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3/9/22 The 2-week mark

We have come such a long way, in only 2 weeks.  We still have a way to go... the frustration and repetitive behaviors still rear their ugly heads when Evie gets stressed, or doesn't know what to do in a situation.  But she's easily redirected, for the most part... and when I find a situation that she's unsure about, I set up exercises, and the frustrated behaviors lessen until they're gone..

Last night, she slept on the couch curled into me for the first time.. just hanging out, watching TV.  She's still tethered for this time in the living room, until her relaxing behaviors become more habituated.  Today, she's laying behind me, sleeping on the floor in my office while I update the website.  I'm ecstatic.

We went outside earlier (it snowed last night) and did some work in the car.  We'll do some more later, before I go to work.  Evie's mouthing behavior is still there mostly when she's on the long tether out back... probably a remnant of being on a chain for so long before coming to the shelter.  That'll lessen over time, too, I have no doubt.

3/10.22  It's time to start teaching Evie to use a doorbell, to let me know that she needs outside.  Evie's mouthing behavior is presenting to let me know she needs OUT... so, I have to give her another way to communicate this.  We start today upping the amount of time she spends off-leash in the yard, to accommodate this, in addition to starting to use the seat belt in the car.  My plan to progress further in the car ride is to have Hubby take us for a short ride, with me sitting in the back with Evie attached to the seat belt... we might do this for a week, before I start taking the wheel.

Also, tonight, Evie will be leashed at the end of the bed, rather than sleeping in her crate.  If she does well for the whole night, she'll be there all night... if she only does well for 20 minutes, then we'll start building the time from there.  As with all other behavior modification, this will be done on a day-by-day basis... some days she'll do better, and some days she'll need more work.  We may end up needing to put a crate in the bedroom, to use as sort of a 'way-station' on the way to sleeping on the bed with us.

3/13/22  It's been a few days since I've posted -- Carly and I are still working, but at a slower pace, as I've had some pretty serious health issues recently.  I've  begun targeting exercises with Carly (I ordered door bells for her a few days ago), we've done 1 set of exercises on the stairs -- she's like a freight train on steps... like a little kid. <g>  With one set of exercises (about 3 minutes), she was stopping every couple of steps to look to me for instruction.  She's doing great. The targeting exercises didn't go as quickly as everything else has, but it's starting.  And, today, Carly went for a little ride with me in the car (the first time since her vet appointment -- we've been working on making a Changed Emotional Response since then, as she'd developed a fear of the car.  She was calm (but tangled) for the whole trip.  She even calmly allowed me to untangle her when we got home.

Evie's Story