Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Friday, March 30, 2012

Amorous Alvin

It has become increasingly clear to me that Alvin's permanent home needs to have at least one dog in it because he really enjoys other dogs.  I think he would have a tough time without another dog because he looks to the other dogs to gauge some of his reactions and often imitates their behavior.  He seems comforted by the presence of another dog and because Stevie is nearly deaf, she has little to no reaction to loud noises.  When there are loud noises like my turbo powered shop vacuum, he always looks to her to see what her response will be and 9 times out of 10, she is dead to the world.  As I write this, I am wondering if that is why Alvin isn't afraid of loud noises.  As I have mentioned here in the past, I am perplexed that such a fearful dog isn't afraid of loud noises and have questioned why that is but right at this moment I am wondering if Stevie's reaction, or non reaction to loud noises might be the answer.  Huh!

Back to Alvin's need for another dog in his permanent home, it will have to be another submissive dog because in his last foster home there were two brother dogs that would chase him and it would make him cry.  Can you imagine how sad that was to see?  Before I took Alvin, I had spent a couple nights at his then foster home and I saw the two dogs chase him.  There was one that was more of the bully than the other.  They might have been trying to play with him but one would nip at his ears and poor little Alvin would cry and run and the other dog wouldn't stop.  I have known of the other dog since he was eight-weeks old and so I got to see him during that cute puppy stage.  I should at least like that dog but I find that I hold his bullying against him and he is one of the only dogs that I don't particularly like.  It's pathetic, but I hold a grudge on Alvin's behalf.

Now back to the love story.  If you recall, Alvin was able to make pretty good friends with my dog, Timmie and when I brought his body back from the ER and had him in a container, Alvin repeatedly cried.  I was really sad for Alvin because he hadn't managed to make any friends at his former foster home and had finally made a buddy. But now things are looking up because Alvin is becoming increasingly attached to Stevie.  This could be a cause for concern if Stevie were to get adopted and leave Alvin but fear not, because the only dog that has less of a chance of being adopted than Alvin, is Stevie.  There just aren't people clamoring to adopt a 10-plus year-old deaf and seeing impaired dog. 

During the last week or so, I have watched Alvin and Stevie's relationship develop, although it seems to be pretty one-sided.  I do have to feel sorry for Alvin because he clearly wants to companionship of other dogs but he is so socially delayed that he tends to confuse them.  With that said, during the past week I have noticed that when I have both of them up on the bed that Alvin always ends up lying next to her with their bodies touching.  Stevie can take or leave cuddling and she lets him stay near her.  What has been particularly sweet is that on two occasions this week I allowed Alvin to sleep on the floor and I have found him both times lying next to the dog bed that Stevie is in.  He doesn't try to get in it with her but cuddles up as close to the bed as he can.  Alvin loves dog beds and it is very rare that I find him sleeping on the floor.  There are three dog beds in my bedroom and until recently he would always get in one of the unoccupied beds but now he has started to sleep on the floor right next to her.  He usually puts himself to bed before I go in the bedroom, which means Stevie is in the living room with me.  On those occasions Alvin gets in one of the dog beds in my room and goes to sleep but now when Stevie has come in and laid in one of the beds Alvin has moved to sleep on the floor next to her. 

Stevie seems fairly neutral when it comes to Alvin.  During the day if I am sitting down and there isn't any distracting activity, Alvin is likely to be found following Stevie around and I can't adequately describe how closely he observes her.  I have no doubt that he has learned quite a bit from watching her.  Besides the lack of reaction to loud noises, the best example is how he greets me when I come home.  Stevie flips out with joy every time I come home, even if it's just me going out to get something out of the car in my driveway.  Alvin has increasingly had an animated, joyful response to my return and I am doubtful that it would be such a large reaction if he hadn't observed Timmie's and now Stevie's reactions. 

So, it seems as though Alvin has formed a bit of a bond with the old girl.  It will never rival his bond with my mom but it is still quite cute to see.  I also concede that there is no way for me to compete with his affections against the adorable, although often gassy Stevie and my mom that moonlights as the animal whisper.  I've learned to choose my battles.

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