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Well many of you know about Zacharys past health and anxiety/behavior issues.

Today we took a big step. Zachary has NOT been in a Petstore or big public situation in about 10 months. (Last public situation he freaked out and embarassed us terribly, we had him at the flea market with us something he had done his whole life and he was just very unfriendly. Barked and whined the whole time, growled at passing strollers (and he was in a stroller which we don't have anymore, but just know I don't feel a stroller is a substitute for exercise, he just wasn't allowed in if he wasn't in a stroller) And this was a pattern we had been noticing for awhile.)

Anyways we cut off big public outings and little by little introduced him into situations with people and other animals, and now that his anxiety is under control its time for bigger outings. Ofcourse his last 2 were at the park. (we had stuck before that to mainly seeing friends, and friends of ours he hasn't met, walking around our apartments and having him face interaction situations, and having him meet different dogs in a controlled environment....overall he has been doing very well)

Today we took him to one of our local petstores, just to go in and get out of the house.

He did Wonderful.

He was a little nervous when we went in, he let out 2 big barks. But it wasn't at anyone or any dog, it was actually at a life size plush Bernese Mountain Dog Toy. After that he settled right down. There was another dog in the store and I don't think he realized it. He did real well with people and compliments and he didn't growl or act out. He was real quiet.
He passed the rabbit cages, and the bird cages and didn't even flinch. He went down the dog food aisle and didn't whine.

By the end of it, he had been a model dog and he got to pick himself out a cookie. He ended up getting an all natural Carob and Peanut Butter cookie the shape of a mailman that was as big as my hand.

Overall he had a good day, and he has made so much progress over the last few months that I am truely pleased. Its nice to know he is at a point where we can take him in public place like a store again, its been a long time and a lot of work.

I think he was more proud of himself than we were of him.

It was a good day for Zachary
 

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Congrats Zachary, you're such a good boy, we all knew you could do it. Good for you for taking it nice and slow with zack to help him get over his anxiety problems.
 

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Oh that is wonderful news!!! :) I can very much relate--our Cricket has dealt with some anxiety issues as well. She is much better than she was before, but we still deal with her issues. Her issues are not so much with other dogs, but with humans she doesn't know, especially men. Good job Zachary!!! :)
 

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That is wonderful!! It can be tedious but congratulations to you for putting all that effort into rehabilitating him so that he could go out in public again. If must have been a pure joy for you to go into the store and have that experience!
 

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That is wonderful!! It can be tedious but congratulations to you for putting all that effort into rehabilitating him so that he could go out in public again. If must have been a pure joy for you to go into the store and have that experience!

It was very nice to be able to take him in with us to pick up a few supplies and him act so well. I have felt he was ready for a few weeks now, but just haven't had the energy myself to do it. We needed to pick up a few things and we felt it was time to try. Its a relief more than anything. We are going to try to get him out as much as possible before the baby comes (and ofcourse reward him each time he does well) and then my husband said he will take him out after the baby comes, so that all this work us and Zachary has done, isn't undone.

Wish us luck though, Tomorrow Zacharys Daddy is giving him a haircut. Its his daddys first real attempt, but he has been reading and watching some how to videos. I used to keep him trimmed down when he got shaggy, but my whole family would let me have it if I tried it now...in my 9th month of pregnancy to bath and trim him. So my husband is going to do it. (Zachary can't visit his groomer now until mid march....so we are going to give him a basic cut, my husband has scissor trimmed him before but this is the first time with the clippers. My grandparents groom their poodle mix themselves so they are going to help him and teach him so we can do it ourselves in the future if the occasion ever calls for it again.)

So tomorrow is a big day too.
 
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