Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our Weekend


Yippee! We actually had a fair bit of success this weekend.

Our holiday brought some family members back over the house. Marge had already previously met them, and although there weren't quite as many people, the activity surrounding the 4th of July brought added challenges. While we usually wait outside for our guests to arrive, especially when there are large numbers of them, we couldn't do that this time because the fireworks started early. So, instead, I sent Marge downstairs in the basement to my sister with a yummy stuffed Kong. Once everyone was inside, she came back up.

She did beautifully with them all, I'd say. She didn't annoy anyone at dinner (she usually likes to single out the weakest link and beg like there's no tomorrow) thanks to a braided bully stick that she ate about 20 feet away.

The fireworks only affected her badly at night. There were a few stray ones during the day, but they weren't loud enough to cause her any bother. She hunkered down under my sister's desk for most of the night (10ish to about 3AM) until it ended. She didn't get panicky, just gave a couple of shivers at one point. She was still able to go out for potty breaks and had no trouble accepting treats.

I bought her this stuff on Friday as a water additive. It's similar to Rescue Remedy in that it contains flower essences and not much else. It was cheap, and the guy who sold it to me told me he used it on his dog with no ill side effects many times before. It was a rash decision and the product either didn't do anything or helped minimally. If anything, I should have bought the DAP wipes that he offered me, but at 4PM the day before the 4th of July, I confess my mind just probably wasn't all there. I was freaking out, thinking she was going to panic like crazy. Thankfully, she didn't.

Over all, though, I'd say I handled the day well. She was with either my sister or me for the entire day and through the worst of the fireworks, and I refused to use the Ace that my vet prescribed to me. I am SO glad I stuck to my guns on that one.

Today was the last day of Rally class. We definitely need more practice, but we've got most of the signs nailed. There is a UKC trial coming up in August that I'm not sure whether we will enter or not. But I'll save this all for another post, as we're going to have a Rally run-through day at the agility field, and it is then that I'll likely make my decision.

On a HUGE positive note though, Marge was EXCELLENT in terms of comfort and sociability tonight at class. She said hi to Chase, the BC, before we entered the building, and did so gingerly and with ease. (I'm telling you, she has a thing for hairy male dogs.) She also PLAY BOWED to two other dogs, one of which being the GSD female who we've been hanging around while waiting on the sidelines. That earned her lots of treats. Again, we kept it short and sweet, since she DOES and likely always will have some level of fear of strange dogs sniffing her from behind. But they were great successes and a great way to end a class that has definitely been one of our biggest challenges yet.

6 comments:

Sue July 6, 2009 at 11:39 AM  

Sounds like a very successful weekend. You're making great progress with her. Don't beat yourself up if she slips once in a while. It happens.

I'm surprised you vet prescribed Ace. I use that when I have to keep them quiet following surgery. I use Valium during events like fireworks. It works fast, only lasts a short time then is out of the system. It works on anxiety rather than sedating them.

NYCKitten July 7, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

Would you reccommend that Good Dog natural compound or Rescue Remedy? No effects really, huh? Let me know...

PoochesForPeace July 7, 2009 at 1:10 PM  

I love when dogs play bow! It's just so cool how they have such distinct body language in the absense of speech (Psychology nerd alert ;) )

Brownie July 7, 2009 at 2:53 PM  

Yay! I'm so happy the class went well. I'm a total spazzzzz around dogs and I would probably be one of those dogs that would make you super nervous... But we're both getting better at being better greeters. :)

Martha Basset July 7, 2009 at 4:20 PM  

Loved the beach picture! You are doing a great job - Martha has the Rescue Remedy from time to time as suggested by Clive's mum over at the Assistance dog for Autism blog - works well.
Fireworks are always a nightmare!

Pedro July 7, 2009 at 5:10 PM  

Marge,

Glad you had a good 4th! My brother Ziggy doesn't like fireworks either and he's a 100 pound beast!

Pedro

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