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12/6/11

Jimmy Has a Breakthrough

This video of Jimmy was shot today.  Up until now, he would let you pet him, but he was rather reluctant about it.  Up against the wall, one side mostly, maybe the top of his head.   You could coax him out of the corner with food.  

Lifted from the video

The cages in the kennel are 12-16 inches up off the floor.  So if one is hosing under the cage, he doesn't like that too much either, and will walk to the front of the cage, sniff your hand if it is on the cage door.  His pen is 4 foot deep, and about 3 foot wide.  So even if one is standing in the opening, there can be a rather large opening between the bottom of the door, and cage floor.  Sometimes he notices it a little too much, or he starts looking above you  if you are sitting on the edge of the cage.  Like he is contemplating something, an escape plan. 

I was doing a Holiday Market over the weekend, so I would walk and feed everyone in the morning, and rush back after dark to walk everyone again.  Bert and me, Ginger, Daisy, and me, or Rosie and me. In the dark like in The Blair Witch Project. In the woods.  With a flashlight. So I didn't have much time to spend handfeeding Jimmy. I would put food in his cage, and clean up poop later. 

Sometimes he lays at the front of the cage, or standing, looking out, seeing what is going on as Bert, Rosie and Ginger go in and out.  But usually he would move to the back of his cage if you went to open the door, put food in, change his water, etc.

So yesterday, Jimmy was laying at the front of his cage up next to the door. With his head pointing towards the hinges.  If I open the door and put my arm in to touch him, I am actually petting him from behind.  Carrie went to hand feed him his canned food, and noticed that he wouldn't move from the door.  And he was not that interested in his food at the moment.  So I went back there and I could crack the cage door and pet him all over.  Both sides. Left and right. Top of his head.   I am not sure if he got more trusing, or something spooked him worse than we do (like the washing machine or dryer), etc.  Perhaps a little of both.

A little later I got him to eat his food, and could pet him in the middle of his cage.

Today he did the same thing.  First thing this morning, he had lots of poop all over, so I had to pick it up,  scrub and hose off the cage floor, and squeegee it dry.  At one point, I had my hand under his neck, on his chest to keep him from lunging towards the open door.  And another time, I actually was holding him by the scruff of his neck.  He didn't seem to freak out at either one.

In the video below, you notice he is looking at the crack at the bottom of the cage, putting his nose there, or is doing it on the side, where I am squatted down.   I am being careful that he doesn't try to push the door open any further. 



I was quite pleased and surprised at how he reacted. At some point I am going to try and get a collar on him, something that he can't slip out of.  And then try him on a chain leash or something that he can't chew through in 2 bites.  I think he has learned a little from watching Bert, Rosie, and Ginger.   There are some subtle changes that you probably can't see very well on his video. But go back and watch him last week. I think you can see what I am talking about. 

4 comments:

Tinker said...

It sounds like he is finally putting aside his fer and realizing that when you are around, good happens. Either a touch , food, cleaning up or what ever, it's good.

Glassgardenswhatnot said...

It's great to see Jimmy come toward you instead of cowering in the corner. Thank you for having the patience to give him another chance.

Jeanette House [aka Maisy] said...

Oh my goodness, this was so good to see! He's really learning to trust you and I swear he was enjoying those tickles more than he was tolerating them :) Fantastic. xo

Kim said...

Dear Dr. Andy,

Jimmy looks so good; he's come a long way for you. Tried to call a few times on Friday early afternoon; couldn't get through. Will keep trying.

All the best,
Ana Hernandez

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