It has been almost 10 months now since Ricky left you and came to live with us. He has transformed into a docile, well-behaved and affectionate dog. He rarely displays any of the abrupt and nervous behavior he had when we first brought him home. He really understands what we say to him. We are so proud of him. He yearns to be petted and hugged; he loves to have his head stroked; and he wants to be told how wonderful he is. You can see it in his eyes and his ears go flat against his head. He gently paws my foot or hand to tell me he needs to be petted. When I leave the house, he waits on the door mat inside until I return and sometimes that is a couple of hours! As I am typing this to you, he is lying across the top of my feet. He truly is my shadow. He rarely barks whether in the house or outside. I am confident he would protect me, Adam and the house no matter what!
He loves to have his hair brushed (but go easy on the tail!) and, believe it or not, he actually asks (with a gentle “woof”) for me to brush him while we watch TV. He makes every effort to talk to us. He waits beside his dog dish until I scrape any of our food into the dish and told it is OK for him to eat it. He drops things now when told “no” which he previously immediately claimed as his. He has not attempted to take things from the kitchen counter in months. He no longer barks at every person who comes into the house or who talks to him at the fence. He is calm and wants to be friends with people instead of going on the attack. We have regular little routines and he knows what he is supposed to do, for example, at bedtime: go outside, come in for his 2 treats and then go upstairs to his crate – all without step-by-step instructions. He actually lets me know when it is passed his bedtime and he wants to go to bed! He is well-behaved with other dogs and basically minds his own business. He now likes car rides. He cautiously goes out the kitchen door (it is so funny to watch him) to see if he can chase a squirrel up a tree right at the deck! In this weather, he cautiously walks back in the kitchen doorway because the snow/ice on his feet make him unsteady on the floor until they dry. He still hates police and ambulance sirens and even howls when he hears them.
Ricky is definitely an important part of our family and he knows it!!! He is very comfortable here and we are very comfortable with him. During the first couple of months we had him, I would never have expected him to change into the ‘family pet’ he has become.
Ricky, Lynne, and Adam