I've been lucky to be able to watch Popeye grow and develop. Just 12 pounds when I first got him to about 25 pounds full grown now.
Hiding from the vacuum cleaner then.
Hiding from the vacuum cleaner now. Too big to fit under the coffee table.
The most gratifying thing to witness is how Popeye has softened up. As adorable as he was when we first got him, I called him the little savage because that's what he was. All toughness and independence. Defensive. Not aggressive, but this was clearly a dog that had to fight to survive, a dog used to being on his own. He had no self-regulating mechanism. Everything was just full-out spaz. A tazmanian devil.
He is such a different dog now. Oh, the same spirit is there, that can't ever be crushed. But he's mellowed out and realized he can relax, put his guard down.
In this recent video, you can see him playing tug with Phoebe. He loves tug. When the other dogs start wrestling with each other, he instead runs to grab his favorite stuffed (or destuffed) toy and brings it over to them, thrusting it in their face trying to get them to try to take it away from him.
Now I was watching this old video of Popeye and Bandit, another foster dog we had at the time. Bandit was supremely good-natured, so good-natured that he was undaunted and even oblivious when other dogs were less than friendly towards him. He was the perfect foil for Popeye back then. Watch around 1:40 minutes into the video when Popeye steals the toy from Bandit. You can tell this is what Popeye's life on the streets was like. He had to guard what he felt was his. Such a contrast to the Popeye now who instead of guarding his toy, thrusts it in the face of the other dogs trying to get them to take it.