Monday, April 20, 2009

No, really! Housework!

So, full disclosure. A while back I posted pictures of the new gable vent. We had not installed it really. We propped it up there, made sure it fit, then went back to having a gaping hole into the attic. We tried keeping it covered with plastic, but these spring storms have made keeping it covered impossible.

But by the time I got home on Friday, Adam has secretly painted and installed the vent. TaDa!

I think I'd like to trim around it, but I must say I am very pleased with how it turned out. I also think I mentioned before that we recycled even more of the garage door wood to make this and I couldn't be happier.

We also got a new Porter Cable compressor. It's got two valves, so you can have 2 tools hooked up at once. It certainly wasn't the cheapest one, but we looked at Craftsman compressors at Sears, and they seemed so flimsily built compared to the PC. And the PC one is almost identical to my father's, which is what we had been using. Since we liked the older one, we went with the newer version of the same model. At least it was on sale. At any rate, I look forward to installing our base shoe, screening the porch, airing up our tires, and filling in the ghost door, among many other projects, I'm sure.

We had hoped to get the porch swing up this weekend, but had a doggie emergency. The puppy has developed terrible storm anxiety over the last year and it's reached a breaking point. If he's outside he digs up the yard until it starts raining, then he curls up-- not in his dog house-- but under the eaves. However, he has a serious double coat, so no matter how wet and soaked he looks, his skin is dry; I check every time, and am amazed still, every time.

But if he's in the house, he pants, paces, shivers, and tries to dig up the floor boards. I worry for the house and mostly I worry for his blood pressure. So I took him to the vet to see if there was something we could do or give him to quell his anxiety. They gave me some pills to try out and, since there was a storm rolling in that afternoon, I went ahead and tried them out. Unfortunately, the storm took longer getting here than was expected, and puppy wanted to go outside. Mind you, this is 2 or 2 1/2 hours after taking the pills, so I was less concerned about having my eyes on him at all times. He curled up in the flower bed and went to sleep. When I went to check on him, he was twitching like he was running in a dream. But then he couldn't stand up, couldn't really open his eyes, his third lid was up and he was shivering. So we had to rush him to the emergency vet. The vet techs looked at us like we were at least a little stupid when we showed them the pills. One said, "You know these are a sedative...?" The other just let us know that while the third eyelid makes things look a lot scarier than they are, it's pretty normal. All his vitals were good-- temp, heart, breathing. He was just out of it. Apparently, this was a fairly usual reaction to this med, a tranquilizer; however, it was a bit much for him-- or more like a bit much for me and especially the kiddo! We sort of expected drowsy and loopy. The vet did warn me that it was a tranquilizer, so it shouldn't have been a surprise. I think his 2 hours of totally normal were just deceiving.

He's ok now. He managed to get back to normal in time to dig his way to China, via the bedroom floor when the storms did get to Fort Smith, but he was still a little anxious last night. Apparently we can give him 1/2 or 1/4 the dose next time, but I don't know. Being outside where he at least calms down during the storm, if not in its run-up, might be preferable. That whole experience was terrifying. The second vet also suggested we try some storm CDs on sunny nice days to decondition him...

So that was the weekend. A little bit of home improvement, some spring cleaning, and a very sick puppy.

Here's hoping next weekend is better.


Jennifer said...

Poor pup! Have you tried Melatonin? It helps many dogs with fears of loud sounds like thunderstorms. We use it to calm Molly, and she's been getting it to help her sleep this past week with the cone/muzzle thing. Of course, run it by your vet if you ahve questions about it.

under 10 lbs, 1 milligram
10-25 lbs, 1.5 milligrams
25-100 lbs, 3 milligrams
over 100 lbs, 3 milligrams, up to 6 milligrams

Give 15-30 minutes before an anticipated thunderstorm. If you are going to be away for the day and storms are predicted in the forecast, you can give the melatonin before leaving.You can give up to 3 doses a day (every 6-8 hours).

Amalie said...

Thanks Jennifer! I was also considering trying benadryl. I know now that his response was pretty normal for being a tranquilized dog, but it was a bit too much for me; not to be selfish, but I also don't think it would work during the storm. The vet thought he'd be too tranquilized to notice being checked out, but he made it clear that he didn't want to be messed with! A real stinker even when sedated!!

We are also going to look into building him a more open shelter outside. He seems to have a bit of claustrophobia in this new house, so I'm wondering if that's the problem with the shed (I mean, it's a huge space, but it's still 4 walls). Maybe a 3 sided shelter with a nice deep woodchip bed would be comfortable for him. He just doesn't like being closed up-- he likes being inside, but that may only add to the anxiety when he's already upset over storms. I'd like to give him some options and I'll be trying the melatonin for sure!!! Can't thank you enough for that suggestion.

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