White Dog and the rest of the White Dog Army are developing a new appreciation of CA Stormer these days. And it is a beautiful thing to watch.
Stormer came to us a reactive boy. He seemed unused to the demands of big family life and was still adapting to the loss of one eye. The combination made him quick to jump to self-protective mode. White Dog understood, "he is not even sure how to see the world and there are so many of us moving around, poor guy must feel like we are all trying to sneak up on him," but like the others she learned to give him extra space or to take another route.
These months as a member of the White Dog Army have given Stormer time to grow into his new life. His fear level has nearly disappeared. He has learned to better gauge his reach for treats or issuing a warning snap so that neither are assaults. And we have learned that his compromised depth perception makes it wise to present little treats in a serving cup rather than between fingertips.
Most amazingly, he has discovered that he can trust his siblings. He waits in line for snacks and morning coffee without pushing or threatening. CA has stopped jumping up at those who merely want to get around his prone form; now if he raises his head it is out of curiosity not panic.
It turns out he and Nilla (who he at times has reduced to trembling) are perfectly matched bedtime walk buddies. Strollers, who prefer a shorter trip...and time to stop for lots of sniffs.
He and Benson still have their moments, each reacting out of their own baggage, but I am proud to say that several times this week, Stormer has faced his brother barking in his face and spewing meanness...only to just turn and walk past without response. And Stormer laps up the praise over his actions...at heart our old man is truly a squirmy puppy who wants a rewarding tone, belly rubs.
CA's efforts have not gone unnoticed by the pack. No one seems to mind these days when he hobbles over and throws himself on his side against them. In fact, they are comfortable enough to push back to better fit together.