So The New Guy Ate This Morning!

He wouldn’t really eat yesterday except for Dollar Tree bacon treats that can’t be too good for him. But bribing him we were. It’s not surprising he didn’t want to eat. That’s pretty normal. He *is* terribly shy and quite. Not aloof really, like the guy at the shelter said. It’s hard to explain. I think he’s…mourning maybe? A little…broken?

I mean he did spend *years* in a puppy mill. Then he was adopted by an elderly couple and apparently bonded to the man, who passed away. The wife couldn’t “handle” him, whatever the heck *that* means. She brought him back. She said he doesn’t bond with anyone. But I don’t know….

I think he’s hesitant. I think he’s…afraid? Like, don’t get used to this bub, it won’t last. But guess what “Bub?” It will.

You know the thing I like so much about dog is just how much they are…people. And people are all very different. Sarah Jane was a little princess. She was very smart and very stubborn and set in her ways and very loving, especially to me. She was my familiar.

Oliver is a bit of a dope–in the best since of the word! Not stupid. Just…simple. He loves life and playing and that’s that. He really does live in the moment. The ultimate Zen of a Dog. And since Sarah Jane passed away, he and I have become very, very close. He’s a buddy, not a familiar.

Then there is the New Guy. Still a lot to figure out with him. Cautious! Yes! That is the word. He has this odd behavior. It is *almost* like a dog who has been beaten and is scared he’ll be hit again. But it is *not* that. He doesn’t flinch when you go to touch him like an abused does. Like Sarah Jane did for years. I wish I could explain it. I’ll put my finger on it. I wonder if perhaps the wife totally ignored him. As if he was just too painful for her, reminding her that he was her *husband’s* dog. All of this is pure conjecture ad it’s the author in me coming out—creating all this background. But it explains things.

For instance, yesterday, I wanted tacos. So I took him with me. And low and behold, he was quite … curious. Looking around. And when I ran into the liquor store for all of five minutes, when I came back he was looking for me! Already! You could see he was quite…perturbed maybe?…that I had left him and was cautiously happy that I was back. Relieved maybe. It was very sweet.

I know that there are lots who will argue that cats are the same. Say they are just as much people as dogs are and have just as much variety in personalities. I guess they are. I’ve had cats and I loved them. And I’ve had very sweet…moments with them. Like curling up next to me when I was grieving or sick. But through it all, and my love of ALL animals, I am a dog person. They are the great unplanned genetic experiment. A study showed an origin for dogs that was estimated at 18,800–32,100 years ago based on the genetic relationship of 78% of the sampled dogs with ancient canid specimens found in Europe. That first wolf was cautious in its relationship with man. A lot like the one in “Dances With Wolves.” And then it mated with another wolf that didn’t mind being around men. And within a few short generations more and more pups were born that wanted to be around man—more than wanted to be around them. Until WHO they WERE, were the companion of man. They’re not complete without a human. And in many ways, I don’t think we’re complete without them.

Whereas cats? Why they simply moved in. Started probably in Egypt and they saw that, “Hey. This is a good deal. All the food I want and the silly dears think we’re gods. What’s not to love?” Nothing wrong with that. They did choose us I guess. But I will take the dog. Always and forever. I think the only way I’ll ever have a cat again is it’s the case of one choosing us.

This morning the New Guy is much more alert. Not just laying there like he’s half dead. Like maybe…he’s slowly coming to life. Carefully, thoughtfully, cautiously coming to life. It’s very very small steps. But they’re happening.

He wouldn’t really eat this morning. Oliver running around and Noah doing something as simple as walk through the room to get eggs out of the refrigerator made him hightail it for the living room. So I followed him and we got on the couch and I hand fed him a little of the food which he gobbled right up. He has a careful soft mouth too. Then I put the bowl in front of him and he gobbled up the whole bowl. So we gave him more and after me hand-feeding him just one or two pieces, he gobbled up the second bowl! He even ate a *little* bit of a third! And don’t worry, there wasn’t a lot in the bowls. He shows no sigh of throwing up. He’s just laying here beside me. But if I get up, he looks around instead of the zombie-like staring or just lying there all unresponsive like he did all day yesterday.

I have much faith! This little man is already coming to life.

I doubt he’s ever going to be the bouncy, jumpy, dashy, wrestley little guy. But he’s not a teenager and he’s who he is. And that’s good enough for me. And I will love watching him become who he is.

Yes, sometimes you don’t find the dog you wanted, you find the one you needed. And who needed you.

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