So the last few days have been a learning experience for us as a family, but also for our new friend Willy. He gets along wonderfully with our other two dogs. Every so often he gets caught sniffing Hanna’s butt a little too much and she is quick to put him in his place. It is quite humorous to watch because he immediately jumps back and takes off in the opposite direction, tail wagging like nothing ever happened. He loves our children. I don’t think he has developed an age preference, except maybe for the baby because she comes with more crumbs… but he follows our 7yr old and 4 yr old around the yard as they pretend to “dog train” him. They really aren’t even giving him commands other than simply calling his name and having him follow them in circles around the yard. (my daughter believe’s she is an expert trainer now and even told me earlier that she is “human training” her 1 yr old baby sister now…)
We have learned very quickly that for a dog who has not had the pleasure of “family life” ANY food left on the counters or on the table is free game in his mind. If we forget a loaf of bread on the counter or a bag of trash in the kitchen… it is gone in second. Ironically enough we usually sweep crumbs from our one year old right onto the floor THEN let the pups in and our other two immediately run to them, poor Willy is running around frantically sniffing the air and by the time he catches on the other two have sucked up everything good. We have also discovered that Willy has become a master sippy cup finder. I can’t tell you how many times a day we lose my daughter’s sippy cup’s in our house. Why does he find them so well you ask? Well, because this lovely canine friend of ours has a sweet tooth for, yep you guessed it… MILK. I sensed something was different when the other morning I was sipping my wonderful cup of coffee with a little vanilla and some milk in it and he was sniffing me like I had dog food tucked up my sleeves. He wouldn’t leave my cup alone and kept trying to drink it. Just today he got a hold of my daughters cup, but this time it was still full of milk. He managed to break it open and chew it to pieces…but guess what, he cleaned up his mess… despite the cup being full, there was no milk anywhere! The sippy cup however didn’t survive…
The first few days Willy seemed content to explore the yard, chase the birds and lay in the dirt with his new friends Hanna and Bailey. We thought his introduction to the goats had gone rather well, surprisingly well actually. Come to find out he thinks the goats are okay on their side of the fence as long as one of his new human friends are not anywhere near them. Anytime I go out to milk them or feed them he starts running back and forth barking and whining and has even dug under the chain link fence within seconds only to try and herd the big mama goat into the corner of the pen. Boy was she shocked and I dont think he was prepared for the harsh head butt she gave him with her large horns. He didn’t give up though! They battled back and forth for a few moments until I got to him and walked him out of the goat pen. Now we keep him in the house until all chores with the goats are done. 🙂 I can’t really blame him, considering he’s probably never seen a goat before and I bet they look pretty threatening to him. He must really love us!
Our nighttime routine has settled down a bit as well over the last few days. Our other two pups know their spots on the bed and poor Willy just didn’t know where to go at first. If you remember my first post, during the night I found him rummaging through my closet and falling clumsily onto the floor. He still has moments where he stretches out in his sleep and I hear him groan and then *thud* he flops onto the floor. He lays there for a second, probably still half asleep trying to get his bearings… then he just looks at me pathetically from the floor. When I pat the bed showing him, yes he is allowed to come back up he gets all excited and instead of coming up where I have patted he climbs up into my face licking me and getting all riled up. It takes another ten minutes to settle him down and he goes back to sleep. I feel like I have an infant waking up through the night again…ZERO potty accidents in the house though, I’ve got to say I am SO proud of him for this.
MOST IMPORTANT UPDATE OF ALL: WILLY IS NOT DEAF!
When we first brought Willy home he ran from one place to the next and paced all throughout the house ignoring us unless we had food or sat down to scratch him. I was sure he had hearing problems. We inspected his ears intricately, we clapped behind his head while he was sleeping, we constantly called him or whistled while he was in the other room… heck, now that I think of it he probably thought we were insane! I laughed when my husband reported to me on the second or third day, “Hey, Willy is starting to hear things…” I thought, your crazy! If a dog is deaf, he doesn’t just suddenly ‘start’ to hear things again. But sure enough, I spent all day yesterday with my family playing in the back yard with the pups and Willy is slowly but surely beginning to respond to our calls and commands. I even had GREAT success with getting him to “sit” on command. He responds better with voice and hand signal, but he does sit, very beautifully I might add.
This brings to my attention the sad reality that poor Willy didn’t have a hearing problem at all, but instead had been essentially ignored for so long that it didn’t occur to him that we could actually be wanting his attention with all our funny noises and hand signals. No wonder he just stared at us like we were crazy. It breaks my heart that a dog would take so long to comprehend that yes, we are calling your name. Yes, we are saying “good boy”. Yes, we are paying attention to you. Yes, we are speaking to you... I am So very happy that Willy is beginning to come around and even more happy that it looks as though he won’t have to be a “special needs” adoption, aside from him being a 6+ yr old dog. He is such a sweet nature’d boy and the more he understands how much his new human friends love and care for him the happier he is, and the more personality we see coming out of him. I can’t wait to see how much more he comes out of his shell when he finds his forever family!