It's been a good week for Hachi. We've been focused on helping Hachi get ready for the next time that he needs to go to the vet. In the short term, we'll rely on sedation for him to be examined by a vet.
In the longer term, we're breaking down the hard parts of going to the vet into tiny steps. Here is the list of issues that scare Hachi in a vet visit. 1) Going to an unfamiliar place, 2) going to a place that smells like a vet hospital, 3) needing to be in a small room with an unfamiliar person (the vet or tech), 4) needing to be handled. If you combine all those things, you've got a dog in a vet hospital being examined by a vet.
We are working on exercises to address each of those issues. For example, to work on going to an unfamiliar place, we'll start with a friend's house where we'll walk through their door (no one will be in the house) and give Hachi a bunch of treats just inside the door. Then, we'll leave. Simple but important.
Over the coming weeks, I'll tell you a bit more about the specific exercises that we're doing to address each of the hard parts of going to the vet.
And, in the biggest news, we've been experimenting with letting Hachi and Shyla be together off-leash on our deck when there are no food items around. They don't seem to even notice that anything is different from the past. That's exactly what we were hoping for!
In the meantime, Hachi is loving being outdoors in our glorious autumn weather.