I've noticed recently that I am having lots of hits here on the blog from countries all around the world. I'm having a lot more than has been normal. A few are because of google searches, but many are coming direct. I'm curious what it is all about, but there is no way to know. None of those visitors are commenting. Interesting, however.
Max is my resident "bad boy." If you haven't read here long, I'll explain that. He is adorably sweet and loves me beyond description. The "bad" part is that (1) he doesn't share well, (2) he wants to be pack leader and I won't let him, (3) he consistently forgets all I try to teach him about 1 & 2. He needs to be in a one or two dogs home, but until and unless I find a perfect one that I can trust 100%, he will stay here. I love him too much to do anything that might not be best for him. This is being rewarded, as it seems that he is beginning to accept some of the status quo .... albeit, very, very slowly. He has perhaps 0.5% now!
I've noticed that he seems to be most relaxed and happy when he is either the only dog on the sofa with me or is somehow touching me. The latter might be: on the back of the couch with his paw touching me or has his chin on my shoulder; on the floor with his head on my foot; snuggled against me on one side with NONE of the others on that same side. Yeah, he's quirky.
Max is not an exceptionally cuddly dog. He seems to be almost nervous about a lot of snuggling. However, he seems to be overcoming some of that. He now snuggles down to the side of me and puts his head on my thigh, and if I start petting him or massaging his back, he no longer stiffens but rolls his eyes up at me, and I swear he almost smiles! And yesterday! Yesterday, all the others were playing in and out of the house, and Max actually crawled into my lap, leaned his head against my chest, rolled his eyes up toward me and gave a soft sigh as he relaxed. I was astounded! He stayed there for at least five minutes! I petted and talked to him and really hugged him to me. It was a very special time for us both.
Now for the most amazing part of all .... I've noticed in the last few days that Max has decreased his growling at his buddies. The growling was part of the Alpha struggle, and it seems [knock on wood!!] he may be letting go of this incessant battle with the others for the leader position! Yes, he still growls, but just a little throat rumble as compared to the old snarling kind of growl that often led to a brief skirmish with Sam or Joe. He still won't share one side of the couch with one of the others, preferring to snort and get down when one of them jumps up. He still doesn't want one of them at or even near the food dish when he is there. He still doesn't cuddle with the others as they do with each other. But he is less confrontational. That is a huge improvement in my book!
Another step of progress? Yeah, I think so! A baby step, and a giant step, all in one!!
Another Max story. You know how some dogs dig in with their back paws, scuff them backward, throwing dirt everywhere if they are outside or scratching the carpet inside? It might be done in play or as a challenge. Well, Max does that in playing with the other dogs. Often.
This morning Max tried to act "tough" with his buddies by doing the rear-foot-dig-in. Trouble is, he was on the ceramic tile in the kitchen, and when he did that, his feet, all four of them, went in separate directions!! I almost lost it! He didn't quite hit the floor, but he was scrambling to get his feet back under him! The other dogs were looking at him, as surprised as he was, and almost as if they thought he was doing a trick! Lola started bouncing around him and barking playfully! The look on his face was priceless! I could imagine him trying to say "Hey, yeah, wasn't that cool? I did that on purpose, you know!" Yeah, right!
The snow is melting. It is slow, but there is a definite melt going on. The ground is still covered, but it is "shorter." Places that have only the most recent snow (about 10 inches) are now down to about an inch. The places that are in the shade accumulated a lot, and the spots that were about 2.5 feet a couple days ago are now down to ankle or mid-calf height, so probably less than a foot. I'm psyched! I may drive into town later today or tomorrow and do a couple errands. I know that sounds like something I might say any day of any week, but in the last three weeks plus, I haven't been on many pleasure trips. Yes, I've had the trips to Albuquerque, including wonderful lunches. There was the one trip to Ruidoso that about did me in. But something just because I felt like it? Nope. It will be nice to start taking my life back to the normal place. I'll let you know how it goes.
And that's it, my miscellany for today. Hope all of you are well and happy. I know Caroline is because she is getting snow!