This is a rescue dog! We found Wiley at a no-kill animal shelter called the Hillside SPCA in Pottsville, PA. He joined our family in July of 2011. Rescue dogs make the best pets; I would know. My family has had pound puppies my whole life and I am a better person because of it. This is a place we can share our stories and spread the word: get a rescue pet!
The socialization of Wiley continues, and LOOK HOW CLOSE HE IS TO LEROY! And he's calm. He's not cowering. Granted, he doesn't want to get any closer than this. He's not wagging his tail or play bowing. However I can tell you this is huge. The fact that he doesn't have his head lowered and his tail between his legs, or that he's not panicking by barking, is the furthest he's come.
Leroy's dad and I have been trying to walk them together 3-4 times a week for the past two weeks. On this particular occasion I was able to take pictures because my husband was with us, freeing up my hands. I wish I had taken pictures earlier in the week so you could have seen the difference in body language for Wiley.
We've been walking them on a path that goes along our local river, thereby avoiding exposure to a lot of other dogs, traffic, people, kids, bikes, and other things that sometimes scare Wiley.
Leroy is a bit of an alpha dog. I think Wiley is fine with that; he has no desire to be dominant. However the first few times we took them out Leroy would strain and yip to get closer to Wiley, not in an aggressive way but just out of interest and excitement. This scared the bejeezus out of Wiley and he would jump behind me immediately.
One time Leroy got very close, closer than we had ever let him get, while they were walking side by side like this. Wiley flinched back. He showed no aggression-no growling, no teeth, no hackles. He just flinched back and Leroy respected that and left him alone. It was a turning point. Good thing the humans stopped interfering because after that moment, when Wiley realized Leroy would respect his boundaries, he has relaxed considerably.
One day while we were walking there was a summer day care program catching tadpoles and crayfish in the river. One of the workers was Meredith, whom you may remember as one of Wiley's dogsitters. She later texted me that a day care student decided that Wiley and Leroy should be renamed "Mr. Fluffy and Mr. Funny Pants." Haha. Very insightful! What do you think?
Keep your fingers crossed that their walks continue to go well. I hope to have many more pictures of their progress in the future, and I hope that Leroy can be one of Wiley's first fur friends.
Don't forget to keep sharing those pet pictures for the Oral Fixation Photo Share. And of course we are always looking for your rescue stories. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a big week on the blog! Wiley attended his first parade! woohooooo. BOL.