We are taking longer walks. We've been walking to the bridge and back-something we haven't done for almost 2 months. This is a vast improvement for me, making our walks more enjoyable, and offering a hint that perhaps my efforts will be rewarded with an exercise companion.
Around others, Bella is distinctly fearful. Whatever comfort she is starting to feel with me, it is not transferable. When I bring her into the living room on the leash, she will cooperate, but very reluctantly. If someone is there, she sniffs the air and looks very worried. I encourage her, just to her limit, because I want those new neural pathways to form. When I unhook her, she quickly returns to her bed. The next time, even when no one is there, she needs encouragement to come out. She darts furtive glances toward the living room and the kitchen, until she determines that no stranger is hidden, camouflaged in stillness among the chairs and plants, waiting to surprise her.
I can only hope that when I take my trip west, she will adjust. Perhaps, when I return, she will greet me like an old friend.