I am so proud of Maia! Tonight my brother came over for dinner and the evening ended with Maia cuddling with him on the couch.
My brother and I don’t spend that much time together and whenever we do see each other it’s usually at the parents’ house – where Maia is not allowed inside because she might chase the cat. Or pee on the carpet. Or something. Anyway, because of this, Maia had never had a chance to get to know my brother and as such, he still fell into the ‘scary stranger’ category. He had also not seen the new place yet so I had invited him over for dinner and hockey.
One of my lovely dog friends lent me her x-pen and I put Maia in that with a bed and a bone. She did a few very loud barks but we ignored her and stayed in the kitchen where she could see me but not my brother, but could hear us both. We didn’t hear another sound out of her until we went into the living room, when she did a few woofs. I kept feeding her cheese until she was calm; then Paul fed her cheese through the x-pen without looking at her or talking to her.
Last step was letting her out of the x-pen, but I kept her on leash. She came right over to us on the couch and was taking cheese from Paul’s hand but not getting too close. Then, of her own volition, she got up on the couch beside me and went around behind me to reach closer to Paul to get cheese. He tried giving her some ear rubs while giving her cheese – that was allowed. In fact, when he stopped, he got a nose bump on his hand to ask for more.
And that was it! From that point on, she was lovey-dovey with him, snuggling with him, and just returning to me for some quick reassurance before going back. She tucked her tail and ran back to me when he got up and moved around, but he called her over and she relaxed again.
It’s such a relief to know that it was really that easy to work through the fear in the house. I am definitely going to invest in an x-pen of my own. And it gives me huge hope that once I find a formula for outside the house, I should be able to work her through fear there too. Yay for Maia!