Gizmo’s Journey: Nine Months Later!

October 10, 2012 · 5 comments

It’s been a minute since I did a little Gizmo update – partly so I don’t drown you all in LOOK AT MY DOG AND THE THINGS HE DOES and partly because we’ve sorta tackled a good chunk of the bigger milestones!

They warn you it takes a long time to transform a truly damaged mill rescue dog – they warn you they will probably never be normal. They even warn you that you may get almost nowhere, and that may be where you stay for the rest of the dog’s life. We were okay with that – and we’re beyond ecstatic over how far we HAVE gotten! We’re actually hitting that average time period (7-9 months out of the mill) that experts say they begin to become a little more like a “normal” dog, and we can totally see it.

Can you imagine Gizmo when we reach the 15 month mark, when he’s finally been OUT of a puppy mill cage longer than he was in it? He’ll be an effin’ ROCKSTAR. Until then, here are the currents, in bullet point fashion! 😉

 We ended up opting out of Puppy Mill Awareness Day because as far as he has come, GIANT groups of humans are still way.too.much for Gizmo to take. Thus Sean and I found ourselves with an unexpected vacation day on the Monday before last. We scheduled a dental for Bailey, and with lots of time to kill until his 4pm pick-up, we decided to test run Gizmo at the dog park. Gizmo has never, ever, EVER been off leash – if you don’t count that time he ran out of the front door and I had a genuine HEART ATTACK luring him back inside with Pup-Peroni. Because he’s apparently part Cheetah and can also be unpredictable, we were pretty sure this was a dumb idea and braced ourselves with the fact that we may spend 10am until 4pm running circles in the park to capture our dog again. 😉 However, because the dog park has a double-locking entrance gate and is tiny enough we can book across it quickly, we decided to chance it (and still tucked treats in our pockets and put on clothes meant for dashing after runaway dogs, LOL). We ended up literally being the ONLY dogs/humans there, but all be darned if Gizmo didn’t follow us around, have a blast, never stray too far, and leash up easily. WEWERETHISPROUDYOUGUYS.

 We went on a second dog park trip last Saturday. Unfortunately, they had predicted rain, so we were the only ones outside of a small terrier – but Gizmo was overjoyed with the whopping ten minutes he got with said terrier. He is hideously wary of humans, but MAN does he love other dogs. To the point we realized he would absolutely follow a cool dog right on out of the park, so we have to watch him like a hawk – and to the (sad but adorable) point that once the small dog park side emptied, he stuck his pitiful face against the chain link separating him from the “Big Dogs Only” half, and waaaaaaaaaaiiiiited for anyone four-legged to come say hello. I sort of envisioned him like Sloth.. “HEY YOU GUU-UUYS!” But again? Leashed up and went home just dandy. Have I mentioned WEWERETHISPROUD?

 We discovered he has a “thing” with men with shaved heads that we didn’t realize before – which also may explain why it takes everything in him to snuggle with Sean (something he improves upon, bit by bit, each day – but is still significantly different from how much I can pester him physically). We were watching a show with a shaved head man and he was asleep, and I paused it with the dude’s face, and he woke up and lost his mind. Thinking maybe it was just the concept of a giant paused person on the TV, I hit play – and ONLY when the shaved head guy came on did Gizmo growl and hide. So then we began to think about what men he’s approached quicker than others, and it’s the shaved head folks he hides from most. Unfortunately for Gizmo, Sean has The Curly Hair, and we are not letting go of the shaved head look. He’ll just need to adjust 😉

 I can snuggle him at night – he likes it. In fact, he’s completely lost the concept of personal space, because as soon as I put my head on my pillow, he sits his BUTT on my FACE. And is like HERE WE ARE MOM. SNUGGLING. LOOK AT US. So we are working on the concept that snuggling can occur without placing our tooshies on/near/against my eyeballs. He has started doing that Socially Awkward thing again where he waits until Sean falls asleep, then sneaks over and STARES at him (so close, his face touches, it’s almost creepy) and wags his tail. As if Sean might be about to do something extraordinarily exciting any second now. Any. Second.

 We (still) won’t eat food from our elevated food stand, or in any fashion that isn’t Sean or myself holding his dinner bowl. We actually tried free-feeding for a few days, and VOILA! He was feeding himself. The issue was the idea of THREE dog food bowls to guard from EVERYONE OMG was too much for Looney Tunes (Emmie) to manage, and she ended up literally making herself physically ill with worry. I know. Hi. Remember how I used to train dogs? And didn’t suck at it? Pretend I don’t have the most emotionally odd girl dog ever. She isn’t even a herding breed, but the very concept of tossing all her toys around the room sends her into cardiac arrest. THEY GO IN HER TOY BIN PEOPLE. She’s like her mama in that way – EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE. 😉 So back we went to holding his bowl – we’ve tried new bowls, bowls on floors, plates, high bowls, ceramic bowls, metal bowls, plastic bowls, cartwheels, balloons, and promises of pony rides to no avail. **WAIT. Did anyone else just sing Eminem? “Big bowls, small bowls, I’m calling all bowls..” No? Just me? Alright.** He will now take TREATS from his bowl… so slowly, there are signs of progress. We are focusing on this task because we do realize it will be impossible for anyone to feed him should we ever want to take a vacation sans Gizmo.

Other than that, we’re good 🙂 And apparently so in love with our nutcase dog that when we heard a puppy mill breeder had DUMPED 40 Cavalier Spaniels on a rural road last week at 1am and the shelter was getting loaded full of mill rescues needing homes (alongside 51 Malteses), we nearly got Dog # 4. Thankfully, it appears a large adoption event last weekend found the rest homes (those that didn’t go to rescues for medical/emotional reasons) and we donated a little spare cash instead.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny October 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I love your Gizmo updates!

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Lu October 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Go GIzmo, Go!! It is amazing how well he has done. Proof that with a lot of work and patience even the most ‘damaged’ animal can feel love again. Oh and my cat does that creepy in your face thing when I sleep. Strange. 🙂

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Kate November 2, 2012 at 11:46 am

i love these updates, what an amazing thing you guys are doing for gizmo! sounds like he’s improved so much in such a short time.

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brittney November 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

We’re so darn proud, LOL! Many moons ago I certainly thought.. what on earth did we get ourselves into?! Now he’s a regular cutie pie. Still an odd bird, but cute nonetheless LOL

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michelle November 4, 2012 at 8:49 pm

all of the squees for gizmo!!! 😀

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