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Monday, June 8, 2020

The Hachi Chronicle

Prince Hachi had another good week. Shyla and I ran into Hachi and the Runner atop Hug Hill. I have recently taught Hachi the "paws" cue which means to plant his front paws where ever I point and stay. He did it well on Hug Hill, although he seemed nervous to me.

Then I called him, and he showed his young dog flexibility as he crossed his front limbs while accelerating toward me.

Hachi has a daily rhythm. He wakes up very relaxed and super happy. He sprints between me and the Runner, trying to sneak up and playfully ambush us while we get breakfast and do other morning chores. During his morning run, he's more likely to be outgoing with strangers than later in the day. As the day goes on, I can feel his anxiety and fear rise. They are at their highest point during our evening hike.

Our behavioral vet says that this pattern is not uncommon for dogs like Hachi. Without knowing that, I chose early morning as when I do my daily play session with Hachi way back in December (we've stuck with it for SIX months!). Now, I am thinking that I should consistently have another play session later in the day to see if it can change Hachi's state of mind.

Playing is the most fun form of therapy for a pup like Hachi. I think that he and Shyla were just about to play in this next photo!
You can't go wrong with play.


  1. playing is the best therapy... we totally agree ;O)

  2. Paws is a great cue, isn't it? Once Habi was enough behaviorally stabilized that we could go out in public, I would ask for "Paws" when another on-leash dog neared. Because she was concentrating on the cue rather than the other dog, they could pass without eliciting her barking and lunging.

    Afternoon/evening play sounds like a great idea. He has responded so well to the morning play.

    Chris from Boise

  3. You give your babies all the attention and love they need. So important with pups. They are such good looking pups too.

    Have a fabulous day and week. Scritches to the pups. ♥

  4. So interesting to me that you mention this higher anxiety later in the day. I find that Luca is super excitable and therefor also more anxious around dusk. I call it the Witching Hour for him, and it does make me think of folks with Alzheimer's who have Sundowner's Syndrome - where they are worse at sundown.

    1. Yes! We call it the "witching hour" too! I have seen this phenomenon in my elderly relatives, even ones who don't have official Alzeimers or even official dementia.

  5. KB your photographic skills just amaze me. I always feel like I can reach in the monitor to pet them...
    Hachi keep up the good work..I must say bravo for the crossed paw take off. Well done I'm sure I'd face plant on the rock!!
    Hugs cecilia

  6. Yes I agree that last photo is the Playtime stare down! He is so beautiful and that cross Paul is amazing

  7. By himself or together, that is wonderful to know he is so happy there, and the morning outing might be the " new normal" as you find the best times to be out there in your beautiful peaceful place.

  8. Playtime engages a dog's mind which is always good at releasing energy and anxiety. He sure looks regal on top of your hill.

  9. That is a lovely photo of Hachi and Shyla sitting side by side. I'd love to know what they were thinking as they looked at each other. Such expressive faces!

  10. Play - we all need more of it. We laughed at your comment about hisyoung dog flexibility - this OLD do has none because crossing those human paws while losing balance is exactly how the arm break happened:(

    We love that photo of Shyla and Hachi together. Shyla looks like she is wondering what Hachi is thinking.

  11. Interesting that you found a pattern. Hope the play time helps.

  12. You and Hachi are both always learning something new!

  13. We're glad to hear Hachi had a good week and bet he would benefit from more play therapy any time of day.

  14. Way to go Hachi, keep having those good weeks sweet boy!

  15. Routine makes a big difference. Glad he is doing well.

  16. Ha, they definitely look like they were thinking about it!! :)


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