After having a rough couple of days last week, Mr. Z seems to have turned a corner; we had family staying with us, including my 1 1/2 yr old niece. I've learned that Mr. Z is friendly to other dogs and adults, but given his extensive burns and the pain they cause him, was cautiously optimistic about how he would act around a toddler who loves to pet puppies - sometimes not as gently as we would like.
Well, they got along famously! She kissed him and petted him and several times, pointed to his burns and said "ouch"!
Ouch is right - Mr. Z still must endure hydrotherapy daily and some days, it's obvious that it is quite painful. One thing that is disheartening is that, as his wound along one side, near his belly and between his front and back leg, the skin has shrunk significantly, so he cannot operate his front and back leg independently, which keeps him from being able to climb down the back steps into the yard, and to jump in and out of the car. Perhaps a more intensive (and expensive) swim therapy will allow the skin and scar tissue to expand to a point where his disability will will not remain as severe as it is now.
However, Mr. Z is fantastic off leash - he doesn't stray far and always comes when called. You'll see a some pictures of him this am, on the porch (waiting to be helped down) [gallery]and then in a leash free park. He really enjoys splashing around in the water! He also tried to run after one of my other dogs who was chasing a squirrel. What a little survivor!