Foreman: Things have settled down

Well, for the most part this week has been rather quiet with
Foreman.  He has stopped getting up so early, has started to play with
the other dogs, and hasn’t been aggressive with anyone.  It appears
that his place in the pack is 3rd of 4 as neither Kira or Bones would
have any part in letting him be ahead of them in the pack.  He
routinely dominates Remy but does not attempt to take Kira’s space
under my desk or go near Bones’ closet.  He is still scared of Mike and
hides behind me when there is the slightest noise.  He follows me
around like a puppy and is the first dog that I have ever seen that
doesn’t get excited when you show him the leash to take him for a
walk.

Foreman is very well house trained as he hasn’t had a single
accident in the house.  He has learned how to let me know that he wants
to go outside and when I let him out into the back yard, he does his
stuff and then runs like the wind back to the house.  I can now open
the door to the deck and then walk away and he will come back in
without requiring an invitation.

When I got home this evening the back of my right hand was hurting like I had a bad bruise.  I couldn’t think of how I would have bruised it, but it still hert.  As the evening progressed the pain continued through to the inside of my hand.  Still it perplexed me as to why it was hurting and why it was so localized.  At about 9pm I went to the basement to lift and started playing with Kira when Foreman came down and started to play.  I chased him all over the basement and all 3 dogs chased me like a pack.  We would run from one end of the basement with them chasing me and then we would turn around and I would chase them.  They got all riled up and started wrestling with each other and then Foreman and I started playing Hand.  That was when I realized why my hand hurt all the way through.

Hand is a game that I started playing with Kira to teach her that it was OK for me to touch her nose, tail, and feet.  My previous dogs never liked for you to touch those parts of them so I was determined that Kira would get use to it.  So, I devised a game where I would sit on the floor at her level and would hold my hand up like a mouth and say “I’m gonna get you!” and then grab her nose.  She closes her teeth gently on my hand and then plays tug like my hand is a rope.  I initially did it with my workout gloves on but she is gentle enough that I can do it without gloves.  When she lets go of my hand, I then tap at one of her feet and she will lift it off the ground as if to play keep-away and then will grab at my hand with her mouth.  This goes on for a while and she seems to really have fun with it. 

Well, last night I had been playing with Foreman for just a bit and he watched me play Hand with Kira.  He decided to join in and I grabbed his nose.  He dropped down on his front feet and stuck his but in the air and then started spinning in circles and put his nose in my hand again.  I tugged a bit and he did the same.  Again it repeated and he started running around in circles in the basement round and round the pool table like a cat does.  Remy got into it and played Hand for a bit but Remy didn’t understand the gentle part and bit down on my hand.  As soon as I said “ouch” he let go and Kira disappeared.  The trick to hand with Kira when she was a puppy was that I would say “ouch” whenever she bit down to hard and she would immediately let go and stop until I grabbed her nose again.  Remy had watched this but didn’t quite understand.

Anyhow, while playing with the dogs I played Hand this evening and Kira gently closed her mouth on my hand as usual but this time it hurt like crazy and I realized that one of her canine teeth came down perfectly on the top of my hand where the pain was.  The lower tooth opposite the canine came right up where the part hurt on the inside of my hand.  So, I am figuring that last night got a little rougher than usual and I didn’t have gloves on to protect myself.  At least I know that it isn’t because I am so old that my hand just bruises on its own.

While Foreman is very shy, I am hoping that if I keep playing with him with the other dogs and he learns how to interact with me that he will overcome his fear of people.  Another game that I play with Kira is “hide and seek” but when she finds me, I jump out and go “boo!” and she spins in circles and jumps on me.  Well, I did this with Foreman and didn’t see him the rest of the evening.  It will take time, but he will learn not to be scared.

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