Sunday, February 23, 2020


While we have sad news with Athena, we have encouraging news regarding Mr Volos.

Such a handsome boy
Last I wrote, he was treating me like persona non grata.   I don't know what changed or what happened, but that was totally eliminated and he's .....more open!

Throughout all of this, he's remained loving and cuddly in the foyer and outside. In the morning when I wake up to let the out and feed them, but it was every other moment where he would avoid me.

I first noticed it on what would have been my Dad's 75th birthday, the first birthday without him.   We were all sitting in the living room and he came in, went into his crate and hung out with us.   He was in no hurry to leave and it made me happy.   

I had decided I wasn't going to push him and would "ignore" him when he walked by or anything --allow him to have his space.  

Wednesday or Thursday after work he came into MY OFFICE and wanted to be petted. THen..... he laid down in here!    

hanging in the living room
Friday he was a different dog. He was more open and loving. He willing comes to me and while I was working, he laid down RIGHT NEXT TO MY DESK CHAIR while I worked.   

He comes out of his room more and spends more time with the pack.   He is more adventurous in his moving around the house.   Outside he is extremely playful and happy.  He likes to circle the house on nicer days.  He's even laid down at the table when we at the last few days.

Yesterday was a huge day.  First Rich moved his crate from the living room to the bedroom.  We'd eventually like him to sleep in the bedroom with us, but we won't push it.  
Even though his crate was gone, he still likes to lie where it was in the living room.  So he doesn't need the "safety" of the crate to be with us. 
Hanging withe the siblings

Every year for Rich's birthday he has a few friends over and they play various board games. We had 3 of his friends over and were sitting at the table.   Volos sat at one of his friends legs and proceeded to get loved on for quite awhile.   When that was over, Volos laid down underneath the table.  We had 3 strangers over and he stayed with us and was so chill. 

Now I took him on a car ride on Wed when I went to pick up Lada & Peryn from play care.   Afterwards we stopped at a friend's house. She's met him before and has always been my dogs favorite person (Duchess loved her).  She came out and began loving on Lada & Peryn. Volos moved away from the window and would not come near her. Nor would he look at her.    I've noticed in "confined" spaces he's not as open to meeting others.

We took him to PetCo yesterday to get his name tag made.  He was interested in saying hello to all the doggies--but he's calm about it.  He's very curious and loving.   

He also went to the vet yesterday for a follow up on his wounds from the surgery. They're healing quite nicely. 
We saw another Berner when we arrived, but they were too far down the parking lot to talk to.  They saw us too and were checking Volos out.     Such a handsome devel.

So this week we had some positive progression.  I know there is a chance for some backward steps, but I'm going to try and remain positive.     
Loves his car rides

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Athena Pupdate February 21

On Wednesday I took Athena & Volos on a small walk in the neighborhood.  Athena was sort of dragging.  I know she has her days, so I didn't dwell on it too much.   

I have noticed that she is ending up on her butt more and more. Yes she can walk and be very quick some days, but a majority of her time is ending up on her butt and needing assistance.

Friday morning as we were getting her ready in her cart and she wasn't standing right. She had her front legs forward & out a big (like a V).  She wouldn't necessarily stand up right.    While it could be that she's tired, it also has a bit worried.  

I checked in on her while at day care and she was doing it a bit with her one leg.   So something we definitely need to keep an eye on.   

She came home all happy and alert. We took her out of her cart and got her settled onto her bed.  It was also one of the rare nights that we go out.   

We were gone for maybe 3 hours and when we came home, it was a disaster.  Athena was found in the kitchen--on the floor-- stuck.  Not only that, she was on the hard flooring where there is no carpet AND to make matters EVEN BETTER.... she had gone #2.   

Gone #2 and smeared it all under her and on the floor in her efforts to get up. It was smelly, gross, and a big mess!   Rich took her out and then immediately she got a very thorough bath and I was stuck with cleaning up the smeared, dried, and nasty smelling stuff.

Poor girl. Don't know how long she was there like that. Such a traumatic experience followed up by a bath. 

