Alvin, Timmie and I all went to the dog park again today. Every time I visit the dog park I am more convinced that it is not dogs who need training and we need to stop calling it dog obedience or dog training, but rather refer to it as basic human competence class. It's difficult for me to watch people rattling off the same command over and over again while watching the dog clearly having no idea what the human wants. The most comical one is to watch people using the leave it command when clearly they never taught the dog what leave it means. Sometimes it's comical and sometimes it is depressing but whatever the case, it is clear that it is always the human being that needs the training on how to communicate with the dog.
Alvin did well today and we met a lady who has a dog named Benji who had similar fears and appears to have probably had more deprivation than abuse in his life, which I suspect was Alvin's case also. Benji had to have surgery to remove fleas that had burrowed under his skin. Four years later he is a beautiful Tibetan terrier with a coat of hair that would be impressive in a show ring.
There were no bigger dogs and so Alvin showed very little interest in the dogs and then I was relieved to see the big, overweight beagle show back up but apparently after Alvin gives a dog the sniff over, the relationship is done because he had no interest. He did get a bit terrorized by a little chihuahua that wanted to hump him. I have not seen Alvin show any sign that he knows how to play with other dogs. I feel a bit like an over-protective parent because I so want him to learn how to play and have fun. I want so many things for him.
We had another success tonight. Alvin again chose to go to sleep in the living room but this time he chose a spot on the floor near my mom. He was a bit hyper-vigilant as it is new for him to be vulnerable like that but between his repeated pop ups and make sure everything was okay, he was able to get a little sleep.
I originally agreed to take Alvin because I knew he was fearful of being touched and that he would be a good combination with my dog who is very jealous of me giving attention to other animals. I know I am not imaging Alvin's progress because of Timmie's increasing jealously. He often comes over and physically sits, lays, or stands between Alvin and me. He also pulled out one of his old tricks of throwing a hip into Alvin's chest, which looks like nothing but is very effective in getting Alvin to have to move further from me. For the most part Alvin and Timmie get along well and Timmie is good for Alvin's confidence but Timmie is the one being who is not appreciating Alvin's progress. He goes so far as to whimper and put his paw on my chest. What has been interesting to me is that Alvin has developed his own sense of jealousy and he is more apt to come and solicit affection when I am petting one of the other animals. Although I may be on the right track of having two males vying for my attention, I think it's supposed to be human males. I always come up just a little short.