She's come a huge way over these years with us. Shyla can now (sometimes) pass people on a trail without being freaked out.
But, often, she'll appear to be fine to untrained eyes but then come home and get sick from the stress of being out in the world. For example, just last week, she got an upset GI tract after we got home from a vet visit. During that appointment, people commented on how much fun she seemed to be having. This is a recurring theme... that she appears to be fine but she isn't.
She is actually fine when running through a field of flowers!
So, I keep searching for ways to bolster her confidence. We are continuing to play everyday, and I have no doubt that it helps her. We had a puppy visit the other day, and Shyla was more outgoing than ever before with a puppy. It was as if she was trying out the play moves that she does with me on the puppy!
We are also taking a class designed to "empower" Shyla. The idea is that she learns to embrace things that are a little scary, like the sound of pans clanging against each other. One game involves her stepping on things (like metal pans) that make sounds...
... which brings us to the short video that I'd like to share with you. I put out odd items for Shyla to step on, and I rewarded her whenever she authoritatively stepped on one of the weird items.
Be sure to watch to the end. I was so pleased when it appeared that Shyla totally "got it" - she banged a pan with her paws in such a powerful way and she didn't flinch at all! You can watch it here or over at Youtube.
I have accepted that Shyla will always have some fears but I also will continue to try to make some parts of life easier for her handle - especially when the games that we play to help her are so much fun!