The Oz Project


            OAK AKA OAKLEY

    Little Oak was just that, a sturdy compact, little Cairn kid. He was ten months old, and not real sure of himself.    While the other Ozkids quickly learned to keep their crates clean Oakley struggled. He just didn't get it. No matter how many times that I took him out, I always returned to a dirty crate. One day I realized that I was the one that just didn't get it! Little Oakley had never had anyone hold him, pet him, cuddle him, or bury their face in his coat while baby talking to him. He had never known what it was to be loved. When I took him outside to go potty he would not leave me. He would run out a few feet ahead of me and quickly potty and run back, then he would jump up and put his little feet on my leg and look up at me begging me to pick him up one more time. He wanted and needed my attention so badly that he wasn't finishing the job.  He had come in with a little girl puppy she was younger than he was, so each time that I took the three little ones out, I took her first. I would sit her down in the outdoor kennel and then go in for one of the little boys. I realized that little Oakley was never alone outside to go potty. Once that I would get the three little kids out I would stay with them because I didn't want the two little boys to get too rough with little Lynn, after all she was only 14 weeks old and so much smaller than they were, that I was afraid they might hurt her. So when I took little Oakley outside I was there to hold him, or if he could pull himself away from me, there was a playmate waiting for him. Once I realized this, I knew why Oakley was having trouble keeping his crate clean. He never took the time to finish going potty. After that I took Oakley out first, especially right after eating and I brought him in last. I finally got it! After that little Oakley started having a clean crate most of the time.   


    Little by little Oakley started enjoying playtime with the two other cairn kids. He would play with them if I left the kennel, so I would find something to do close by the kennel, that way I was close enough to be there for him, if he really needed me. Oakley learned that Maple was bigger than he was, and if Maple wanted the toy that he was playing with, it was best to give it to him. He never challenged Maple, so soon Maple was the undisputed King of  the kennel. Oakley wasn't interested in fighting he would rather be a follower. He followed Maple's lead. What Maple did, he did. Sometimes that wasn't the best thing to do, a lesson that Oakley would one day learn. If Maple though it was a good idea to bother little Lynn, the little girl puppy, Oakley would join him. Sometimes it's  hard to watch the kids as they decide  their place in the world...but it is part of their learning the skills of getting along in the world. So I would  stand by and watch, only stopping them if I felt they were getting too rough with each other, or little Lynn, who was also learning her place in world.


   Even though Oakley learned that playing was fun, he was still needy. Never having any love or attention it was the most important thing in his world. It was even more important than food. He could only eat if I weren't in the room with him. If he could see me, he was more interested in trying to get my attention than eating. I hoped that one day at his foster home he would learn that love would always be there, then he would be able to enjoy the other things that his new life would offer.  


Meet Little Linden.