Alvin has a place on the side of the house where he likes to bask in the sunshine will sprawled out on the concrete. On a nice day I can usually find him sound asleep, without a care in the world. I have discovered that if I go to the spot and sit down that Alvin will allow me to scratch and pet him all over his back, head, and neck. He has recently started to even place his head in my lap, with his chin resting on my leg. If someone who didn't know Alvin were to view the scene they wouldn't know that he has any anxiety over being touched. I so enjoy the moments when Alvin is able to seem totally normal. I feel like a mother of a special needs child because I get so excited over very small things that other people would take for granted. He is particularly receptive to me petting him if I go out there after having been gone from the house. This afternoon I went out there twice after having just come home and he was just a little love bug! I am finding that although Alvin always wags his tail whenever I praise him, if I look away and don't speak that it takes the pressure off of him and he is able to let me pet him more.
My hope is that this will help him become more relaxed with being touched on his back and head and that over time we can do this in the house. I especially want to be able to move it in the house because on a couple of occasions I have gone outside and sat down only to discover that Alvin didn't follow me out. I look entirely pathetic as I am sitting at the side of my house and calling, "Alvin, honey come see mommy." Both times my calling was in vain because of Alvin's inability to be able to locate the direction of sound and I was left begging and dogless, while Alvin was circling himself dizzy in the house trying to figure out where my voice was coming from. I am grateful that he chose the side of the house nearest my mom's house because if she spots me sitting out there alone calling Alvin, she won't bat an eye. She has seen far weirder things when it comes to Alvin and me. I wouldn't want to have to explain it to my neighbor on the other side because where does one even start when trying to explain Alvin?
On another note, thank you for your very kind notes of condolence. I deeply appreciate them. I will miss my grandma for the rest of my life, but I love that because of her, I have cocker spaniels in my life and I will continue to help as many of them as I can in her honor.........this sentence is going to freak my mom out because she will immediately start worrying that "honoring grandma" will result in cockers galore running through the house. I can already picture myself saying, "well, grandma would want me to have him/her," when trying to explain why another cocker magically appeared in the house.