Moodwise today she's still her energetic and alert self, but physically she's feeling yesterday.    I've decided to give her a break from playing this week.  I think she needs to recuperate.   Additionally we need to make sure this isn't a progression of the disease instead of just being tired.   

Progression of the disease means her timeline is shortening.  When she is no longer able to hold herself up or play in the cart, her quality of life will be non-existent.   So keep her in your thoughts.

EDIT: 2/23/2020  Today is a very bad day. She cannot stay on her legs at all. This morning when we went outside, it was a long struggle.   Inside the house hours later, she's can't hold herself up or walk or stand.   

Either this is an off day, which we hope or it's the progression of the disease (which is more likely)

Enjoying play care
Time out nap with Lada & Lada's BFF
Athena with Lil Bro

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Why I hate Tuesdays & Thursdays.

This is mostly since moving to this home.  At the old house, we had back stairs & a patio. I could let them out to go crazy and I could keep an eye on them from in the house--away from them.

Since moving to this house, Tuesdays and Thursdays ...I dread them with a passion and here is why....

Tuesdays and Thursdays I work in the office, so the dogs are left home all day.  All four of them (whether it had been Duchess or Volos in the mix-doesn't matter) are here and await for me in the foyer. Peryn & Lada usually do not go to play care these days.

This house the foyer is wide open and room for all of them to be there to greet me.    At first, this is a happy thing-all of them so excited to see me. All of them wanting my attention.   But here is the reality of things.    

Peryn & Lada --they are Australian Cattle Dogs. These are working dogs that need to burn off energy every day.   They cannot be left alone to do nothing day in and out because they will wreck havoc on your home and life.     

However in this case, they are now wound up and super excited to see me.   Peryn will get up on his hind legs to greet me and I'll love on him for a few seconds. 
Lada on the other hand, no she cannot just be a normal dog wanting attention, no. She's Lada. She jumps and jumps and jumps up on me trying to get into my arms.   She's INSANE until I catch her and then try to calm her as she assaults me with kisses.

Meanwhile Volos is doing a little jig because he too is happy to se me.   He's trying to get in to rub up against me-trying to find a space in between the overly excited cattle dogs. 

While all this is going on, we have Athena stuck in one of her 2 beds (one in my office or one in the living room) barking up up a storm because she's stuck and she wants up.

I try to make my way to her and lift her behind up and we move to the door.  I then open the front door and the 3 mobile ones scamper out and I follow behind with Athena...who may or may not be peeing as we go.

We make our way to the grass and then I have to unpretzel Athena's legs.  The disease causes her legs to stiffen and cross underneath her.  It's a fight some days to straighten them out , pull them back along with her hips.  We try to place her on her feet, but sometimes it's actually her feet knuckled under.  

If we're lucky, she'll stay on her feet and move on her own. However, if she didn't leave a present on her bed she will collapse because she needs to go #2 and the strain on her back muscles is too much for her to hold herself up.   We then have to hold her in such a way that she is able to release. 

Meanwhile, the other 3 are off doing any of these activities: wiggling on their backs, going to the bathroom, sniffing up a storm, bothering walkers on the path or trying to get Volos to play or me to play with one of the numerous balls they have out there.

Next we try to corral them all back inside--probably needing to assist Athena back onto her feet.  We try to keep her moving of her own devices as much as possible.  

Once we all are in, I shut the door and immediately have Peryn & Lada jumping on the basement door wanting to go down.    I open the door and they fly downstairs to unleash mayhem on the ball and the basement. 

Either Athena moves herself to a bed or I do and Volos and his wiggle butt try to get some loving from me.   

Now I have a moment to use the restroom and Lada comes flying back upstairs to check on me and make sure I am not loving on Volos.

Once I'm done, I head over to the dog bowls to refill the water (because heaven forbid they drink from the gravity water bowl) and fill the food bowl.     We have an open food bowl policy in this house.   Each dog is pretty awesome at letting the others eat by themselves.     

