One of my best friends came over last night to meet Merlin and get a dog fix. She’s got great, low-key energy, so I thought Merlin would be very comfortable with her.
The rest of the pack went nuts when she came in, doing their usual leaping and barking. Merlin hung back, head low, clearly concerned. I let the others out into the fenced yard, and Lauren and I went into the living room to sit down. Merlin followed us, bringing a frisbee for me to throw, but initially didn’t want to approach Lauren. I tossed the frisbee (a small, soft disc that can’t do too much damage inside) a few times, hoping Merlin would relax.
He did sniff Lauren’s hand when she held it out to him. Hind feet positioned way back, tail tucked up under his belly, head low, front legs braced ready to run in case she turned out to be some sort of evil demon. She threw the frisbee for him a few times too – so nice to see his expression lighten up, ears up, eyes wide, tail wagging, body poised to fly.
He did eventually give her a real greeting… ears down, tip of his tail wagging, he moved in closer when she sat on the floor and let her stroke his head. When she stopped, he used his muzzle to flip her hands up so she would pet him again.
I do wonder what exactly scares him. Was he mistreated before he went into rescue? Is it just a lack of socialization when he was younger?
Maybe he’s not yet sure this is permanent, and worries that he’s going to leave yet another safe haven.
I wish I had a way to tell him he’s home.