Jonah progress update: He approached and sniffed my partner’s pant leg on his own. He has done 4-5 full body, toe curling stretches within the last two days. He has settled down on a tie down in MULTIPLE locations. He doesn’t always wait until you leave the room to start eating or drinking.
We have two circumstances that are tied for the biggest step forward:
1) When he is in the back yard he MAKES THE ROUNDS—he now has a specific pattern he does in the yard to check his spaces (check flower bed, look behind a bush, then sniff the stick pile). This is huge because when he is doing this he is not scrabbling into the snow trying to get back inside the house. He is sniffing around of his own volition.
2) He went on a walk around the block. (!!) With Jonah, we’ve noticed that exposure and establishing a routine help him an extraordinary amount. Yesterday, I double leashed him (because he is a definite flight risk) and we slowly made our way around the block. He was very, very scared but about halfway through the walk he began looking to me for direction. He accepted long, slow pets and I spoke to him in a calm, soft voice the whole time. We are going to try and make this block walk happen 2-3 times a week and see if he can get comfortable in just this small area. Near the end of the walk, he even marked something—a first during his time with us.
My partner and I are both excited and encouraged by the amount of progress he’s made so far. Keep in mind, he is a scaredy cat so these small steps are actually huge leaps and bounds.