For 50+ days now, Zach has made of our house his home. There are very few places he hasn’t “hung out” in or at the very least explored. He trots around the house like he has been there for years and whenever he discovers a new sound, he immediately investigates. It can be annoying if you are trying to sleep and someone else is in the house, still going about their day, because he takes his detective duties seriously.
His favorite adversary is the main entrance door. It is a challenge for him to trust that the outside world won’t be cruel to him but he is starting to peek through curtains and windows in an effort to learn about it. Occasionally a dog, car or person passes by and he barks, alerting them of his presence and preoccupation. After the perceived threat passes, he shakes it off and proceed to perch himself atop of the stairs, patiently chewing on his “toy of the day”. Believe it or not, he changes it daily, giving me material to chew on too.
I am fascinated at his choice of scouting location. Whenever we are getting ready for bed or for work, he takes up his position on the staircase, like a sniper seeking to defend his platoon from a vantage point. The front door within a straight shot of the landing. We’ve caught him lounging there when we become engrossed in a movie or task. When it rains you can barely get him to leave that spot long enough to play indoor games, to go outside to take care of business or to walk. He lays there, joyful and playful until the next noise or intruder is in his periphery. Good luck trying to get him to leave his nest otherwise.
For such a young puppy, not even 2 years old, he looks so worried someone out there is going to harm him. His foster crew has done an amazing job to help him throughout his adaptation process. Life can be even scarier when you don’t have loving and supportive friends. During the last few weeks, the weight of the anxiety has started to evaporate, and although still palpable, when he sees us you can feel his relief. He greatly trusts us and we completely trust him to do what is right and best for him. In return, he has complied with all of our training lessons and requests, even learning a few tricks on his own. Even though it is still early in the process, and we haven’t fully learned how to quell his reactions, we have concluded that he is a member of our tribe. I’m particularly impressed with his ability to balance independence and devotion, close and vigilant only when he has to be and shy and reserved the rest of the time. Every day is an adventure when you share your time with Z.
We will always wonder what he thinks of that staircase, of why he chooses that position to stake his claim. All I know is you can find him happily at play there if he is not stalking the backyard door to visit with his Jolly Ball. As odd as it may be, we are grateful for his caution and his commitment to protect his environment and his hoomans. Z is definitely more than just a dog, he is our best friend. 😀