Today I tried to sit down, but Lada is jumping up with her demanding kisses (those that know Lada know how physical of an exercise this is trying to stop her), Athena is whining and starting to bark because she hears Peryn going nuts in the basement. 

Volos is pacing because he wants my attention, but Lada is preventing him from getting close.   I move over by Athena and now Volos is getting his attention and now I've set off the jealous little girl who is trying to push her way in front of him so I will pay attention to her.   Athena is still barking...Peryn is barking and going to town on the herding ball and I just want to sit and relax.  

If Athena left any presents while we were gone, now is when I would clean it up.

FINALLY I give in and place Athena in her cart. Lada gets super excited and we all make our way downstairs--except Volos who doesn't do stairs.   

I let Athena go, then Peryn and Lada go insane with the ball and I try to head up to the top of the stairs to sit with Volos --who really really is starting to look like he wants to join them or at least see what the fuss is about.  

Now because they no longer have an audience, Peryn & Lada come to the bottom of the stairs, see I am there and proceed to just stop what they were doing.  Lada has to run upstairs to interupt Volos' attention time.   Athena is barking because she wants to chase her siblings who are no longer playing with the ball.   

Eventually this leads to me going downstairs to sit so they can continue with their insanity.   Volos is pacing and going to the top of the stairs because he's curious.   Now the dog who could herd that ball all night by himself is getting stuck in places that require Mommy to assist.   When this happens all action stops and Athena is there barking. 

After 15 minutes of this start and stop action I say "ENOUGH" and we all head upstairs and back out the front door for another outing.   

Meanwhile, I leave the front door open when we do this so those who finish first can head inside.   IN this case, they have and you can hear the dog and his ball in the basement all the way in the front of the house.

At this time, it's usually time to start dinner.  They tend to back off while I do this. Peryn is usually in the basement with his ball and Lada may or may not join them . 

As I finish with dinner, Rich is walking in the door from work. If there is 10 mins or so left before I'm completely done, he takes Peryn & Volos on a walk.  This is to allow them some bonding time and to make sure Volos goes #2 if he didn't any of the 2 previous times.    

By this time, it's usually after 6:30.   I now have about an hour and a half before I head to bed.     It is during this time that anything I did not get to do prior is done.

IF Athena did not go downstairs earlier--she would now.   The days when she goes in the afternoon, I get a bit of time in the evening.   

I also have to do the after clean up inspection to make sure Rich didn't miss anything during his clean up (Guess what--he often does!)

This or some variation of this is my Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and evenings. I love my fur kids, but they are too much some days.     

The days I run late or make a stop after work are even worse......    

So if you ever think of getting a Cattle Dog-- you better have time to exercise them or play with them. 

I will admit in the summer/spring is easier as we head into the back yard. I sit down and play with the chuck it.   A win-win for us all.

Sunday, February 16, 2020


I think prior to Volos we had it pretty easy with the dogs we've adopted & raised.   Our first abused dog was Sheba who was 6 months at the time.  She was wary of men and would become agitated at anyone "throwing" or doing the throwing motion.   She flourished with us and was extremely protective of us.   Other than that, she was a good dog and had no other big issues, outside of "puppy" issues.

Athena was our second dog with issues.  Assumed puppy mill escapee-since she was found outside- from the visual evidence it appeared as such.  She was underweight, had infections all over, was missing skin off her backside, and had "callouses" on her underside and elbows from where she rested all the time. Additionally she had distended teets.  We were lucky with her.  She was a joy. She craved attention and loved being doted on. She struggled with stairs-never having done them and long walks and running-as she rarely used them.  While we rehabbed her back to health-struggling with house training--she did well.   Once we able to get her strong enough, she loved going to the dog parks and running with all the dogs. That's all she did and she was happy.    We really had it easy with her.

Right now we are struggling as we deal with the Degenerative Myelopathy. Having to assist her in getting up, walking, going outside, cleaning up after her, making sure she eats--it's a lot of work.  We love her and she's still all mentally there, so we're going to work to let her enjoy her life as long as the disease holds off.  

