Greta has already overcome many obstacles. Her aversion to being touched has given way to requesting affection from her caregivers.
The next big ticket item is also something that Greta fears a lot ― the leash. In the scheme of things, Greta is as afraid of leashes as some people are of spiders. And she reacts with equal drama.
So as illustrated in prior journals, the long deliberate process of getting Greta used to something new started quietly. Danielle always had a leash with her. The leash was just something that became part of the environment. When they played, it was near. Slowly as Greta showed how well she could target a tennis ball, Danielle started to have Greta target the leash.
Greta is a quick study. She soon learned that having the leash nearby or even being super brave and poking it with her nose earned her lots of extra yummy treats.
Next Greta's caregivers desensitized her to the sound made by the clasp. They even practiced the physical motions they would use to leash up Greta.
The day came when Danielle attached the leash to Greta's collar. Did the doors to the octagon swing open, and the whole wide world was at Greta's feet? Did she suddenly turn into Dogtown's version of Dora the Explorer? Nope.
As quickly as the leash went on, it came right back off ― slow and steady with this gal. Greta now walks around her outside run with Danielle while leashed. They've even explored the fence line of the x-run (a second fence that encloses all the outside runs and can be used as an extra large play yard).
The progress may be slow, but the milestones are huge. Greta continues to gain confidence, and her world ― slowly but surely ― is getting bigger as she gets braver.
Photos by Kurt Budde and Wendy Gallant