Well I must talk about my proud victory... and my still going on seemingly never ending challenge with Charlie.
Good news first.. WE FOUND A NEW SHEEPY! Charlie's first ever toy was this little stuffed squeaker sheep. It's his favorite and makes a wonderful tug toy for him and Beau. However.. Sheepy has undergone countless surgeries...lost his squeaker... lost his ears... his tail.. and all of his stuffing. He had to go. So in the fashion of that Petco commercial I toted my pup and the dead sheep to the store and even held it up to the sales associate who definatly thought I was insane.. but none the less led us to the stuffed animal asile. There was ONE sheepy left!!!!! VICTORY!!!However I am still battling the timid (understatement of the year) bit of Charlie :( I'm hoping that living without Beau until I move to Ithaca will allow him some alone time to come out of his shell. Last night a neighbor brought his 4 month old yellow lab pup to visit. Charlie loved Zoe of course, but was very afraid of her owner. By the end of the visit, Zoe's owner could get Charlie to sniff him but not much more... I was pretty darn happy though. Normally he bolts and barks from a distance. However our other neighbor (who is a larger man and looooves Charlie) still cant get within 5 feet of Charlie even with treats!!
Following the advice of countless 'googles' and my mini aussie buds (thanks you guys!) I bring a hot dog/cheese/chicken with me everywhere (ew!). Today we went to a park with my younger brother... Charlie was a mess! After half a hot dog he calmed down enough to walk around the playground. He was still terrified of the 13yr old boy who tried SO hard to entice my puppy closer. Later though he was able to be comfortable with a little 4 yr old girl who was feeding him hot dog and her mom, who was just sitting and offering a friendly hand. He wasn't overly excited but he relaxed and laid down and allowed them to pet him once or twice... thats all I want!!!!! So... we are making some progress.. small children are definatly easier for him to warm up to and women are... well they're easier than men!!
I just get so sad when people ask me over and over if he was abused??? :( I guess I just need to be more patient. Its frustrating when I can think of nothing that would have brought this behavior about though (he was an outgoing baby).
But I will trudge on with my trusty hot dog. I'm trying to think positive.. it only took about 5 minutes for him to take a treat from the tiny girl... be thankful for small victories!