Back when I still lived with my parents our family dog Max had DM.   Then it was pretty much a death sentence. When he got to the point where he was unable to hold himself up, we had to say goodbye.  Times are much different and there are so many resources at our fingertips.  

The sad thing is though, there are so many people out there that when they get a dog--don't "sign up for" this stuff. When the dog becomes older and begins having Senior dog problems, they take then to be put down or surrender them to a shelter.    What is even worse, there are those who get a puppy or dog without doing ZERO research and return the puppy/dog when they begin to act the say they are bred to.    I see so many Cattle Dog postings for people returning them because they were mouthy or they were herding their children.   THEY WERE BRED FOR THAT!!!!    All some people see is a cute puppy and they want it---end of story.  This is a disservice to the dog and to the people who adopt.  

Foster parents and any person willing to take on the special cases-- to give them a chance at having a good home/life are amazing.  While we could never foster, we welcome dogs into our home --even special cases.

he came into the office willingly
Volos is a special case. We've been pretty fortunate with every single dog we've had before him.  We brought them home and soon integrated them seamlessly into our family.   Volos is the first dog where we have to give him space.   Whomever had him before obviously frightened him terribly.  His flinches when you move a certain way.  He runs from the littlest things. It is killing me that this sweet dog is so terribly frightened.

In my last blog post I mentioned I've been running into some issues with him.   It's very hard not to let it get to me.   I've been spoiled in the past that the dogs we've rescued have been welcoming to be loved on and gotten over any fears rather quickly.     Volos--he loves attention. He still likes it from me--but he's not skittish around me and it kills me.    Believe me I'm aware it takes time --all I want to do is sit there and hold him and just pet him all night long.   I know he wants that--but getting from where he is to that seems like a long way. He's not even been here a month and he still has possibly months before he'll feel at home...hopefully.   

I know he was meant for us. I firmly believe if anyone else had taken him home, they may have given up on him already. He obviously feels more secure with Rich and that is good.   It's just hard to sit back and give him time and space.  Peryn so badly wants to play with him-but Volos isn't there.

There are good signs-- he'll happily greet me in the morning or when I come home.  He has been sneaking toys or my slipper.  He shares the same bowl as the rest of the pack.  Outside he will love up on me like there is no tomorrow. He loves to be out in the snow. 

It's just the isolation that he keeps himself in--saddens me.   Right now he's across the hall in Rich's office, lying there alone.   Peryn is in the basement and the other 2 are in my office with me.   If I were to get up and go to him, he'd leave his room.   I don't want to make him uncomfortable so I don't.   I do pop my head in to talk to him sweetly and give treats--and it is so hard not to try to get him to love up on me like he did a week ago.  

Hoping it's just a phase or maybe a reaction to the pain from his surgical sites.   I really adore this dog and it kills me that we've taken steps backward.    I know this is requiring patience and I will give him the space, but part of me just wishes we could FFWD to that day already…

He really is an easy dog overall.  He is super quiet—still have yet to hear him bark.  He stays out of the way and doesn’t beg. He’s mostly house trained.  He only asks for attention ever so often and we’re happy to give it.   Putting our wants and wishes aside to make him comfortable and help him feel safe is all that matters now.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Jeckyl & Hyde

Happy Friday.

Another Volos update coming at you.....

First let me tell you...this dog LOVES.....   LOVES!!!!!!!!!! Snow.   He's a crazy loon when he gets out there.    Never seen a dog so happy.   Love seeing him so carefree.

Another thing--loves to go for car rides. ANYTIME the garage door opens he's out. He head over to the side of the car and looks at us and then back at the door.  He really wants to go on a car ride.

He loves the pork rolls that we hand out.  He will pick one up at the first chance he gets.   

He seems to like toys that flop around....he has started picking them up and doing a quick shake--but nothing more than that.   Give it time.

He seems to genuinely like (love?) us.    HOWEVER...

the past 2 -3 days has been concerning.    

