One thing I haven't blogged about at all lately is Marge's relationship with my father. For the most part, my silence on this front means that nothing has changed.
We seem to have hit a plateau, for the time being, in terms of Marge's comfort level around my dad. She has neither progressed nor regressed (thank goodness) significantly. However, I don't think that's a bad thing... I actually think we're in a pretty good spot.
Through some sort of funky combination of both classical and operant conditioning, Marge now comes running to me 99% of the time when she hears the sound of the front door opening (recall that my father walking through the front door is one of her biggest triggers). She'll generally lie either on the doormat behind my chair in the kitchen or, if we're in the basement, make her way to her crate. Then, she gets treats as the door opens, my dad steps inside, and the door shuts.
Now, when he enters the room, her body language seems a bit more relaxed. Generally, she gets up, takes a big stretch, wags her tail a bit, and then campaigns for treats from him.
My dad's behavior around her isn't perfect, but it does seem like he reaches out for her a lot less than he used to. He still does make her bark when he asks for behaviors that she isn't wholly comfortable to perform.. but I suspect there's really nothing I can do about that.
Lately, I've noticed that when my dad is on the couch, either sitting or reclining, Marge will choose to go over to him to be petted - even to the point that I can't call her away from him.
Is there relationship perfect? Nope. But I think we're making it work as best as we can. That's all I can do!