This weekend, Ben is spending time with his new family. We met yesterday evening and started the process of creating a bond. We started with a walk, and I had Stacy and Joel take turns with the leash while learning how to deal with Ben’s intense excitement about being outside and in an unfamiliar environment. Ben did as I expected: he pulled and weaved and focused almost completely on everything but the humans leading him. Stacy and Joel did a great job taking direction and learning how to control Ben by relaxing, and before long, they both managed to gain some control over him.
Back at the daycare facility, Ben showed them how very different he is when he’s not dealing with distractions. He walked beautifully for Stacy, staying calm and walking right beside her. Joel needed a bit of help relaxing his grip on the leash, but once he did, Ben walked beautifully for him, too. I had both Stacy and Joel walk around the facility a few times and change leash positions with each other while walking, so that Ben would feel the energy from both of them at the same time. He did a fantastic job of following both of them.
We talked about Ben’s nervousness with people squatting down, so Stacy suggested sitting on the floor. Ben did a great job with the exercise. He even accepted their invitations to play with him with a ball.
All in all, the visit went very well. Ben made a good connection with Stacy, and he made a great effort to connect with Joel, too. Because of his gender, Joel had a bit more of a challenge, but given time and patience, he and Ben will come to trust each other and become friends.
This afternoon, we are meeting again. We’ll be working more on building trust, learning the mat exercise, learning how to play, and more. By the end of the visit, all three of them will probably be tuckered out and ready for a nap. 😀
Have a great day, everyone, and remember to stay calm and lead on.