The changes I have seen this month, in the order of occurrence, are:
- She comes to the door when I call her name to go for a walk. (She also circles back toward her room and comes again a few times as I get my boots and coat on. This continues until I have her leashed up. (She is like an awkward teenager who hopes you don't notice her wearing a dress.)
- Bella now watches me, and when the opportunity presents, watches the cats. She follows our movements with her eyes, and sometimes, with perky ears. She looks at me with interest when I read to her before she decides to take a nap.
- She now eats well. She will eat while I sit next to her. Initially she didn't eat all of her food, and when she did, it might not be until a few hours had passed.
- She tolerates some petting, and perhaps enjoys it slightly. She usually doesn't pull away or look down after I pet her anymore. Instead she looks at me.
- Walks: At first she was very nervous and her legs trembled, especially the back legs. Now I don't notice much trembling. She clearly enjoys walks, and is most "dog-like" when we walk. She began pulling hard, but we have made headway with that already. I follow Susan's suggestion and stop walking when she is pulling, beginning again only when the leash is slack. She is also much calmer at transition points; door openings and closings and so on. She waits until I unhook her leash and then walks, instead of runs, back to her room. She accepts her feet being wiped.
- She innovated the circumnavigation of the yard. Her first territory?
- She can hesitantly take treats from my hand.
- She can sleep on her bed.
Since this is my first monthly review, I want to add the long term goals that I have for Bella.
- I want her to feel more comfortable, safe and to enjoy her doggie life.
- I want her to learn to ride in the car without terror so that we can take walks together at the beautiful parks that abound here in Ithaca. And go to the vet if we have to.
- I want to figure out a way to give her a bath that is mutually agreeable so that I can have a clean dog living with me.
- and finally, I want her to feel better about herself, her body and her personal space so that she no longer pees on her own tail or stands in her puddle of pee.