Scout has a breakthrough!

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navigator9

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Today Scout had a breakthrough! I've had quite a revelation with this little guy. I guess I didn't consider all of the many different ways his difficult past could affect him. I expected Scout to be timid and shy, but I didn't think about things like toys and play. I had bought him all kinds of toys, a little bitty Kong, some stuffed animals, some chew toys, but he showed no interest in any of them, even when I sat on the floor and tried to play with them with him. I know that there are some rescue dogs who are unable to walk up or down stairs, or on grass, because they've lived their whole lives in a cage, but I never thought about toys. It soon became obvious that Scout never had any toys, or had anyone play with him. This makes me profoundly sad.

Today I was feeling kind of blue. I felt that I was failing him somehow, because I couldn't entice him to play, and I'm doing a lousy job at the housebreaking thing. So I felt much better when my neighbor came over to meet Scout and she gave me a lot of encouragement. She said, "Well, he obviously trusts you, he won't leave your side. And you haven't even had him a week yet, don't expect miracles, it takes time." She brought him some treats and a soft little skunk toy, which he totally ignored, but loved the treats. After she left, he went to lie in his bed. After he was there a few minutes, he got up, went over to the skunk toy, picked it up in his mouth, and brought it into his bed with him!!! I can't tell you how excited this little breakthrough makes me. I called my neighbor to tell her, and she said, "See, what did I tell you!" This is the first time he's showed any interest in a toy, and to see him actually pick it up in his mouth! I can't tell you how amazing that was to see.

I guess I had started wondering if some of his wounds might never be healed. Now, I've breathed such a big sigh of relief, I feel like he really does have a chance to be the happy little dog I hoped he could be. I though you might like to see a pic of him with his skunk!

Oh rats...for some reason the pic won't upload. I'll try again later. :sad:
 
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lenarenee

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Well an abused human starts making a lot of progress once they are in a safe and trusting environment Navigator. I think he's shown a lot of intelligence and adaptability in a very short time so I think your friend is right. Just sit back and enjoy the process of his "blooming"!
 

Arimara

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That's Totally fantastic! WooHoo, Scout!
 

shunt2011

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That's awesome. My little girl didn't know how to play either. It was 6 months before she started playing with her toys even though we tried and tried. It breaks your heart thinking they were so neglected. You're a good mom.
 

BeesKnees

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One thing to remember also is that happiness doesn't look the same for all dogs, just as it doesn't look the same for all people. One of my furkids loves toys, the other one couldn't care less about them. Both have been with me for almost 3 years now and are quite happy.

You are doing great with Scout!
 

Dahila

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My late dog but she was with me from the moment i could take her, she was 6 weeks old, she never played with toys, but she loved her yellow friesbie and slept with it. The only thing she loved to play it was a huge rope with some knots 3 to be exact. When I was reading she was putting it on my book to force me to take it in my hand :)
The small one will eventually get trustful and will play with you, however that dogs like to sit on your lap and lean into you. that much i know, they love the warmness and security of people body, cause they are so small. the best idea to get close to dog , is to go on it's level so lie down on the floor, put your head on his bed and let the dog inhale your scent and feel your presence. It takes not time and you both will be very happy. I am so happy you got that baby ;))
 

Scooter

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I love these stories... way to go Scout.

Scooter
 

dibbles

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My daughter and SILs rescue dog didn't play with toys for a couple of months. He really didn't play at all for a couple of months. But eventually, he decided that it was fun. Scout is doing great - you are a good mom.
 

navigator9

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Just sit back and enjoy the process of his "blooming"!
I certainly will. It's so gratifying to see these little steps of progress.

That's Totally fantastic! WooHoo, Scout!
I know, right? :D

That's awesome. My little girl didn't know how to play either. It was 6 months before she started playing with her toys even though we tried and tried. It breaks your heart thinking they were so neglected.
Six months...I'll have to keep that in mind. Yes, it is heartbreaking to think of that kind of neglect. But to think that most of these animals can recover is nothing short of a miracle. The Michael Vick dogs always give me hope.

One thing to remember also is that happiness doesn't look the same for all dogs, just as it doesn't look the same for all people. One of my furkids loves toys, the other one couldn't care less about them. Both have been with me for almost 3 years now and are quite happy.

