Yay! Romi's home!
Yes, Opie, Romi is home. He's a tuckered boy today indeed; power company doing work in the trees, then the clean-up folks coming and shredding/chipping all the branches, and then the lady from the rescue coming by...and rain-day rules....this poor boy is whipped. Gracie too. LOL, both are totally zonked out and snoring in the living room, and I can't say I blame them. I'll turn them out for potty time, but we'll all head to bed in a few hours, and get some much needed rest.
I am glad I made the decision to keep him. I am glad that he's found a place he can relax and be a dog, and learn about things like patrol duty on the fence line, bones, human hands not hurting. But mostly, I'm glad he and Gracie are such good friends. That, maybe more than anything, is what is healing him.
Romi will never be "normal." He has a long way to go before he's even "all right." But he's come so far, and done so well...far better than anyone predicted (even me) in the beginning. And he's done so much healing, and will continue to heal, and that comes from Grace, I think. He is learning how to be a dog by following her lead, and she's doing her best to show him how to be a happy, spoiled rotten, content and confident dog.
This was a good decision. A good decision indeed.
Romi's home. Romi is finally home.
You're gonna make me cry.
Somebody said that the lady from the Animal Rescue was knocked out by how much progress he's made. Do you have more on that conversation for us. I heard somewhere, I forget where, that Romeo put his paws on Gracie's back and gave you some smooches. What did she have to say about that?
Do I remember correctly that he was the one in the group they were most concerned about? I also can't remember where I heard this, but I heard he and Gracie run in the yard chasing each other in circles and playing with each other. Does he still run up and hit her and then runaway? More specifics would be nice.
Looking forward to more pictures! (hint, hint)
The lady from the rescue came by yesterday, as you know, and watched him in the back yard. It was terribly cute. He wasn't hiding at the back of the yard, and while he definitely kept his distance, it wasn't as far away as he could get. Rather, he'd close in on us, and then sit down, and watch. His ears were forward, his tail was in constant motion, and he and Gracie demonstrated the patrol they do - Gracie goes to the fence, sniffs, walks to the next spot...and Romi goes to the first spot, sniffs, and then follows Grace around the yard, sniffing all the spots she's sniffed. It's like she's showing him what to smell for, how to smell for it, and what to worry about or not. And of course he and Gracie were also running around in their big circles, just playing and goofing off.
She called him confident, aware, and relaxed but cautious.
Yes, he was the one that they were most concerned about being able to be rehabbed into a home. He was one of the oldest, had been at least two different labs, and would not leave the kennel(s) he was in unless someone took him out. He would then promptly try to return to the kennel, or, failing in that, would go find something to hide under. He never raised his tail, his ears were never up and forward (indicating curiosity/interest), he never walked fully upright (cringed, was the word they used...) and he'd never make any eye contact. If left alone, he would find the farthest place from humans, and lay there, not moving for hours. And if he got upset, he'd pace, endlessly, back and forth, back and forth. He was also not eating much.Do I remember correctly that he was the one in the group they were most concerned about? I also can't remember where I heard this, but I heard he and Gracie run in the yard chasing each other in circles and playing with each other. Does he still run up and hit her and then runaway? More specifics would be nice.
He also had about zero muscle definition, and was very weak because his living conditions didn't allow for muscle development or maintenance.
One of the things the rescue lady was most struck by was his muscle tone. He really has gotten "cut" in his legs, sides, and chest. He's a strong little dog now, and along with all the other things he's overcome, his body is healing.
And Gracie and Romi play...and play hard. He will 'tag' her, run as fast as he can away from her, hide behind something, and then surprise her from behind whatever he was hiding behind. If she tackles him (and that's her preferred method of wrestling - like a bear, she'll swing one foreleg over him and pull him down...), he'll grab her neck and try to take her down, too.
He also does the butt-in-the-air invite to play, and it's hysterical to see that. I mean, he's so small compared to Gracie, and she tucks her fanny in the air, too, and then the race is on. He's far more agile than she, and is quicker off the mark, but once she gets going, she can roll anything over. And that's the method she prefers....and so he goes rolling. But he LOVES it, and so does she.
This morning, before breakfast, I watched them wrestling. He laid down in front of her, reached out his front paws, and bopped her on the head. She'd lower that huge head, and nose his belly, and he'd grab her head, and chew on her ear or neck. And then she sat on him. And he wiggled out from under her, and jumped on her neck. Lather, rinse, repeat. It was so funny to see...and they were clearly having a ball.
And yes, they chase each other around the back yard, tails way up in the air, and just run for the sheer joy of running. It's so great to watch them tearing up the backyard...running in and out of the bushes, playing tag, changing direction and just playing tag. It's great.
They're so great together...and I'm so glad that the rescue lady was able to see some of that. I was worried that he would not be comfortable enough with a stranger in his yard, but he settled fairly quickly, and did play with Gracie while we were standing there watching.
Enough detail for you? LOL.
Herding Cats, I thrive on the details and cannot get enough of them. LOL
Praying for Jason.
Where is Kayla Berg?
Searching for Stephanie Low.
