13. The Graduation Party

Memorial Day Weekend 2016, Annie had been with us for 4 months and she was continuing to show so much progress. She now walked comfortably back and forth through the short-cut hallway between the kitchen and the family room and would immediately come to watch us when we were cooking or preparing food bowls. She went through every door in the house, got in and out of the car without hesitation, spent more time out of her crate than in and came when we called her, usually on the first try.

There were times when she would still tag up a few times before she would come to me completely but she tried so hard and wanted to please. She was doing so well I thought she was ready to come with us to the graduation party our daughter was having with 3 of her cousins. It would be outdoors and there would be plenty of room for me to sit with her away from the crowd. We had been to this house on Mother’s Day so when we arrived she knew where she was and followed me into the backyard and immediately lay down and watched all of the activity.

Everywhere we go with Annie she attracts attention and everyone is very respectful of her need to keep her distance until she is comfortable with the people around us. She is more open to meeting new people although she is still very guarded around men. She did quite well that day. There was a 4-year-old girl that was terrified of Maisie but was completely happy sitting next to Annie to pet her head. Annie showed no anxiety about receiving this attention and seemed to enjoy it. When I got up to play one of the yard games she followed me and stuck close to my hip with my every movement. When my husband walked around she would get up and follow him. She seemed to be telling us that as long as she was close to one of us, she trusted that we would not lead her into a bad situation and we would take care of her. She had put so much trust in us that we had to take her cue that she was ready to go home. The party was still going but when she had had enough, she looked at me, hopped up and trotted off to our car. Time to go home!

“I’m ready to go!”

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