You are doing great with Scout!
I never thought of that, but I'm sure it's true. It's just that I'd like him to engage with something other than me, I don't want his total focus just to be on me. So to see him engage in the smallest way with something else is exciting. He does show interest in the cat, and the cat has stopped hissing at him, so I think there's hope they may become some kind of friends. Maybe. :wink:

The small one will eventually get trustful and will play with you, however that dogs like to sit on your lap and lean into you. that much i know, they love the warmness and security of people body, cause they are so small. the best idea to get close to dog , is to go on it's level so lie down on the floor, put your head on his bed and let the dog inhale your scent and feel your presence. It takes not time and you both will be very happy. I am so happy you got that baby ;))
Yes, he loves to sit on my lap, and lean into me! And he sleeps with me at night, too. He needs to have body contact in some way, which I love. But I also want to encourage him to have more confidence as time goes on. I just need to slow down and realize that all these things take time. (deep breath)

I love these stories... way to go Scout.

Scooter
Thanks, the encouragement and advice from all of you helps more than you know!

My daughter and SILs rescue dog didn't play with toys for a couple of months. He really didn't play at all for a couple of months. But eventually, he decided that it was fun. Scout is doing great - you are a good mom.
I need to remember that loving him won't transform him overnight, and that it very well may take months. Little baby steps. It's just SO exciting to see him make any kind of progress. Best Christmas present ever! Now let me try to upload that pic again. Yay, it worked this time!

breakthrough.jpg
 

Steve85569

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Sounds and looks like Scout is on his way to a much better life than he has ever known.
Good on you navigator9 for taking him in and being the patient help for the little guy.
 

Dana89

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Aww, that is so great. Scout will continue to bloom with your love. Dogs forgive us humans, we need more of their traits.
 

LilyJo

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We rescued two sisters who are totally different - one loves to cuddle and play with her squeaky soft toys and the other one is not interested and doesnt know what to do with it. Even now three years later she will chase my hand but has no idea whatsoever what to do with a toy.

And neither one of them has the remotest interest in playing fetch, its like they just dont get the concept of what they are meant to do!

Stick with it, it takes a while and they have to learn to trust that you arent going to hurt them or abandon them once more. Trust, being loved, and feeling safe is so important when you first get them, play will come in time.
 

navigator9

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Stick with it, it takes a while and they have to learn to trust that you arent going to hurt them or abandon them once more. Trust, being loved, and feeling safe is so important when you first get them, play will come in time.
I think it's because I already love this little guy so much, and I hate the fact that he spent the first couple of years of his life the way he did, that I want for him to enjoy all of the great experiences that dogs can have. I just have to remind myself that everything takes time. He's made such progress already and it's only been a week. He's so smart and eager to please, it's touching. A rescue dog makes you feel like a hero, just for giving them a decent home, because it's more than they've ever had. When this little guy looks at me with those big, brown eyes, then rests his head in my lap and breathes a big, deep sigh...I just melt. So I will work on patience and knowing that good things are waiting down the road. :)
 

kchaystack

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And keep in mind, each animal is a unique personality. I've had dogs who were not rescues or abused in any way that have never really been interested in toys. We had a poodle that decided the squeaky mouse toy was her baby. She carried it everywhere, and would get very upset when we squeeked it.

So he might just not be into toys.
 

lenarenee

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And keep in mind, each animal is a unique personality. I've had dogs who were not rescues or abused in any way that have never really been interested in toys. We had a poodle that decided the squeaky mouse toy was her baby. She carried it everywhere, and would get very upset when we squeeked it.

So he might just not be into toys.
You just answered my question: is it always a bad sign when dogs don't play with toys, but do show other appropriate dog behaviors.

My little girl never, ever played with baby dolls or played house, which truly concerns her poor grandmother!
 

navigator9

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And keep in mind, each animal is a unique personality. I've had dogs who were not rescues or abused in any way that have never really been interested in toys. We had a poodle that decided the squeaky mouse toy was her baby. She carried it everywhere, and would get very upset when we squeeked it.

So he might just not be into toys.
I suppose this is true. I was just looking for some type of playful behavior, even if it wasn't with toys. He does seem animated when he sees the cat, like he wants to play. The cat is kind of old, and not so sure. But I do see small glimmers of Scout beginning to "lighten up". He likes it when he's on his back and I tickle his belly. He gets all squirmy and wriggles back and forth. I want him to feel safe and loved, but I also want him to be happy! I know, it's only been a week......I'm trying to remind myself to be patient......honest. :)
 
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