Caroline mentioned in a comment how Sam walks when he is afraid. It is a hoot!
You remember that Sam is the one who has major trust issues with humans. If I sit down or lie down in bed, he is very much OK with just nestling with me and is so relaxed that I can pick up a foot and drop it without a reaction for him most times. But if I stand up and begin to move around the room/house, he becomes a nervous Nellie! He runs from me, runs from one end of the house to the other, back and forth, back and forth. If I am in his path, he dodges under the table or a chair or a bench to avoid crossing paths with me. It is weird to watch!
His running or trotting or walking ..... whatever it is .... is steady and doesn't change rhythm unless he does the dodging thing! And the whole time he is doing this, his head is up high, his neck stiff and straight, his back straight, and his legs move just like dogs in a dog show! Honest the goodness, he looks like a cute little poodle making the circuit around the show ring!! I swear it is hilarious except for the fact that he is obviously experiencing stress. One day I will try to get a little video of it, 'cause otherwise, you'd never believe it!
Today I began working with him on the leash. I took him to the deck, a place he loves, cuddled him for a few minutes, then hooked the leash and put him on the floor. I use retractable leashes on all of them, so I just held the handle and rocked back and forth in the porch swing. By swinging gently like that, he could feel the slight pull and then release of the tension in the leash. I hoped this will help him to know that he isn't trapped by it, but does have some connection with me.
The silly little boy sat perfectly still for about thirty minutes!! All that moved was his eyes as he looked at me, mostly out of the corner of his eye!! Toward the end of that time, he began to get tired, and his head sagged into the standing-up-sleeping position! and his front feet slid forward just about an inch, giving his body a slightly stretched out look. BUT .... he didn't move!!
I picked him up and cuddled him again, and brought him in the house. When I put him down, he took off like I was going to get him!! Sigh. This little boy is gonna be a challenge, for sure, but his sweetness makes up for it.
On the other hand, Max and Joey went outside on leashes with me for about a half-hour today and did great. Max hesitated a couple times, but only for 2-3 seconds. Joey had no problems at all. Later, I took Ali, China, Max and Joey out to the deck, and when China asked to go off the deck, I let her go. Ali followed her, and both the younger boys wanted to go. I decided to give it a try, hoping I wasn't going to be chasing them in two different directions! Once again, they did perfectly and without the leash! Everyone did their business, then I called them in , and Max & Joe came immediately! I won't be too casual about this, but it is good to know that they can be so well behaved. While all this was going on, Sam was in the house, then on the deck looking at us, then in the house again. Poor little neurotic guy!
I went into Capitan this evening for a brief meeting with Da Boss and the staff of the Gallery. We met over a glass of wine and some nice light noshes, spring rolls, fresh fruit, tomatoes and mozzarella, and some bread for dipping. Yummy! We got out brief business done, then chatted and laughed for another hour. It was a good break for me. However, when I got home, one of the dogs had pulled a box of tissues off the night stand (Oh, guess who? Max frequently checks it out since he found the cheese and crackers there!!), pulled them all out and ripped them to shreds!! The bedroom floor was covered with tissues, and although I think Max was the culprit for getting them down, I'm sure he had help with the shredding and spreading! Joey might have even been involved in it, but I know Sam was! Sam and Max are just ornery little boys! Max is curious about everything and likes to explore, and Sam .... well, he is Sam!! I'm guessing that my life will be .... exciting for a while to come!!