I want to talk honestly about fear and anxiety. People see photos of our dogs and say 'such a beautiful family'. But behind the scenes, it's not always beautiful. Quinnie has had a really tough year. That she grew up completely isolated, wasn't introduced to anything during her prime learning phase, meant that when we got her, the world literally fell on top of her in one big swoop. It's been so hard seeing her crippled by fear at times, and to know we can't just make her ok over night. She's not afraid every second of her life. Some moments and in some situations, she's completely ok. Other times, she is the opposite. And then there are many moments inbetween. It's been a huge learning curve to figure out what triggers her fear. If you think of a fearful dog, you think shivering, cowering, avoidance. Which she does a lot. But when things get beyond too much, she goes the other way. She will literally scream. She doesn't growl, snarl or bark, she screams at the top of her lungs while straining into her harness. So her fear reactivity manifests slightly differently than in most dogs. Some of you know working with dogs is my job. Writing training plans, assessing behavior and then putting together behavior modification protocols is a big part of it. But I know my limits. I know that sometimes, all the behavior mod, counter conditioning and desensitizing won't do. I was fairly certain Quinnie needed chemical assistance to break through her paralyzing fear. We consulted a PhD veterinary behaviorist in Atlanta a few weeks ago, did trial set ups with fake dogs, our dogs, and other things. The behaviorist confirmed everything I had put in Q's profile, and agreed that our Orca Baby would greatly benefit from medication. We started her on Fluoxetine, which takes between 4-8 weeks to show effects. We're barely into week 3 so it's much too early to tell. There is no magical pill, bead, tonic, to cure our dogs of their fears. Many different things have to happen together. It's ok to be at a loss and to ask for help. Please seek out a true professional (the PPG has a list of trainers; the ACVB of behaviorists) as the terms behaviorist and trainer are not licensed in the US.
100 17216 hours ago
Update on the homeless guy I mentioned yesterday, saw him selling magazines today in town while I was shopping so I went up to him and introduced myself and explained that myself and so many others would like to help him in any way we could, he explained that he doesn't really need anything as he already gets donations of physical items either from charities or random passers by, I was like okay fair enough (not my exact words i was a tad more eloquent than that😂) I then asked if he needed help with housing/shelter/accommodation as I was homeless with a dog once and had been through it all before, he explained that he is on a waiting list for housing however from experience I know he isn't likely to get a place with a dog even if it is from the council. Because he is a young, physically capable person of working age he is at the lowest priority for the council to house so it'd be realistic to expect a 1-3 year wait if not more and he would probably be asked to give up his dog in return for housing. I didn't tell him that because I didn't want to shit on possibly the only bit of hope he had. After I ran out of options to help him with we got to general chit chatting and he pointed out my face tattoo so we talked about that, we showed eachother our tattoos and just spoke about them for a while. I told him if he ever saw me in town to shout for me and we can go get a coffee or mcdonalds or something (im always game for a mcdonalds) he seemed really happy about that. He asked if I wanted to buy a magazine but I didn't have any cash on me so I went to the cash machine and gave him £10 for the magazine, it's definitely not worth £10 but while talking to him I just got the feeling that he was very kind and genuine so I thought why not. Normally I don't give money to people as you can usually tell they are either shady or going to use it on drugs/alcohol. It's the least I could do especially since everyone else was ignoring him as it was one of those really shitty magazines that no one wants
ANYWAY thank you to everyone that wanted to help him (his name is Mark btw i forgot to mention) but i cant force him to take things from us!
#VelvetBurritoScience "He gave no warning, and just attacked": How many times have you seen that phrase in the news regarding a dog bite or attack? Every time I hear this, or see this printed in the news I want to scream. It's so frustrating because dogs that actually bite without any warning of any kind are *extremely* rare. 99% of the time, the person who was bitten was just oblivious to, or unable to interpret the signals that the dog was giving off indicating their extreme discomfort or fear. A friend of mine (who is a current vet student at LSU's School of Vet Medicine) posted an excellent article yesterday describing the "canine ladder of aggression" which provided 10 behavioral steps that often variably precede a bite. This is such important knowledge, *especially* for parents who have small children and let their children freely interact with dogs. (1) Yawning, blinking, nose licking. (2) Turning head away, whale eye. (3) Turning body away, sitting, pawing. (4) Walking away (escape). (5) Creeping, low body, ears back. (6) Crouching, tail tucked under. (7) Growling, barking. (8) Displaying teeth. (9) Threatening posture. (10) Warning snap. (11) Bite. It is important to note that dogs can start at any number, skip numbers, or end at a number and never escalate all the way to 11, the bite. When Murphy would go after Mila, he would appear to start at (9), the "threatening posture", and his version of this is what I would call the "hard stare" (a really intense round eye balling gaze) that would last for 2-3 seconds, and then he would go directly to (11). To someone on the outside, it may seem like he gave no warning at all, but he absolutely did. Additionally, he gave clearer signs to people (perhaps he knew that we were not as smart as dogs 😁), including growling (which is a WONDERFUL warning because it's loud and very obvious so you know to back off and can avoid an altercation). Mila is EXTREMELY expressive and literally goes through every single step of this ladder, which is really nice for me. She is a relatively anxious dog at times, but at least I can monitor her emotions more easily than I could with Murphy🦈💚 #MilaOfTroy#AdoptTheCropped
64 196014 hours ago
Jax vomited once tonight too. Maybe the medicine hasn't reached its full strength yet? He ate his breakfast reluctantly and now he's resting on the couch.
Gonna call @firstvet little later today 🏥