Sunday, September 7, 2008

Update on Buster!

Some of you have followed my blog from the very beginning, and you are probably wondering whatever happened with all the behavorial, emotional, and weird habits that I struggled with him for so, so long. As you recall, there were times I was just ready to give up and get rid of him, as I just couldn't get a handle on all the issues going on at one time.

Yes, we flunked out of "Bad Boy School." That is still to his shame, and he remembers, believe me, when I say those words. But what we did learn there is embedded in his little heart and he does well on his leash with those few commands.

So many people told me that it would take a year to two years for him to "settle down," and I wondered if that day would ever come. My front door has not been open in months and months because he is so strong and pushes right past me out the door. No one can come in unless they are suited up with bubble wrap and protective head gear. And Heaven only knows if he will go through my front window again if a squirrel dares to come too close to the house again!!!!!

I'm not allowed to talk on the phone in the house. I have to sit outside and talk. That seems to be ok with him.

About two months ago, I thought I would just HAVE to get a handle on some of the other issues, like barking in my face, the defiant "NO" that I get when I tell him to not do something, or give a command, etc. I reluctantly bought one of those collars that has the remote that gives the shock when they disobey. But there it sits, still in the box, sitting on the table. I just couldn't do it.

Since the start of the whole cancer journey, though, there seems to have been some changes in Buster, most on the positive side. I don't know if he just knows. . . . or if he is just growing up and settling in. Here in the house, he seems to have grown more quiet, more attuned to my moods and feelings, more "sweet" in his actions towards me, and less of a "pain in the neck!" For the first time, he is actually sitting with me beside my rocker out on the porch. You have to understand, this dog NEVER sits outside. He runs like a maniac at about 100 miles per hour. Hence, no pictures!!!!! To have him sit there with me seems almost like a miracle!

One good thing that happened by chance was the "good boy box." All I have to say is those words to him, and everything changes. He knows where the good boy box is, and when he hears those words, he melts into this loving, sitting, attentive, drooling, "I'll be good forever" dogs with eyes that just melt your heart. You see, in the "Good Boy Box" are PIGS' EARS! His all time favorite treat. You have to understand that these are NOT cheap! So mostly, these are used to get him to go to bed. He seemed to never want to go with me to bed, and I dared not leave him alone in the house, as I would not HAVE a house in the morning! So it costs me a pig's ear to go to bed!!!!!

We have yet to try a guest in the house again. But we are thinking that my sister would make a good guinea pig to see if he can behave like a normal dog. He loves Aunt Juri and Uncle Bob so much that he just barrels them over!!!! He can't hear a command, settle down, sit, come, stay, or anything if they are in the house. So. . . . when my sister feels up to having her hair pulled out, face covered with slobber, etc., we will try again. I'm hoping for some kind of improvement. . . . otherwise, our existance in this house will be a very lonely one, for sure. No one in. . . .no one out!

You can't say I haven't tried!!!!! If I didn't love the overgrown ofe so much, he would have been gone long ago! To see an ounce of improvement is a miracle, so I'm holding out some hope for a good future between us! The fact that BUSTER loves ME has a lot to do with his staying here, too. In fact, there seems to be some kind of anxiety disorder going on there as he is STILL velcroed to my side 24/7. He still will not go out by himself, even though he has a huge fenced in back yard all to himself. I have to go out with him as if he were an 8 week old puppy. The alternative????? He broke down my back door!!!!!

So there we are. Oh, every morning I get my bald head washed with kisses! Now, doesn't that count for something??????


Kelly~Once in a Blue Moon Primitives said...

Hi my sweetest Cora,
Buster is just too cute for words, I am so glad you never gave up on him. I know you are too. I was just looking in on you this evening, I love you Cora.


Patty H. said...

Buster is a cutie. I'm glad he has settled down, I do believe that animals "sense" things-somehow. He knows you need him.

Sherri said...

