Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mongo the new dog

This is Mr. Mongo or since I am a Latin Jazz music fan, Mongo Santamaria my latest nickname for him. Mongo is about 3 years old, recently neutered and I'm guessing, spent most of his life in a backyard, never having been acquainted with the simple concept of a leash. This being said, Mongo and I have been grappling with the philosophical ideas of leash, the outdoors, and the concept of teamwork. Patience and mindfulness on my part,and being excruciatingly present, as I deal with unruly dog and icy wintry walking conditions was also the order of the day. This one is a labor of love and a challenge for me as the poor guy has been quite cooped up due to the cold and nasty weather. I've taken him out, I was going to say walked him but that would be a stretch, as it was initially somewhat a battle of wills, about 3 times now. Today, seeing about 12% improvement over the last time which is actually quite an accomplishment in the big scheme of things. This guy is big, a lab/rottweiler mix and although he grew disheartened and stopped eating for a few days, he's still rather strong. After the first two visits I was on the verge of giving up, feeling too overwhelmed with his large size, strength, pent up energy, and outward focus. Many dogs will make some sort of eye contact, or recognition of me as a person attached to the other end of the leash, but he was so interested in the outside world, and so nervous from being cooped up in a cage, that he really wasn't connecting with me or making a whole lot of improvement. I am aware that I have my limitations, especially when winter is concerned, but as usual, I am a bit of a softie and decided to try one more time. Maybe he is getting used to me, as last time after our walk I spent some time with him in his indoor kennel. This last visit he showed some dog to human communication by being excited to see me, which at least inspired me to try. We progressed only a little bit, but enough to "break the ice" and make me feel like I was dealing with a concious creature, and not a brick wall. Hurray for small miracles! Someone else tried to walk him and gave up, so if I don't do it and get him under control he'll be less likely to be adopted quickly.There's my incentive, the tug at my heart strings,the push to nudge me beyond my reluctance. Here I go again, into another adventure with a dog in need. I wonder how his story will unfold?

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