This morning my little scooter was no where to be seen. I left his breakfast, a few treats, and trudged home, sad that he no longer waits for me under the pine trees. I decided to bring a blanket down and lay it near the pine trees, hoping that if I sit down there for a bit, he’ll come over and hang out. He did not. Nor did he show his face.
I positioned myself painting so that I could look out the window and see at least some of the area that he hangs in, watch for him. Within a couple hours he showed up, his little trot with his butt shaking from side to side. He was heading for the road. The owner of the property was trying to scare him off from the road. I grabbed some treats, a leash and headed out. Surprisingly once I sat down on a log he came right over to me, but was very leary, watching me out of the corner of my eye as he was eating out of my hand. I mistakenly grabbed for him, and was at the wrong angle, he yelped, whimpered and ran off… and I mean ran off. I thought I would never see him again. He ran about 40 ft, stopped and looked back, and then ran some more. My heart broke and I felt awful. I had lost his trust, and worst, he thought I was trying to hurt him too.
I came inside called a friend who is alongside of me with every effort of this rescue, she did not answer. “I am so discouraged, I don’t think this is meant to be. I think I have totally blown it and lost all his trust in me”, was what was left on her answering machine. After I hung up I tried to paint, to focus on work. I prayed to God to watch over him. It crushed me to think that he thought I too betrayed him. Tears fell down my cheeks onto my painting. The painting is of Fire Island lighthouse so I figured, it’s applicable. I prayed for strength, wisdom, on how to help this little guy. At this point I thought it was time to hand it over to someone else, when trust is gone, what is left? The phone rang, it was Connie “Donna, don’t give up, I know it’s discouraging, but you are doing your best. You have to have patience. You are going to have to let him trust you again.” More tears.
He disappeared for hours after this. There was no sign of his little head popping up in the field, he had not eaten his breakfast, Nada. I had boiled some chicken breasts to cut up in small pieces. I walked down and left a portion of this on a tray on the blanket, came home and started to paint again. Within a few minutes I see his little black body climbing out of the wooded area and heading for the blanket. I watched. He sniffed all around, ate the chicken, then went into the tall grass and rolled on his back, playing. It was actually so sweet to watch. After several minutes he went back to the blanket, laid down and took a nap. My heart started to heal and hope again.
A couple hours later I went out to check on things, give him his snack, he was walking down in the field. “Well hello there little guy, come on, come here” as I sat down where I was, hoping he would come to me. He slowly started to trot towards me, but for the first time I heard him talking. He wasn’t wimpering or barking, he was moaning and chatty, like my Brody does when he’s lippy with me, or when he’s very happy. This made me smile. He came to within 4′ of me, I lifted my hand to throw a treat at him and this spooked him, he ran 20′ off and sat down. We’re back to the stare.
I just went over to leave him dinner and snacks, and pick up my blanket. He was in the field when he spotted me. He stopped, sat, and watched. I went to the barn, fixed his dinner, gave him fresh water, then went to the blanket, picked that up and left him a couple treats there. As I was coming home I looked over and he was still in the same position watching me. By the time I was in my house looking out the window he was at the blanket site, sniffing around, chowing down the snacks. He then meandered over to the barn. I think he was very happy with his entrees because he came up to the top of the driveway, sat there looking over at my yard. I didn’t want to go out and upset him, but I watched in case he was getting too close to the road. He moved closer to the road, so I grabbed some snacks and went outside where he did the usual…..the scooter stare. As I walked towards him he ran back down the driveway, much to my delight, as he’s away from the road.
It’s been an up and down day today. This is one smart little dog. I am not sure that he would even fall for the cage trap. He is more salt and pepper as I’ve gotten a closer look to him. He has been neglected for some time. Today when he was rolling on his back and playing in the field, I saw his little spirit come to life, I knew it was there all along. It was also there when he came trucking up the driveway giving me lip. It was as if he was saying “Don’t try to catch me, just be my friend you pain in the ass”.
I think he knows tonight that I’m not out to hurt him, but he does know I do have an agenda. As hard as it is I’m going to let him come to me, and not reach for him, not grab him unless I am absolutely sure I have him 100%. I do not want to scare him off again. As he sits across the road looking over at my house I know he wants to befriend me, I know he wants to trust me, but his memory, his past, his smarts keep him at bay. What a little dumpling this dog is…truly…. Dumpling or Dumplette?