One of the best parts of the DTV is that I got to call my mother and tell her that The Good Therapist instructed me to use it.
Way back in November, back in the days when I couldn't be closer than a foot or further than five feet from Huck without neighborhood-alerting screams, back when I would lock myself in the bathroom and cry while he threw his whole body against the door and screamed, I used the DTV. And Huck didn't bond with me. He began bonding to The Hub, so maybe it was women. Then he adored my mother and my sisters, so maybe he liked blonds, so I took the purple and red and brown out of my hair in a marathon dye-lifting session. And the rejection kept on coming. Then at Thanksgiving, he took to my in-laws (this was such a knife in the gut for me, his ease with them when days before they'd walked out of the room instead of be in it with him [However, Huckle has always gone straight for the person in the room who is least-engaged with him and clamored for attention, whether someone is on the phone or attempting to ignore the facts of his existence. Only people he knows, though, not with strangers.]) and my grandparents. Somewhere around there, my mom admonished me for using the same tone with Huck as I use with the dogs and advised me to be "sweet, happy, and fun," with Huck, and somewhere around there the DTV was abandoned.
I wanted Huck to like me. I wanted to be fun and happy with him. I wanted (and still do want all these things, of course) to cuddle him up and sing songs and make him like me, make him trust me, make him take to me just like everyone else. Didn't quite work out that way, but it came from a desire to soothe and comfort, after all he's been through.
Anyhow, I feel kinda vindicated.
[We're big fans of The Dog Whisperer, by the way. It is totally about letting the dogs be dogs in safe ways, just like we have to let Huck be Huck. Our big dog used to freak out when people came into our house, but now a subtle hand cue tells her to calm down. Think it would be too much to teach Huck hand cues? And I don't feel too strange about applying dog training logic to this kind of remedial parenting -- at the basic levels they're similar. If we were talking about a well-parented, confident child, it might be a different story.]