Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Monday, October 24, 2011

If only Alvin could be a cat

The first news of the day is that Alvin officially has two followers, Theresa and Kerri.  Once Kerri joined as our second follower it potentially allows us to have a raffle and we may be raffling off the possibility of being Alvin's adoptive parent.  Seriously, I am grateful to Kerri and Theresa for officially joining us.

Timmie, Alvin, Stevie and I all went to the dog park today.  I realized that if I was going to walk blind Stevie, barky Timmie, and looping Alvin that Alvin was going to have to de-loop himself for this trip.  I shortened his leash so that he couldn't circle around us and all seemed to be going fine until I felt a tug on the line as though I had just caught a fish.  It was no fish, it was a chipmunk, Alvin who in response to not being able to loop, put on the brakes, sat his bottom down and refused to go.  I had to reassure him and then I let him do a big loop to get the bottled up loop out of his system and then he agreed to go again.  The best news is that Alvin actually acknowledged me this time.  I realized that when I call him and he doesn't come it's because he genuinely doesn't hear me.  I think he hones in on things and doesn't hear or see anything else, which would be an important thing for a potential adopter to know because this little guy isn't a candidate for off leash walks.  We had a few great moments when he was able to focus on me and I was able to bend down and pet and scratch him all over his body and he was so affectionate and sweet.  He had to be on the small dog side again and he didn't have any interest in the other dogs and went to each person and visited again.  Every time we go he picks a person to fixate on and this time it was a family with a father and two daughters.  What was interesting to see is that another family came and there was a girl who appeared to be about five-years-old and Alvin began to stare at her and slowly started to approach her.  I could see that he really liked her but for the little girl, she was seeing a dog staring at her and what probably looked like a dog stalking her and she got scared and hid behind her dad.  I wanted to approach her and see if I could talk her into interacting with Alvin because he had a whole different look about him when near her and I so wanted to know if he has particular affection for kids or maybe feels more comfortable with them.  I did not approach her because she seemed afraid of him and if you didn't know Alvin, it would look a little creepy. I wonder if his reaction was because he hasn't seen too many kids and was fascinated or if he just really likes kids but whatever it was it was definitely a positive reaction.  I thought the dog park was a bust for Alvin as far as dogs went until I had already put a leash on Timmie and Stevie and was about to leash up Alvin when the gate opened and in came an extra tall, very overweight beagle.  Alvin was fascinated.  I stepped back and watched as Alvin sniffed the beagle to the point that I was afraid his nose would implode.  I finally tore him away but I am hoping that we can find another bigger dog the next time we go.

For the first few weeks that Alvin was here he didn't groom himself but in the last two weeks he has started to groom himself on a regular basis.  He also regularly gets in his dog bed right next to my bed and sleeps through the night.  For the first few weeks he would fight sleep and would try his hardest to keep his eyes open and would jump up at any sound.  He still comes to full alert on a regular basis but he seems a bit more relaxed.  What has interests me the most is that when Alvin hears or sees something that is scary to him he will run towards the object, stop about three feet away, and once he determines it's okay, he then runs away.  His response is the exact opposite of any dog I have ever known.  This reaction makes Alvin a very photogenic dog because he is curious about anything new and since he runs toward the object and stares, he has so many great pictures because it's easy to catch him in those moments before the fear is gone and he has to run away. 

As I write this, for the first time Alvin has laid down in the innermost part of the living room and has gone to sleep.  He has always slept outside of the living room where there is an escape route and so seeing him sleep so far into the living room is surely progress.  Usually this time of night Alvin goes into the bedroom and put himself to bed.  He likes to go to bed early but then he wakes up early in the morning and sits and stares at me.  Every time I move he runs towards me with happy anticipation that I am going to get up and feed him.  I start to feel like the mother who is passed out on the couch and doesn't feed her kids because he looks so disappointed each time I don't get up.  He finally gives up and goes outside to lay in the sun outside my window where he can STILL hear me when I roll over and comes roaring back in to guilt me into getting up.  Alvin wants to come back as a cat in his next life so that he can have food out all the time.

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