This week saw more progress for Hachi.
First, we had a really good visit to the vet clinic exam room. Hachi had only one minor outburst at noises in the hallway. For the rest of the time, he relaxed more than ever before. We had him do his repertoire of tricks in the room. And, for the first time, he relaxed enough to want to explore the room. He sniffed all of the corners, furniture, and veterinary equipment. I thought that his ability to explore was a huge sign of his less-stressed state of mind. He did super well when we did a mock exam on him. Afterwards, we started talking about how to introduce another person into the room. That'll be a big step.
Then, our wonderful neighbors offered us the chance to use their house for our weekly appointment with our trainer. A new setting can be tough for an underconfident dog. Hachi handled it well. He was curious about their house, sniffing and looking around. But then he settled into our normal routine. We played all our usual games, and we also did the bucket game with our trainer. This week, she was within 4' of him (it was 6' last week), playing the role of the vet without actually touching him. She said "hand" and then reached toward him as if she was going to touch him. He was fine with it!
Weeks like this one are so rewarding! We love our Hachi.