My Little Man Daymon
Our first petting stroke
It has been 24 hours now since this little 4-month-old tan and black Chiweenie has entered what I call "the dog house." The dog house is a 2-story 200-year-old white farmhouse with a 6-foot chain-link fence that has tension wire all the way around. The yard has 3 sections which can be separated simply by closing the gates. There are two doors out the back porch or what was more commonly known as a 'mud room.'
The entire first floor of this 'dog house' is committed fully to the dogs. The upstairs has a prayer room, my bedroom, and two rescued cats. One of the cats I inherited from a client and is blind in one eye. The other cat came taunting the 25 dogs lined up at the fence at sunset on Christmas Eve. She had become a Pet Therapy Cat who specialized in dementia/Alzheimer patients and by complete accident, I discovered she absolutely loved walking on a leash and riding the motorcycle with me. However, that is another story!
Now, the dog house had a full and complete schedule. It does not take long for most dogs to learn it, and that includes this little 4-month old Chihuahua, which by the way, does not have a name yet.
Part of the schedule is one-on-one time with each dog in my care. This is done beginning at 4:00 hour in the afternoon. All the dogs at this time are outside and each dog is brought in one at a time for brushing, a looksie over, a cuddle, a toenail trim, or whatever may be necessary, which in some cases includes a quick bath.
This is one of the periods of time that this lil' chihuahua would come in at some point with one of the other dogs. All the other rooms except for the mudroom and kitchen would be closed off until their 'special time' was complete. They would then be given a treat as they went to their 'room' or crate. He got to witness me loving on the other dogs, them enjoying it, and nothing 'bad' happened.
Every once in a while I would attempt to give him a stroke as he would get close and curious as to what me and the dog I was grooming was doing. At first, he would do his typical screech, snap, and defecate. It was to no avail, at first. After a week, the snapping stopped. After two weeks, the defecating stopped. After three weeks, most of the screeching stopped. However, there has not been a single stroke of touched fur, as of yet.
At the end of the first week, I stopped locking up the little man during the "my dogs only evening time." During this time, my personal dogs and I hang out upstairs with my cats, Trinity and Sam. This little man joined us by following my other 'dog kids.' He was so curious as to what the reason was for them to climb and lay on me? Why do they get so excited and all?
By the end of the second week, this little chihuahua man would actually follow them climbing on me but the moment it felt like a hand, or my leg would move, there was the squeal and defecation. And if one of the other dogs jumped down, he was gone jumping down with them.
The third week comes, and the private family time has calmed. This little man actually began laying on my lap! But don't dare try to move or pet! And then it happened...
It was the end of the third week. Most the snapping is gone, the defecating is gone, and he is laying on my lap during family time. I have Trinity on one side, Jackie on the other side, Sam is across the room, and this now 5-month is curled up between my crossed legs. I did not even think. It was pure habitual instinct. I was stroking Trinity and Jackie on either side of me, and my hand just glided over to him.
It was the silkiest, soft, furry stroke, just like velvet. I realized what I was doing when he lifted his head up to look at me. He did not move! I swore I saw a twinkling in his eyes and I stroked again while asking, "Is this okay little man? It must be, you're not moving." He laid his head back down on my lap, and I could not help the tears of joy coming to my eyes.
At that very moment I knew without a doubt, he was mine. He is not going anywhere. He is home, with me, and will not be adopted out...and his name is Daymon.