Brother Steven

I decided that it’s finally time to introduce the human family members that Leroy and I have adopted.  Ok.  They were all here before Leroy.  But still, they’ve grown to love and accept him as part of the pack.  It wasn’t all happiness and cuddles from the first moment he came home though.  It took love, and time, and kisses… lots of kisses.  But Leroy was eventually able to win over their hearts.  And I am very thankful for that. 🙂

So here he is!  Brother Steven 🙂  Steven was my roommate during this past year in Philly.  He helps with Leroy when I am in a bind, meets all the foster dogs, tolerates the occasional kiss on the mouth, and is happy to help me with training.  He is great at making friends with shy or fearful dogs, and his patience and understanding are always appreciated!  While he happens to be the father of a fine feline creature, I would say he is one of the more dog savvy people in my family.

(I apologize for all the terribly quality/ flashy iphone pictures)

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“Sit” hand signal with Tofu

If I was being honest with myself, I might say that Steven is Leroy’s favorite person in this world.  But I’m going to lie and say that Leroy loves me the most.  However, this dog is joyful when he gets to hang out with Steven.  He wants so badly to curl up with Steven and bask in all the man glory that they share.  Leroy has a strange relationship with males.  To be honest, I haven’t done much research or exploration of it.  I know that he actively wants their love and affection.  He wants to be around them, to make friends, to cuddle and play, to please them.  But he is more fearful around them.  He has been hand shy around Steven; cowering at the floor when he waved his hand too quickly.  He can become over aroused; constantly jumping up on Steven even though he knows he should not do this.  Leroy is very uncomfortable around new men.  But once he has build some trust, they are the best of friends.

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All the dogs love Steven

I do not like to think about Leroy’s paradoxical struggle of love and fear towards men.  I imagine him as a puppy, desperately trying to please his owner.  He was likely a big man who would visit him occasionally in the yard, only to bring more food or yell at him for doing something playful.  I know that Leroy loved this man.  But I hate him.  I hate him for all the irreversible damage that he has done to my dog.  But somehow, Leroy still tries to trust and love.  He wants to cuddle with Steven and play tug of war.  He wants to be friends.  He wants to be loved.  So I am thankful for my brother Steven for being a loving and patient male figure in Leroy’s life.  He needs to have this.  He is still so eager to please.  But he needs an understanding friend to help him practice trust.  And Steven is that person.

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Evening cuddles 🙂

Thank you Steven, for being part of our crazy family 🙂

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Getting to know Tofu

I’ve had Tofu for a few days now, so I thought it was time to share some things I’ve learned about her.

First of all, she was estimated to be around three years old.  But she is a spunky girl 🙂  She like to play the tag and run game, though it does make her a little nippy and jumpy.  She also likes to play with a big rope toy and tug on that.

Tofu will run around with a great deal of joy, especially now that she doesn’t panic and think she’s going to be left outside for good.  The most heartbreaking part of her first few days was that every time we went outside, she got upset.  I actually had to put her on leash, push or drag her out a few times.  Happy encouragement was not cutting it.  She would just sit as far away from the door as she could get.  😦  Then when we finally did get outside, she would just linger by the door, hoping that I wouldn’t forget about her.  I did a lot of running around my backyard this week and standing in the cold, to show her that she would not be abandoned.  She was so used to her life outside, that when she was finally in a home, she just wanted to bad to preserve that.

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But now Tofu is more trusting and understands that I will always let her come back inside.  She has not had even one accident in the house.  So it’s safe to say that she’s housebroken.  However, she does something which blew my mind.  She lifted her leg to pee!  Not always.. but it happened.  And I made sure it happened twice before I told anyone, because I thought I had gone crazy.  But this female dog does certainly mark it like a man.  However, normally she just does her business the squatting  regular female ladylike way.

The other things I’ve learned about Tofu is that she’s smart!  I’ve only had her for a few days, but we’ve already been working on training.  And she is doing great! Here she is in action- Tofu training!   (since then her down has gotten much better, plus we’re working on stay and paw!)  She also has good basic manners.  So while she loves getting up on the bed to take a little nap, she is not jumpy when she’s meeting new people.  Although she does get very happy and wants to smother them in kisses 🙂

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And while I’m spending the time to get to know Tofu and prepare her for her adoptive home, she’s also getting to know herself;  In the mirror 🙂

So enjoy and stay tuned for more!

If you have any questions about Tofu, Jora, becoming a foster parent, or the adoption process- you can email me (Leroy’s mom) at Casey@caseyheyen.com 

Visit http://www.lcpoinc.org for more information on our organization!