I've been slacking a little bit when it comes to updating about Macho! Sorry about that :)
Since I last updated, Macho was able to make it to his Chihuahua Reunion! I wasn't able to get him outside before it because it was raining every single day for a week or two. I didn't want to take him outside only to get him muddy and have to give him a bath. I couldn't imagine how hard that would be! On the day of the Reunion, Nick had to go to LA for work. I was all by myself, and I decided that he is going no matter what. I got out his carrier, picked him up, and got him inside of it. At first he was scared and tried to get out, but after he calmed down, he was fine inside of it for the rest of the time! I packed up his harness and leash, then took him out. He was fine in the car, just laid down to rest most of the time.
Once we got to the Reunion, I took him in his carrier to get checked in. It was great to see all the other chihuahuas doing so well. I was a little sad that Macho couldn't be alongside of them on a leash, but at least he was still able to be there! He was doing great with others. Many were curious about him since he was in the carrier, and I was able to unzip the top for them to peek inside. Sometimes he would stick his head out to see what was going on. He also let a couple people put their hands inside to pet him. I think that is a pretty big achievement as well.
I got a little too excited that Macho was outside, that I thought he might be ok to try a leash since there would be so many other dogs all around. I put his harness on him in the car then attached the leash to it. I let him hop out of the car, and he was walking around and sniffing for about 30 seconds before he realized the leash was attached to him. That's when he started getting scared and began biting at the leash. He struggled so much that he actually got out of the harness, which was completely terrifiying for me! I was able to pick him up before he was able to get anywhere, but the thought of the harness being too big for him to get out of was too scary for me to keep trying. I went to the store right after to buy a harness that fits him better, but I haven't been able to try it out on him yet. This time I am going to use it in the house to make sure he cannot get out of it before I take him outside.
The Reunion was a big step for Macho. Although he was scared at first, he didn't mind being in the carrier. He also seemed to be curious about what was going on around him. That makes me think that he would love being out on a leash so he could sniff around and see things that he may have never seen before. I'm not even sure if he's ever walked on grass in his life. I'm going to continue working on getting on the leash, and hopefully with time, he will get used to it. I know many dogs are afraid of a leash at first, that is probably the same fear that Macho has now.
I am looking into hiring a dog trainer that can meet Macho and hopefully give me some tips to help him progress. I'm hoping that if I can find someone with experience in helping animals who have been abused/neglected, I will be able to help Macho feel less comfortable and a lot less stressed. I want him to trust us at least because it is obvious that he is still nervous around us sometimes.
But for now, the search for a dog trainer continues and hopefully so does Macho's improvement!