Look at that incredible smile! It's hard to believe how much of a terror Buddy was when we first adopted him from Cascades Humane Society. It's a little crazy when I think about it!
We were finishing up the adoption paperwork and I asked if he was house-trained. Frankly, I wasn't up for the "surprise" of finding out that I would have to train him to go potty outside. The employee handling the adoption simply said, "some dogs DO revert to a puppy-like state when they enter a new home." That was her very broad way of saying that I might have to train him to go potty outside. Well, mentally prepared for that is better than surprised. He has peed in the house three times since the day he walked through our door. All three times were within the first week, and we don't really count the time he peed in the sun room because he probably thought he was outside.
But I digress.
The point is, we discovered the full truth of her statement. When we changed our mentality to reflect training of a 60+ pound puppy, not the aggressive alpha-positioning dog the paid trainer thought we had, life with Buddy took a turn. For the positive.
Buddy still has trust issues. He is full of energy and soooooo loves to play. He has learned to temper his rope play based on who's playing with him. (He's roughest on Steve, by the way.) He is an attention hog. He absolutely loves rawhide bones (we're aware that some people advise against giving your dog rawhide but he enjoys them too much, so we're cautious of how often he gets one). He has separation anxiety when we leave him. He'll often choose to stay in his kennel when we leave instead of the vast expanse of the kitchen. If we leave him in the kitchen with a "cookie" (milk-bone), he won't touch it until we get back. Even if we leave him with a rawhide, he won't touch it until we get back. He now knows how to sit (most of the time~he'll often lay down if the "sit" requires a "wait"), shake, lay down, roll over, wait, stay, no-bite and no-jump. He doesn't always listen but he does pretty good. We still have issues with leave-it and drop-it. He likes socks and underwear, styrofoam frisbees and flip-flops...to chew, that is. He knows what "walk" means and, even though he doesn't like the gentle leader, he patiently waits for you to put it on him for his walk. He hates loud noises (like firecrackers and gun-discharges), and he alerted us to the fact that we had a racoon on our roof. He loves laying in the sun room and watching the neighborhood, but he desperately wants to greet every dog that walks by, especially the big dogs! He's getting better on his daily walks. He doesn't pull as much and he's getting pretty good at fighting the urges to chase other dogs he sees (as long as we're proactively saying "leave it" and continue walking). He waits patiently for us to finish our meal, knowing he's going to get a nice tasty meal for himself as soon as we're finished. He gets a peanut-butter Kong with treats inside at least once a week, just like CHS gave him in their care.
We've traveled a road that was sometimes tumultuous and exhausting, just to see him smile. There were times we wondered if we would make it to this point.
But how can you not love this face?!