Laura was already there with corgi Lance and toller Vito when we arrived. Maisy has met both Lance and Vito in the past, but only briefly. Also present was Megan’s springer, Buzz.
We spent a little time training (Laura is a master trick trainer, and talked me through the finer points of a few tricks with Maisy), and then Lauren and her boyfriend Ryan arrived. Despite the fact that he's a dude, Maisy likes Ryan.
Finally, Sara and her new dog, Dobby, arrived. Dobby is a profoundly neophobic Minnesota White-Toed Chipmunk Dog, so he stayed in the car until we were ready to go for a walk through the woods. Maisy had never met Dobby before. (Dobby did great, too, in case you were wondering.)
After our walk, we headed back inside for supper and movies. I was actually quite impressed by how well Maisy did. Despite having six dogs, one cat, and eight people all crowded into Megan’s house- where she’s never been before- she was fairly relaxed. She did have a few instances where she barked reactively at reflections in the windows, but overall, she was able to relax. She was social and spent time with everyone (especially Elizabeth), and even took a nap with me!
Photo by Sara.Best yet, there were no lingering after-effects. Oh, sure, she was exhausted on Sunday, but so was I. But she wasn’t more anxious or vigilant around the house than usual on either Sunday or Monday, which is awesome, especially considering that last Thanksgiving, she took almost a week to recover.
I shared this video (the same one I put on Facebook on Sunday) with Maisy’s veterinary behaviorist, who called it a “breakthrough” for Maisy. I hadn’t thought of it as a breakthrough at a time, although I was very happy with how she did. After thinking about it, though, her behavior was a pretty big deal. That was a lot of chaos, and she was able to relax while we were there. She was able to recover quickly. And she was, dare I say it, happy pretty much the whole time. This is a far cry from the dog she used to be, and I’m beginning to wonder if that whole “reactive” thing is really true anymore…