I wrote a few weeks ago about how we have a new gardener. I decided to take this as an opportunity to get Misha used to a strange the right way. Something new for me. ;) I learned when my stranger cousins came over that Misha has a different attitude meeting people out front as opposed to the front door, so they've had all their meetings outside.\n \nHe has been here about four times-\-every other week. So, it's been two months give or take. \n \nI have a routine. When he arrives, I get her excited that someone she likes has come over. Then, I take her outside to greet the truck and smell around. She meets the gardener, too, though at a distance. Then, we take a short walk around. I bring her inside and she gets one of her soft treats in her treat ball.\n \nAt first, she was awful. She barked every time she heard his voice. The second time he surprised us by arriving two hours late so I wasn't fully ready. She barked when she heard his voice, but not as much. The third time was much better, though she was terrified when he brought the mower off the truck and would not look at him. She wanted to flee. She came in the house, had her treat, and seemed to settle down.\n \nSo, today, we did our routine. I took her out front. She kept her distance. She seems to be afraid of the truck and the gardener now. We took a little walk. Then, I brought her in to reward her because she did not bark at all. I needed to do something on the computer. I had her on leash so she wouldn't run to the door and have a bark fest. \n \nDo you know what happened? She fell asleep! She didn't even think about the gardener once we were in the house. She was too tired. LOL\n \nI think that is a definite an improvement. She is now able with some work to relax while he is outside. I'm not sure she is ready to be off leash while he is here though.\n \nI'm not concerned about her being afraid. When she is afraid like this, she runs and hides. This is the same thing she does when my brother comes over. For some reason she has always been afraid of him even though he has always been nice to her. When he comes over she hides in her tent. If she does this with the gardener, without the barking, I would be happy. I don't expect them to be best friends. I just don't want her to bark the whole time he is here or to attack him.\n \nSo, it appears my experiment is working. We'll see in another month or so. Maybe the gardener can be outside and Misha inside and we can all be happy.