Progress with Hachi continued to be slow and steady. Our session with our trainer went really well. Hachi is mostly relaxed around her. We are working toward having our trainer substitute for me in the bucket game. You may remember that the bucket game involves Hachi focusing his eyes on the treats being held by the Runner as a way to tell us that he's ready for me to touch him. After his eyes are focused on the treats, I say "hand", and then I put my hand(s) on him. We use this game for fake vet exams, for looking at any part of him that we're worried about, and even for clipping his toe nails.
We are preparing Hachi for the trainer to participate by gradually playing the bucket game closer and closer to her. This week, she was about 6' away. After we did a few reps with me saying "hand" and doing the normal routine, the trainer started being the one to say "hand". After saying it, she reached toward Hachi but, since she was 6' away, she didn't even come close to touching him.
We will gradually move the game closer and closer to the trainer until she can reach out and touch him. That will simulate a vet examining him.
We are getting closer to our goal, one teeny tiny step at a time.