|Playing with Shyla|
We have run into a new issue. It started a few weeks ago when I was clipping Hachi's nails with the help of the Runner. Surprisingly, nail clipping has always been okay with Hachi. And it got even better after I spent time making him really happy about me touching his paws by pairing each paw touch with yummy treats.
Then, about three weeks ago, we settled in for what we thought would be routine nail clipping. But it wasn't. Suddenly, Hachi was very tense about it, to the point that he made a growling sound and reached toward my hand with his mouth. He went no further than that but his message was clear. I hoped that it was a fluke but it wasn't. It happened again this weekend. So, we muzzled Hachi for nail clipping. He actually calmed down nicely over the course of the clipping.
Then, another handling issue came up. We needed to weigh Hachi. Just like the Runner has done countless times since we met Hachi, he picked up Hachi to step on the scale with him. Uh oh - Hachi again acted very upset about it. We muzzled Hachi to weigh him just to be safe.
The big question is whether this is a bad side effect of the higher dose of Paxil that he started about a month ago or a lingering effect of his annual vet exam that scared him so much a few weeks ago. That exam involved Hachi being handled so it is analogous. We will talk with his behavioral vet tomorrow to figure out how to proceed.
If so many other things weren't going super well, I'd be really discouraged. Instead, I feel as if we'll figure out how to handle this hurdle with the main goal being to help Hachi not be so afraid.
No matter what, he's our dog and we are his humans. It's a deep bond.