They say your family pet resembles you in temperament. If that’s true, our family dog is a neurotic mess.
Last weekend we went house hunting. Dog went to the dog boarder – a local family who specializes in only boarding big dogs. She gets lots of play time, walks, and personal attention – it’s a great set up! Normally she has fun, but this time something went wrong.
She’s always been an anxious dog. She hates thunderstorms so much that she hides when it rains. She freaks out when fireworks go off, treating them much the same as thunder. She’s scared of other dogs attacking her, but she acts ferocious if they dare put a foot on our sidewalk where she can see them. A leaf blowing across the pavement is cause for a freak out, and a box in the neighbor’s yard is a lurking enemy.
She thinks escaping from open doors is a big game, and only my husband can get her to come back when that happens. The geese that roam the lakeside in front of our house are terrified of her. She chewed her dog tag into pieces – twice – and it’s made of metal! She even chews her elbows if she gets too stressed, despite us trying everything from bitter apple spray to a squirt bottle of water (she doesn’t have a skin condition, she just gets bored and neurotic according to the vet.)
This week, she came back from the boarder feeling yucky. When I took her to the vet, they sort of shrugged and told me stress and anxiety is probably the cause of what’s going on. They kept her overnight – and she refused to eat or poop for them – so they sent her back home with a dose of meds to help her feel better. Apparently her stomach is irritated a little, so she has to eat bland and squishy foods for a while. Not that she’ll mind – she hates kibble with a passion usually reserved for my kids’ relationship with green vegetables.
Have you ever tried to squirt a syringe of fluids down a reluctant dog’s throat? Meds went everywhere but in the dog!
As much as this is bad timing and I don’t NEED this extra stress, she makes me laugh a little. Even our dog has anxiety! She’s a perfect fit for our family.
Also, she has a ton of chew toys including elk antlers. Apparently dog elbow tastes better? She’s great with the kids and loves attention from everyone she meets, so clearly it’s not social anxiety! She’s big enough for my youngest to ride at 56 pounds, and we joke she’s part wolf because she looks like one. Except for that one goofy ear that flops over, courtesy of some border collie blood in there somewhere. She’s a lovable mutt, even when she’s being a brat.