Sunday, July 17, 2011

Andy "Uncaged"

After 6 weeks of rest and rehabilitation, Andy was stronger and steadier on his feet. I stopped using the Bottom’s Up leash. He was able to move around freely outside. I had to keep an eye on him making sure he would not run or jump. At heart, he still felt like a baby and was playful.

I also decided to remove the cage. On the day I did it, Andy was still standing in it when I removed it. Removal took about 30 seconds. He stood there motionless. An invisible barrier still existed in his mind making him think he was supposed to stay in the area where the cage had been. I kneeled down and asked him to come over to me. He vigorously wagged his tail and walked over to me. He was happy to be free.

In his first week of freedom, he needed readjusting to walking without support. His walk was more like a waddle. He walked the way astronauts did on the moon. He got to where he wanted but he did it in a goofy way. Once he got his bearings after a few days, he walked normally.

Unsurprisingly, one of the first things he tried to do was climb on the couch.  I told him no and he stopped. The cage didn't go to waste. For a few weeks after, I arranged the cage into the form of a wall and put it in front of the couch.

After a while he got the message that he wasn't supposed to get on the couch. He was such a sweet baby. He mostly stayed on the floor unless he was scared such as during a storm. Otherwise, he would lie on a pallet we made out of blankets. He no longer feared the living room anymore. He preferred staying in the living room. Andy was going to be OK.

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