The first stop was at Erika's house (GreenDogs Unleashed). He did his initial nervous bark but she's very good with dogs and isn't easily put off. She got his attention with some tasty looking treats, which he took from her, but we never got him to sit. He was too excited, and he's never been taught to sit. I really need to get on that; I can't expect Theo to be solely responsible for the boy's education.
Erika took the leash and tried walking away from me. He clearly did not want to go with her. However, when Erika's husband took the leash, he happily trotted off with him, but still looking back for me. I was told that this dog had a big fear of women initially and although that has evened out somewhat, it's not entirely gone.
Erika has three children, who, I'm convinced, were born and raised for the purpose of testing and training dogs. Hardy was fine with them and didn't seem to discriminate based on gender.
Our next stop was at Clay's mother's house in Charlottesville. It was a double test, meeting Berta and her cat. Hardy was a bit nervous but went right up to her. She was sitting in a chair rather than standing, which may have helped, and she had dog biscuits, which definitely helped.
I think Hardy smelled the cat as soon as we walked in the house, well, I know he did, he's a dog after all. We didn't see the cat immediately but his nose was busy. Once he found the source of the scent, the cat itself, he didn't seem to know what it was. He was curious, and I kept him on leash the whole time, but he wasn't aggressive and they even had a nose to nose meeting. The cat equally curious about the dog. The cat wasn't as relaxed as I've seen her around Maya, but she stayed in the same room with the dog, didn't hiss, or run away and hide.
What did we learn today? He's still nervous meeting strangers although I do think it's gotten better. Once he's met one new person on any particular outing, meeting subsequent new people is easier, I've noticed this on prior outings as well. He's still distrustful of women, although it doesn't take too much to win him over. Confidence and treats go a long way. He could probably be ok with children and/or cats.