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Keep me safe......

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Ya'll Picked Me?

July 13th 2011 7:25 am
[ Leave A Comment | 6 people already have ]

For Diary of the Day!? Thank you!! Mom's pretty good at keeping updates on me for several reasons. One so we can monitor my progress and two maybe someone else is going through the same fear issues as me and we can help them.

Last night was pretty good. I took Darcy for a walk when there was low-light, around 7:45. She did amazingly well. A couple of pickups drove by and she kept walking with her head and tail up.

So today I'm going to take her to town and walk her around the lake a bit. We were going to go hiking on a new trail but there is a missing person (presumed suicidal) that they haven't found yet. So we'll stick to town. Since she did so well in the low light last night I'm going to use the calming cap again. I think there is too much stimuli for her to calm down and the cap always helps.

We had a pretty good morning also. I made SPAM (yea!) and eggs and Darcy got SPAM in her food and ate 3/4 of the bowl. That's pretty good considering she's been only eating at night. Maybe tonight we'll get lucky and she'll eat 2 meals... Hmmmmm......

Hubby is outside putting in the corner posts for the expanded dog yard and Darcy is inside with me. She knows once I get done with this entry we're going for a w-a-l-k..

Anyhooo, thanks again for the Diary of the Day (curtsy) and have a great day everyone! :)


Calm down mom,,,, breathe...

July 10th 2011 8:56 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 4 people already have ]

So I started a post about Darcy and got some wonderful responses from those who care and understand. I've never had to medicate a dog for behavior modification before and this is new territory to me, I admit. I knew that it took time for prozac to get into Darcy's system and she's scheduled for blood work 6 weeks after starting. What I didn't know is that it will take just about the full 6 weeks for the prozac to start to work. Hmmmmm... Guess I've got to slow down and breathe. Actually it's a relieve to know that B&D (thanks for your response) experienced the no-eating at the beginning of using prozac. That a dip in behavior is possible but is alright, just keep moving forward and with patience Darcy may move forward with you.

This is why I love Dogster. There is always someone out there who can relate and help you. You realize that sometimes it's not the dog but YOU that needs to sit back for a second and re-evaluate. I think because training Turner was so quick, easy and fun that I forget that Darcy is not of the same mental state. That it was me trying to push to fast.

Message received.

I got home this evening and took Darcy outside for potty. She did a few playbows at me and we played for a bit. Came in, gave her her medication (peanut butter and crackers she loves them) and then she ate an entire bowl of food. She's laying on her bed and when I look at her there is some white in the eyes but I'm calmer now and I thank you Dogsters for it!

We'll keep everyone posted. Fingers crossed for a good day tommorrow...


I just don't understand... :(

July 10th 2011 12:12 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 2 people already have ]

The last few days have been pretty quiet. For Darcy's sake. She's still only eating 1 meal at night in the dark... we've been keeping the house quiet, no banging noises no music, nothing... We feel she is slowly becoming more afraid and introvert. It's so sad.

This morning I took her for a walk. Her tail was up and she seemed pretty happy. Then she started to look at me constantly with huge eyes. I avoided direct eye contact and looked away. We got to the cemetary where she usually sniffs and she kept stopping and staring at the horses, the road, me and shaking. I got her back to the house, closed the doggie door and took her lead off. She bolted for her room. I let her be for about 10 minutes and then went it with some chicken. I sat on the bed, facing away from her and put my hand with a pinch of chicken by her paw. She sniffed my hand, then the chicken, looked at me whale eyed and just layed there staring at me and shaking. I left the chicken on the blanket and walked out. Came back in 20 minutes later and the chicken was still there. Put her food out left her alone for an hour, went back in and she never touched it.

I took her outside on lead and tied her to a cable that we used in Texas when I first got her. Part of the "I control your world and you can trust me" at the very beginning of her time with us years ago. Left her outside with plenty of shade and water. She seemed to calm down a bit, but understand she was outside, Karl was out back working in the shed and I was in the house. So she was the furthest point from us.

I e-mailed the vet and told her my concerns. It's only been 2 weeks but these changes are noticable. The lack of eating, of course, is a big concern. Seems we were doing really good then blam! It hits a wall. I don't know what I should do. I can't train her if she won't treat and is terrified of me and Karl. uuugggggg.....

I'm wondering if the drugs were a wrong move, if so she needs to come off and we have to start at the very beginning again. That is hand feeding, tethering and quiet handling.

