Just thought I'd report back. This is Mother's Day (and Tyson's 5th Birthday!) so many of you may be busy and won't read this until later or tomorrow but thought I'd send it anyway. (New pictures coming soon.)
Tyson - what can we say?! We are awestruck! This guy must know he's home finally. We were told he paced until everyone was asleep and the lights were out. Last night, we arrived about 9:45 and he bounded into the house and proceeded to sniff and explore every nook and cranny. We fed and watered him (boy, was he hungry), played tug of war with him for a short while, and then, being a rather long day for all of us, decided to turn in. We have two, large, fleece dog beds; one on either side of our bed. Tyson walked in, sniffed the bed, went round and round about three times, lied down and settled right in and after several big sighs, went to sleep and didn't wake up until this morning when we did.
Only issue - after six car rides and 15 hours in cars, he did have the odd Airedale sized fart during the night but that was OK!
This morning, we were up around 7:30 and Brenda had to go pick up our female, Kali from the kennel (we didn't think they should first meet in the back seat of an Explorer). It seems Tyson has bonded already with Brenda and is a bit of a shadow (although he's also quite happy to hang with me!). We were expecting the first display of separation anxiety. So when Brenda took off, Tyson and I headed out for a walk. Our standard early morning walk is about 4.5 km (3+ miles) around the block. While waiting for Tyson yesterday at Petsmart, we decided to buy two "Sporn" No Pulling Mesh Harnesses for both our dogs. Well I can tell you - it's phenomenal. Tyson, who we'd been told pulls like crazy, was suddenly walking by my side. Every once in a while he would move ahead since his strides are twice the length of mine. A simply, gentle correction after a gentle spoken command and he'd get right back at my side again!
We walked around the block, through the wood on the pathway, and down the shore. Although tentative, he waded into Lake Huron a little bit, and it's cold today!
When we got back, Tyson & I settled down to watch Mark Webber win the Spanish Grand Prix. on TV. After nosing into all the downstairs rooms, he came back and lie down on the rug at my feet and stayed there for the duration of the race!
Shortly thereafter, Brenda arrived back with Kali. We had them both on leashes to introduce them to one another. After a suitable amount of growling, sniffing and posturing, we put Kali in her new harness and away we went for a second walk. Both of them walked quietly beside each other, barking occasionally at the gulls and vultures flying overhead. This was almost too good to be true!
This time, Tyson waded into the lake a little further, no doubt encouraged by Kali's almost total immersion! We met some friends and family and the Gentle Giant "loved" everyone, did not jump up and welcomed all the patting and ear scritches.
Back at our place, we took the leashes off, leaving the harnesses on in case we needed a quick hook-up again. But wonder of wonders, the two of them chased and chased each other around the yard for a good half hour! There was a bit of snarling but no contact and then everything settled into just a great old playtime.
Brenda is in seventh heaven because when she now cooks she has two sous-chefs, sitting quietly on either side of her, no doubt waiting for something to hit the floor! Geez! Tyson's head is at counter level We had lunch and Kali took up her usual position under the table and Tyson just flopped down and lie quietly beside my chair.
As I am typing this, Brenda has gone for a nap (yesterday was pretty tiring), Kali is asleep on the bed beside her, and Tyson is flaked out on his fleece bed again.
We must have missed the part about Tyson being a handful, because this guy is phenomenal! We are not naive enough to think there won't be a few bumps over then next few weeks, but cannot believe our good fortune.
All those who met Tyson yesterday - he's better even than everyone indicated. Sandy, this guy is truly remarkable and somehow, he knows this is it. This is home and he is loving it! Thank you for all you've done for him and thanks to Allie for looking after him.
Remarkably, Kali, who can really be a little bitch with some other dogs (Right, Barbara!) seems to have taken to him right off the bat. We have had to discourage him from trying to mount Kali a couple times, but it hasn't been very long since he was neutered so that will most likely go away over the next little while.
Janie, thanks for your note. Yes, he has pooped. And pooped. And pooped Five times so far today (and all of it reasonably normal).
Thank you all again so much. I sort of took the comment in Tyson's original write-up on SOAR's website that he "could" be the dog of a lifetime with a little work. Now I know this is true and he is most of the way there already and it's only been 19 hours so far!
Everyone have a great Mother's Day. We certainly are!
Mike & Brenda McMillan
AN UPDATE FROM TYSON, HIMSELF
Hi, Gang. Tyson here.
Well, nine days into my new life here on the shores of Lake Huron in Canada and what can I say - I'M LUVIN' IT !!!!!
Now that the weather has turned really nice, my mom and dad are leaving the front door to the deck open and the back door to the yard open. My new sister, Kali, and I get to chase the squirrels that love to get at the bird feeder out front and then run through the house (for some reason I notice my human companions seem to flatten themselves against the wall when Kali and I run by!) - and out the back door to chase away the chipmunks that like the backyard bird feeders!
Then Kali and I get to chase each other around the yard until we're pooped and then we get to play tug of war together. Dad sometimes wants to play too but when we dogs start pulling, he seems to get out of the way!
I get to walk a long way every day and get to go through the woods every morning so I can sniff the plants, the wild animal smells, and everything in between. My dad says he needs longer legs as I walk slowly but I still outpace him so he has to "ask" me to heel more than once! He also said after that rabbit ran by under my nose this morning, he will now have to buy all his shirts with a right sleeve 33 inches long and the left sleeve 38 inches long - wonder what he means by that?
I really love wading in the lake to get a drink and I get to bark at the geese and gulls and terns and bald eagles - to exercise my "Woof" and more importantly, just for the heck of it.
Rumour has it, the boat is going into the water very soon and we'll be able to go for boat rides with the wind in my face - THAT I'm looking forward to.
I visited my new vet and he's a real nice guy. When he saw me he commented "Now THAT'S a REAL dog!!". He really liked me and said he was going to have to change his views on the risks of adopting rescue dogs.
Anyway, summer's coming and I can hardly wait. Mom and Dad say I'm going to learn how to swim and chase "Wubbas" in the water and go for hikes. Sounds pretty good to me!
Anyway, I keep thinking about all those nice people who helped get me to this fantastic place and wanted everyone to know just how much I appreciated it. LIFE IS GREAT thanks to all of you!
Click here to return to Part 1 of Tyson's Tail Wagging Tale.
Click here to go to Part 3 of Tyson's Tail Wagging Tale.
Click here to go to Part 4 of Tyson's Tail Wagging Tale.