Stitch the Wonder Dog has now lived with me for 7 months. Having his company has been a delight.
When he arrived I was told he had “portal anxiety” (fear of going through doors) and was afraid of strangers. Both were true. He was high strung, nervous and very easily frightened. I raised my voice with him the first month in an emergency situation (snake) and he vanished for an hour. He had great fear. It has greatly lessened.
Stitch is blossoming. It has taken time and love. He is a different dog. He doesn’t notice doors anymore (even new ones) and his enthusiasm for meeting people is remarkable. He has calmed, gained confidence, and earned my trust and therefore great freedom. I no longer need the leash on walks. I am so glad. It hurts enough just walking.
He sits on command at the edge of the road waiting for permission to cross. GOOD BOY!
His affection is adorable. He wants to be hugged and have arms wrapped around him and loves being talked to. He is quite the cuddle bunny.
He used to wake me during naps and at night needing pets and love. I never scolded him for that. That behavior has now extinguished. He is permitted on the bed but only stays for 10 minutes. He looks forward (more than I do) to my 3x a night time pee runs and beats me to the bed when the mission is accomplished.
As he has learned my rules so I have needed to learn his. He has great fear of having his tail touched and we are making some progress there. Maybe someday he will let me brush it… He is terrified if I raise my voice with him even if a semi is bearing down on us…
Like all shelter dogs his past will remain a permanent mystery. One thing is clear. He never learned how to “play”. He also doesn’t chew. Toys, bones, and chew toys gather dust. Frisbees are terrifying objects and squeaky toys makes demon noises. If I pick up a stick he thinks I might hit him…. Just getting used to my cane was a big deal for him.
There is a deep depression where we walk filled with water from the summer rains. It is still a foot deep. We visit it every morning and he goes for a dip. I had no idea he was a water loving dog.
It is very gratifying to see him getting over all of his fear and coming out of his shell. He is a real sweet heart. Perhaps in time he will learn to play tug of war or fetch with me? If not, well he gets to be who he is…