I love the stories too. The details are funny. I love imagining Romi rolling over after Gracie gets to him. It's almost like you can hear the dogs laughing like kids.
It's great to hear about Romi playing like a puppy even though he's around 5 years old. It's like he's been reborn.
ETA: HC..no, we don't expect you to adopt one LOL
Last edited by Rhyme & Reason; 02-10-2012 at 12:10 PM.
ROFL. If there was a way, I probably would. But no, I can't adopt a chimp. I'm full up at the moment. But oh, how happy I am for those chimps. I watched the vid, and it made me think about all Romi has endured, and how far he's come...and how great freedom is, for dogs and chimps and everyone.
Thanks for posting that up...
I am soooo proud of this little guy. Just so danged proud of him, I could shout.
You all know we've been having leash issues, and that I've been trying to get him used to being on one, in some form or another, since he came here. But he's been very reluctant to leave 'his' yard, and is very scared of everything 'outside' of his yard.
But, as I did before, I decided to push him past his comfort zone. This morning, I had to go to the pet store for food for all my critters, and it's a great place for Gracie; she LOVES going there, and is a good car rider, as well. So I figured, well. . . let's take Romi.
It took a long time for me to get the leash snapped on him, but I finally did it. And I carried him into the driveway. And Gracie ran ahead to the car, and I had to pick Romi up and carry him to the car. I put Romi into the front seat, and Gracie in the back. And then I turned off the radio, and turned on the car.
Romi was scared. Panting, and very anxious looking. But he wasn't shaking...and Gracie put her head and shoulders over the seat, and stood there, and he sort of shrunk under her. I kept my hand on him, and rubbed his chest, and drove like an ol' gramma...and Romi sat on the front seat the whole time.
Gracie and I went into the store, got what we needed, and got back into the car. Went gramma speed the whole way home, telling him how wonderful he was, and lovin' on him.
Once we got home, he followed Gracie out of the car (and no, I wasn't quite ready...), and they both went onto the front lawn. We sat there in the sun for about 10 minutes, and Gracie was walking around in circles, and Romi finally stood all the way up and walked a bit, as well...on his leash, and right next to Gracie, but still...he was moving on his own.
I stood up, and had to coax him past the car with some pressure on the leash, and Gracie helping, too. He'd watch her, and then move a bit. Watch her, and then move a bit...it took another 5 minutes to walk down to the garage, but once he realized he was almost home, he ran to the back gate, along with Gracie, and was sooooo happy to be home.
I gave them both treats, of course, and loved on him. He was so anxious, but didn't really do anything about it...just watched his Gracie and me, and took his cues from our behavior.
He's soooo courageous. He really is. It's a long, long way from a laboratory cage in Spain to my back yard, and now onto the street and in a car...but once he realizes he's probably safe, and if Gracie is there, he tries so hard to do what Gracie does and what I am asking him. He tries SOOO hard...and I'm so proud of him.
I see walks with him and Gracie sometime soon...I hate pushing him like this, but it seems he needs it sometimes. And I don't want him bound to the backyard for his entire life, you know? But slowly, slowly.
Each time he makes a step like this, it's cause for celebration, you know?
YAYAY Romeo!! Go little guy!! There's a whole world waiting for you!
Just thought I'd share.
Tears of joy here! Gracie is a wonderful leader, as are you Go Romi Go, live the life you were always supposed to!
Praying for Jason.
Where is Kayla Berg?
Searching for Stephanie Low.
Gracie was so great. She understood, she really did...usually, she pulls hard for her walk, and gets rambunctious and sometimes fairly hard to handle at the beginning...but today? No, today she walked gently while I was carrying Romi, stood at the door to the car gently while I was putting him in, and was gentle all the way around.
She even laid on her back and gave me her belly in the front yard...usually, in the front, she likes to roam and explore (*even on a leash....), but today, she stayed right near me and Romi, and just relaxed and stayed sweet and calm.
She knows he's scared, and it's like she's trying to demonstrate how good things can be, and how to behave properly on a leash. Which of course floors me, because like I said, she can be tough on a leash. LOL. But it was like she was saying "hey, little guy, it's all right...watch, and then come along." And she hovered over him in the car; he'd turn his nose up, and touch her chin, and she'd drool on his head...she is indeed his security blanket.
I was quite, quite amazed at Gracie, and at Romi...just thrilled. Amazed and thrilled and happy that this pushing him worked out. I always worry that I'll push him too far, and he'll regress, but it hasn't happened yet...and he always seems to be fine somehow, and adapts well. I'm just so proud of him...and of Grace, my amazing puppy Grace.
I am soooo blessed!
So happy to read about Romi's adventures -- he is such a brave boy! Hooray for Gracie, too. Sounds like she knows exactly what kind of encouragement Romi needs. Who ever said dogs are not intelligent, sentient beings?
Thank you continuing to share Romi's adventures with us! It's heartwarming and truly fascinating to be a part of this sweet creature's "rebirth".
Poor guy. He's having a rough, rough day, and I don't know quite what's happened.
He has been edgy all day. Started with this morning, when he went outside...paced, paced, paced. Settled down a bit when I went out and did some work and also just spent time with the dogs, but still, he was...edgy.
