I can tentatively report that Cauta seems to be back in the game. After a week of touch and go he seems to be steadily improving. The mystery remains over what was actually going on. But he does not seem to be in pain any longer, and is back to voluntarily jumping around.

His stomach is working as it should, in fact the rice we were advised to give him seemed to do more harm than good. No more mopping up liquid offerings for us…How long this will last remains to be seen. A very close eye is being kept on what goes in, and what comes out. Never have I been so focused on poo, or had so many conversations about it. Although you will be glad to see that I don’t feel the need to post pictures of it. (;

As we go along Cauta seems subtly changed; at times we now see more communication coming back from him. He will nudge the lead with his nose and look meaningfully at me, to let me know he would very much like to go out now, thank you very much.

Noticing this highlights how communication can feel very human to dog heavy sometimes, a one way street, rather than a circular motion.  As we train we ask, can you do this now? On walks, we say, we need to go this way now. Getting requests back is very affirming, as it seems to show that Cauta is confident that we can listen if he asks…Even if we can’t do what he wants right this very second. And of course communication needs to be circular in order to exist, there has to be two way traffic or it can become a little autocratic.

My partner has been at home more lately, and we have walked Cauta jointly more. One day we play hide and seek in the park and I almost keel over laughing at the enthusiasm of him bounding toward Kev, and them running away together. Soon he runs toward us before we even call. That day he is reluctant to go home, perhaps because he didn’t get his hit of dog play, or perhaps because he was purely having fun.

However, on other days it is much harder to kindle the connection, he ignores calls, or looks but does not move. The relationship is never a static entity, and can never be taken for granted.

Sometimes on the way home it is difficult to tell if he is tired, with his lowered head and crawling pace, or just reluctant to turn for home. When we return he duly flops on the nearest soft surface, but in a few hours he will be raring to go again.

We sometimes try to substitute walks for playing or scent games, but sure enough he will snaffle up whatever treats are on offer, or play half-heartedly for a bit, but immediately after he’s back to the door with a clear urge to go out. I think his street dog days may be contributing to his wanderlust.

Although in workshops he is incredibly excited to play with flirt poles, tug toys, balls, when his arousal is lower these don’t exist. When he is in this state of mind, if I throw a ball I can be sure I will be fetching it myself, after he has looked at it disdainfully. Exploring is where it’s at for him. And playing with other dogs is the bounty.

This follows the stream of how we are getting to know him, he may always be curious and interested in other dogs, somewhat excitable and need to play. But we try to manage this. We try to adapt to the kind of dog who adopted us, as he tries to adapt to us. It’s not easy, but it feels we have all made progress in coalescing to a family pack, rather than three individuals doing their own thing.

It’s also part of getting to know this very particular individual, at this time in his development, rather than the one we imagined or expected. It’s a process of learning the reality, letting go of the illusion, and all that goes along with that.

 

Cauta on the recall road

 

And curled up at home