Hachi had a better week. He seemed more relaxed than last week although he still isn't at his baseline yet. He did have to deal with some visitors/workers. We tried having him in the house for a glass installer who was making a lot of loud noise. Hachi was quietly enduring it in a corner of the house far away from the work. Then, the Runner noticed that Hachi's pupils were as big as saucers. That is a sure sign of fear so the Runner moved him to a vehicle for the rest of that worker's visit. Poor little guy.
We met with Hachi's "behavioral therapist" this week. She's a highly trained behaviorist who knows the best ways to try to help a dog like Hachi. She whole-heartedly agrees with us that relaxation exercises are key right now. We added another one to work on - teaching Hachi to take a deep breath on cue! I didn't know that a dog could be taught such an almost unconscious thing. Believe it or not, he is already picking up on it. We are using clicker training to do it.
Life is so full of unknowns. There will be ongoing work at Lab Valley but much of the schedule is not yet solidified. We do know that a very skilled stone mason will be fixing a retaining wall and putting in a foundation for my small greenhouse starting this week (happy dance time!). He'll be working outdoors so that should be less stressful for Hachi than interior work.
All in all, I feel upbeat about Hachi's trajectory. He definitely was less stressed out than last week. That's a step forward!