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Monday, May 17, 2021

The Hachi Chronicle

It has been an anxious week for Hachi. He seems taut with stress. We are doing his relaxation exercises every day, and they seem to help, albeit briefly. His sister remains his best outlet so I am including photos from their play here at Lab Valley. They are such good buddies.


Hachi's social skills continued to grow with Shyla. Not only does he frequently flip over on his back to invited play but he now does tons of play bows!

I think that the reason for Hachi's stress this week was that people were working on the house most days. Hachi worries so much about strangers. We tried to get him out of the house or have him be in "safe places" within the house while they were here. Despite that, his stress obviously rose over the course of the week.


His stress manifested as a growl at me while we were clipping his nails. I don't take that personally anymore but rather I take it as his form of communication. We stopped the session right away. He is usually tolerant of having his nails clipped thanks to counter-conditioning.


His stress also came out at the end of the week when we took a hike in a totally new place (to get out of the house for workers). He and Shyla were sniffing the same spot, and Hachi snarled at her. Fortunately, Shyla doesn't take these things personally either. It seemed like no big deal to Shyla. We were careful to keep them separated after that.

When the workers departed at the end of the week, all signs of grumpiness went away although Hachi still barked anxiously at times when he can usually be calm. 

I am hoping that this week is better. Perhaps Hachi will start to get more comfortable with workers being around. We don't want to have to go back to the old place, especially since all of our furniture is at Lab Valley now.


  1. Shyl is the best big sister ever... and we hope that hachi will see that the workers are no enemies... it's a challenge here too sometimes ;O)

  2. Hari Om
    It's a fine line, measuring when to keep Hachi exposed to strangers for conditioning, and withdrawing discreetly without reinforcing the anxiety. I think you do a marvellous job of LOVE and that's a win. YAM xx

  3. I am thinking the whole reason was strangers in the house. Jake did not tolerate strangers, we had to keep him in another room and he hated that. we did not work with him like you do, we just lived with it for 15 years.. Hachi is doing so well, and I think he will be fine when all is routine.

  4. I know you work with him constantly and you'll find a way though this too. I know you will. A huge Awww for the both of them. So precious.

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

  5. Hachi and Shyla...I personally think humans need to learn to play bow.
    I love your post.
    Hugs Cecilia

  6. It's never easy having noisy workers who are strangers around disrupting their whole zen atmosphere. Here's hoping this week is better.

  7. Our friends next door are having their bathroom redone, and there are electricians, plumbers and builders all over the place. Their dog hid in the lounge ,and although she is OK with those she knows, this was TOO much.Hope the work is done soon, and with no furniture, going back to your other home is not really an option? Sleeping on bare boards? not a chair? Hachi, hang in there, soon this will be just a distant memory that will fade with time.

  8. We totally understand how you feel, Hachi. It's no fun having strangers in your house. You sure are lucky to have Shyla to play with.

  9. Hopefully the workmen will finish their work soon or Hachi will learn to tolerate their presence. In the meantime your opportunities to get him away from the noise and the chaos are likely good for him and for you.
    I know how happy when a project is complete and I have my place to myself once again.

  10. Poor Hachi, those workers really do bother him. We sure hope the calm finds him soon.

  11. Lightning doesn't like it when there are "different" people around, in the house, outside, or even at a neighbor's. His stress manifests itself differently from Hachi, but it is obvious that he is bothered. Once the "change" is gone, he is fine. We hope Hachi has a better week, and you too:)

  12. It sounds so frustrating, but overall, he is so much better. Hopefully it won't be too long until the workers are done.

  13. I hate having intrusive strangers in the house too


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