I was going to use this time to do a review of the year, simply because that is what so many people seem to do, but then I got sidetracked!
I was going through pics of Ray looking for one that would “leap out and say something”, but I ended up going back to the pics of my early (pre-adoption) meetings with Ray and nostalgia took over.
In March of 2013, he was a very indifferent and very “closed” dog. We never saw that “relaxed” jaw that tends to mimic a smile. While he was “cooperative” with us, the word “enthusiastic” would not have been a very honest description of his manner. His face showed no indications of his feelings about anything. In contrast, when he was frightened or uncertain about a situation, he would just lunge and bark without any advance warnings.
We could speculate that he was a little lost with his current environment. Being kept in a den(?) which consisted of steel bars, and having other dogs close by in their “dens” may have been a challenge to (we surmised later) a farm dog who was either abandoned, or perhaps escaped an unfriendly situation.
Having humans continually walking past and staring at him must have been a challenge, for even dogs have some concept of privacy.
November of 2015 – What a difference! He was now openly affectionate, at least with us. He often had that “canine smile/happy” look about him, and his facial muscles showed so much character, from his quizzical look, to his “You said food?” look, to “You’ve got to be kidding! Me ….. take that in my mouth?” look, and so many more!
Say anything remotely connected with food around his meal time and he will jump in circles with excitement. Show him his car harness and he will invariably push his head into it and excitedly wait for us to go out to the car and open “his” door.
Such a different dog. Such a joy to have around. Such a reward for some patience, compassion, perseverance and cooperation.
So what would Ray think about all this? I suspect that he would recap the same time period with “I was so glad that they allowed me to adopt them, and get to know them. It is so nice living here … all of us together. Such a reward for my patience, compassion, perseverance and cooperation”.