Gray is warming up to Hope. He isn’t exactly seeking her out yet, but he definitely pays attention to her if she is nearby. Unfortunately, that means that she can be the recipient of some of his less favorable attention. He has taken to bracing himself on her back as he jumps up and down. When he buries his hands in her fur, those caresses can turn to pinching or hair-pulling quickly. Of course, I am staying close to them during these interactions so that I can be quick to stop any pain that he might inflict on her and any retaliation that might happen. I am surprised and pleased to say that Hope has not flinched or shown any distress when Gray acts this way. Also, Gray has been quick to stop the pinching, hitting, or hair pulling as soon as I tell him “no” and “gentle hands.” I think that he knows this behavior is not appropriate. He is just testing his boundaries. For now, I remain optimistic that his interest in Hope can be shaped to more appropriate interactions and the bond will grow from there.
As I continue my week with Hope as “my service dog,” I am still amazed at how easy it is to conduct life with her around. We have been to the grocery store at least 4 times, yoga twice, carpool every day and even a trip to get my eyebrows waxed. Her behavior in-pack is perfect without exception.
Out-of-pack time is proving to be a bit more challenging . When we are at home, she does not wear her pack and she is considered off-duty. She is our pet, but with some rules and restrictions: no rough housing, no crazy play, no barking or running to the door…basically, just calm happy behavior. That is tough with Zoe and Lena constantly wanting to play with her and give her commands. The other night, I dropped to the floor in a tickle-wrestle maneuver with Lena and Gray. As we were all laughing and squirming on the floor, Hope wanted to join in. She was leaping over us and barking and trying to get in on the fun. These are the situations that make me unsure and concerned that I am going to wreck all that she has learned.
I’m glad that Kati will be arriving tomorrow night to help us apply everything to our real life here at home!