Hachi had a big breakthrough this week.
For Hachi's lifetime, we've had someone help with cleaning every couple of weeks. She, or other workers in the house, completely freak him out. They are very nice people but Hachi has not been able to accept that outsiders might come into the house and roam freely as they work. His response has been to bark hysterically and not ever calm down - even if the people are in the house all day long.
To give you an idea of how bad it has been, we've gone so far as to use a sedative to help him get through days with outsiders working in the house.
When the pandemic started, we canceled every outsider coming into the house... until last week. After more than 3 months of no outsiders in the house, someone spent last Wednesday here.
Drum roll please.... Hachi was fine with it. He spent the day up in the Runner's loft office, and he was quiet the whole time. I thought that maybe he was "shut down" (i.e., scared but not expressing it) but he definitely was not. He had a happy play session with me in the midst of it and then after the person was gone.
Maybe the long break from having visitors stress him helped. Or maybe he's starting to learn.
Now is the moment to remind myself that this is not a linear process. Hachi may not be as fine with the next outsider in the house. However, this week's breakthrough gives me hope.
As these photos show, Shyla and Hachi still love to play when we can find a time and place of solitude to cut them loose.
We love our Hachi.