I've can't imagine what is going through her head. To live your entire life terrified of everything that moves, makes sound or is human. She looks at you with such a hauntingness (is that a word?) it takes your breath away....


Once in a While We Stumble...

July 7th 2011 12:25 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 2 people already have ]

We went for a walk this morning and all seemed well. Got back to the house and I let Darcy off lead. She went outside and decided it was too nice to come in. Later on she came in looked at me and darted to her room. Hmmm.. I went into check on her and she darted out of the room and out of the house. Hmmmm... So I went outside and she ran as soon as she saw me. And kept right on running with her tail tucked and whaled-eyed the whole time. I finally gave her the stay command with my voice and hand and crouched a little. She finally stood and I got her back on lead. Took her inside to cool off and settle down.

We sat for an hour, I didn't talk to her, look at her or touch her. After an hour and 1/2 I put my hand on her side. She jumped like I zapped her with a cattle prod. I tried to give her some chicken (high value treat) for laying calmly. She ignored it, sniffed it and ignored it.

Finally I had to get ready for work. I didn't open the doggie door until I left for work. Without looking or saying anything to her.

Some days, like today, are upsetting. What made her so scared? I wish she could talk and tell me what is going on so I can help her. It would be so easy to get upset and frustrated today, yet I just can't help but feel bad for her when she has days like this.

Tommorrow will be another day and I'll keep her tethered to me for the majority of the time. Trust is so hit or miss with her. I wish I could see the jerk that scared her like this, today is one of those days I'd love to have some "alone" time with him.


One step at a time!

July 5th 2011 9:32 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 5 people already have ]

We went for our morning walk and I decided to take Darcy just a bit further than normal. Sometimes I can go about 20 feet and she starts to get nervous, shaking, whale-eyed and such. Well this morning we were just trotting along and I kept going forward for about a 1/4 mile. We went past 3 houses and some barns. Luckily one of the houses had a dog that apparently didn't hear us which was awesome! Darcy was snorting a bit and licking her lips but kept looking up at me. I kept my voice almost at a whisper and told her what a good job she was doing and she would look foward and keep moving. All without treats! Ususally she'll spit the food out if I try to treat her. Once we got to the end of the road (literally! to the stop sign) We stood for a moment. I rubber her chest, underbelly and back legs (where she shakes like crazy) and she looked around, all was quiet and non-threating and she began to relax.

We started to walk back and after about 25 feet her tail would tuck and she would lick her lips. We stopped I rubbed her chest, underbelly and back legs giving her low-toned praise and she relaxed. We did this 4 time altogether.

When we got to our regular turn around I let her stand and look back at where she had been. We continued back to the house and I noticed she was panting - not from fear but from exhaustion. She settled down really quickly the rest of the way and seemed to enjoy her walk with plenty of smells along the way.

One step at a time girl, one step at a time....


Happy Dog!

July 2nd 2011 11:50 am
[ Leave A Comment | 3 people already have ]

I got up early and took a shower and went to the store. My usual routine is after the shower Darcy and I head out for a good long walk. Instead I put her food down and left. I got back less than 2 hours later. Didn't make a sound when I entered the house. Went outside to talk to hubby. Darcy came out and was crying and yawning at me. Then SHE playbowed and encouraged me to play! THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE! Usually I wait for her to give the ok and then I engage the play. Needless to say we had a good time for a while! I chased her and then she would sneak me out and run off. Set up a playbow, sneak left, sneak right and run off again!! Hubby was like - wow, look at her!! She's talking and playing!! Pretty cool!

Then I was out watering plants and she was staying close to me. That was something new also! I told her she was a good girl and she inched just a little bit closer!

Got the chicken cooked and we're ready to get going on the training. I've been giving her her meds with either cheese and crackers or peanut butter and crackers. Let me tell you she really enjoys this!! She'll jump on the sofa and start to sniff towards my hands immediately.

All good signs!


Bye Bye Uncle Mark...

July 1st 2011 2:51 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 3 people already have ]

My brother left this morning. Headed to mom and dads for a few days. I took Darcy for a walk and when we got back I took her to through the apt at our house where he stayed. She smelled everything and was looking for him. When she was satisfied that he was gone I took of her collar/lead. She settled down fairly quickly. We both had to work tonight and decided she needs a night to "chill" and let herself calm down to our usual peaceful and quiet house. She laid on her raised bed outside to catch some rays of sun before we left. I told her no partying tonight.. heh heh.. Tommorrow I'll boil up some chicken and we're gonna hit the trails. Talk about the best agility course ever!

