Alvin has made progress in so many areas that I am having a hard time keeping track. The one that impacts me the most is that Alvin has definitely learned to wait to go potty until I open the door. It's not a 100% foolproof plan but far more often than not, he can wait. This has prevented me from freezing to death by keeping the back door open this winter. It's taken a year-and-a-half but who is counting?
The second new development is that after much thought and consideration, Alvin has decided that it's safe to walk on the grass in the backyard. Until last week he was afraid of the grass and never once walked on it. He has started to prance around the backyard and I can't describe how cute he looks out there. Another thing that took a year-and-a-half but again, who is counting?
It has also recently dawned on him that anyone coming into the house is going to appear at the front door. Until about a week ago, anytime he heard someone knocking or coming through the door he ran to the garage door. No one has ever, ever entered or exited through the garage door and so that was has always been a mystery to me. All of a sudden it clicked and he now faithfully shows up at the front door. A couple of times while watching TV there has been the sound of knocking on the TV and Alvin runs to the front door and tilts his head back and forth, thoroughly confused as to why I don't answer it and why no one appears. This one has also taken a year and........you get the point.
Speaking of TV, twice I have had the TV on playing in the background and not paying attention until I noticed Alvin right in front of it, looking up and tilting his head back and forth and the common denominator? Snooki from The Jersey Shore. I couldn't make this stuff up. Apparently the sound of her voice is intoxicating to him and even though he can't figure out the direction of sound, he has managed to track her down and sits mesmerized in front of the TV. I recorded it today so I could see if he would do it again and sure enough, he sat there for 15 minutes straight while utterly captivated. I could only take so much and so I figured we both had had enough of Snooki and turned it off.
Alvin continues to crouch or back away when I try to pet his back and I keep forgetting about the large scar on his side, near his back. When he was first rescued by Camp Cocker he had a large area where the skin was darker, some of the hair was white, and the hair was thinner. It was clearly from an injury. When he first came to my house he still had some white hair but as time has progressed, the white hair is gone and I forget that he had an injury. I can't figure out what happened to him but it's clear that it was a large, bad injury. The position of it makes me think that maybe he leaned against an open oven door or something. I wonder if his reaction to being touched anywhere but his head and neck comes from trauma? He does well when I pet his back when he is lying on the bed but when I do it any other time he tries to scoot away and then shakes it off.
Alvin has lost three pounds but is kind of stalling out. He needs to lose another 3-4 to be quite lean, which due to his knees he really needs to stay lean. He is still completely obsessed with food. I have never seen a dog with his obsession and it's clear he thinks about food ALL THE TIME. Every time I get up, he follows me around literally licking his lips and sniffing for food, every single time. One would think he would be skinny from running after me all the time but his chubbiness indicates how infrequently I get up off the couch. His obsession with food has resulted in a new quirk. I used to give him a treat when he came in from going potty and so now when I open the door he frequently goes out, does one twirl and then comes back in while licking his lips, and he will do it over and over again. I have had to go out there more times than I want to admit and stood there shivering while convincing him that there are no treats inside and it really is time to get down to business and go potty.
Alvin remains the most innocent being I have ever known. He reminds me of a puppy when they are completely innocent and discovering new things around them. He is like a puppy in an adult body and is all things good, kind, and pure.
His little sister, Gracie will be coming back home on Saturday and I am so excited! She is managing well with the three legs. She is good for Alvin because she provides canine companionship and she is patient with Alvin.
Thank you all for still being interested in Alvin. I have no doubt that you would adore him even more if you all could meet him. He is truly one of a kind! I will keep you all updated as he continues to progress.