Sometimes I use a flower analogy for Hachi. He has spent most of his life so afraid that he's been closed off like a flower bud. Now, he's learning to relax despite the hills and valleys of life so he is just starting to open up and blossom. I thought of him today when I found a forest lily just starting to open.
It feels as if the solitude of the pandemic has been good for Hachi. Life has mostly followed a set routine. Many days, no strangers appear in his world. He is secure and happy. He gets to play with his sister most days, which makes him joyful.
Some things still throw him off his stride like a short camping trip or the "stress" that he seems to feel when a fun event is about to occur. For example, although he's relaxed about letting us put on his harness for most of the day, it really stresses him for us to put on his harness just before our evening hike. We are learning that we need to adapt when we notice an oddity like that one. Forcing it won't help but putting on his harness an hour ahead of time will help.
Who wouldn't be super excited (and perhaps a bit too hyped) when they know that they'll get to run like this in a few minutes?
We are continuing to feel as if Hachi is improving by leaps and bounds. The loving part of his demeanor and the hilarious side of his personality are shining through.
We love our Hachi.