arrived. It took about a week before he could be encouraged into the lounge but he wouldn’t stay, even if we brought his bed in. By this time he had got used to being stroked. After being lifted onto the settee a couple of times and cajoled after that, this was a watershed moment and the bed was abandoned in favour of the roaching possibilities of DFS corner settee. Not long after that he wagged his tail for the first time which was a real cause for celebration.
Now he wags his tail whenever he wants a stroke and also when interacting with Arlo the resident saluki cross. He still isn’t brave enough to play with him just yet.
After 10 days of being happy to sleep overnight in the kitchen Odie discovered loneliness and a howl like a canadian wolf! Needless to say he and his bed were brought up to our room and after a couple of restless nights and one or two accidents he now settles down on his bed. Odie enjoys his food he is currently fed his raw mince twice a day with a pigs ear after dinner and a fish bite at the end of the day. We don’t believe in spoiling him, ahem.
I’m not sure that leaving him for any length of time would be good thing and he has chew some of out mail, a blanket and once took some delight in shredding a newspaper! I think this may have been a sign of frustration as now he has settled a bit he hasn’t done it for a while.
We think he will make a great companion dog, although because of his nervousness a home with young adults rather then children would suit his best. He is intelligent and we think he will become biddable as his confidence grows. He is able to walk around town, although he is still troubled by loud noises and crowds. He has greeted other dogs when we have been out, and while he wasn’t effusive he has shown no sign of aggression whatsoever. We have a brook nearby and although he didn’t seem to mind paddling, he preferred to use the stepping stones once he figured out that was why they were there.
Life wasn’t a bowl of cherries for Odie and he has missed so many milestones. Despite it all he is coming to grips with the possibilities of a life of love and happiness something that he hasn’t experienced before.