(continued from: “The LeeRoy Sagas, Episode 11″
Remember that I was having trouble with LeeRoy’s water dish freezing up every night? Each morning I had to bring it in from outside and run hot water in it to unfreeze it. So, I went to the local pet store with a friend and we bought LeeRoy a beautiful new feed and watering station. The water bowl is heated and during spring and summer a hose can be attached and keep the water level full. So I brought the new FS (feeding station) home. I cleaned it out. Then I filled it with food. You guess . . . Did LeeRoy love it? NOT! He wouldn’t eat from it. As a matter of fact, he wouldn’t even get near it. I had to leave a trail of food right up to it, but as of two days later, he was still not eating from it. I figured he’d get hungry enough at some point to get a clue and over come his unreasonable fear. Aren’t people like this some times? God wants to bless them with all kinds of blessings, but because something else happened in their lives, they don’t want to get close or let him get close. So they go through life missing all that He would generously lavish on them–including his love and entrance into His house. Well . . . That’s LeeRoy. Living a life of fear. What a shame.
Last month it was 4 degrees several days in a row. LeeRoy came through. So I’m not as worried about him as I was at the beginning of November when the cold air started to settle in. At least I see his thick coat and realize that he’s built for this weather. LeeRoy decided both to use his new feeding station AND bed down IN his shanty. But it took snow. We had a snow that drove him from sleeping in front of the shanty to getting in. Then a couple of rains a few weeks ago. From then on, he has enjoyed being under a roof.
Still eating from my hand, but I’m unable to pet him or make him stay close. I heard from Ryan, who talked with Cesar Milan (the Dog Whisperer) about LeeRoy. Ryan took some video footage of LeeRoy to Cesar when he came to Boston. Her goal was to get Cesar to give some suggestions. According to her, he suggested that LeeRoy needs to be captured by tranquilizer gun. We don’t feel good about that. What do you think?
Next episode, we learn LeeRoy’s REAL name according to his papers, how he’s been doing over these many months, and something more . . .
GO TO Episode 13
(continued from: “The LeeRoy Sagas, Episode 6“:
LeeRoy discovered a new friend. Some of you already heard that he gave a dog on Twitter some strategic coaching. Yes, the dog’s name is Nelson. If you have Twitter, you can follow their brief conversation of @NelsonHyatt and @LeeRoydog. Topic is #LeeRoydog. Anyway, it began like this: One day, after my dismay over LeeRoy’s new Twitter presence online, I noticed that Nelson had tweeted LeeRoy. Seems Nelson’s mom, Gail, somehow thought if she just let Nelson go right outside the door, he might stay around. Apparently, Nelson and mom were on two different frequencies. Nelson took off and toured the neighborhood. LeeRoy found out when Nelson tweeted about his latest neighborhood adventure (which apparently lasted for some time). Nelson’s mom was none too pleased. But LeeRoy began strategy sessions with Nelson. Unfortunately, LeeRoy agreed with Nelson that freedom should be his goal. One problem–Nelson is not an outdoor dweller. He’s made for indoors. LeeRoy, an Akita Inu, is bred for outdoors. I found out that he has lived outdoors all his life. So I’m trying to convince LeeRoy not to continue giving Nelson bad advice. What do you think? Should LeeRoy encourage Nelson? Or should LeeRoy help Nelson to obey and curb his desire to escape when off leash?
As far as recent breakthroughs go–most recently, I cut up some hot dogs and stew beef. LeeRoy follows me but would not take it from me or approach me “as I walked.” But, when I sat down at his level, though timid and snatching from me at first, he relaxed and sat near enough to gently take it from my hand. By the end of the little bag of meat, he was licking my fingers gently and seemed relaxed (for him). I see this as progress.
