i’m in awe of flanagan and all the progress he’s made in the 3 months we’ve had him. he’s overcome a lot and made enormous changes. speck has greatly helped (she’s got to earn her keep somehow) and my obsessive hug therapy (patent pending) seems to be cracking him. speck and he spend a good half hour every morning after breakfast chasing each other around the house like lunatics. that’s enormous progress and very dog-like. this morning i turned around and they were both on the couch fighting – that’s enormous progress and very dog-like. i may be one of the few people that gets totally tickled when a dog starts getting on the couch – to me it’s like the sign they’re comfortable in their new surroundings. we have had very, very few dogs come into this house and immediately get on a couch – it generally takes a few weeks of me constantly patting the couch and trying to drag them on it before they do it on their own. i’m clear this is an odd scene as most people are working to keep their animals off the furniture…to each his own i say.
anyhoo, back to flanagan. he now lets me drape myself over him and hug the crap out of him for seconds at a time – that’s really enormous progress. previously if he saw me starting to bend over he ran away – forget about getting an arm in the mix. the “separation anxiety” that was so bad his previous owners felt the need to keep him in a cage heavily sedated 24-7 is non-existent. when we first got him he exhibited a little in that when we went out and came back home he would go crazy jumping around for maybe 5 minutes (completely tolerable) – now he’s down to about 30 seconds of craziness. quite honestly i’d rather have a dog be excited to see me when i come home than not give a crap. his main problem had been that his only form of expression seemed to be grabbing your wrists – he would never bite down but he did slobber ya up pretty good (which dave cannot stomach – no slobber, no licks, no kisses). he’s doing that less and less and is finding other means of successful communication. this guy who 3 months ago was a complete shell of a dog, not accepting of love and with no idea how to be a dog at all is really surprisingly a pretty fantabulous example of the canine race. i absolutely adore him and fully expect that in another 3 months he will be completely unrecognizable from the “dakota” i brought home.
this is a picture of flanagan trying to get the best of speck while dave was doing a photo shoot. this is typical of what's constantly going on behind the scenes here...kind of like having a dozen or so drunk midgets around at all times.