Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Dexter Dilemma...

So, for those of you who read It Takes Two to Tango, you will know the difficulty that we have been going through trying to get Caesar to be friendly with another dog.  It took us a long time to make initial bonds between Caesar and Tango but, now, it is clear that Caesar trusts his friend.

Caesar and his friend, Tango

When beginning to attempt to form a new bond, it's easy to forget the heart ache, frustration and exhaustion that you felt the last time you attempted to do the same.  So, when Caesar began barking and lunging at Dexter when we first met him, I was foolishly hopeful that this may only last for a short time.

Sian and Dexter preparing themselves for another eventful walk with Caesar

Three walks later and the rope burn on my hands was unbearable.  We didn't seem to be getting anywhere fast.  And, just when Caesar appeared to be doing alright with Dexter, he would, suddenly and unpredictably, jump on him.  Whether he was playing or not was an uncertainty that I wasn't willing to investigate.

Playful or naughty?  Sometimes it's hard to tell...

It's easy to get disheartened when you've just spent a good few hours on a cold evening being dragged around by your dog while it shows you up in front of dozens of people.  It's easy to want to give up.  I've been there a few times.  The only problem is, at the back of your mind, there's always a little voice that says 'could he be more than this?'  And it's this little voice that pushes us on.

We knew that Caesar could make friends.  The question is; how long would that take?

Today was walk number five with Sian and Dexter.  It was a cold morning and much padding had to be worn to combat the cold January air.  Given that it wasn't prime walking weather, perhaps I was a little more firm with Caesar than usual; I wasn't going to stand around in the cold waiting for him to decide to behave himself.  I decided, he would just have to be well behaved.

All wrapped up for our January walk!

For the first few minutes I marched with him.  He wasn't terribly behaved but did take a little calming down.  I was ready to do battle with him this time but was amazed when, after a few minutes, he settled into the walk nicely.  Some time after we began to walk, Sian and Dexter drew level with us.  Instinctively, I tightened my grip on the lead, cursing myself as I did for sending any signal to Caesar, but he was oblivious.  He gave Dexter a quick sideways glance and then continued to walk forwards.  A couple of times, Caesar tried to jump playfully on Dexter but, when told to stop, he did so immediately.  By the end of the two hour walk, I felt amazed...if a little cold!
Two good, slightly misunderstood, dogs sitting side by side...

Results
Today we managed a two hour walk with Dexter and Sian.  And, Caesar even had some time on his long lead.

There's still time to donate to SARA.  The Saving Caesar charity fundraising page shuts shortly.  To donate, please click here.