Since day 1, he's always enjoyed my sitting down next to him and then loving on him.   For the past few days, something about me seems to spook him.   I have NO IDEA what it is nor is it constant.

For example-the past 2 mornings when I get up to let the dogs out--he's up and so happy to see me. He comes and rubs up on my legs and is so happy.   

He'll randomly come over and want some loving and I'll give it to him.   

Then -- later on I will go to him-whether it be in the crate or his room.  I walk in and sit down and he gets up and leaves.     I did it a couple of times without the other dogs around to see if it was them or me-- no, it's me.

Then later he'll come and want cuddles.    Where he used to love my coming to him and loving on him--he's not seeming to like it.

Then just a half hour ago or so I took him out with me to get the mail and then across to the dog park.  He was so happy to be there.  I walked inside the park and he was running around me and just so happy that he was there and that I was with him.

When we went to leave he was still in his happy go lucky mode. He comes to me so I can put the leash on him and I don't know what it was, but he freaked and tried to get away (after I hooked it up).
He pulled so hard, he slipped his collar and took off.

LUCKILY-- he went straight home.   When I came to the door, he was on the stoop and moved off and away as I came up.  Then flew in the house. 

Don't know what any of it was about.  

Like I said it's only been the last 2 days.  We've only gotten "stern" with him on a few occasions (usually associated with him in the garage), so it can't be that I yelled at him. 

I guess we'll see. 

And if you wanted to know about the biopsy-- got it all.    Clear margins.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Pupdate through week 3 and more

Welcome back.    It's been a crazy-busy week.  I have much to tell you regarding the pups--especially Volos-- so shall we get to it.

I will preface by saying we haven't gotten the biopsy results back yet. They told us 5-7 days.
Monday was his surgery.  He went with Rich and was dropped off. Rich stated he really did not want Rich to leave him. Was putting up a fight.  It's nice to know he's relying on us..

Never smiles for the camera
His surgery went well.  He had both lumps removed. The one was just a fatty cyst and the other was the smaller mass that we're worried about.  It was sent for biopsy and now it's just waiting.

He has staples in his sides and besides the obviousness of them, they are all that shows he had surgery. The night we brought him home, he was stoned from the anesthesia...and very high strung. The next morning he was back to normal. 

He has adapted to our schedule quite nicely.  He's also much more comfortable in the house. He's ventured into every room on his own at this point. He won't stay in there, but he does enter them on his own. 

He still sleeps between his crate and his room.  It depends on how he's feeling at that time.   He is much more comfortable coming in and demanding affection.   Peryn still "scares" (not even sure if that is the right word) him ...he's leery around Peryn. Peryn is very high strung and can be a lot for someone as timid as Volos.  

Snow lover
We've finally come up with a solution to getting him to go to the bathroom in the yard.  It took careful monitoring, but he now is let outside with the others --off leash.  The first few times we tried this, we were right there with him.   Now he goes out to the front, rolls around in the snow and then does his business.   He'll come right back inside when he's done.   

When he's on leash, he expects a walk to the park a few doors down.   He REFUSES to go on leash. The tie out still freaks him out and when I put it on him, he will not leave my legs.  We can't keep taking him to the park each and every time he needed to go--so I worked on going off leash.  

He's really blooming.  I have to admit I'm a little impatient as he won't stay in any of the rooms long to hang out with us and I so badly want to lay with him and cuddle. He's not there yet.  I have to keep reminding myself 3 weeks of love cannot overcome 5 years of hell.

He still flinches if you surprise him (he runs off) or move too quickly.  However he is gaining confidence each and every day.

Highlights of the week-- we picked up some toys and played with them briefly.  He LOVES car rides. ANYTIME the garage door opens, he's out there by the car hoping to go somewhere.  He loves the PorkChomp rolls and will pick one up whenever abandoned.  He now eats from the community bowl and has no problems letting us know when it's empty.
We still have yet to hear him bark or make any real sounds except a burp (which he freely does).   Another thing we'll wait patiently for.