LeeRoy and I have a another new friend. Her name is Ryan Barney. She is known in these parts as the “Dog Whisperer of NH.” We’re meeting with her next Wednesday. She knows all about LeeRoy and has read “The LeeRoy Sagas.” She’s coming to help LeeRoy to receive a leash and let me lead him and walk him. My next step is to pick up a slip leash. I’ll pick one up and begin familiarizing LeeRoy. I’ll have it around the arm that gives him his treats, just so that he sees it and is not jumpy around it. I wonder if LeeRoy will recognize THE LEASH! Remember, he dragged one for several months until it completely wore away. Now all that hangs from his collar are his tags and the remaining clip that the leash was on. Wonder what will happen when LeeRoy meets LEASH? Wonder what will happen when LeeRoy meets Ryan? And, I understand from Ryan that she’s not coming alone. Who will be with her?
What will happen when LeeRoy meets “Dog Whisperer of NH?
(continued from: “The LeeRoy Sagas, Episode 5“:
LeeRoy lost ground while we were away on vacation in Ocean City in September. When we got back and unloaded the car it was toward his evening feeding time. I was excited to see him again and feed him. But when I went outside with his food and treats, he wouldn’t come to the food and he wouldn’t eat treats from my hand. I had to break off pieces and toss them 5 or 6 feet from me and he would eat them off the ground. He stopped eating from my hand. This went on for several days. Finally, one day, he began eating them from my had again. After I had been back a week or so, he was back to his old self (whatever that is).
LeeRoy kind of grows on you. I found myself wondering what he was doing, where he was laying. He would lay in the garden most of the time. That’s why he’s known around these parts as “LeeRoy the Garden Dog.” But sometimes the sun gets too strong so you’ll find him across the lawn under one of the Maple trees. He always situates himself so that he can keep a sharp eye on all activity and human movements. He won’t let anyone get in a position that they might sneak up on him.
A couple of times, I noticed that he would skip a meal. At those times I was worried about him being sick. But within a day or two he was fine. Fine is running to meal times. Happy to get his treats and eat his food. When I say “happy” I need to explain. It’s really hard to know whether LeeRoy is really happy or not because he NEVER wags his tail, not for ANY reason. But he does gallop. When I see him gallop for his food, I assume that means he’s happy. Brown and black fur, with a white curly tail romping toward me (he kinda looks like a dwarf deer when he runs through the field). Hope he stays out of the woods during hunting season. Perhaps I should put up some signs in our fields that say “Beware of Dog that looks like a Deer.” OR “Beware of Deer-looking Akita Inu!” OR “Don’t Shoot Dog!” Be certain that your deer has antlers (in small print). For morons, I could paint “DOG” in florescent paint on LeeRoy’s side . . . One problem though . . . I’d have to catch him. Nah. Not going to happen!
So the latest . . . LeeRoy got caught . . . With his face on Facebook. I found out. He was sneaking around. First he starts a fan page. THEN to top it off, he opens a Twitter account. Can you believe it? His own Twitter account. Now, when I want to know something, I have to follow his FB comments or track him on Twitter. Unreal. But before I go.
What do you think? Should I put some kind of old barrel or something out near the garden for him to get into if it snows? Or should we just let him continue to use his pine tree? I’m serious . . . Let’s have some opinions. Kids, you too, I need help here. What should I do?
So that’s not the most amazing thing. The most amazing thing is what I’m going to share in Episode 7 this coming week. I think it’s going to be one of the most
interesting adventures that “LeeRoy the Garden Dog” has had since I’ve known him.
What amazing thing did LeeRoy discover on Twitter?
(continued from: “The LeeRoy Sagas, Episode 4“:
One morning, I called LeeRoy in the early morning as was our growing habit. He did not come out of the woods. I called again, whistled and tapped the feed container against his dish. He came out of the woods rather slowly, but simply sat by the tree line. Usually he came running in the morning for his food. But he looked as though he were not hungry. He came in a little closer to the garden, and then I noticed. He had a mouth full of quills. He had tangled with a porcupine in the night. He was pawing his face and shaking his head. He would lay down and brush at his lower jaw with his paws, but to no avail. I was very concerned.
