Not A Bad Dog.

First of all, thank you so much for all of the encouraging comments on my last post.  Sometimes all it takes are some kind words to make a bad situation seem a little less crappy.

Now that I’m feeling less emotional about the whole thing (I literally wrote that post MINUTES after it happened), I can start to think about it as a learning experience for both Rufus and myself.

Rufus is not a bad dog.  In fact, he’s the light of my life.  He will never be perfect, but that’s ok.  He is incredibly obedient for the people he trusts, and he even enjoys making dog friends when the mood strikes.  He loves meeting the neighborhood kids and lets them hug on him without any issues. As long as he is given space, we can take him just about anywhere.  He snoozes in hotel rooms, walks down busy city streets with his tail held high, and loves our random hiking adventures.  He is smart and eager to learn new things.  Oh, and he happens to be pretty freaking cute as well.  

I fell for Rufus because I saw that he was falling for me.  He went from being completely shut-down and emotionless to the constant companion I know today.  It took well over a year for him to snuggle with me on the couch, but it was totally worth it.  I never imagined he’d have the drive to enjoy puzzle toys or agility, but he has happily proved me wrong. He is my project dog, and we still have a lot of wonderful work to do.

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What’s next, ma?

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18 thoughts on “Not A Bad Dog.

    • He was an interesting newbie. He always wanted to be close to me, but he’d sit next to me with a little gap between us. And now? The dude sprawls himself across my lap like a pro 🙂

  1. We love project dogs – they are ALWAYS worth the extra effort! Our two were each their own project: Tess needed a lot of emotional support and confidence development; Edison needed (and still needs) behavior work. All this extra work we put into them allowed us to bond with them in a way that is special and unique to each of them – and so, so special to me!

  2. He is a good dog! He’s just still working on himself a little. When I get frustrated, I remind myself where the dog was last year and it’s usually a world away. I recently through my posts from last summer when I was afraid to post about Edwin’s reactivity for fear of making him sound worse than he was. He’s reacted to a couple dogs recently but in situations where Gambit reacted too – a dog escaped and was staring at him from our porch, a bluetick run down the street unsupervised & baying his head off. I’ve been unhappy with humans doing similar things.

  3. As the fellow mom of a “project dog,” I know firsthand, as you’ve experienced, that it’s not always easy. But the silver lining, something parents of “easy” dogs don’t get to experience, is getting to see how they improve and having the satisfaction of knowing that you were a part of that. There is nothing like the feeling you get when your “project dog” turns a corner, as I’m sure you’re well aware! We are all (dogs and people alike) works in progress!

  4. You two remind me so much of me and Maggie. The best things in life have to be earned and I’m so happy Rufus found someone willing to work for him!

  5. I feel like I can really empathize with a lot of how you feel about Rufus, and a lot of his issues mirror Pyrrha’s. You’re right: They may never be those “bombproof” predictable, well-adjusted dogs… but they’re our babies, and we love them, quirks and all. You’re a wonderful dog mama, and Rufus is lucky to have you!

  6. Speaking from the perspective of being rescued myself, I get it. I know how Rufus probably behaved before becoming your puppy soul mate, and I am so very happy you found each other.

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