We do know he's happy with us. He gets so excited to see us in the morning or when we come home.  He loves when we're outside with him.   He loves getting hugs and rubs from us.

Hoping he begins to ease up around the others. Peryn desperately wants to play with him and has tried to engage him. Volos is not there yet. 

Volos does have a destructive tail. I have a small bookshelf in my living room with knick knacks on them. His tail --which he wags enthusiastically --knocked down a few of my crystal trinkets and broke them.   Nothing I was extremely sentimental about and I have since rearranged the shelves to put the fragile things lower out of tail range. 

Even though he isn't supposed to--and we didn't realize he would--we have seen him run.  Turns out this dog LOVES snow.  He gets super excited and loves to roll in it and then runs to us when he's done.   He's a big goof ball and even though he's supposed to be taking it easy---it's hard to reign it in when he shows so much enthusiasm.  

I am very happy to share his progress when it's so positive.    Keep your paws and fingers crossed as we'll hopefully be hearing his results in the next 2 days.

At Playcare
It seems no matter what we do, she keeps getting skinnier and bonier.  I have taken to bringing her food and water --directly to her-- 3x/day.   She is more desperate to follow me from room to room than before.
We're trying hard to remember when we leave a room to bring her with us.   She'll let us know otherwise.

There was not much downstairs time this week as in the past.  Well for her at least. Peryn still heads down there on his own.   

She did go to play care all day last Saturday and on Friday. She loves it and does so well.  Saturday we thought she'd be dead to the world, but she wasn't.   We don't take her outside in the cart with all the snow.     I want to buy her ski's for the cart, but with her health--I'm afraid to buy them and then fate stepping in so she'll never use them.

I did buy and should be receiving a drag bag for her. This is a specially designed "bag" that dogs like her can use to drag themselves through the house.  She still can use her legs--
Lada loving on big Sis
with help--but for those times when she can't get help or the legs aren't cooperating, she'll be able to slide around the house without friction burns. 

Speaking of getting help.  The disease is now at the point where she needs help 85% of the time to get up on her feet. The message of straightening out her legs is not getting to them.  We have to pull her feet apart and then place them and her hips in the proper position in order for her to walk. Walking for her isn't like normal walking either.  Most of the time it's dragging her knuckled feet. 
Sometimes if she's lying just right, she can get herself up and move to the room I'm in.   A majority of that time she falls and needs help getting up.   We're going to try and let her use her legs as long as they work to get her around.   No point in helping the disease along any. 

She sleeps most of the time when she's not doing anything.  If the pups aren't playing--she'll sleep. If they are--she's laying there barking as they play.
We look at how frail she is and keep thinking--can't be much longer. Then she spends a day at playcare and we're thrown by just how much energy she still has.   This disease SUCKS.

Resting at home on the new bed
The 3 at Playcare

Cattle dogs are ...normal. Getting a bit jealous that our attention is no longer solely on them.   However, they're adapting and for the most part have been really patient and giving Volos room to become accustomed to his new life.  

Peryn still spends time in the basement alone playing or whatever else he's doing.

Lada won't leave Mommy for long as Mommy is now loving on another dog that ISN'T her.

Same ole same ole.

Still haven't begun any training commands (other than Volos Come) with him. He's still too jumpy and if we become forceful, he retreats to his safe area.   We try to sneak stuff in like when he's about to sit down "Sit" and good boy--but it's really difficult when you have an injured soul like his.   We're patient though.     

I will tell you this, I wasn't a big supporter of getting a BMD when Rich first told me he wanted one.  However, Volos has made me a fan of the breed. Turns out they're big teddy bears as the norm.  I do adore him and he's really been a lot easier than I would have thought.       

Thanks for checking in and update you later!

I could get used to this
EVERY TIME he goes out
Enjoying the scenery
Snow Dog Angels

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Pupdate: Athena & Volos

Probably going to be a long one here.  First Athena updates and later VOLOS..

