18-24 months: It feels like the progession took a break and Luca is enjoying life in his own unique way. We also discovered that when he is doing search games and he uses his nose, his tail is also wagging. The first time we saw this it brought tears in our eyes, Luca never wagged his tail so it was very special to see. We decided to do some tests and indeed the moment he needs to start searching for a dummy or his ball and he needs to use his nose to find it, the tail is moving. From time to time he even comes for a hug, it is wonderful to see him interact with us. Contact with us is definitely improving and initiated by him, his behaviour towards our other dogs took a regrettable turn. His mother Miwa can still be with him in the garden, she knows how to calm him down. Emi is no longer at ease with him and the other dogs fear him when he starts chasing, movement is the biggest trigger, so running with the pack is over. Hopefully Miwa can handle him for a long time to come.
12-18 months: It is no longer an option to put Luca in a crate for a while, he starts panicking, barking, drooling and smashing his head against the walls and he is at that moment not responding to any kind of interaction. When he’s with us, he is feeling safe, so for him this is the only way to cope with the world. As Miwa and Emi were getting into heat and he was having extra problems with his hormons, we saw no other option than to neuter him. The university of Missouri advised us to stay with him, especially when he was waking up, so he was reassured by our presence. The seduction was difficult in the beginning, the surgery went well and the waking up part was steady and calm. Lots of gratitude to Animal Clinic “Orion” for their understanding and extra care for Luca!
We notice some small changes in his behaviour, from time to time he initiates contact with us and seems to respond and even enjoy the physical contact. His mobility remains the same, his height is in normal range but the filling or further development of his body stopped, which makes him look like a puppy. Exciting behaviour from our other dogs, such as barking, playing, running, swimming becomes more and more difficult for him to handle, only his mother Miwa and our German Shepherd Elmo seem to have a grip on him. We also see a deterioration in his approach towards strangers in our home. In the beginning Luca showed no sign of sleeping disorder, since he turned 1 year, he is having night terrors, it started with once a night, now we are down to max 4. We can calm him down by talking to him and touching him, however it needs a careful approach because it is so intense and he is making snapping movements. It is really difficult to see him struggle!
During the day he plays a lot with his sister Emi, it is so nice to see them running together! Emi is challenging him in many ways and treats him like he is just like her, a young dog, not a dog with a disease. We can learn a lot from her!