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??????