Sunday, October 05, 2008

Smokey Settles In

Smokey's had a pretty good week here at Casa Juan and we've settled into a routine. He doesn't like to move around much, which is no surprise - he never did, but when he wants to he's quite capable of scooting about on his 3 good legs. The leg in which the limp was first spotted is now really just hanging, he does not use it at all. He doesn't show any signs of pain - he is getting medications for that - although I'm sure he feels something.

He's getting along fine with the other two dogs in that they have agreed not to interact, and it's very understandable that he doesn't feel too social right now (and again, other dogs have never really been his thing...). Jessie sometimes grumps at him when he's got something she wants to eat, but his low warning growls are enough to make her keep her distance - thank goodness she's acquired some sense about messing with bigger dogs. He might be sick, but he IS twice her size and that mouth is nothin' to mess with. Ginger keeps her distance as well - she's always been great about meeting other dogs. If they like her she interacts with them, if not she stays away. Very sensible that way. The presence of an intruder, however, seems to have bonded them in a new way, just look...


Walk time has been a challenge to figure out. Although fastidious about using the bathroom outside, he won't really allow himself to be lead on a leash, although I can leash him up with no issues. Rather, his path has to be his idea. Okay, no problem - he's not much of an escape risk since he has to lie down and rest every 20 feet!

Pulling the leash doesn't work, encouragement doesn't work (although I secretly think he enjoys watching me make an ass of myself), food doesn't work - he won't budge in the direction you want him to go. What motivates him is affection, so to lead him to his bathroom spot outside I pick a spot 20 feet away, sit down, and pat my lap - and he ambles right over and lies down in it. A few minutes of cuddling and we repeat the process until we get near his spot, where he wanders off and does his thing. Then we repeat the process again to get back to the front door.

So far so good. I'm hoping I never have to pick him up - I'm not sure I would be able to do it in a way that would not cause him pain and earn me a bite. Sure, I could muzzle him, but just showing him a muzzle scares the bejesus out of him. Better to not go down that road. Thinking good thoughts and I have a stash of thick packing blankets if I need to carry him via sling or do a quick head wrap and move.

He spends much of the day snoozing, but he's always up for some cuddling on any of the beds scattered about the apartment. Thus far, he seems fairly content, and that's what matters at this point. He fell asleep the other night under my desk, snoring with his head on my foot. Just adorable.


Blogger Mary said...

Smokey is a lovely face dog and I'm glad it's going well-Jessie and Ginger curled up is a rare and delightful sight!!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Frosty said...

Oh my god this dog rips my heart into pieces. He won't respond to FOOD but he'll respond to LOVE? That sweet, sweet, sweet boy. He's so lucky to have you in his life.

And it's wonderful to see Jessie and Ginger all curled up like that. It has taken time, but they're finally friends. It's wonderful.

3:07 PM  

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