He jumps when you pat his head.
He jumps when you walk past, keeping distance between feet and ribs.
When he does let you touch his head he’s cautious, head low and submissive.
But he always wants to be close.
We brought Crockett home from the animal shelter Monday afternoon, a sweet and nervous brindle beabull (beagle/bulldog mix) that had been given up because of his habit of chasing farm animals.
He’d been in the shelter two days when we met him Saturday, but it was enough to leave him shy and anxious and depressed.
Or so it seems. We don’t see much of the chicken-chasing dog his previous owners dropped off.
The baby loves him.
She laughs out loud when she sees him, wriggles and squirms across the room to him, reaching fat fingers for his coat, panting the way she does when she sees something she wants.
He tolerates it a minute, then moves out of her reach. But always, he’s gentle.
That first night he kept us up ’til 10, throwing himself against the gate in the kitchen or the bathroom door, choking himself when we tried tying him in the kitchen instead, until we gave up and gave him the run of the house, JJ sleeping on couch cushions in case of destructive tendencies.
He spent most of the night beside the couch, just staying close, and in the morning he seemed less nervous.
When one of my piano students came in I saw the lively, playful dog he was; he wanted to smell her jeans, put his feet up on the piano bench to sniff the back of her neck while she played.
I guess that’s the age he knew from before. That size human, I guess, is a friend.
And after a long walk before dinner he spent the evening curled on the floor at our feet. He’d get up to follow if we moved, then settle back down to rest.
And he’s still jumpy if you move too fast and refuses to enter the crate we bought him if we’re anywhere near the door but he holds his head higher already. He loves to watch the birds in the yard, paws on the windowsill. He barely acknowledges Jasmine the ferret after a quick sniff-introduction.
So this is Crockett, the newest member of our family.