Thursday, April 23, 2009

More progress

It's a real flurry of work at the house. Apparently, this is only when I'm not at home. No complaints from me!

I came home last night to see that Adam had mowed and installed the last of the kitchen counter trim. The place is too big of a mess to take pictures of that, and my camera needs batteries anyway; at this point, I am dampening the battery connections every time I need to take a picture. Just rest assured: we're getting there.

The dog, on the other hand, is getting better and worse. I tried melatonin and it definitely helped-- he's not shivering or panicking quite so hard, but he is still scrabbling at the floor-- and now it doesn't take much of a storm at all, sometimes no storm whatsoever (no storm elicits more of a "fluffing"; it's less panicked and he will stop on command). I fear that the TERRIBLE storms we had last weekend have made him extra anxious at night and with storms-- it had already been a traumatic day with 2 trips to the vet and a bad med reaction. I wish we'd never seen those pills. I still haven't given it to him again, and I am going to continue with the melatonin and perhaps add Rescue Remedy or one of the pheromone diffusers. I've also heard good things about valerian-- any thoughts? We will also go with a new bigger bed (it's time anyway) with lots of blankets and sheets to dig at and fluff-- the vet also suggested some counter-conditioning with thunder CDs. Finally, we'll try this:

Even at 2 am I thought this was a photo worth licking the batteries for. Those are just socks and velcro cable ties. His nails are pretty short and smooth (thanks, concrete!) but they still poke through a little; those are, after all, my old holey threadbare shitty socks. But they got me a few peaceful moments. I will invest in real dog booties or make some out of a canvass or something more heavy duty. Then he can just dig himself silly. It seems to either soothe him or be something he cannot control. Punishing him (ie-- putting him out or scolding or shaking coke cans with pennies), therefore, seems like the wrong response.

Anyway, I haven't slept now in about a week and it's killing me. Maybe we can get something working soon.


Jenni said...

aww...poor pup.

Bonnie said...

Definitely don't scold or shake the pennies in a can. How about an anxiety wrap? Google "dog anxiety wrap." Our dog has thunderstorm anxiety, too. Not this bad, but positive efforts help a lot. Good luck and give your pooch a kiss from me.

Jennifer said...

Poor baby! I'll second the anxiety wrap... they work really well! They're kind of expensive, so I'll recommend the DIY version... a ttouch wrap. Here's instructions.

Tellington TTouch in general could help, too... there's a good book for dogs you could probably get from the library on the subject.

The phermone diffuser didn't do much for my dog, but I know it's really helped other dogs. The rescue remedy worked OK... putting lavender oil on her bedding REALLY helped her calm down, though.

One final thought... is he crate trained? If so, I would crate him. My Molly dog feels so much safer in a crate... it really helped her calm down at night to be crated. My other dog, on the other hand, hates it, though he had the same training. :)

Good luck! Every dog is different... I hope you can figure out what he needs!

Amalie said...

Thanks everyone-- I'm definitely going to try the DIY wrap. I am stopping at my vet's this afternoon, too, to talk to him about pharma options (other than what we've already tried) so I have something else on hand. It's getting really rough-- a super busy week at work, and I haven't slept in at least a week. And puppy just gets so, so upset, and I'm a walking zombie. And to top it off-- storms predicted for the entire weekend.

Guess I better start getting him used to that wrap right now!

And I found the super expensive Muttluks on clearance for $10 at Petsmart. I have a feeling they're a bit too big, but at a tenner, it's worth a shot.