So I'd like to share my happy ending.
|Sadie, my |
Last night, Sadie was a happy, friendly dog. There was not one iota of fear in her. Not one semblance of bad behavior.
Everyone was there when I got home with pizzas in hand. The girls were outside and, hating not to let an opportunity pass where Sadie is able to be exposed to these "triggers", I let them back in on my way down to the full basement. She didn't bark. Not once, not even at the new peeps. She sought attention and engaged with everyone there (I'm pretty sure the pizza in everyone's hands helped). There was no need for anyone to give my dog 5 minutes to get used to them. There was no need for me to explain her behavior and needs. She was perfect (except for wiping her drool on a guest). The moment it clicked for me? Maggie was doing her darndest to prove that she is a lapdog and was climbing in the lap of one of our guests. Hurley was busy trying to chew everyone's shoes & pant legs. Sadie was sitting quietly in front of me. I leaned over, gave her a kiss and said "Since when are you my most well-behaved dog". And she was.