Westley: An Update

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It’s been about six and a half months since I brought Westley home. Despite a few rough patches in the beginning, we have made excellent progress, and are settled into something that decently approximates a schedule. He had a lot of trouble getting used to my dad, but they exist in affable companionship now. He has definitely decided that he likes the whole family, except maybe Brad. Brad is so short compared to the rest of us; I think Westley hasn’t figured out what species he is yet. Lately, when my mother and I are in the same room with him, and one of us gets up to go to another room, he experiences visible distress as he tries to figure out who he should stay with.

Westley’s a bit neurotic and definitely has more than a touch of OCD. His foster mom described him as routine-driven, which is a massive understatement when he’s a solo dog, as it turns out. He’s kind of emotionally needy. (That’s a massive understatement, too.) He is affectionate and demands affection from us, but can decide suddenly that he needs space. He is even more food driven than he was when I got him – he goes and stands in his crate about 30 times a day in hopes of getting a treat. He is silly sometimes, and these days plays at least once a day. (It took him weeks to figure out the whole playing thing.) He is shockingly obedient 90% of the time with commands he knows – “down,” “leave it,” and “sit” he totally owns. “Off” is the one he sometimes has trouble with. He seems to think “stay” is an interjection of indeterminate meaning.

I am most amused these days by Westley’s butter obsession. If you go to the fridge and pull out a box of strawberries, he’ll still be in the den lying on his bed. But the second he hears the butter tray cover move, he is THERE. He has, so far as we know, eaten about a stick and a half of butter since we got him – he once got a whole stick of it off the counter. He’s not nearly as bad a “counter-surfer” as he used to be, but he manages to swipe something or put those big front paws of his on the counter and inspect the “offerings” once a week or so.

Because he is so routine-oriented, it has taken awhile for him to learn some basic things like “Mommy always comes home eventually,” “Mommy always comes home eventually,” and “Mommy always comes home eventually.” Here are some other things he’s figured out.

  • Uncle KJ goes and comes and comes and goes. He is my very favorite person who isn’t Mommy. Or Nana, sometimes. Or whoever has a treat.
  • Nana is great to hang out with when Mommy is gone (and sometimes even when Mommy is not gone).
  • Grandpa is pretty nice.
  • Aunt Katie takes me on walks ALL THE TIME when I’m at her house.
  • But she doesn’t like me running around when the baby is up.
  • The baby is weird.
  • Uncle David lives at Aunt Katie’s house. He is fun when we are outside. He is boring inside.
  • I rather dislike being wet, but if I’m going to get a little muddy, I might as well get REALLY muddy all over.
  • Getting a bath won’t cause me any permanent physical damage.
  • Apple flavored treats are the best! OMG!

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2 Comments to “Westley: An Update”

  1. Well stated!

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Some of what you described reminds me so much of what we experienced in the last 8 months! 😀

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