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Romã has always been a very shy girl. In fact she was so shy as a pup, I decided I should keep her and not one of her brothers, out of fear of what might happen to her in the wrong hands.
For the past 3 and a half years, we continuously worked on her socialization and her confidence in dealing with new people, of all ages and genders. Very slowly, she became more confident near strange people, but crowds and children screaming have never been her favorite thing. She adjusted quite well to moving right next to a playground, and started to relax near children, and recently even went to say hello to the calm kids.
But tonight... Oh tonight I'm just SOOOOOO proud of her!!!
we were out for our last "pee walk" when 3 little girls approached us and wanted to pet them - they were off leash by that time.
Pitanga stayed near the girls and played a bit, and Romã preferred to go check out the trees. I never force contact, but praise her when she does come and meet someone on her own.
The 3 girls were being a bit noisy around Pitanga (who does not mind) and Romã still chose to approach us and actually greeted the little girls. All was well, and then, one of the girls did something that made me shiver from head to toe: She approached Romã from the back and without Romã realizing she was even there, she just HUGGED her. That moment I thought all our hard work was lost and that she would regress to her shy self.
But no!!!! Romã was surprised, but accepted the long hard hug with lots of calm, and when it was over, wagged her tail and went to greet one of the other girls.
My once very shy girl has come so far that a stranger hugging her in a noisy environment is not something overwhelming anymore.
I can't tell you how proud and accomplished I feel right now, but will tell you this - she got almost half a box of treats as a reward and now is sleeping next to me. She absolutely realized she did something incredibly right and was very proud of herself!