Good morning! I feel slightly guilty for neglecting my blog, but so many exciting things have been happening that I've happily been living my life to the fullest. Our new puppy gives us so much to do every day, which I will talk about in a bit. (I'd love to have some advice on a few things.) Last night we had an impromptu housewarming party where we invited my husband's favourite people from work, and our neighbour (one of the people who stayed with us over a month). We had a blast! One of the guys actually bought all the food and the beer as a gift, another brought over three cakes, and another brought over a TON of stuff to grill with but ended up not doing because of all the pizza, so we will use all that to have a "Shut Up and Relax" party in two weeks after the mad rush is over. (There is an air show next weekend on my birthday and the way my husband's shift's schedule lands, they will be working 8 days straight, up to 15+ hours a day, and will be working some during the days, and some completely at night.)
I feel blessed and at peace because we finally now have friends. This Saturday we even have plans to go with a couple to celebrate their birthday (a couple we REALLY clicked with!). One Marine lives a few streets away and is in the middle of a divorce, so he is home alone literally all day, and we will be SO glad to provide companionship for him.
Now onto Cedar.
We've basically determined that he was abused somehow in his old home. Whether it was from the 7 kids he lived with (who didn't care about him at all) or from something else unknown, this poor boy has a lot of recessed problems that are coming to light. He does not trust people except in rare cases. He does not trust dogs until he's sat with them for a good long while and has determined they won't hurt him (same with people). He will bark and growl viciously if anyone comes to the door. However, after a couple of minutes, he settles down and relaxed and really opens up to the people if they show him love. He'll even get very affectionate and playful if you're lucky.
We've been working with him every single day to socialize him. We go to the dog park for anywhere between an hour and two hours for him to play with (mostly) friendly other dogs, where he also gets to meet their owners. Whenever anyone shows interest in him on walks, we always stop and chat and let him meet the people to get him used to strangers. He does well besides his initially strong fears. He just doesn't like strangers in his house.
Now, onto his fears. He is afraid of other dogs, of people, and of loud noises (except for the hundreds of loud military jets that fly over our house all day long - he doesn't even flick an ear at them!). I know he's a puppy still, but this is so much more. He fell down a few stairs when my husband came out of the bathroom. He's run into walls trying to run away from a noise. He's run inside after hearing a dog in the distance barking, leaving a trail of urine behind him. He's very aggressive towards anything scary that comes into the house. He only calms down when either me or his daddy come to comfort him, when he shows us his big green eyes that can melt any heart.
He really is afraid of children and large people (whether tall or overweight) to the point he'll cry and have an accident. I guess this is something he will heal from over time with patience. He's getting better with other dogs and strangers (he loves our neighbour) but still has issues with snapping (he almost attacked a 3 year old girl last night for looking in his eyes). Now other than when he's scared he shows absolutely no signs of aggresstion. It's so heart-breaking to watch him be so afraid of people who only want to give him love.
|Cedar and his mommy <3|
(The pictures of him with his daddy are much cuter!)
He's a perfect gentleman on the leash and is completely house trained besides when he's scared and "piddles". He really is an amazing boy and just needs love and attention and patience. I'm just not sure how to approach his mistrust and fear of other creatures. We're blessed to know that all our friends who came to our party were very understanding and supportive of him and did their best to make him feel comfortable and like them. Most of them are big dog people and understand their behaviour well. And they all agree that he must have been abused at his old home. For goodness' sake, his ribs were sticking out when we got him. Already in just a few days he's put on a couple pounds from eating healthy, regulated meals three times a day. He weighs about 35 lbs now. He has scars all over his back legs. And when a puppy should be playful, curious, friendly, and loving, he is the exact opposite around 95% of people. (Dogs he does better with, except has gotten beat up a couple times at the dog park when someone took their overly aggressive dog to play with others...I still can't believe it. Who is dumb enough to do that?)
I really wish I could explain to you all what his personality is like. He really is an amazing dog, so calm and mature for his age. I really didn't mean for this post to be about his "issues". His issues are so, so small compared to all the love he is full of, and all the fun we have together. We are so happy with him. Last night was the first night we all slept together and it was perfect. I was a bit squished, but got to wake up with a snoring puppy's head sharing my pillow, his nose up against my neck, his paws against my back. He just needs a lot of love and patience. It is truly my main goal right now to show him that not all people are horrible, that most deserve love and trust, and I hope to get him there one day.
So anyway, I have to ask for your advice on something. Besides socialization, is there anything else we can do to help him like people more? Do you have any other advice you can share with me?
(For those who have no advice for me and just want to see how adorable my puppy is, here are a bunch of random, not-very-interesting videos of my beautiful boy!)