Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Saturday, April 6, 2013

For Alvin's Bestest Friend, Sally Wolk

This entry is dedicated to Sally Wolk, who has always been Alvin's biggest fan and the only person I would still give Alvin to, because no one could love him like she does.  She always politely reminds me when it's been far too long since I have posted.

We have experienced a lot of changes since I last wrote.  My mom had knee replacement surgery, then a second recent surgery due to her knee getting infected and now I am taking her for daily antibiotic infusions. 

Maddie had a big health scare and I was certain that I was going to have to put her to sleep.  She is now doing well with me giving her daily fluids through an IV. 

I have also adopted Gracie.

Alvin has done very well with all the changes.  We went through a period of him needing more attention than usual and I was very happy to give it.  Speaking of extra attention, I am grooming him tonight.  I have been telling him for two weeks that he is looking like a stray but I put off grooming him because of how much it scares him.  I think I dread it more than he does.  I just gave him his sedative so that we can prepare for battle.

Alvin had a couple mishaps on the bed recently.  Due to his spatial issues, I don't let him sleep near the end of the bed because chances are he will end up unintentionally on the floor.  A few nights ago I didn't move him and as I was reading in bed, I saw his four paws go up in the air and watched as his eyes got big as saucers, and then he disappeared.  I jumped up while screaming, "don't worry Alvin, I'm coming to save you."  Luckily, there was one of those mesh laundry containers full of clothing that broke his fall and once I rounded the corner, I found him standing in place while clearly dazed and confused.  His bad luck on the bed didn't end there, however.  A couple of night's ago, I was giving Alvin his bedtime snack when he got greedy.  He convinced himself that there must be a snack by Maddie and because he becomes completely oblivious as to what is around him, he stepped on Maddie.  She responded by giving him a smack in the face and it scared him so bad that he fell off the bed.  Poor little Alvin, but I couldn't blame Maddie because she was just lying there when Alvin put his two big paws on her stomach. 

Alvin continues to improve in the area of accepting physical attention.  I swear that someone told him that humans have cooties because every single time I pet his back he has to physically shake it off.  I have finally concluded that Alvin is just never going to be a dog that is comfortable being randomly pet but I have been practicing giving him long strokes across his back and he is much better at not turning and running like a bat out of hell.  He often comes to me to ask for affection and it melts my heart.  I love all three of my dogs but the one who makes my heart swell is my dear Alvin.

What has been of most interest to me lately is how much he observes and duplicates the behavior of other dogs.  Alvin and Gracie often sleep together on the bed at night.  It is usually Gracie who walks over and initiates the cuddling between the two, but every once in a while Alvin will approach Gracie and lie next to her.  He always looks so proud of himself.  Gracie and Alvin are pretty good buddies and Gracie is very patient when Alvin walks on her.  We recently went over to my mom's house and before Gracie came to our house, Alvin would pace through the house and never lie down, no matter how long we were there.  This time, Gracie laid down first and Alvin was also able to lie down near her.  I thought maybe it was a fluke so we tried it again and sure enough, Alvin was able to lie down and relax again.  I am certain that if Gracie wasn't there to model it for him that he would spend the time pacing and circling.

Alvin continues NOT to lose weight.  We are really going to have to get on it because this summer is the Camp Cocker reunion and it's going to be very embarrassing to bring pudgy Alvin.  We all know that it's the owners fault if a dog is overweight and so even if the owner is met with a dog who literally licks his lip every single time he see his owner, it doesn't cut it when one is at the reunion surrounded by a bunch of non-pudgy dogs.  If I get desperate, I will find an outfit that makes him look thinner and no matter what the temperature, I am going to make him wear it.  It will be punishment for him giving me that face and pitifully licking his lips every time I so much as enter the room.

So, that's it for now.  I hope you all are well.  I will let you know how the hair cut goes and hopefully, no one gets hurt (meaning me).

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