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Monday, November 8, 2021

The Hachi Chronicle

Hachi is doing really well. Over our three years with him, we've learned that camping in our LabMobile stresses him out. Due to his anxiety, he tends to get a short temper with his sister. He explodes into a snark right at her face when he goes over threshold.

Not on our recent trip! We could feel that he was less tense than usual, and his behavior backed that up. He snoozed in the sun next to Shyla, and then he played with her on our evening hikes. I know that his face looks crazed in the next photo but it's due to pure and happy play.

I'm sure that part of his huge improvement is that we have learned to "manage" his triggers much better. We know what parts of camping life can make him lose his cool, and we are careful to avoid them. As an example from the past, he likes to block the LabMobile door when Shyla is about to come out. If we proceed with bringing her out, he'll get in her face in a noisy way and perhaps give her a soft muzzle bite. Now, we know not to let that happen - so he's not practicing that behavior anymore. If it's like other behaviors, it may fade with time if he has no chances to rehearse it.

We also were able to practice some of his formal training, like the Bucket Game, in our campsites. He could focus, relax, and do a good job with them. That seemed impossible as recently as a few months ago. Yay for Hachi!

We feel as if he's ready to work on more of his fears. We have plans to work on them steadily. I'll write more about that soon.

I like this next photo because it shows a very relaxed dog. His eyes were soft as he looked up at the Runner. His tongue was hanging out. He looks happy to me!

It is a Happy Hachi Chronicle this week!


  1. da nelly sometimes has this kind of "displacement activity" too, we try a lot of things to avoid this moments and it goes better and better... the first idea to hold a hand between us, was the epic fail... oh my... ;O)

    1. Oooh! I can imagine that was a bad idea! So glad that Da Nelly is getting better and better!

  2. Who Knew , He Just Might Be A Desert Dog After All - Pleased Everyone Is Jiving - Happy Dogs, Happy Life


  3. Hari OM
    Definitely happy Hachi = which makes his whole pack happy - and that includes us who watch from afar!!! YAM xx

  4. Hachi is certainly good progress. Love seeing the photo of him just chilled.

  5. I just love this, KB. You have no idea how helpful the Hachi Chronicle is for some of us others with Dogs With Issues. What great progress! And what a master teacher Hachi is!

    Chris from Boise

  6. You are such a great mom to your babies. Bless you. Love to see your babies out and about.

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

  7. This is such good news. Your hard work and close attention is evidently paying off. Hooray for you and Hooray for Hachi!

  8. Happy Hachi, i love it.. this is fantastic news, so glad to hear it. i love to see them playing, i miss that with having only one dog..

  9. Oh what a beautiful black dog Sunday photo and commentary. Such a comfort to know R is always in your mind's eye.
    Hachi and Shyla you two look amazing and Happy
    Hugs Cecilia

  10. You do look happy, Hachi! Slow and steady will win this race.

  11. The years have fled so quickly, and huge progress in so many ways for Hachi, your time, love, understanding, trial and error and patience have all paid off so well, this last trip to the desert must have seemed like a real fun time together.Love the final photo, Happy indeed.

  12. Knowing triggers and removing them makes a huge difference. The longer he can go without triggers and getting in Shyla's face the better. You are making so much progress!

  13. That last photo is a gem! I don't know that I've seen a shot of him just standing still relaxed. :) I bet his peace brings you peace. ♥

  14. Such a handsome boy who's made such great progress! Kudos to you all!

  15. Love, care and time can do amazing things and we're very proud of Hachi too!

  16. We're so glad to hear Hachi is doing so well. He is so luck to have such caring parents.

  17. I am so proud of Hachi. You have done a fantastic job.


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