In the interests of increasing Zippy's comfort levels around the house, we're going to be changing up our work schedules for a little while. Julie is going to head into work earlier, and I'm going to stick around the house a couple of hours more. Then Julie or I will come home during lunch. This should minimize the time he's home alone. To kick things off I'm spending today working from home to get in some male bonding time.
To start out the day we had a brisk morning walk. The highlight for me was how good he was being and not pulling on the leash, even when walking by other people on the sidewalk. The highlight for him, I'm sure, was the Miniature Schnauzer who came running out to greet him. Zippy got a little excited and lunged when the other dog got close, scaring the other dog away. I'm not exactly surprised, since most of the dogs that Zip has been around have been Bostons or Judy's other dogs. It will take some careful work to get him to calm down when stranger dogs are near. Luckily the Schnauzer's owner was understanding and wanted to know all about Zippy.
After the walk we both had a big breakfast. Even though he's still a little kibble-shy, Zippy eats his wet food like a champ and drinks lots of water without being asked. It is, obviously, a huge relief when a new dog starts to feel comfortable enough to eat and drink in his new home.
While I was eating he came over and sat at my feet, probably hoping that I would accidentally drop a spoonful of cereal into his mouth. I asked if he wanted to go get on his bed and he immediately ran over and hopped onto our overstuffed chair. I informed him that, no, that wasn't exactly what I had in mind, so he hopped back down and sat staring at me, intently. To show him what I meant I picked him up and set him in his bed in the living room, the blankets of which he immediately set out to rearrange to his liking. He then fell into a deep, snoring sleep.
After breakfast I got up and checked on him. He opened his eyes and snorted a bit and then put his head back down and went to sleep. So I went into the office to try to get a few bits of work done. He stayed in the living room for a surprisingly long time before I heard him trotting into the office. He came over to greet me with a few kisses and then jumped onto the chair that we had set aside for his office 'spot'. Again, he shuffled the blankets around a bit and fell asleep, which is where he is now, a few feet away, snoring contentedly.
In a little while I'll probably get him up and give him some time in the bedroom, in the crate with the door open, and maybe some time alone. It's important that he becomes comfortable in there, since that's where he'll be when we're at work tomorrow. He wasn't a big fan of being left alone when we tried it out yesterday, but he's making such fast strides towards comfort and independence, I'm sure it's only a matter of time until he's totally happy hanging out at home with or without us.