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8:50 PM  I can’t believe I forgot to mention Rufus’s bath that we gave him last night.  He did great though.  He looked so cute all wet.  I brushed him and cleaned up the hair around his eyes.  He ran around all wet and frisky, rolling all around the carpet.  That’s when him and Mo had their romp.

He is getting better at the place command.  A little less shaking and a little less trying to get off.  He does really well with ‘come.’  He seems to be walking better on a leash too, very little pulling.  He has a good sit.  Tomorrow I am going to pick it up a notch.  We are going to work a  little bit longer and expose him to even more new places.  I have to keep him on his toes and always thinking.

He is really going at a rawhide right now.  He is getting so much more comfortable around the house.  He doesn’t move away when you walk by him.  He is getting more vocal with Mo.  Whenever he does one of his nervous behaviors I laugh out loud at him and give him a rough pet.  It is almost as if I am exaggerated around him.  Because he is so sensitive to touch, sound, and space (how close you are to him, how open he is in a room), I can’t respond by being super gentle or we wont ever progress.  I have to be super animated and even when hes stiff with nerves I give him a real strong pet and act a little silly.  I want him to look at me like I am a weirdo, then he will realize its actually all normal and ok.  This is why it takes so long to rehabilitate a nervous dog.  Every time they progress a level  you have to meet that level and push him a little towards the next.  And this is always done on their time.  You can’t rush a nervous/anxious dog.  But when is all said and done…it will be worth it because you will have a happy, balanced dog.  I believe Rufus is on his way!