Had a great happy visit tonight. Third visit with this same tech (Theresa). Theresa met us at the car and clover had Whirley tail and no growling at all. We walked in together and Clover seemed relaxed, even going through the lobby. We got into the room and clover sat facing Theresa and was clearly ready to begin the treat routine so that was good. Theresa worked on touching and used the prompt “touch”. Clover paused eating at first when Theresa touched her but quickly went back to eating and didn’t seem to mind too much. By the end Theresa was petting her on her back and she was ok with that. Was the best visit so far, we plan to just keep doing them weekly for a bit. Weren’t sure if we would have to take a step back after the emergency vet but all was great today!
We had a little emergency vet fun today. All ok. We think Clover got stung by something on her morning walk cuz her face swelled up pretty big. She did great at the vet overall. Minimal growling and quick recovery. Understandable displeasure and growls when they had to touch her and give her a Benadryl shot but quick recovery (I brought a baggie of cream Cheese and she went right back to licking it when the shot experience was over). They asked at one point if it would be easier if they took her away to do the shot and I said I wasn’t sure that was a good idea since I was using our strategies. Open to hearing if you think her being treated without me in the room would help or hurt. I think I know what you think but maybe I’m wrong! Anyways, all good. Just thought I would report back. The emergency vet experience wasn’t as traumatic as I was worried it would be. Phew!!
When we started working with Paula, Clover had the habit of licking us all rather frequently and frantically. We thought at the time she was just a licky dog and discussed this with Paula as something we wanted to get a better handle on. Paula explained how the licking behavior was actually associated with Clover’s generally high anxiety and use of appeasement behaviors with us (vs more genuine affection and friendliness).We started with refraining from all touch with Clover unless she asked for it. At first, Clover did not ask for any affection, even after we could see she knew how to ask (by softly pawing at us). We started to wonder if she was a dog who just didn’t want much affection. Maybe a month or two after little to no petting, she started to ask to be pet. We would pet her and then stop, giving her the option to ask for more if she wanted it and allowing her to walk away when she chose. Over time, her interest in being pet increased, at the same time as the licking decreased. About a year into working w Paula, we have a super cuddly and sweet dog who initiates a lot of affection (to the point we have had to teach her the cue “not right now” when we are the ones not ready for petting!). The licking is occasional and without the franticness. It comes as little hello kisses and she stops when we ask her to. She seeks out closeness with us in a way that is much more genuine, at ease, and natural for us all. It’s been really sweet to see her feel comfort and safety in our presence that wasn’t there before (without us even realizing it).
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