Ranger is already a full fledged member of the family. The fence is going up but he is already great on the leash. He is very shy to do his business so closely monitored. He clearly has great bladder control as he has had no accidents inside and decided not to water any of the interesting spots outside until we finally had success this morning with me pretending I wasn't watching him. Afterward he was like a different dog - ten times more bounce in his step. No bowel movement yet but he has only eaten a tiny bit from our hands until tonight. Tonight he is eating and drinking from his new bowls which he has finally accepted as his. We have been on many walks already and 2 short runs in the neighborhood and he acts like he was already leash trained. We met a neighborhood dog on one walk but only to exchange looks across the street. We will take that very slowly. If there is no one in the room with him when a siren goes by he barks but then settles just fine. When I left the first time today he barked and pawed briefly at his crate door but my daughter was still home watching him and after ignoring him briefly she said he settled fine. Once he had settled for a half hour after I was gone she let him out and he studied her packing for college as if he would then have to repeat the process. Today he did not have to spend more than 2 hours without one or more of us around. Tomorrow that will stretch to 3 but it should seldom be more than that. He is sleeping in Jonathan's room and when Jonathan is home they are invariably on the floor together.
At the moment Ranger is flopped next to me on the floor with his head butted against my thigh while I catch up on some emails. We know there will be more trying days but we wanted you to know how great day 1 has been. Thank you so much for rescuing and fostering Ranger so he could come join our family.
More to follow ...
Week 1 was wonderful!
The fence was finished Thursday and he loves his backyard but still wants to go for walks and runs in the neighborhood which we are enjoying together. He has a pad in his crate which he loves and leaves it completely alone as far as chewing goes. He will sniff everything and nose about everywhere but has not chewed on anything except his toys. He clearly knows they are his. No squeakers and no stuffing to get out and swallow and after a week of trying very hard he has only succeeded in minimal damage to them.
He is eating and drinking and pooping and peeing just like a dog should. Unfortunately he likes his own poop so we will work on that some. A firm "No" works every time but I am leaving some of his output in the yard and respraying it daily with bitter apple for him to investigate and so far he turns his nose up at the sprayed ones.
He wants us to stay but looks forward to his frozen peanut butter filled Kong when we do have to leave. When he is in his crate and not sure if we are all gone he will sometimes bark once or twice just to see if anybody reacts. If we stay quiet and still he settles right away. When we leave the house we sometime listen at the door for a while and there is no whining or barking.
He loves to face off outside like a safety covering a receiver. As I shuffle side to side he mirrors me trying to keep me (or Jonathan) from getting past by bouncing up and down and wagging his whole body. Then he gives chase as we run and tries to get back in front of me again to turn me. He is all shepherd. If we play that game with a ball in our hands for a while he will then fetch it once or twice but instead of returning it on the second or third play he will run off to the woods edge inside the fence and drop it in the leaves. He knows one of us will then come to look for it. It is clear he is more interested in teaching us tricks than the other way around.
Yesterday we took a road trip together to visit my daughter in college. He rode in the back seat of my truck for hours without any problems. He clearly remembered Caroline although they only had a little time together before she left last Monday night. He loved to get out and investigate all the rest stops there and back but held his business until we got back home. He has a little camel in him I think. He met her roommates and took to them as they did to Ranger. He spent most of our brief time there stretched out on the rug with his head on my wife's feet. We took his water bowl from home and he drank freely at her apartment as if it were just a second home. We will probably visit her once a month or so.
Pictures to follow soon.
Week 2 has been even better! We have had a bath and a nail trim and several good brushings. We are loving fetching the rubber Frisbee. We are also learning to climb the kiddie climbing wall (more like a ramp) to retrieve it from the playground playhouse. We spent a lot of time out in the brief snowfall and were convinced it was sent just for us to play in. We have a personal tag to go with the ARCBCR tag and we are also now registered with the county. We are going to the vet this week just to get a physical and to get on record with them and get acquainted. We still love our walks and Ranger is great on the leash with every member of the family. He loves to explore but also loves to get back to his own yard at the end to do his business and to play. Some pictures are attached.