Gizmo’s Journey: Three Months Forward, Two Steps Back!

April 25, 2012 · 10 comments

(NOTE: This post was part of a previous domain and comments were not migrated over.) As we wrap up our fourth month with Sir Gizmotto, I’m happily jotting down additional progress (so I can cling to it desperately when he regresses, har har!) Bit by bit, he’s becoming a goober in his own right, and we just adore him.

  • Even less barking (THANKGOD). He is startled by movement & sound much less often – and therefore, much less scream-in-your-face-y. This is one area that I am SOEXCITED is improving, month by month.
  • He learned his name is just his and wiggles ridiculously when you say it. I’ve never met a dog more excited about his name. I die a little.
  • His leash walking skills keep improving. He still hasn’t connected that putting his leash/harness on leads to the walk he enjoys but since the last update, we have had zero melt downs on walks. We are still sticking to night walks as foot traffic continues to overwhelm him, but he’s much better! Removing the leash + harness combo is better as well, because he now listens for the “You’re FREE!” verbal cue before trying to fly out of them.
  • He completed another successful trip to Petsmart.
  • He has discovered he loves the car. Almost as much as he loves laser pen. You may not put him in or out of the car – HE’S A BIG DOG AND HE’LL DO IT HIMSELF – but you go anywhere NEAR the garage, he’ll be there, bouncing around and screaming at the very thought of a car ride. Like a real dog.
  • He is interested in company. He no longer screams and then hides upstairs when a neighbor drops by, and after spending four days with Sean’s folks at the house (who came readily armed with treats), he decided he can sniff people’s shoes, hands, and even take munchies from them without dying – so they can’t be all that bad.
  • Best thing to note? I think he might be catching on to this whole “dogs like to be touched” thing. He often stands just out of reach with his head tilted to the side when we love on the other pets, as if he’s absorbing the strange concept that these other dogs LIKE human contact. That morphed into sniffing the hand that was petting said other pet. Then last night in bed, as we were reading with all the pooches draped across our legs like usual, I became very aware of a small dog very close to my face, just STARING at me with the level of social awkwardness that only Gizmo can muster. I tried to not move so I wouldn’t startle him, and after a few minutes of being creepily monitored, reached out slowly and scratched his chest. And his wee little eyes closed just a touch from the goodness, and I tried to not SQUEAL in his FACE from my excitement. After a few minutes, he backed away and lay down by my feet. A few minutes later, SEAN found himself eyeball to eyeball with Gizmo. You’d think Santa had crash landed through our bedroom with the Tooth Fairy, we were so in awe. We both held our breath, and then Sean also reached out and scratched his chest. He didn’t want to be scratched as long by Sean (who did his best to contain the SHEER GLEE on his face because this was the first time he has been able to pet Gizmo), but when he decided he was done, he only backed up a few steps and laid down against Sean’s ribcage. At which point, Sean exhaled and Gizmo shot him a look and went and lay down by our feet. STILL.

  • We continue to play the ”Will I Be Afraid of Breakfast Or Not?” game, going a week with amazing success and then a few days with irrational fear of it, but we keep tweaking and we’ll get there, darn it. He was successfully eating from his bowl, zero issues, from day one – until his tags accidentally caught in the elevated stand and from that point out, he’s been positive the bowl will try to strangle him – even if you’re hand feeding him and the bowl is nowhere in sight. Sigh.
  • Men are Not All Bad – I rinse, wash and repeat this mantra to Gizmo daily because I am fortunate to experience more progress with him than poor Sean. I contribute most of that to the mere fact that I am at the house with him almost one week more per month than Sean is (thanks to working from home), then top that to the fact I’m short and higher-pitched – and I just luck out. But we ARE seeing progress and though this is the biggest area of “three steps forward, two steps back”, steps ARE being made!

Other things of note – I take back that remark last month about moving around things less, LOL.

He doesn’t destroy anything, but he moves it. He takes blankets and pillows off our chairs/couches and puts them in other rooms. He drags all the rugs down into the hallway. He takes the covers off the pet steps. If its decor and he can move it, he’ll do it. He thoroughly enjoys this, and the few times I’ve caught him doing it, he chitchats to the items the entire time. Grumbles and barks, play bows with pillows, attempts to get blankets to play chase. He’s a very strange little man, but I’m thrilled he’s OUR strange little man.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jena August 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I’m glad he’s doing better! It’s such an amazing thing that you rescued him! Good luck to you in helping him adjust, I would love to do this some day myself.

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Adrienne August 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

WOW! Amazing, I almost died. So cute. My gosh. He is the cutest thing! King Charles? Adorbs (that’s right, I used ADORBS! For real.). Because it fits. What great steps, I would be crying from joy daily! What a treasure! (now I sound like an old person) oh. well.

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Alexis August 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Go Gizmo! So exciting that he came to you to be petted a little, especially with Sean! I love reading these updates, they make me so happy…& they give me strength with our little rehabilitation project!

We are making some progress with our Penny, too. Joel went out of town for a couple days & I feel like we have to start all over with showing her he’s okay. It doesn’t help that he’s such a GUY, which means it’s very difficult for him to be soft & gentle with his voice or enter a room very quietly. But she’s completely warmed up to me, & I’ve even gotten to see a lot of her playful personality come out when it’s just me & both dogs.

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Manderz August 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Yay Gizmo! So proud of the little guy for making all this progress.

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Andrea August 4, 2012 at 8:33 pm

It is so great to hear how far Gizmo has come!!
I suggest training classes at Petsmart. I took my Finn there when he had issues and they were always positive and accepting that he was not perfect.They never yelled or got mad and always used positive training methods. He gained a tonne of confidence from the classes and loved going 🙂 🙂

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Paige August 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

FYI: He isn’t at all afraid of treats. Jerky treats (not from China) or his little liver training treats…he can’t get enough of those. I wonder if it’s his dish? He seems to hesitate the same way with his water dish, though he goes in for a drink eventually.

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Holly August 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I look forward to reading your updates on Gizmo – so happy that he’s making progress I love that he loves his name – and the whole “Re-Arranger” thing is too funny! Our dog “rearranges” but she also “shreds” … I’m hoping one of these days she shreds our couch because I despise it (it’s old. And brown. But mostly – old.) and I want to get a new one 🙂

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Kourtney August 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm

First, I’m super happy that you saved little Gizmo from his life of misery. Puppy mills are horrid & I hate them all.
Second, all of his tiny milestones made my heart happy for you all! I was wanting to squeal for you when you were able to scratch him! I hope things continue to improve!!

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Fatima June 7, 2015 at 10:05 pm

There are two specialty oiefcfs I would like to work in. My interest are in the nervous system and the endocrine system.In the 12 years I have been with my boyfriend, he has lost two sisters and a brother to different forms of lupus. He also lost his mother to the disease before 20 years before I met him. I feel working with an endocrinologist or neurologist I will be able to learn more on how these system works.The proctologist office would be at the bottom of the list. After experiencing a lower GI to rule out problems in my stomach. I refuse to go through that again.

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Marlena August 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I wanted to squeal….

■He learned his name is just his and wiggles ridiculously when you say it. I’ve never met a dog more excited about his name. I die a little.

SO MUCH CUTENESS. Even though I’m sure it doesn’t always feel this way, he sounds like he’s adjusting monumentally!

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