I know what you mean by having an olf for a pet, I have my own Max is his name and he can be a handful. He is half rott and half mastiff and he is strong. The first thing he did when he came to rule our house is eat my very pretty cranberry couch to the wood I had to throw it away. But it has been over a year and I can now open the door to let others come in. I love hearing about your dog too.
Your hats are on the way to you I hope they are comfortable for you let me know how they fit.
Blessings and prayers, Sherri

Linda said...

MY sons dog took almost 3 years to settle down and he had pigs ears as a treat too! Now he is the sweetest thing. I Hope Buster is growing up and calming down!

Toni said...

That is one cute puppy dog Cora!! Thanks for sharing the picture with us! I love chocolate labs. I had a friend about 10 years or so ago that had a chocolate lab and he was so wild, kinda like the way you described Buster. Your story`s are always so funny Cora! I just love your sence of humor! I`m glad to hear he`s calmed down some for you. Blessings!!

Joyfulsister said...

Awww Cora,
Buster is too cute!! I have never heard about Buster or his story, but I'm glad you shared it today and that I got to read it. It's been known that animals can sense what their owners are going through, being that he doesn't want to go any where without you is surely a sign that he is being protective of you. He knows you need him, as much as he needs you.

Luv ya My sis

Deb said...

Funny story Cora, it's amazing what we tolerate for our pets. Maybe he does since you can't take all the trouble right now. Deb

Renna said...

I know my little dog would have been just as difficult to handle were it not for the fact that she's small enough that all I have to do is scoop her up if (rather, WHEN) she gets out of hand. Buster is probably like having about an 80lb (or whatever he weighs) toddler.

I do remember that after our golden/lab reached about two years old, she really did settle down from her rambunctiousness. Plus, when we had her spayed, that calmed her down considerably as well.

I do believe that dogs are very intuitive to our needs when we are sick. I remember when I had pneumonia one summer. I was lying on the bed with a 104 temperature (shortly before deciding a trip to the ER was in order). My little dog, BooBoo (who I lost earlier this year to old age), climbed up on the bed by me and begin gently licking all over my face. I think she was trying to bring down my fever. She never left my side that day until I left to go to the hospital.

Don't you just love dogs? :-)

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

heeheehaahaahohooo OHHHH BUSTER!
He has a sweet tooth for PIGS EARS!??
LOL.... that just CRACKS ME uP!
I am SOOO GLAD you and Buster have eachother!
I envision Juri walkin in your door with one of those suits on that cops use to train dogs? heehahoaoao GOD LOVE HER!~ Thank the Lord she's an animal lover. LOL

papel1 said...

I love hearing about Buster. I am a sucker for pet stories.

Raquel said...

Buster sounds like a good dog, he just has some anxiety. I believe that he senses that you are ill and that is why he is settling. I will pray that he will settle even more for you. Much love, Raquel XO

Debra said...

Buster is a doll. I bet our dog Cheyenne would love him! When we rescued her from the shelter, she came with such anxieties-it took us a good three years to love them out of her. The thunder-thing is still an issue. It IS hard not to laugh at her when her toenails are tapping on the floor because of her body shaking!
I'm sure Buster is sensing that you need extra protection right now. He's a good boy.
(Hope you get the back door fixed!)
Love, Debra

Anonymous said...

I have a chocolate lab too and he is the most wonderful boy. He will be 4 in Nov. and it did take several years for him to settle down he would tear you down when you would walk in the door. Run out the door when it was opened and would not come back. Now he does get a big excited when he sees the deer and squirrel and still takes off but he comes right back. He lays on our porch with no worries of him leaving. He is the most loving dog and loved those pig ears too. I think we fed him way too much because he just stopped eating them.

Charity said...

Goodness! You are a patient soul, Cora. :) We had a rather disorderly yellow lab when the boys were small. That is one energetic breed. I think he even outlasted two red-headed boys...and that's not easy to do! Glad you've got company and that he's settling down for you.


Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

Oh Cora, you have the patience of a Saint. Of course, that sweet Buster face certainly helps, doesn't it? He truly is beautiful.

You story sure makes me glad that Napoleon weights only 2 pounds! LOL


Aliene said...

Cora, I check in on you often. And still pray for the bravest and most up lifting blogger I know. I left you something on my blog. I do love you and your blog.