Today was magical.
As usual, Gloria wasn't hep on going on a walk. She whined a little as I led her to the car, but once inside, stood up, looked out the front window, and then turned to the passenger door window and peered out. I rolled the window down about a third of the way so the skinny little girl could stick her head out the window and suck on the jet stream.
10 minutes later we reached the park, and she was a bit leery. This is her favorite place to walk - the place she feels most confident - so when I opened the door and she paused, I wondered what was going on inside her head. Finally, she jumped down, but hovered around the car, partially underneath. When I couldnt coax her to venture forth, I picked her up and took her into the garden area of the park. She began to walk, cautiously. I picked her up and moved her to a bench where we sat for a moment, allowing her to survey the park. The sun wasn't out and the air was tinged with the smell of burning California, as we experienced the smoke from relatively nearby runaway fires.
Maybe that was the hesitation; it didn't smell right.
Not being a sunny day, the park was pretty empty. She likes it that way; empty. When at home, she welcomes visitors and has been know to jump in stranger's lap. She's even fallen asleep in the laps of strangers. But when she's outside, it's a different story. When she sees someone, even if they're more than 10 feet away, she'll flatten herself on the ground and refuse to move.
When that happens, sometimes I'll let her be and let the person pass her by. She won't move until they're a good distance away or have turned a corner. Most times though, I'll pick her up and carry her right past the person who triggered the response. Strangely, it doesn't seem to bother her where she's in my arms. She remains calm and barely bats and eye as we pass. I think she feels safe in my arms, which is a major development. It bodes well for her eventually getting over her fear of people.