cannot tell you how happy I am to continue telling Justice's story filled with
so many successes. It seems that after his regressive week, he has moved forward
without hesitation. I am thrilled but not surprised!
has great fun in the kitchen now, acknowledging that it is his safe place. I
still believe he is young as he loves tearing apart the boxes and towel rolls I
donate to play time. He squeaks all of the toys wholeheartedly too. One day I
can home to find the 24 cans from a case of cat food spread around the kitchen
as if he had been playing hockey. The box was destroyed. How silly of me to set
them on the floor in HIS room.
also redecorating the kitchen by tearing out the broken floor tiles - thanks,
man. Sometimes I can hear him running around and having a great time when I am
elsewhere in the house. Often toys and paper and kongs and nylabones are dragged
around and left throughout the kitchen. All of this makes me so happy to know he
is wildly playing and enjoying himself.
he plays so hard that he actually moves his crate around - so funny!
the middle of March, Justice began spending more time out of his crate when I
was in the kitchen. He even would look at me from the side of his face if I was
talking. He seemed to like my singing too.
became very interested in the dishwasher. He was on hand to smell and lick as I
loaded and unloaded. I allowed this since it brought him physically so close to
me. I'm making it clear that he doesn't have to trust me but I want him to want
to trust me.
morning ritual began to strengthen around the end of March. Instead of being
fully in his crate when I entered first thing in the morning, he would be
peeking slightly around the corner to see me enter. I reinforced his bravery
with treats thrown away from him and of course his breakfast. He was tolerating
my hand getting closer when setting down bowls. He also began holding longer eye
contact without turning away immediately.
longer needs to be in between me and the crate so that he can easily run in. He
wanders all over the kitchen when I am in there, often sneaking up to smell my
shoes or clothing.
interested in and seems unafraid of the resident dogs. He touches noses and
smells them as they go by or stand near his crate. Medications are delivered in
dollops of cream cheese so he gets some too. He stays forward as I smoosh some
on his crate. We have photos of him licking it off.
it a point to demonstrate the trust the other dogs have in me. I always pet them
and talk to them when they are in the kitchen. If they are near his crate, I pet
them in a way that my hand is close to him. When he smells them, he also smells
has not met dogs out of the crate yet. I want it to be a total non-issue when he
does. We are getting close.
a very friendly 7 month old Golden mix came to visit. They had a great time
meeting and greeting through the crate. There are some fun pictures of them
with his friend Augie!|
a young black Lab with a traumatic history, came to board in April. He spent
most of his time lying in front of Justice's crate. I thought they must be
comparing stories and recoveries. Justice seemed very excited to meet
1.5 year old Golden boy, also brought out the best in Justice. They both offered
lots of play bows and mirrored movements.
not seen any aggression. This tells me that I have honored his space adequately
and proceeded slowly enough for him to feel safe. I witness regularly that he
prefers withdrawing to the back of the crate when he is worried, which is an
seems to recognize his name and will sometimes look when called. By the end of
March he seemed almost happy and relaxed. He seems to associate me with treats
and safety. He is less forthcoming with others yet but makes more eye contact
while still remaining in his small crate at the rear of the big
awhile I was concerned about his eyesight. I think it was stress that made them
seem like he couldn't focus. Happily, they seem fine and he looks at me with
both of them now.
hair has not grown back but it seems to be healed. I still have a dilemma
regarding a collar and leash though as I don't want to spook him after all of
the progress he has made. I have a comfortable cloth collar/leash that I will
begin to have nearby to desensitize him to it.
began sitting next to where I was standing. Then one day he was lying down. He
also began to take steps toward me while I was watching.
April 21st, Justice tap danced in the morning when I entered. He was so excited
and happy that he simply danced in place. He was expressing his joy and eager
anticipation for what the day might hold for him. I can tell you that I have
been touched by him very often but this - well, what better thing could
each day since then has been a day of celebration with more and more milestones.
He touches his nose to my pant leg. He comes forward as I slouch down, asking
'how can I help you, sir?' He reaches his nose toward my hand which lies flat
along my leg.
May 6th he brought his nose close to my mouth almost in a kiss.
allow him to make all of the moves and they are coming faster and more
courageous now. We have built a very solid foundation. He knows I 'get' him
because I don't ask him to do what he cannot.