I'm supposed to be working like a slave right now but I never want to forget what happened today. So here you go, super sentimental me.
What was so special about today was that he cuddled with me for all of my naps and ran along a crowded sea wall for 6km W/O a single bark or throwing himself off the leash.
It might sound so ordinary for some people but it took him 3 years to get here. It's the best Christmas gift he could ever give me: less fear and more happiness. Here is a little history of us.
How I met him:
I adopted him in early 2018 from a Canadian rescue organization that saved him one day before his scheduled euthanization in a kill shelter. I saw him on a website and later visited a pet store where they were hosting a meet-and-greet. He was definitely not one of those yappy, jumpy puppies who were fervently greeting me at the gate. The volunteer had to search the room at least twice before she could drag him out deep underneath a wheeled silver cart. When I held him for the first time, he felt so fragile and light. I put a leash on him and carefully put him down. It was obvious that he didn't want to make any eye contact with anyone in the store and he kept trying to hide underneath that little shade the edge of the store shelves provide.
Welp, none of the scissors or electric trimmer I had worked on his matted fur, so I got a pair of heavy-duty meat scissors which worked like a charm. It was a stress-relieving moment for both of us.
At home: His one-and-only spot around the apartment was underneath the shoe shelf in the entrance closet room. When I come out of my study room from time to time, I just needed to check the closet to find him. When he is with me in the study room, he would--of course--hide in the bottom of a bookshelf. What'd you expect?
Walk: He HATED bicycles, kids and skateboards, which c'mon, you can't walk 2 minutes without seeing one of them. He would bark and THROW himself off the leash and do 360 in the air at their appearance. He was okay with running with me though. There were days after some distance, he would plop down on the ground and refuse to proceed, but it got better over time.
Cuddling: For the first eight months or so, he never slept on the bed with me even though I let him. The moment I put him on the bed, he would jump straight down and curl up underneath the bedside table. So what cuddling are we talking about?
At home: You know what, he finally gave in to the plush comfort of blankets and carpet. I didn't put any cushioning in his dark favorite spots as I didn't want to encourage that behaviour. He had no trouble being out in the open. When I was gone, he would wait and sleep on the carpet in front of the sliding door facing the street (I was living on the ground floor at that time).
Walk: He still hated those three objects but not as much as he liked duck tenders! He would bark if I was not luring him with that tender or if they appeared genuinely threatening to him with loud noise or approaching him.
Cuddling: Yup, he became a bed-potato. The second the bedroom door opens, he would leap like an Olympic gold medalist. Yet, he would only sleep on the bottom corners if I was in the bed too. If I took him in my arms, I was asking for a bomb with a timer. After a minute or so, he'd be a tactical navy seal working his way out a net trap. The consequence to me was that he wouldn't come up to the bed for the next day or so.
At home: Gangster. Thug. Boss. Savage. Either on the carpet sleeping in the weirdest, seemingly-very-uncomfortable poses possible or throwing and chasing his frozen Kongs. Occasional barking at the Kongs that border-line gives me heart attacks.
Walk: We run at least 7km a day at the rate of 3min/km ~ 9min/km. I moved from a remote area to downtown, so that's added distractions to him. However, he is mostly under the duck tenders' control. ;)
Cuddling: He comes to cuddle with me only when he feels like it. Today, as I mentioned above, my success rate was 100%!!!