Only one year ago today, I was standing at the Dearborn Animal Shelter waiting to pick up Macho! I still can't believe how much progress he has made in only one year. Can you believe this:
When we brought Macho home, he stayed in his cage about 99% of the day. He only came out to go to the bathroom or sniff around his cage. We would be sitting on the couch watching TV, and all of the sudden we would hear his nails on the hardwood floor. Nick and I would look at each other with excitement, and then one of us would peak around the couch to see him outside of the cage. The second that he noticed us watching him or he heard us move, he would run back to the cage.
Macho's cage is actually in my closet in our bedroom. He has access to it whenever he wants, but he never goes in it. His bed is still in the place where his cage was in the living room, and he only lays in it when we aren't home or occasionally when we are up and walking around.
At night, we would be laying in bed, and again we could hear Macho's nails on the floor in the living room. We could hear him running around the living room, hoping on the couch, eating, etc. But he would never, ever come in the room at night.
Every single night, Macho is excited to sleep in bed with us. If we open the bedroom door, Macho is either already behind us waiting to get in or you can hear him running from wherever he is in the house. He sleeps not only in the bedroom, but with us in bed right in between us. He cuddles up on one of us during the night and loves to be in bed. He hates to get up in the morning (which he makes very obvious by peeing on the bed)!
Macho would not let us pet him. Ever. If we wanted to touch him, he had to be in his cage, and he would be all the way at the back trying to get away. He refused to let us put a leash on him and he would even try to come up to us.
Macho loves being around us when we are home. If we are sitting on the couch, he is sitting next to us. If we are in bed, he is laying there with us. If I am standing up cleaning, getting dressed in the morning, etc., Macho is right behind me tripping me when I turn around. Macho's favorite thing is to sit on the couch (which I have noticed is pretty much the only place where I have taken pictures and posted on the blog) where he can steal food from our plates, get pets, and cuddle up next to us with his blanket. He also was recently running into and down the hallway when the apartment door was open while Nick took our Christmas decorations to the basement. He is very curious about what we are doing now.
I could go on and on with the Then and Nows. Macho's accomplishments this year have been amazing. As always, I get excited thinking about how he might be in the future. I always think, "This is the best he's ever going to be" but that always changes. The biggest one was that I thought he would never, ever sleep in bed with us. The first night that he slept in bed with me and was cuddled up by my stomach, I thought, "he is never going to do this with both me and Nick in bed." But when Nick came home from traveling for work, I was amazed when Macho hopped up in bed with both of us at night. Even today I think that Macho will never play with toys, run around a yard, go for a walk around the block, etc. However when I think about everything that has happened that I never thought could, I think that patience really does pay off. Macho has the potential to be as normal as any other dog, he just needs someone to help him reach it. I'm glad that we have been the people to do just that and look forward to continuing to be the people that he needs to get him through other obstacles in his future.