Darcy did do something that she hasn't done yet. She was outside and didn't see hubby working on something. She stretched out on the grass and then rolled over to get a good grass rub in!! I think she's itchy a bit from the fly spray and I'm going to give her a bath soon... but she did look like she enjoyed the stretching and rolling!:)


One gone, one to go!

June 27th 2011 4:04 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 3 people already have ]

So my father left 2 days ago. Darcy was happy about that. Only my brother is in and will be here until Friday (3 more day). My brother is kinda loud, and very funny. Darcy just looks at him and runs away. We've started her meds and have upped her training some. She's got the look command down. She was in the kitchen, I was doing look while breaking down a burger. My brother walked in and she started to look at him and got white-eyed. I said Look, she did and got a piece of burger. Way to go Darcy! I can't get overly joyful with her, it freaks her out. Told her good girl and we continued with our training.

The other day I took off from work and my brother and I went out to the store. When we came back Darcy came through the doggie door to greet. I got out of the truck, my brother stayed in to watch her reaction to me. Well she did a bunch of stretches, playbows and hops (hopping must be a boxer thing!:) I opened the gate and she flew out and played with me on the hill behind the house for about 20 minutes. Then my brother got out and she hid in the edge of the woods and watched him. My brother couldn't believe the change in her since the last time he's seen her (October 2010). She has come a long way, but still has a long way to go. The fact that she stayed in the kitchen when my brother came in AND took food is a step forward! I know once my brother leaves we can really focus on some training. I'm going to make some jumps, ramps and weave poles in the yard to get her to focus more - we'll see, time will definately tell!


Ok, who are these guys again?

June 23rd 2011 2:05 pm
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So my brother and father came in last night. They're in town to help raise the baseboard heat in our house. Well my brother (a licensed plumber) got up early and by 7:30 am was cutting out half of the heating plumbing and was still cutting out piping when I left for work at 1:30pm. Poor Darcy, she just couldn't hide far enough away from the noise. Luckily they are doing one side of the house at a time. So she hides in my bedroom on her pillow. I left the tv on and would check on her periodically. I took her for a pretty long walk and she did eat a little bit of breakfast. Which is pretty good considering how noisy it was. It's going to be a long couple of days for her but we'll get her through it.

Last night while everyone was out on the deck I had Darcy in the living room with me and her container of treats. We worked on the "look" command. Which she picked up so quickly. It paid off already today. She was pacing around the house and I said Darcy Look and she did and actually came over to me for safeguarding. What a good girl!

Unfortunately me and Karl have to work tonight. But I left strict orders for my brother and father on what not to do with Darcy. They are really good about making sure she's alright.


Vet Visit

June 21st 2011 7:16 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 5 people already have ]

Took Darcy to the vet today. What a great vet we've got. She sat on the floor with Darcy the whole time! For almost 20 minutes she just sat there as Darcy inched her way closer to her! :) Then she listened to Darcy's heart and confirmed what I've known. Her fears are not genetic. You see when she listened to her heart is was at a normal rate and not racing. Which means her fears are learned behavioral. That's actually the best news I could get today! One thing we all know about behavior is that it can be changed! :) Dr. Mount drew blood for workup. The baseline came in and Darcy is one healthy girl! More good news! :) We have to wait a few days for the thyroid results and depending on the results we'll either start her on thyroid meds (if there is a problem) or prozac. Then it's back for a 6 week blood draw and follow-up visit. Thank God we have a vet who understands shut-down dogs. When I explained what happened to her as a pup she completely understood where the fears generated.

Dr. Mount also looked at her teeth and that was interesting. Seems that Darcy's k-9's have the most plaque. She stated that most dogs have plaque build-up on their molars. Got a hmmm out of her on that one. She said there may be a thyroid problem because of there being more plaque on the k-9's than the molars. I did not know that was an indication. Guess we'll wait and see. How awesome would that be - a thyroid problem compaired to a mental stability problem... Wait, does that sound right?

So our fingers are crossed and we're sending out prayers for a good result in the coming months. In the interim we're extending the fence line (bigger dog yard) and going to put up some agility jumps and ramps for her to build her confidence on.

Darcy got extra special treats after the vet visit, while traveling home in her crate. It was probably one of her best vet visits ever!

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