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Monday, May 11, 2020

The Hachi Chronicle

Just about a year ago, we had a really big snow storm. It seemed to be a tradition to get several feet of snow in mid-May. So far this May, I don't see a big storm in the forecast. As much as I am ready to move away from winter at this point, a lot of wet snow is perfect nourishment for our world at this time of year.

Also a year ago, Hachi was still a puppy. He was no longer a helpless tiny puppy but he was still very goofy.

It was around this time last year that we realized that Hachi's fears were not going to disappear spontaneously. We got him an appointment with a behavioral vet, and we separated him from R. It was an extremely stressful time because we knew that major decisions were looming on the horizon.

Part of why I started the "Hachi Chronicle" back then was so that others could follow along on our journey. We faced the same extraordinarily upsetting decisions as others with dogs like him. We chose to rehab him because we wanted to give him a chance at a life and because we already loved him, warts and all. It's been a year of anxiety and worry because his outbursts upset us and his extreme fear breaks our hearts.

Over this year, I have come to respect people who commit to an extremely fearful and reactive dog. Some of them do it over and over again - and they are selfless and admirable people in my eyes. Prior to Hachi, I was one of those dog owners who might have scowled at the owner of a reactive dog who scared my dogs and me. Now, I get it. Those owners are doing the best that they can. They don't want their dog to behave that way. They are probably mortified when their dog has an outburst. And, they have doubtless had to change their lives substantially to give that dog a chance at a life.

I am mortified when Hachi scares people or dogs. He still does it sometimes (barks in a scary way) - because he is afraid of the unknown, including strangers. But the alternative is no life for him - so we will keep working with him.
It's been one heck of a year but I'd make the same decisions all over again. There's a big warm heart inside Hachi. Anyone who gets to see it learns to care about him and even love him.

We sure do love him.

22 comments:

  1. oh we are sure that he is a super pup with a big heart. and we know that you can help him to conquer all that fears of the unknown

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  2. Posts like the also provide a valuable service to those of us who have never taken on a fearful and reactive dog, as they help us understand some of the trials (as well as the rewards) that the dog's owners are experiencing. (Aside from normal puppyhood exuberance, Bertie has always been the opposite of fearful and reactive, he just seems to have been born with an ability to take new situations in his stride.)
    Cheers, Gail.

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  3. You couldn't have chosen a more loving family, Hachi, and we love your funny faces and the photo of you flying! Do you think that stick is big enough, Shyla☺

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  4. Hachi is such a beautiful dog, i am thankful he found YOU for his parents..

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  5. Hari OM
    ...what all the others have said... YAM xx

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  6. We can see it even from so far away in Blogville. Hachi is where he is supposed to be with such a loving and hard working family to help him.

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  7. Shyla and Hachi what wonderful photos and memories.
    I decarle Hachi your ears are adorable and sure do enjoy a life of their own!!
    Too cute
    Hugs Cecilia

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  8. Your pups are so precious. Hachi is a cutie pie all grown up too.

    Have a fabulous day. Scritches to the pups. ♥

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  9. Love watching him run like the wind with is sister in your beautiful area. Keep up the good work. Those of us with a reactive dog know full well the ups and downs that you experience day to day and applaud your efforts.

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  10. We know he is a super dog. Fears do not disappear - they do diminish. Love all your pups!!

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  11. He hasn't outgrown that 'goofy' face. So comical.

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  12. Can't believe it has been a year. Time flies.

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  13. We totally understand. Humans who truly love their pets will do just about anything for them. To give them up would be so devastating. It is not always an easy situation to live in, but it does work. We are so happy Hatchi is lucky to have a great family.

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  14. You are brave and good in giving Hachi the two things he needs most, love and stability. Kudos to you!

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  15. I've lived with two deeply troubled dogs that we rescued when they were several years old. One of them changed our lives a lot. The other worked out well with us here in the country. It would have been more difficult in the city since he had a deep fear of men, except my husband. Both of these dogs had good hearts (I believe all dogs start out with good hearts) and something had happened to them that they couldn't overcome. We did our best and both responded well to our love. At the time, I didn't even know there was such a thing as a behavioral vet. I have never given up on a difficult dog. Nor would I ever.

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  16. Hachi is so fortunate to have found you. I love to see him play with Shyla.

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  17. Hachi couldn't be in a better place, he has lots of love and patience to guide him along the way. We love that boy too.

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  18. We are beyond happy that you all and Hachi found each other!
    xoxo,
    Rosy, Jakey & Arty

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  19. You have done a fantastic job with him. You have given him a great life.

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  20. What a year it's been. I so appreciate your sharing the ups and downs and further ups - and further downs - and ups again! with us. We all benefit from your hard-won experience, KB. You've assembled a good team to work with, and your indomitable spirit keeps the trajectory heading in the right direction. You're in this for a lifetime, and though at times it must seem like progress is abysmally slow, you have come so far. Hachi is a special pup, and you're enabling his spirit to shine.

    Cheers,
    Chris from Boise

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  21. Interesting post. Your blog is very cool :)!
    I am following you and invite you to me
    https://milentry-blog.blogspot.com

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  22. It is so hard on so many levels. We have to keep believing that "love conquers all" and you are well on your way to proving it.

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