First a few giggles.
No comment necessary on this one.
If I ever encounter a mugger, I hope it's this one!
And at my house, at this moment, six of us are enjoying that comfortable state of mind!!
Ali and I used to have this discussion on a frequent basis.
Now days, he doesn't wander at all. His back legs are getting terribly weak, and although he cavorts a little on good days, he is disinclined to walk any more than necessary, and certainly running free of the leash and into the woods as he used to do is not on his Bucket List. He sleeps a lot, and his patience with The Boys isn't always good. He barks at them if they get too close or too rowdy even not very close. But he has those times when he goes out in the back with them, and doesn't exactly play with them, but he trots with them to investigate what is going on in the 'hood! He can no longer hear the things they can, so I think he likes feeling part of it by following their cues. He is still the venerable leader of the pack, but he is absent from much of the moment-by-moment stuff. When he is in the room, however, the younger ones seems to respect his position.
The Boys, however, are another story on the venturing out. Twice an escape has been undertaken. One time Joey and Max decided to take a wee walk. They didn't go far, just down the driveway and to the corner. I grabbed shoes and ran after them, and found them at said corner looking one way and then the other as if trying to decide which way to go. I called and whistled, and they came happily bounding back to me.
The second even was just a few days ago when I reset the gate in the back yard. Later I put them out, and after a few minutes, it seemed all too quiet. When I looked out, Ali, China and Max were sitting at the gate looking out. No sign of Joey and Sam. They had slipped out through a gap that I though was small enough to contain them.
This one scared me even more than the earlier event, because I didn't know how much lead time they had, and they could be some distance away. I grabbed shoes again (perhaps I should start wearing them all the time?!?!?) and flew out front, grabbing leashes as I went. I began whistling and calling as I ran down the drive. At the road I quickly decided to follow the same direction Joey and Max had gone before, assuming that Joey might have gone the familiar path. Before I reached the corner, here they came, bounding and running, looking as if they were returning from the greatest adventure in the world! Thank goodness all the dogs respond to a whistle! As we came up the driveway, they were both looking at me as if they were telling me about all they had seen! They ran ahead a few feet, turned and looked expectantly at me, ran back to my side, looking up at me the whole time with tails wagging wildly!
Sam is coming farther out of his shell, at least around here. We haven't tried public exposure yet because he still is reluctant about the leash. He doesn't panic around it now, but he still doesn't like it. A small number of friends have met him here at the house, and he does fair around them. The website developer dropped by to pick up a CD of my photos the other days, and Sam didn't run and hide! He froze as if trying to blend into the tile, but he didn't run! Yay! He has gained almost a pound since being here these six weeks! Yay, again!! He looks more healthy.
And in the family structure, guess who is emerging as the alpha of the pack? S.A.M!!! Really! Now he and I are having many, many long "chats" about the difference between alpha dog and alpha human-dog. He is gradually understanding that I am the alpha-alpha of all alphas. Or I think he is!!! LOL! It tickles me that the smallest of the bunch is becoming the leader dog!
Max continues to be my comical, funny and floppy little character! He is such a delight! He seems to take life in stride, doesn't get ruffled about much and can entertain himself better than any dog I've ever had, I believe. His easy-going manner is definitely a huge bonus in his adjustment. I get tickled at him when he wants to get off the couch, he more or less slithers off. He just relaxes his body and lets gravity take him to the floor, sometimes quietly, and others with a little "thunk," as he hits the floor! He is a very loving dog, but in a laid-back way. He loves his attention, but he doesn't clamor for it. He simply relishes it when it comes his way.
Joey is gradually getting the housebreaking. Two mornings in a row he has peed outside in less than 20 minutes! Great progress! The rest of they day tends to be a power struggle, but I've won each time, even though I was exhausted and exasperated. He is getting it. Several times this week I've had to be gone a few hours, so they've been crated, and that seems to have helped get the point across. Somehow it seems he is more willing/able/in need of relieving himself after my absence than when he is crated and I'm at home. Perhaps he sees being crated while the other dogs and I move around as him being punished. I don't know, but I'm extremely happy that he is "getting it."
Joey is very bonded to me now. Well, they all are. Joey wants to be where I am, period. Once he is close to me, he is fine. He will just curl up beside me on the the couch or at my feet and stay right there. This may be broken by occasional wrestling matches with his buddies, but he always comes back to rest next to me. Max is, as I said above, more casual about it, but he eats up the affection, becoming as limp as a well-loved rag doll when I pet him. He love being close to me but doesn't argue about positioning with the others who seem more needy. And Sam .... he want to be next to me, too, but only on his schedule, thank you very much! If I'm on the couch, he jumps up and immediately wiggles down next to me, making Joey decide that Sam is too close to Momma, so he maneuvers his way over Sammy and demands petting! Max ignores it until the "maneuvering" of Sammy and Joey begins to look like wrestling, and then katie-bar-the-door!!! Being loved this much is wonderful and challenging!! LOL!! Now I just need a human male to have half the interest in me!!
And speaking of Joey, look at what I got yesterday in an email......
This second one looks like he is saying "Whuuuuut?" LOL! OMG, are they cute! One had been tagged for adoption now. Three more ready to be adopted. Any takers? I'll tell you how to get hold of their rescuer!! :D
I haven't updated in a while on China. The little darlin' is doing great! The vet is still amazed at her. If you think back, now is about the longest he thought she would live. Not only is she still alive, but she seems relatively healthy! Ali is actually declining faster than she is, I think. The tumor is still very much there, but it seems to have quit growing. She still trots around, still tries to play with The Boys, still has a good appetite. Her mannerisms do no indicate any .... not any .... pain or discomfort! The weakness in her legs is still there, but is apparent only on a few occasions. She still trots around as if she were a year old, and is loving life! That makes me very happy!!
Early this morning we were in bed, all of us stretching and dozing, and The Boys became suddenly very attentive to the window. I gently raised the shade so I could see what they did. Our deer family was outside on the hill perhaps 20 feet away. The little twin boys' antlers are now about a foot long!! I think they are beginning to fork, but not sure on that. I slipped out of bed and got the camera. I opened the back door as quietly as possible, and focused on the young buck, who was watching me carefully. I was about to snap a shot of one of him when apparently one of the others bumped Ali or something and he barked at the interloper of his personal space. The deer started and bounced off through the woods! Rats!!
Hope everyone is having a nice weekend. I am!!