We savored a minor, but satisfying victory Friday night when we returned to Movie Night for the first time since Dionne returned from Girl Camp. Steve and I had found another open-tread staircase in our neighborhood, and when we took Dionne there, she balked, as usual. But using a combination of tactics (i.e. 1) carrying her up the first few stairs, as Dan Flynn did on our outing at the mall, and 2) offering her pieces of very aromatic salami), we were able to break through her fear on those stairs, an accomplishment that she repeated later in the week.

The big test remained the dark, creepy stairwell in our friend Alberto’s building. On Friday Dionne again recoiled — first. But once again, a combination of the two persuasive tools got her going, and she climbed all the way to the third floor without any apparent panic attacks.

We’ll continue to take her up those stairs every Friday that we go to Albie’s for our movie group. But we’re proud of her!

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