Thanks, everyone, for your support, understanding and advice. It really means a lot to me. It really helps to have a sounding board, feed back, encouragement,ideas and so much more!
Sandra, who blogs at This & That, suggested worming. Another "DUH" moment for me. Really! what's the first thing you do for a dog you bring home? Get them checked for parasites. While I can't do that (yet), I can certainly give him some OTC wormer. I did, and I really think it helped with his weight gain. I've really felt a difference in the past week!
A couple of people have mentioned that the Berner may never be a house dog and I fully understand that. Two homes that were interested in him, understood that, too. When I was rehabbing rescued dogs, I ended up keeping dogs when the right home couldn't be found. I wonder, daily, how this dog will fit my lifestyle, because I think he is going to be one of those. I am a traveler. Although, stalled at the moment, I hope it won't be too much longer before I am back on the road.
There was/is a BMD rescue that showed some interest until it was decided he wasn't purebred. They did find a possible home and will work with me in the future if I can get him inside.
Because of my location there is really no opportunity to socialize him or to improve his social skills and his confidence levels. I have no idea how he would react to children or other life experiences and no way to find out or improve them. At this point I can't even think how I am going to get him into a car. I am going to move his kennel out onto the deck and make a shelter for him. I have thought about feeding him in the kennel, but for now I want him to eat where I can reach him to pat and feel for his weight gain. I will keep his dry kibble in the kennel though.
I have a loose plan. Gain his trust in the house and kenneling departments and then get him to the vet when he's comfortable in the kennel. At that point he will be scanned for microchips, neutered, checked of parasites, and a complete blood panel run. I have no clue how he will travel, or even how I will get him and that monster crate to the vet.
One of my fears, is if it comes time for me to leave for the east coast and I don't have him situated. The thought of leaving him in the desert to fend for himself just makes me sick. I do have a friend that is willing come by to feed and water him daily, if it comes to that. I don't have a set departure date, I don't even have a vehicle that will get me there. I only know that I have to go.
One day, one step at a time, for now, I guess.
Saturday, April 3
I made the Berner a pot roast to jazz up his dinners.
I cooked some brown rice and sweet potatoes in the broth to add some bulk.
He showed up as I was sitting down to my dinner. My dinner waits while I see to him. He ate all his dinner and had his cheese and then he and Stumpy spent some quality bone chomping time together.
He actually went up to the inside door looking like he wanted in! Dang! I had the door open all day but by then the wind had picked up and the temperature was starting to drop so I had just closed it! maybe he wanted to check on his pot roast...
My landlord showed up about then, and Berner boy booked it. She went into the back to the garage and he came back up on the deck when I called him. when she came back, he left again, but didn't go far. He laid down in the driveway and stuck around, until she left! That's progress!
He was back at 8pm. To heck with how cold it is; the door is open! Stumpy is running in and out as if to show him that it doesn't hurt a bit.
9pm he came up to the door and looked to be pondering the possibilities. I should have had some cheese for him :(
Sunday, April 4
The Berner was still here, when I got up in the morning. He ate his breakfast and climbed back into the chair for a nap. Is everyone sick of the "Berner in the chair," pictures yet?
He was gone by 6:30. He was here, except for maybe an hour, for about 12 hours straight! More progress!
I started cooking bacon at about 2:30. It's a good thing I had a lot of bacon (5 lbs.) to cook because he didn't show up until 6:30. I had the door open and he came to the door and whined. I brought his bowl over and set it just inside the door.
It didn't take long until he was all the way in.
When I moved toward him he went out to the deck so I just sat down and called him back in. He came back in and finished his dinner.
I called him over for some cheese and he came right over. He took a stroll around the house and into the kitchen to check out the bacon, then came back to me for more cheese.
After another stroll around the house, he and Stumpy spent some more quality bone chompin' time, on the deck.
Right now, Stumpy is running around, in and out, like a kid at her first pajama party. She just can't figure out why that Berner boy won't come inside and make himself at home.
Monday, April 5
He was gone when I went outside at 5:30am. I saw him headed in our direction at about 8:30. When he was up on the deck I called him into the house. He came all the way into the kitchen and had a bite of pot roast and then went back out onto the deck. I went out to the deck and lured him back in with cheese and pot roast. He came back in and I set his food down a little further from the door than last night. He had a couple of bites but was clearly there for the pot roast and cheese. I took his food out to the deck but he still only wanted the pot roast and cheese. Have I created a fussy eater? From now on he will only be getting his tasty treats in the house. I suppose I will now go make some gravy with the pot roast to pour over his dinner... When Stumpy doesn't eat, I don't worry about it, provide all other systems are go. She'll eat when she gets hungry and a day, or even two, without food won't kill her. I just don't think the berner can afford to miss a meal, at this point.
Before he left, we had a little talk.
He was back at about 5:30. I called him inside to eat and he came in, but I put the dish, too far from the door and didn't stay (note to self: P.A.T.I.E.N.C.E! Take it slow!) I called him and set his food by the door and he ate.
with Stumpy standing guard.
Yeah, she was guarding in case he walked away so she could take over!
After dinner, I offered him some cheese and called him into the kitchen. I offered him frozen yogurt but he wasn't too interested. He gave it a few licks, but that was all. Then I gave both he and Stumpy bones. Stumpy, of course wants everything and anything. The Berner didn't even want the bone.
He came in the house to check on me and wander around while Stumpy chomped her bone.
Just so you know, Stumpy gets everything the Berner gets and always gets first choice. She is after all, the Queen of Everything!
He and Stumpy did a little coyote watching before bed.
