Another good week for Hachi! That is pretty stunning because Hachi thrives on schedules and having life be predictable. As everyone on Earth knows, all schedules have been obliterated in the past weeks.
One thing that we know is critical for Hachi's happiness is our evening hike. We rarely miss it.
His play with Shyla seems to lighten his spirits and make him ready to snooze for the evening.
They bound through very deep cement-like spring snow. It slows all of us down but Hachi and Shyla are still speedsters.
That snow will fuel meadow wildflowers in the spring. Imagine a carpet of golden flowers below Hachi in this photo. That vision keeps me hopeful at this time of year.
We continued counterconditioning with Hachi this week. He is now so chill about having his nails clipped that it's hard to imagine that we had to muzzle him for it a few short weeks ago. It is SO rewarding to see progress like this.
We are now devoting more time to using counterconditioning to help him with other kinds of handling. For now, our focus is manipulating his hind end, doing things like pushing to get him to roll his hips to the other side. He's improving already. The goal is that he's eventually okay with us moving him around as we need to for grooming/veterinary stuff.
These days, I occasionally allow myself to daydream that there will be a day when the early days with Hachi will be a hazy memory because he'll be almost normal. The fact that these little visions cross my mind shows my optimism.
A good week with Hachi makes us smile.