I was downstairs on the phone, lying on the couch close to Moki’s crate. Moki was lying down about a foot away from it. My conversation got boring and I started to scratch my fingernails on the nubbly back of his crate. He immediately stood up. His lip quivered like he was about to snarl, but he didn’t. Then, he walked a few steps away and lay down again.
Progress . . . but it still spiked my fear a little. He's still kind of protective about his crate, but not as much as before. Baby steps.