I don't know if many of you know about the troubles with fear, weak nerves and aggression that I've been having with Ripley for the past year or so (Actually more like 10 months.) but today I saw the biggest sign of improvement yet. Today, I took Ripley along with Dakota, to go play in the park.. While I was playing frisbee with Dakota, a man and his young daughter approached me and the man asked if his daughter could pet Ripley. Before I could say "No, he bites", the little girl lunged forward and started patting Ripley on the head. I was expecting her to draw back, screaming because she'd been bitten, but instead she just kept on patting, and Ripley just sat there like a perfect gentleman. No growling, no showing of teeth, and no looks of major stress or discomfort. I know to those of you who have never had an aggressive dog, that it doesn't sound like a very big deal.. But, it's HUGE to me. 6 months ago, this dog would growl at any stranger that even LOOKED at him, and often tried to bite those who tried to make contact with him. He had to be crated when we had visitors, I couldn't bring him out in public.. If it had been 6 months ago, and that little girl would have done that to him, she would have drawn back a mangled hand. Things got to the point where i was seriously considering re-homing him, because I didn't think I could ever change or improve his behavior. I was ready to give up on him. He and I stuck it out, though, and the little improvements are what kept me motivated to keep working with him.. But up until now, nothing like this has happened. He has never allowed a total stranger (And a child, at that) to just get right in his face and start petting him.. Seeing that he was comfortable, and how happy that little girl was, just instantly made all the frustrations of working with him worthwhile. He's come such a long way and I have learned so much from him, I wouldn't trade my experiences with him for the world. When the man and his little daughter were leaving, he mentioned to me what a 'awesome little dog' I have. He's absolutely right. This thread's kind of pointless, I know, but it's been on my mind all day and I just had to share how proud I am of my little Ripley.