One Giant Leap

I don’t know whether it was because I wrote about Tasha’s issues yesterday or what, but something clicked with her yesterday. I didn’t want to write about it yesterday because I was afraid of jinxing it, but considering she slept on it and woke up today with the same attitude, I think I’m safe. She is a lot more attentive to what LD and I tell her. Yesterday and today she has been significantly less reactive. She still goes alert when she sees something or hears something that concerns her or scares her, but she looks to us for direction when we give a correction or tell her what to do. And, she does it with only a little hesitation. On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of reactivity, she only goes to a four if we catch her early, but the time we have has also lengthened.

When rollerblading her in the basement yesterday, our neighbor walked through on his way from the garage to his apartment. He is one of the people who sets Tasha off the most. He has actually become terrified of her, but he even mentioned that he felt somewhat comfortable around her. She was still barking at him, but she wasn’t showing her teeth or lunging. I told her to lay down and she did. In the apartment, we give her a command and she does it immediately, as long as our command is clear of course, she still has some that aren’t completely mastered.

My mom, Nana, came over today and she is terrified of dogs. After hearing stories from my Grandma and Grandpa, it became clear she has been almost her entire life. Tasha has been hard for her to handle and I don’t blame her. The first time they met, Tasha nipped hard on the toe of her shoe. Luckily, because of Nana’s tiny feet, Tasha got nothing but rubber and leather. Since then, they have learned to get along. Since them learning to get along, Tasha gets excited every time Nana is around, which is still an issue as it scares Nana, which in turn makes Tasha nervous. Today, however, Tasha was not allowed near Nana until she calmed down and then could approach her when LD or I allowed her to. If she was sniffing and tickling Nana’s feet, because, let’s face it, Nana is very ticklish, we called her off and she immediately gave Nana more room. Tasha even after figuring out exactly what Nana wanted, was able to perform some of her agility with Nana in command. We still have to work on Tasha’s frustration and confusion barking especially around Nana….it always makes Nana antsy, but this is MAJOR progress.

Some days, all the hard work pays off. Is Tasha where she needs to be yet? No. Is she improving? Definitely, and every day we see a little bit more progress over the day as a whole. This should be acknowledged. And, days like yesterday where progress takes a giant leap forward must be celebrated.

One tired out Tashi

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About Danielle Beranek

Life can get away from you when being young, married, and still fairly fresh out of college. Taking on a pet, student loans, going back to school, and soon a new house is enough to leave ones head spinning. For me, life is crazy, but only on the outside.
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