In a previous post we had introduced Tim to the Kyjen Tail Teaser, a toy most ratties love to chase, catch, shake and tug with us. But Tim was very skeptical about the toy. I mean who can blame him, it has a long stick thing, with a long cord, and a crazy tail thing on the end that rattles and squeaks if bitten into. To a dog like Tim this is just too scary. I decided to try it again with him today. I tried holding the wand and walking as slow as I could around the house with it trailing behind me, to see what he might do, if he he might be curious about it. He glanced from afar but then went and jumped into his chair and hunkered down. Okay that told me what I was doing was still too much for him. So here is what I did....
|I decided to just lay it quietly on the ground near the chair he was in. To my surprise Tim jumped down and walked right over it. Brave!|
|He moved positions and did it again. (Notice his leg is almost all healed up!)|
|Here I set my hand close to the cord and he stayed in this bow position for quite a while. I still said nothing.|
|I moved the cord very slightly and kept my hand near and he sniffed again. I was giddy inside...|
|A little later I had it on another leg and Tim came in and stood his front paws on me to check it out! WOW!|
|Here Tim does the nervous bow but keeps his front legs on me for reassurance.|
|Here Tim is even more on top of me, he does this a lot for reassurance, he likes to be on me or my husband. But he is looking at the tail so this is awesome!|
|Sybil comes in and starts to play with me and the tail part of the toy.|
|Sybil inspires Tim to even get braver! Look at him now, no bow, not on me, he is on his own checking the thing out! Still I just sat there and didn't praise him for fear that he would feel pressure from me.|
|Sybil gets really brave and Tim is following suit. Sybil helps Tim a lot in our house and we are very thankful for that. (nice curious ear position and facial expression)|
So this little story gives you an idea of how rewarding it is to work with a dog like Timken. It also will demonstrate what kind of nurturing, patience, and commitment anyone who adopts him will need. When you adopt a dog who needs a lot of socialization in small increments and with an unlimited timetable it is not for everyone, but I know there is someone out there who will be up for the challenge and Tim will not disappoint. He is a loving, goofy, super intelligent boy and the rewards are endless when working with him. Seeing him blossom in less than two months has been miraculous. Just think how far he will go in his forever home!