Amber has finally started to accept being kenneled. She still doesn’t like it, but she has almost completely stopped resisting it. At bedtime, she lowers her head so I can access the clip on her collar to remove it, and then she allows firm but gentle guidance into the kennel. Once inside, she goes right to the bed at the back of the kennel and lays down. Before the kennel door is closed – and to prevent excitement in any form – she is rewarded for her good behavior with calm, soft verbal praise and gentle touch. As a result, she is no longer attempting to escape through the open door.
Amber is still pulling a bit on the leash during walks, but she is no longer weaving back and forth. She is still not tuning in – she either has her nose to the ground, or she’s looking around – but she is quite responsive to light leash pressure when guidance and direction is required. She still becomes very excited around other people – with or without dogs – but she is doing a much better job of staying beside me instead of lunging out to greet.
Getting Amber to eat has been a bit of a struggle, as she doesn’t focus. She either grazes, or she “hunts” for her food. We do not free-feed, so trying to get Amber to eat at specific times has definitely been challenging. However, she will eat if there is slight pressure. Meaning: Feeding her near Glimmer and Violet encourages her to focus – and stay focused – on eating. She does not wolf it down or present any other type of guarding behavior; she just calmly eats her food and then she waits for direction. It’s excellent progress.
Sharing affection is still a little difficult for Amber to deal with, but she’s doing much better with giving space and waiting her turn. She still has moments where she feels insecure, and when she does, her requests for affection can seem to more like demands. But recognizing her need for reassurance and acknowledging it by giving her even a few minutes of cuddles helps ease her uncertainties and become calm again.
Amber’s stay with me over these past 8 days has been both challenging and profoundly rewarding in far too many ways to list. Despite my efforts not to, I’ve become deeply attached to this little fluff ball, and handing her over to her forever family is going to be very emotional. But, I know her family is going to give her the world, and in turn, she will give them the same pure and unconditional love, trust, and respect she has given me.
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on.