Today is Finna's fourth birthday and I've been rereading the posts from the time we brought her home. Wow, has she ever come a long way. Three years into this adventure and I no longer recognize the dog we brought home. The Finna of today is a happy and generally relaxed dog. When she gets over threshold she can recover. At home she can make good choices and when she does make bad choices such as barking at the dog being walked down the street past our house she doesn't do it in a completely out of control and frenzied manner. I'm no longer terrified that she'll go over the fence after them. Don't get me wrong it's still reactive barking but when I walk up near her she remembers that she can go away from the fence back into the yard where the pressure of a strange dog that close to her territory is significantly lessened.
We're no longer seeing just flashes of sanity from Finna, today we see a dog that is sane 65-70% of the time. She still barks at Dad more than we would like but rather than running to him to confront him she'll bark sitting on the futon or from within her crate. Physically she's sound and her gait is smooth and confident. She actively solicits petting and massage of her lower back and hips rather than tolerating it for brief periods before getting overwhelmed and snapping.
Finna is no longer taking her Chinese herbs having reached a point where their support is no longer required. At a recent vet visit for a urinary tract infection she was soliciting attention from the techs and letting them pet her. She was sedated for her visit but 50mg of Acepromazine didn't do much more than take the edge off for her, she walked in and out under her own power. For contrast 25mg puts Ranger completely out, he's unable to stand under his own power much less walk.
Finna still has plenty of areas that need significant work and we're still working with our trainer on Behavior Adjustment Training but the improvement is pretty steady now. We're no longer seeing the two steps forward, one step back, one step forward, three steps back, three steps forward, one step back of the beginning. Progress might still be measured in millimeters but the progress is pretty steady.
She's not ready for prime time yet but give us another three years and see what we have then! It's a wild ride Finna but you're going to make it.