I called the SPCA and the two women who owned him. I told them that perhaps we should consider them getting a Vet to dart him and take him to the shelter to remove the quills. I mainly worried about infection setting in. They assured me that they would take care of it in the next few days. Well, the next few days passed and no action took place. I wasn’t sure what to do. But I noticed that over those past few days, the quills no longer seemed to be there. He started eating again and when he drew closer, I could see that they had been worn down. After a week or so more, I couldn’t see any at all. So I’m not sure what happened, but he seemed to be his old self again (although I’m not sure what that might be).
I have a habit of going out through the backyard, along the path through the first and second fields to my “tent of meeting”–my prayer closet which consists of a screen tent just inside the tree line at the far end of the second field. On a nice sunny day in early September, I made my way out through the first field. I noticed LeeRoy laying in the garden. He watched me with a careful eye. I continued past the garden and on through the opening between the two fields. I was already getting in the mood for worship and fellowship with the Lord, so I didn’t pay much attention to LeeRoy. I went through the second field, arrived at my tent and unzipped it, then slipped inside and zipped it behind me. I made myself comfortable in my camp chair and just got quiet. I can’t remember if I began my time with a reading or if I was praying, but I thought I heard a sigh. I turned my head to look behind me. There on the ground in the shade of the big pine that looms over my tent, lay LeeRoy. He had followed me to the tent and was laying about 10 feet (his magic number) away. He had his paws crossed and was watching me. I turned back to what I was doing and ignored him hoping to win his confidence that he could be with me without me making him nervous by my attention. I started to sing a praise song. He laid his head down and seemed to listen. I prayed for him out loud. And asked God to heal this dog who had adopted Marcy and me.
Amazing, after seven months of living on our land, he was laying outside my tent of meeting listening to praise, worship, and prayer. Now, when I go to the tent he comes too. He stays far enough back from me to make him comfortable, but this new habit seems promising to me.
In mid-Sept., we went away for two weeks of vacation. I had a friend feed LeeRoy. He fed him on the same schedule that I did, only I told him not to give LeeRoy any treats. They were to come from my hand alone. I want that edge with him. I want him to know that all good things come from the master. That’s an important lesson for all of us . . . Isn’t it?
When we got back from vacation, we noticed that LeeRoy had lost ground . . .
What changes had taken place while on vacation?
Meanwhile, his leash was getting shorter every week. Whether he chewed it down or wore it down, we weren’t sure. Someone then suggested that we try something different. We began watching the “Dog Whisperer” more often, and thought more seriously about Caesar Milano. I figured that LeeRoy would be a real challenge for him. He is great with dogs that are vicious and weird, but I noticed they are always in reach, approachable. What about a dog that you can’t get within ten feet of? We haven’t ruled this out yet.
So LeeRoy lay in our garden day and night, with the exception of brief patrols around the property (6.8 acres) to mark his possession. He stayed clear of us but never took his eye off of us. If Marcy went to the garden to work, he would no longer run away into the second field, but would lay 10 yards away and watch her. It seemed to me that he was warming to her.
As I continued my strategy of treats a both feedings, I noticed a change. LeeRoy was drawing closer to me (as long as I stayed at ground level). Within a few days of this new nearness, I tried something. I broke off half the treat and held the other half toward him. He gobbled down the half I had broken off and tossed to him and then he moved in for the remainder. He actually took it from my hand. Then jumped back. I tried another. He took it from my hand. So now LeeRoy was actually feeding from my hand. But it was still not consistent. Sometimes he took it, but the next morning when I tried it again, he’d react differently and not take it but barked instead. When he barked, I not only withheld his treat, but took his bowl and went inside. He would smell around where the bowl had been then sit down there. I opened the door and said, “So are you done making noise?” And would come out with his bowl and kneel down and hold out the treat. He took it. Then sat waiting for me to leave so he could finish his bowl of food. Now I considered this a breakthrough. LeeRoy was not only coming closer. He was taking treats from my hand. I didn’t have his confidence enough to reach out to pet him or move too quickly, but at least he was learning a new behavior.
Little did I know but another interesting breakthrough was about to take place . . .