Since adopting Macho, I have been very patient with his progress because I know how hard it must be for him. It hasn't been easy to love the little guy so much, yet not be able to hold and pet him. With the one year anniversary of Macho's rescue and the 7 month date since we've adopted him, it seems that Macho has become a completely different dog.
Two weeks ago I posted pictures of Macho laying with me in my bed. It got me thinking that maybe I could get him to do this on our couch. I put the leash on him, walked him over to our couch, then sat down. Macho jumped up and down a couple times, but never really relaxed. The next day, I decided to try again. I sat on the couch holding the leash, let him jump up, and he actually stayed next to me. We sat there for about 15 minutes, and the entire time I was petting him. I took the leash off his collar, thinking he would run away, but instead he actually laid down! We sat there for a couple more minutes just petting and relaxing.
Over the next couple days, Nick and I took turns getting Macho up onto the couch with the leash on his collar. Then while I was cooking dinner one day, Macho came right up to the couch and sat down with Nick. We finally found out that we don't even need the leash to make him want to come to us. The last week or so has been very exciting knowing that we can just call Macho and he will come and lay down with us. What's more surprising is that he's not sitting 5 feet from us- he is literally cuddled up next to us, on our laps, or with his head on our legs.
It's amazing to think that just 7 months ago, this dog wanted nothing to do with us. Then you think about how he was a month ago, where he still was nervous around us but was starting to trust a little more. Now he wants to be around us enough that he sits with us and close enough to us to be pet.
Being patient has finally paid off. Of course we still have more progress to make. We took a couple weeks off of the training because our trainer was out of town and then we were out this past week. We still want to get Macho completely pad or house trained, get him outside, and just become more comfortable with us at all times. But for right now, we are pretty happy and are pretty sure we have a happy puppy :)