Merlin has had a rough time of it until about noon today. Poor boy is an omega with all the submissive behaviors that entails. He could have had the genetics for it or simply been the runt of the litter.
When a dog in the complex barked he ran for cover. If McKinley barked he sometimes peed himself in submission. Toys were scary. Squeaking toys were death on it’s way to claim him. Kibble? What’s that? Not for me, right? Leash? Can we say: trout on the line? He is a very anxious little dog.
Today I finally found a worn out old vest with a D ring on it that WLD used to wear. It is two sizes too big for Merlin, but with a few extra wraps I got it to stay on. We have now managed to have three walks (short, but long enough to toilet) with Merlin today. And when other dogs bark as we walk by he is now taking his cue from the alpha bitch and trying to ignore it rather than freaking out totally. Oh, and he is over his fear of grass. This was an inside dog!
He found out that he can play with a toy and not be attacked by it. At one point most of the toys were out of the basket and around the living room. (score one for Merlin). And squeaks are just noises, not the sound of death arriving. He still shivers and shakes at times, but it is all nerves. He hates wearing his blanket coat and fights to get it off (it is off now), but will cuddle up in a blanket.
I’m about to rename him Hobo because he begs constantly and will steal anything he can get to he thinks is food – including an apple core. He’s worse than Sam in that regard. He will pick up dead worms on the walkway as crunchy snacks. “Leave it, Merlin.” as I pry it out of his jaws.
He still is very intimidated if someone walks up to us outside. Men more than women (they’re bigger). He’s pretty good if I hold him, but if he is not in my arms then he’s pretty fearful of anyone including a Cat Mom who lives nearby. Big things. Fast things. Loud things. They are all really, really scary. He doesn’t have much exposure to the wider world.
He is working on “no-bite” and “gently” because like any puppy his teeth are like highly sharpened Damascus steel and he has no idea of proportion with a human’s skin. McKinley has started censuring him for being annoying (trying to hump her to see if he can figure out his place in the pack) and he says, “Well, gee, okay. I was just checking, right?”
He prefers it if I sit on the couch so he can be right up next to me (or crawling up my back) “Off, Merlin.” The crawling up the back does not work for me.
He is coming along, but a lot of work for McKinley and me. We have to be on him all the time as he will get into anything and everything. He gets on the coffee table. He tries to crawl onto a chair to get on the dining room table. He has no stealth capacity so I catch him all the time and he’s hearing “Off, Merlin!” after which he cringes and slinks away.
Sam came in like a lion, almost alpha, very self assured. Merlin came in like a very frightened lamb. He is so omega that the omega in the complex is now one of the lower-echelon pack dogs.
He and WLD both enjoy hanging out on the porch and it is chicken wired up safe and sound so they can’t get out. He has even started following WLD’s lead and making a little “Woof…if that’s okay with everyone” noise when she is barking at her friends going by.
There is a foster home opening up next week that is used to working with puppies and we will gladly see him in a place that meets his needs and nature. Sweet as he is, he’s a handful for WLD and me.
I do hope that they find his Mom and Dad soon. He is someone’s spoiled little dog. He wants to live his life being fed tidbits from the table and sipping sweet drinks from a cup held by a human hand.
In body build he reminds me very much of sweet little Cha-Cha, the Mexican street dog I loved so much and still mourn the loss of. Every rescue I take is in her memory.
Cha-Cha, baby, here’s another one for you. ;'( Miss ya, gal.