We had a very helpful appointment with Hachi's behavioral vet last week. We discussed how to get Hachi veterinary care despite his terrible fear of vets, strangers, and unfamiliar places. While we plan to continue to work on all of the elements of eventually taking Hachi to the vet without being sedated, sedation is the best strategy for now.
The behavioral vet's goal (and ours too) is to figure out a tranquilizing medication that we can give so that he can walk into a vet's office with minimal fear. Then, the vet will rapidly sedate him with an injection to his butt. Of course, we have to figure out the right medications by trial and error.
We tried out the first tranquilizing medication last week. The Runner medicated Hachi. Two hours later, they arrived in the parking lot of our vet, got out, and walked toward the door (all the while, the Runner was giving him yummy treats). Hachi was noticeably less scared than when he did the same thing the previous week without any tranquilizing medications.
The Runner thought that Hachi would have walked in the door but they didn't do that this week (we are taking teeny tiny steps on this journey). Now, we'll report to our behavioral vet, and she'll probably add in an additional medication so that he's even more relaxed.
In other news, Hachi is doing great with visitors to Lab Valley. He still barks when they first arrive but rapidly calms down. He's gone on walks with a number of visitors over the past couple of weeks. He seemed relaxed!
Hachi is such an intense dog. He's watching me SO carefully so that he can blast toward me when I call him. I love his intensity.
We love our Hachi.