Love will turn you around…
I love Tristan, unconditionally and unequivocally. He changes my life every day for the better even when it’s hard. I thought I would update you on some major breakthroughs for this sweet boy in the last month or so.
1.) He loves being outside. The thing he feared the most, he fears no more. There was a time that he would shut down if I tried to get him outside. He would let me carry him but at times he could not control his bowels or bladder and I just could not force him out. Other times he would shake uncontrollably but somehow I would get him out and he would shove himself up against the fence or a corner to hide. It was heartbreaking. Tully and Maggie would go sit by him and try to sooth his fears. It really was his buddy Journey that got him outside with confidence. Journey is the dog that was surrendered with Tristan, they were neglected and abused together. Tristan loves Journey and they are forever bonded. Now… Tristan loves being outside! My mom comes over during the day and will sit with the dogs in the backyard. Sometimes she can’t help but call me at work to tell me that he was running and playing with Tully, that he laid in the grass relaxed and fell asleep, or that he chased a butterfly. We both stand in awe of seeing him let his walls down and experience being outside with such happiness!
2.) If he is going outside then he is GOING outside! Yay! He potties outside and I hoop and holler and act like a fool every time he does it and I see it. He knows he did something good and gets all wiggly with a wagging tail. Sometimes if I am not looking he stares at me with a look that hollers “Hey Lady, I am “going”, you gonna whoop it up or not?” He is not completely potty trained but he is going outside about 60% of the time, which is huge for him!
3.) He will let me kiss his head, nose and cheeks without a look of complete terror in his eyes! You would think that after 8 months he would know he is safe but there are moments he still gets very scared. He also experiences night terrors which are hard for him, he wakes up terrified and sometimes wets the area he is laying. He does not calm down until he realizes where he is…generally it is Maggie who runs to him and reminds him he is safe and she is still right hear to annoy the fire out of him! He gives kisses to my mom and me and sometimes just dabs you with his nose or pushes himself against you. He is most loving in the mornings.
4.) His feet- I have written about his feet and how he tends to them and cleans them and it’s very methodical and seems therapeutic . We think his feet were abused. There was a time he kept his front paws tucked under him at all times. He will now let me slowly touch them if I am petting his side or chest and gently and slowly brush against them. He still twitches but he does not jerk them away from me. I make sure to take extra, extra care with his feet and always tell him how brave he is being. My hope is one day he will feel comfortable “giving his paw”….
5.) The power of the “treat”…he used to not be interested, then he was only interested if you laid it down by him and went away and then he was okay if he went into his crate and you gave it to him through the crate wall but now….. he comes for a treat and will take it right out of your hand…well my hand….and my moms hand…but still it’s a big deal! He. loves. treats.
6.) Sometimes I sleep downstairs on the couch, and on these nights Tristan does not sleep in his crate like he does when I go upstairs to my bedroom. (He will not go up the stairs just yet and being about 60lbs, I can’t carry him) If I am on the couch and all settled in, once the tv and lights are off and he thinks I am down for the count, he jumps up in the chair next to the couch and goes to sleep, and in the morning I wake to his slobbery kisses and cold nose pokes! Better than any alarm clock.
I am amazed at how far he has come, and while I know we have much work to do, he will get there. We will get there. Together.