Just a few dogs had not yet had a volunteer walk by 2:30 on Thursday and Dudley rivals Willow for the sweetest expression EVER. A quick look at his profile indicated that he is initially shy and a very big (53 pounds) six month old Pit/Hound mix puppy. He was up on his hind legs to greet me at his back door but backed off quickly when I told to get back. He was excited to be going out but was easy to get harnessed. As soon as we approached the first set of doors to the outer hall his shyness was apparent. I was prepared to make him wait for me to go through the doors first (basic puppy manners), but he was already crouching behind me, coming forward only slowly, clearly wanting me to go first. This behavior continued all the way down the hall and on to the outside.
Once outside we made our way to the exercise yard; Dudley continued sticking very close by. I let him sniff around and attempted to get him to chase a ball but he was not about to let me get that far away. One of the videos shows this. As you might expect he is very affectionate, just loves being petted and stroked. According to his profile he also does well with other dogs and even with cats. After about ten minutes in the yard, it was time to start our walk.
Dudley had gained enough confidence to walk on the leash normally however he looked back often and was very happy to be acknowledged and petted. We had a nice walk in the desert and Dudley seemed to be getting more comfortable. On our return I thought another shot at the exercise yard with a more confident Dudley was worth a try. I threw the ball, Dudley went flying after it and brought it back in my general direction. For the next two times, I stepped on his leash and gave a treat to drop the ball at my feet. By the fourth time he was fetching and dropping the ball at my feet EVERY time. Next I held his leash and told him to sit for a treat. As I got him to raise his head and bend his legs into a sit for a treat; I watched in amazement as he mastered "sit" after about four times. This puppy is really special. He is so loving plus his ability and willingness to learn just leaves me in awe. He will be one of those dogs that the family treasures more every year.