Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

You've Come a Long Way, Baby!

First, thank you all again for your kind, funny and encouraging comments.  I read them all and very much appreciate you taking time to write them.

Alvin passed another milestone and it involved urine of all things.  We were out on our walk today and I took them to a grassy area at the end of our street.  With the dog park being closed for the rest of the month, I try to pawn off an area in our neighborhood that has a large grassy area that the neighbors use for Easter egg hunts, parties, and an area for dogs to run.  Most of the neighbors allow their dogs to run around unleashed but after hearing one too many stories of shocked owners who experienced that one time when their dog ran out and got hit by a car, I just think it is a recipe for disaster.  Plus, goodness only knows what danger Alvin would loop himself into.  So, while trying to convince them that it was a the dog park, I kept Alvin leashed and all be darned if he didn't squat and urinate.  To any normal person this would certainly not be a cause for awe but you could have knocked me over with a feather and when I realized that was what he was doing, I stood still like a statue and didn't make a peep because I didn't want him to get distracted while he was doing yet another thing just like a normal dog.  He has never gone to the bathroom while out on a leash, or even while running around the fenced area of the dog park.  Thank goodness no one else was out there because when he was finished I started loudly exclaiming, "That's so smart, Alvie.  You went potty just like a big boy."  I then reached over his head and was able to scratch his back for nearly a minute.  I was feeling fantastic about how "normal" he was and so I went over to tell my mom.  As we were sitting there and I was telling her about both successes, Alvin was still acting quite normal and my mom happily said, "He really has improved a lot!"  My chest puffed up a little with pride and before I could answer she quietly but very matter of factly said, "But he's still weird as hell, isn't he?"  And the balloon was popped because I couldn't very well say no but I sure did enjoy that three seconds of victory. 

I am thinking that I should write a disclaimer at the beginning of each of the first about 90 entries on Alvin's blog because if a potential adopter were to read them they will certainly laugh out loud at the idea of anyone adopting him.  My only hope is that the blog is set for the newest entries first.  With that said, here's a little recap of where he is today. 

  • Other than when out on walks, he rarely loops at all anymore.  The looping stopped about two weeks ago.  There is a difference between circling and looping and the looping was when he would trot over and over again in the same, large circular pattern, sometimes for hours.  He still circles but those occur when some type of activity has just occurred, and as in "activity" I mean me walking anywhere in the house, someone coming over, or when the show Dog the Bounty Hunter comes on because that seems to really get his juices flowing.  He still does his tight rodeo circles when he thinks food is coming and I hope he never gives that up because that's about as cute as it gets.
  • He has learned to take treats by hand very gently and I haven't nearly lost a finger for a good month or so.
  • He routinely lets me reach over his head and scratch his back (very new development).
  • He is no longer panicking when being picked up.  He doesn't like it but he no longer tries to take a suicide dive out of my arms.
  • He is able to go potty outdoors at least 90% of the time and when it's not raining it's nearly 100%.
  • He comes to me at least 30 times to day asking to be pet. 
  • He no longer looks like he is having a seizure when riding in the car and can now actually lie down and sleep.
We are still working on his propensity to walk on peoples feet when they are walking.  Tonight I went by his food container and apparently he was so intent on me giving him a treat that out of desperation he jumped up on his back legs, wrapped both his front legs around my leg and held on for dear life.  Alvin is serious about his treats and is willing to risk life and limb to get them.  I should not give him a treat when he does this but honestly, who is going to turn down a dog hanging on to your leg for dear life?  The sad part is that his "treat" is just a piece of his dog food but apparently it is worth nearly dying for. 

So, he's come a very long way but according to my mom, he's still weird as hell.


  1. Alvin's doing great! Mad props to both of you!

    And you get used to (dare I say even enjoy?) that weirdness...normal dogs don't make for great stories.

    Have you thought about clicker training him? Maybe he'd enjoy getting some additional opportunity to work for kibble? Would make for a good blog post at least!

  2. He may be as weird as hell, but he's as adorable as hell too!