The night we brought him home, we couldn't coax Buckley out of the car. He curled up in the back of the cargo compartment and refused to move. So we left him in the garage overnight with the door open to the kitchen so he could wander in when he was ready. In the morning we found him still huddled in the car. I didn't realize at the time that that first night was a perfect example of Buckley's approach to everything.
This is the earliest picture of Buckley.
I love that it's jittery, just like him.
We eventually gave up and carried Buckley into the house. He soon became occupied with sniffing around, but he kept his tail tightly tucked while his eyes darted nervously. I thought he'd be most comfortable if I pretended not to notice him, so I proceeded to empty the dishwasher. At the first "clink" of a fork into the kitchen drawer, Buckley shot like a bullet across the room and under the dinner table, where he stayed for an hour. Oh, we had a very long road ahead of us.
It didn't take long to figure out that Buckley was happiest in the yard. It was the closest thing to home for him, and he spent hours sleeping in the grass, rolling in the dirt, and chewing on toys. So our bonding that first week began outside where we played together and got to know each other. Soon I started taking him to the office with me, where he slept under my desk, safe at my feet. We were inseparable, but he just couldn't bring himself to venture out and face more people.
Between the mandarin harvest and his usual full-time job, D was in the orchard or out of town nearly every day during those first few months with Buckley. When D did come home, Buckley immediately dove for shelter under the table. It must have been extremely frustrating for D, but he let Buckley be, figuring the poor pup would come around sooner or later. As it turns out, it was later. Much later.