2018 Athena-healthy & thriving
Sigh.  She's shrinking away bit by bit.  It is so heartbreaking.   I was looking at pictures of her from last year and compared to today --she was a chubster. 

We're kind of on "alert".  We're trying to determine if it's just been coincidence or bad timing...but she's had a few issues with her front paws.  As in, we've seen them "roll" or bend under on different occasions.    Her use of her hind legs is diminishing more and more.   Some days she can maneuver on them around the house and other days she just drags them .   It makes me sad.

Climbing into her bed
It could be nothing which we are hoping.   This scares us as if it is something, it could mean the disease has started to progress to the front legs.   Time is running short then because we've agreed when she loses full functionality of the front legs it is time. 

This dog lives for playing with other dogs and her pack.   If she cannot do that, she has no quality of life.  To keep Athena in your hearts and send pawsitive vibes this way that we just had a couple of bad days.

Healthy weight.
Sharing a handful of pictures so you can see the difference These first four photos of her are from 2018 when the only thing we would notice is she would be when she tired out and she would begin to limp.  That would happen near the 2nd half/end of 2018.

Sunning herself

Look how beautiful she is here.   She and Duchess loved to sun themselves in the nicer weather.   Look how healthy she is here. 

Athena now:

These photos are all from the past month and a half.  The one you can see the "position" that she finds herself in often. She is stuck and unable to move out of it.

She gets stuck in this position and can't get out of it
Top view of er in her cart

Here she is so small.  She's very fragile.  I can't believe it's my same girl.     

Don't feel too sorry for her.  Except for arthritis pain, she doesn't feel much with this disease. 

Look at how tiny she is
Nothing stops her. If she wants to be somewhere and she CAN do it, she will be right there.   She's VERY determined.   She is a maniac in her cart and you better not get in the way.   
Top view of her on her bed

She's still very affectionate and will come demanding attention.    She may be limited to some things, but the rest is just a new way of life.    She loves her cart and gets super excited when she is being put in it--especially if she knows it's to play with Lada & Peryn.

I'm blogging somewhat regularly, but I feel that I still get so behind because so much has been happening with this dude.

Hanging out in his crate
 Wow, I just realized I haven't blogged since Saturday, so yes there is so much to tell you.    

Sunday he really began to explore the house.  He still would return to Rich's office or as I am calling it now-Volos' room.
Sunday though, he really was gaining confidence in exploring.  However, if Rich is at his PC and has the TV on, Volos was in his crate... lying there.

Oooh that feels good

Monday- the monsters...err I mean Peryn & Lada went to play care, so I was hoping he would really branch out and come hang with me.   Nope.  While I worked from my office at home, he only occasionally made an appearance.
I decided to try something different.   I moved his crate from the office into the living room. 

So Monday afternoon, he came out to be with me and get his loving on. 

 Then he sat down in front of me while I loved him.   Then he finally laid down and allowed me to keep on loving on him.   I then slid down to the floor and continued.   He ended up being with me for over an hour and just chill.   It was fabulous.  He even got into his crate to chill out while we watched tv.        

Finally relaxing

In the morning on Tuesday, he was already out greeting me when I got up to let the Cattle Dogs out at 4am.   I love that he gets more and more comfortable .

Fighting for attention
He was home with the pack today while we went to work.  We still locked his crate to give him some feeling of safety.   When I got home he was soo happy to see me. Once I let him out and got everyone situated-we walked down to the park.  He rolled on his back again and just enjoyed being able to walk around outside.  

Munching on the chomp he stole

The biggest surprise was later on after we got home.   I give my dogs Pork Chomps baked pork rolls in lieu of rawhides.   Rawhides are nasty and unhealthy, this is a great alternative for your dogs.     I've been giving them to my guys for years and they love them.   In fact, the game they play is you snooze you lose.   I put out enough for each dog, but it doesn't matter.  If you were working on one and walk away, it will be stolen.      Well, one was out that Lada had been working on and she walked away.   Volos was comfortable enough to steal it!   SO awesome.    He went to town on that puppy and stayed right there in the living room while he did. 