Tuesday, April 6
Berner boy hung out until just about 6am. I couldn't entice him into the house and he wasn't interested in breakfast, yogurt or a bone. All he wanted was cheese. He's not trying to dodge my pats and even backed into me to have a butt scratch. I got a good feel for his body weight and it's really improved! I am thinking if he gets his main meal at night maybe he won't walk so much of it off. So that's the plan, for now.
Stumpy tried to talk him into a little romp.
I think her technique needs some work.
He's a howling fool, which I love, but wonder how my neighbor feel about it.
Berner boy showed up around 5, for dinner. He came all the way into the kitchen to eat!
When I moved out of his line of vision he had to check to see what I was up to. Was he making sure I wasn't shutting the door?
He was comfortable enough to lie down on the job.
He wasn't in the mood for a bone or yogurt and only ate a little bit of cheese.
He sat out in the chair for a bit and something up the road caught his attention and he left to go check it out. He headed for an abandoned property just up the road. I know he's slept there on more than one occasion because I have heard him howling from over there, late in the night.
He didn't come back. Two steps forward and one step back with this boy.
Later, I was out on the deck and I heard his howl. I answered, hoping he would come home, but he didn't. Who can blame him? My howling skills are seriously lacking, as you may have heard in previous videos.
Wednesday, April 7
Berner boy finally shows up at about 7:30am, just as I am getting ready for work. He wasn't interested in coming inside for his breakfast or cheese. I hated to leave, but I had no choice. It will be interesting to see if he leaves when I start the car and/or driveway. I'll leave kibble out for him, but I doubt he will eat any. I did discover who ate the kibble last week...ground squirrels and cactus wren. I don't mind the cactus wren at all. They are really comedic to watch. But I don't want those ground squirrels making themselves at home, outside my door; especially because I am leaving the door open for the Berner.
When I first started the car he seemed to think it was time to go, but then went back up onto the deck and laid back down. When we pulled out he left, too, so Stumpy and I followed him up the road this morning He turned off the road into an abandoned property just up the street from us; the same property that was mentioned earlier.
Around these parts, you never know what you will find on abandoned property...a den of tweekers cooking meth, illegal aliens or a pack of wild dogs. I don't think this property is inhabited, but I am not going to find out, either.
He was back around 5 and he and Stumpy ate dinner in the kitchen.
When Stumpy finished she circled the Berner, waiting for him to turn his back or walk away so she could clean his plate. (that doesn't happen)
He went out onto the deck, as usual after dinner. Stumpy and I played ball while he watched. After, I rubbed his back and he actually laid down at my feet and allowed me to give him a belly rub.
I wasn't sure, until now, that he was intact. He definitely has all his equipment.
My landlord, (friend and next door neighbor) showed up just then and the Berner left the deck but then came right back up and even walked over to Lee and gave her the once over! He climbed up into his chair, like it was nothing, and continued with his nap while we visited. He never even raised his head when we came out of the house to walk by him.
Stumpy and he almost played
And then they chased a jack rabbit together. Stumpy came right back when she was called, but the Berner didn't.
Thursday, April 8
The Berner was here when I got up this morning and came in for breakfast, cheese, a full body massage, some bum scritchin' and a belly rub. He's a really talky dog and that's fun, because Stumpy isn't...which is nice, too, but it is fun talking dog again
He and Stumpy played in the house and then went outside to play.
The Berner had no problem at all coming in and going out, back and forth, in and out.
When he decided it was time to go I called him back and he came back, several times. I guess until he had his fill of cheese. He headed back up the road and, once again, turned into that abandoned property.
We waited until about 8pm for the Berner to come home for dinner. Stumpy's on the look out.
Whenever he shows up, Stumpy runs in and out of the house, seemingly all excited that he's back. I'm sure she loves the company, but more likely, she's excited about the treats that will be forthcoming. Or that it's dinner time. I have been trying to hold off feeding Stumpy to feed them at the same time. I'm pretty sure Stumpy doesn't appreciate the delay in her eating schedule.
He did finally show up, and Stumpy FINALLY got her dinner.
He was looking pretty rough, tonight. Moving slow. NOT in the mood for Miss Stumpy's fun. Tired and thirsty. Dog fights. :( Covered in mud and there is probably no mud within a 30 mile radius. Rolling in the dirt covered in saliva. When I have massaged him I have felt scabs everywhere. I had treated a punture wound when he was in the house for 4 days, way back when. Female dogs in heat would also, perhaps, speak to his frequent howling. He doesn't seem like an alpha type of dog, so I don't imagine he's coming out on top of any fights he gets in. Not that that is important. The important thing would be getting him to the vets and getting him nuetered so he's less likely to travel or involve himself in competition over females.
The Berner learned he likes turkey hotdogs, tonight. We spent some time on the deck and he and Stumpy chomped some bones.
Friday, April 9
The Berner was still here this morning.
He didn't want to come in for breakfast or treats and left before daylight.
I had made arrangements to bring some dinner over to a sick friend around 4pm, but the Berner hadn’t yet been by for dinner so I called my friend and delayed for an hour. It was just about 5, and I was packing the dinner to go when I stepped back and onto The Berner. Just barely, so he wasn’t hurt and didn’t freak out. I really couldn’t delay leaving any longer so I put his dinner on the deck and Stumpy and I left. I hoped he would be there when we got back a few hours later, but there was no sign of him. And he hadn’t come back by the time we went to bed.
Saturday, April 10
Berner boy was here when we woke up this morning. We went out on the deck to say good morning and I called to him as I was fixing breakfast for him and Stumpy.
If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed, in chronlogical order, below.
#1 Who's been sitting in my chair?
#2 Runnin' with the big dawgs
#3 There's a Berner in my living room!
#4 He's everywhere!
#5 He's gone
#6 The Berner: coming and going
#7 Berner News
#8 The Weekly Berner Report (March 28 - April 3)