Barked a whole lot more than usual today, too. And flinched when he didn't realize I had come up on him and Gracie from behind...flinched and jumped.
Got very upset with me today, too. Nothing nasty, just...upset. Didn't really relax with me, and got 'mad' when I brought him in just now. No growling, no overt anger, but definitely a tense pup tonight.
And he's pacing the house. Usually, he'll bolt from the back den to his spot on the hearth, curl up there, and not leave it. But tonight, he has been pacing and pacing; very unusual for him. He took his bone from me, but walked around for 10 minutes with it in his mouth, and then dropped it when he saw me coming (I was heading into the kitchen, and we 'passed' each other...and I swear he threw the bone at my feet).
Gracie, OTOH, is being great. She's gone and checked on him a few times, but is settled down with *her* bone, happy as always.
The fire in the fireplace was quite large earlier, but now is fine. I've moved his blue snuggly onto the floor by the hearth, and he's settled down on it all right. He does NOT like the fire in the fireplace (Gracie could care less), but has not had this sort of anxiety reaction about it before.
I've checked him over for owies, distended belly, something caught in toe-pads, everything I could think of. But he's apparently fine physically...
Maybe he's just having flashbacks. I've heard that happens, so maybe that's it. And there is supposed to be a storm coming tomorrow, so maybe he's sensing the change (it's supposed to be rainy and quite windy). I know my horses both sense weather changes and Tango can react very strongly to a bad storm, even before we know it's bad. So maybe that's it. Gracie doesn't react to the 'storms' we get, so...she's no help.
Poor baby. He's obviously very distressed about something...and I don't know what it is. We'll see what happens over the next few hours...I'm just gonna watch him for a while. He has settled onto his snuggly, and his bone is by his side...but he's still really tense.
Gracie is pretending to be a rug at the moment, with teeth, and eating her bone happily.
I hate when something's wrong with one of my critters and I can't fix it.
Hmm... could be the impending storm, could be the fire, could be flashbacks. My suggestion is to just stay calm and do what you would normally do. You and Gracie are his center... just be yourselves and he will find his way back to his "normal" behavior. Something must have set him off-- it could be anything. But he will come back around. My late husband was a Native American Traditional Healer. He used to say that the greatest medicine of all is Love, and when you combine Love with Kindness, Caring and Sharing you can heal just about any mental "dis-ease". He will be okay, just be loving and patient.
It's the moon phase combined with change in weather (my answer to everything, lol.). Remember- he came from a very climate controlled environment. He'll probably be antsy a few or six times a year for his entire life. It may diminish over time, but he sounds exactly like one of mine.
It used to worry and sadden me also, but now I know to- avoid confrontation, and allow access to a safe place- and then ignore. If you try to soothe, it gets translated as positive reinforcement. As hard as it can be to ignore- I would ignore, and restrict toys/treats/etc that might cause reflex possession issues. They tend to ignite things with their 'pack' (in your case- you and Gracie.)
My very humble opinion, of course!
Hugs to you and your little Romi. Hang in there, he will be ok!
I asked Simon what happened, and he just told me "nothing." LOL.
Penelope, you're right...love is the best medicine, and time, too. So he's gettin' his lovies and given all the time in his life to recover.
Oriah, thanks so much. I don't comfort the anxiety - I learned that with my horses; if you calm them, they don't learn what is good and bad or how to calm themselves and assess if it's good/bad...they just do the anxiety thing because they believe that it's something they should be doing, and get rewarded for (petting, snuggling, et cetera). So I don't tend to reward/confirm anxiety...and I try to ignore it for the most part. And go on about our routines.
It's just that it went on all day, and all night. He is still a bit edgy this morning, but nothing like yesterday. We did have a storm cell pass through early this morning (complete with thunder), and we are expecting heavier activity today.
And Oriah, I hadn't thought about him living in a controlled climate all his life. OF COURSE! He is learning what weather is...and probably quite attuned to the littlest changes in his environment. Gracie came from MO, and had been through 2 tornado events by the time I got her, and had lived outside a lot, too, so she doesn't react to the "storms" we get down in So CA...lol, they're nothing like real storms...and, she's a really calm pup any way. So maybe it's a combination of things.
He seems to be much better this morning, like I said. He's a bit edgy still, but willing to go outside, and eat his breakfast. Once the rain comes, we will institute "rain day rules", and they will come inside. Right now, Gracie is rolling around on her back, and Romi is jumping on her...playing and being normal.
We will see how the day goes...
I just hate it when I can't 'fix' it...when I know something's bothering a critter, and there's nothing I can do about it. Welladay, we will see how it goes. Some patience and routines are called for from me, and I can give those.
My late husband always knew when a storm was coming, especially one when the Thunder Beings (Thunder and Lightning) would visit. He would get sweaty and would not feel good -- his bones would ache (sp?). You guys are right -- maybe Romi is like that -- very attune to the weather and barometric changes.
I believe you and I are long lost relatives. lol
Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world they have no voice,
They have no choice.
Iíve gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, keep me here.