One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others,
By the time I finish my song?
Think again! We have a serious bromance going on at our house between Josh and Oliver.
My dad put it perfectly in his toast at our rehearsal dinner...he said something like "I knew Josh was the man for Georgia when he agreed to tie Oliver's leash to his belt loop and walk around the house with chicken in his pocket." This was one of my many ideas in an effortful, desperate attempt to bond the two. As two of the most important men in my life, they just had to get along. Thankfully, they do now...but it was not easy to get to this point.
When Josh and I first started dating, Oliver immediately decided he despised everything about the man. He would run into the other room when Josh came over, he would go to the bathroom in the house, tremble, just lose all sense about him. We tried just about everything - my mom gave me books on improving your dog's self confidence, we watched the Dog Whisperer religiously, Josh fed him at the table, nothing was working. This went on for months and months and months. As a last resort, Josh reluctantly agreed to do a series of dog training classes with me and Oliver. We felt really dumb. This 5-lb, cottonball prisspot was getting the best of us.
After the second week in the group training class, the trainer looked at us and said, "You'd better leave Josh at home...this dog isn't learning a thing with him here!" It was like Oliver was comatose. He would just freeze. At the end of our 6 week class, Oliver had learned all of the basic commands and seemed to have a little more confidence. Still, he was terrified of Josh. The trainer suggested remote collar training (basically a shock collar) and individual lessons. I couldn't bring myself to shock the tiny thing, and I saw major dollar signs ahead! The trainer also suggested medication. That was something I could live with!
I left our next vet visit with a prescription for Prozac. As soon as I called Josh, he asked, "Is that for me, or Oliver?" A small daily dose seemed to ease Oliver a little bit. He relaxed enough to walk with Josh on the leash, eat treats out of his hand, and come when called. Lots and lots of baby steps later, he is completely obsessed with Josh and really couldn't care less for me. Now, Oliver follows Josh everywhere around the house and especially likes him at night because he gets a routine rubdown. These two are a hilarious pair. Josh is such a good sport, but then again, Oliver is too!
And the other good news is that Oliver is clean and drug-free!
Hmmm...I wonder what this experience is preparing us for?? I shudder to think!