Wednesday-   I worked from home and Rich was home as well.   We had an appointment in the later afternoon and so it was us, Athena, & Volos.   We got the kids home and decided to test the situation.   We didn't lock his crate, so he was able to leave it at any point in time.  I don't know if it was because our appointment screwed up the schedule or he just can't handle being alone, but we came home to a mess Volos made.   That was the first time since day 0 that he had gone in the house.  Pretty decent.  
He got spooked due to the carpet cleaner being ran after we came home.    Chose to go back into Rich's office for the rest of the evening and to sleep.

Thursday-- Rich was home and I had to go into the office. It was a decent day and Rich decided to take the ACD's & Volos to one of the parks not too far from us.  It has rocks vs grass so when it rains there isn't mud.  

He told me Volos did great. Walked around by himself going up to people for some loving and went up to the other dogs to check them out.   He seemed to have a great time.  

The ACD's keps themselves busy with their herding ball so this visit was a win win for everyone.   

Daddy, that feels nice
After coming home and having dinner, I got to chill out on the couch with Lada & Volos.   Lada is very possessive of me.  Like all Cattle Dogs, I've been deemed HER person. She has a conniption if any of the other dogs try to get attention. She was very intolerant of Duchess getting any and she goes into a meltdown if Peryn even looks at me.
With Volos, she's been pretty chill. It's more of a cutting off each other between the 2 to see who gets the closest spot to Mommy.   So that evening I had Lada on one side and Volos on the other.  I think they're bonding over their affection for Mommy. 

Rich has been walking the 2 guys together for a short jaunt around the clock to get them to warm up to each other.   Peryn looks like he tries to initiate play when Volos starts getting ramped up at the park. 
Yeah.... Righ there!!
    To Be Continued.

I worked from home and Rich was off again.  After I completed work, we decided to take Athena and Volos back to the park.  It was a nice sunny day and the 2 of them could use some outdoors time.

The park had a handful of dogs when we arrived and Athena barked up a storm to announce her arrival. This was the first visit back there since she got her cart.   She was beyond excited.  Took off like a rocket when we got in. She was eating up attention.   People seem to adore handicapped dogs--- and she milks that for all it's worth.

Volos walked around on his own, sniffed some butts, sniffed around and started to loosen up a bit.  He started to "run" and try to play with the other dogs.  THEN..... THEN... he got up on his hind legs and put his front paws on me.   He then did it again AND then turned his head into me.   HE GAVE ME A HUG!!!!!       DAY IS MADE!!

Today the other 3 went to play care and we left him in his cage for a bit to run errands.   He was out and about in the house while we were home. Spent some time in his room, spent some time in the crate, came up to me in the kitchen for some pets.      He's definitely getting more comfortable here. 
We've even had him come into the bedroom.   My ultimate goal is to get him to sleep in there with the rest of us.   I just need to be patient.

We've tried to start with some training commands-- but he's still too sensitive right now.  If we raise our voice, make sudden movements, or startle him in any way he takes off for his room.  I threw a treat and it landed on the ground next to him. He heard it and took off...   

love how his pawa are crossed
Another issue we're having is getting him to go to the bathroom.    We have a tie out for the front that we used for Duchess.  We have attempted to put it on freaks him out. The white cord following him scares him.  
Rich will take him out on the leash and walk him around the house. He will go pee, but not #2.   I take him out on a leash and he tries to get me to go to the park.  I've tried to stop doing that in the mornings because I don't want him to think that's the only time he can go #2.   

At the park (any) he'll go, just not in our yard.
He loves to lean back into our legs when we're out there and he's "done".   I was hoping going out with Peryn & Lada would get him to go, but no... it's not like that. 

Hanging wif Momma

He really is a sweet guy.   I wish I could start working on training and getting him to do things the way they should be, but since he's so sensitive we're not pushing too much. 

Peryn's tried to engage him in play. While he has not reciprocated, he has not run off.  SO progress!!

Monday's the surgery....  keep sending your pawsitive vibes our way.