I called my nephew and his girlfriend earlier today and asked if they would like to come by for dinner and to socialize with Eeyore. He's met them before, but only briefly. This time it was for a longer visit. I wanted to see where his lines were with new people and how long it would take for him to come out of his shell.... if at all.
At first Eeyore was very shy. Ears back, and snuggled tight in his "safe zone", but my nephew is patient and gentle and soon Eeyore was comfortable enough where we introduced my nephew's girlfriend to come into the picture while still taking kibble from his hand. (10 minutes lapsed)
With the two of them in there, I knew this would stress him out a little, but it was a test that he passed with flying colors!
About 20 more minutes passed with just feeding kibble and having casual conversations, Eeyore lets his guard down just a little and decides that he wants to sit and relax a little.... a little. There is still nervous panting, but no shaking, we now see happy eyes instead of frightened ones, and perky ears. (30 Minutes total thus far)
My nephew kept feeding him kibble, making him reach for it or find it under a paw or across the floor, all the while was coaxing him from his "safe zone" and building trust with him. I'm SO glad he's food motivated with his OWN food.
Then it happened. PLAY! Well.... mild play...
We took some video's but there's a bit of background talking with the rest of us so I chose not to include it. (Sorry)
But in the end, after about an hour and 15 minutes or so, Eeyore showed great potential to overcome his fear of strangers. This will be very helpful when it comes time to bring him into the open world.