I know, I know, you all knew this post was eventually coming and I was the only one that was clueless. After reading a lot more about autistic type behavior in dogs, I have decided that it would be cruel to make Alvin go to a new home, with a new person. All of the literature kept emphasizing the importance of not changing the dog's home and/or owner. It all said to try to keep everything in the house in the same place and that just isn't ever going to happen here but I realized that I could prevent him from having to go through something as scary and confusing as a new house and a stranger as an owner. So, I wrote to Camp Cocker and said that I would like to keep him..........I can hear your cheers from here.
When he first came here, he ran in a large circle all night long and cried like a puppy all night. He didn't sleep for three days and was just a mess. His former foster mom and I had no way of knowing what his issues were and how he would react to leaving her home, but it wasn't good. I can't bear to make him go through that again. He had no way of knowing that his time here was supposed to be temporary and making him leave here feels like I would be betraying all the trust he has put in me. He wouldn't understand and with his world already being confusing, for me of all people to add to that would break my heart.
I was very hesitant to consider keeping him because he wasn't my idea of the dog that I wanted. I wanted a dog that would let me hold him/her like a baby and cuddle on the couch with me. Alvin is never going to be that dog but I realized that I deeply love Alvin and he makes me laugh all the time. He is also the most gentle and purest soul I have ever known. I said at the beginning of this journey that I was certain that Alvin would teach me far more than I could teach him and he certainly has. He has taught me a great deal about courage, not giving up, and that trust has to be earned. He has also taught me that sometimes it's a blessing when you don't get what you thought you wanted. This morning when I woke up to hot breath on my neck and looked down to see a sleeping Alvin lying across my chest with his face nuzzled in my neck, I realized that he is perfectly imperfect and he's perfect for me. I am blessed.
I will write an update soon about how Alvin is doing. I am convinced that Victoria Stilwell is magic and that just writing to her results in her waving a magic wand and heals dogs from afar. Either that, or it helped for me to go back to the basics and by incorporating a couple new things, Alvin appears to be responding very well! There have been no miracles because just tonight I called him, he ran right passed me, headed away from me, and started looking outside for me. We're emphasizing progress, not perfection.