It was determined Julian was ready to meet a larger dog so we invited Mary and Izzy to join our session today.
The protocol was for Julian to participate in every aspect of the meeting.
Firstly, last time he decided he wanted Benny to return this week. So when we arrived, Julian spent some time with Benny. He asked how Kirby was but really was happy to see Benny. Last time he barely touched the tip of his finger to Benny’s nail … but today he reached out and actually touched his paw. He shook his paw in greeting. WOW!
Julian had many photos of Izzy so he knew what she looked like. I showed him a photo of her today and he knew her name right away.
Then we asked him if she should be inside or outside of the building. He said outside.
We asked Julian if Izzy should be lying down or standing up. He said standing.
We had Mary and Izzy stand about 20 feet from the door and Julian came out slowly. He looked around and spotted the big dog standing quietly with his owner. Before our therapy sessions with Julian, just spotting a big dog nearby would bring him to tears. Today he stood quietly and said her name “Izzy.”
“Yes that’s Izzy. Do you want her to come closer?”
So Mary and Izzy inched a few feet closer. Julian did not back away.
Then we went inside with Julian walking in front of Izzy. Very soon he was looking at Izzy and holding eye contact.
Then he decided he wanted to introduce his Coco dog to Izzy. He got very close to Izzy so the stuffed dog’s nose was actually touching the real dog’s nose!
This was going really well so we went into a therapy room to see how comfortable Julian would be with the big dog and Benny both nearby.
Only once did Julian back away and then he recovered quickly.
He brushed both Benny and Izzy. We could not believe that he initiated the brushing when he saw the brush.
We ended the session with Julian coming outside with the dogs and he wanted to walk Izzy. So he took the second leash and walk they did.
Julian helped me put Benny in his car seat and I asked if Benny should come next week or if Kirby should come back. He said “Kirby,” so Kirby will return next week. Making these choices is a huge step for Julian.
Benny was very proud to share his time with Julian with Izzy. This was an amazing session and Julian continues to not only lose his fear of dogs but become more social, verbal, focused and joyful.