Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Psychosis

I think it was about 2 years ago we noticed it.  And it was probably around the 4th of July.  NOOOOOO...not mine.  That one is on the books, circa 1994 (look it up).  This one is our British Lab's, Remy.

After our last debacle (that's my new word) with a dog in 2004-5 I said..NO.MORE.DOGS.  I am not a dog person.  I was raised with cats and had always had a cat.  But my cousins in Indiana have dogs, specifically boxers, and I knew, back in 2004-5 that this would be  a good choice for us.  So, we got Buster.  The Boxer (yes, cheezy, I'm all for cheezy).  We picked him up with all 4 kids in attendance.  He was a flashy fawn.  Our kids were old enough to realize that dogs required work and, SO WE THOUGHT, they were up to the challenge of owning a dog.  We were sorely mistaken.  And especially mistaken about owning a dog like a boxer that is a high energy dog.  He was quickly house broken, although his crate training was more difficult.  Still, we worked out an arrangement that was mutually beneficial.  When my husband says, no one is walking the dog (in winter...HELLO?) and he is done, I should have taken the hint.  No, Buster hasn't chewed anything he shouldn't.  No he hasn't been anything close to "Marley" like.  Yes, he was fully house trained (with issues only occurring when we changed his food). He just wasn't being given the attention my husband felt was his due, so, imagine my surprise when the first phone call comes in about us having a boxer for sale.  At that point I knew he was serious.  And I said, fine.  NO.MORE.DOGS.

Then, my SIL got herself a British Lab.  He was 18 months and fully trained and OMG he was the perfect dog.  He practically excused himself after farting.  YES...that trained.  We were like...YEAH...cool dog.  And then I made mistake number one.  Sure, honey, let's go down and take a look at the trainer who trained Maverick and see his operation.  Little knowing that he had two dogs who he had recently bred:  one British lab, one British Golden retriever (curly hair...SO pretty).  And of course having gone ALL.THE.WAY down there, let's just get put on the list for the next British lab.

Then, the puppies were born.  We went down to take a gander at them, hoping for a red but the black female (Reba) only threw black and yellow's (the dad being a white yellow Beech).  There were 3 yellow's and 4 blacks.  One of the yellows was considered a runt and put in with the golden because her litter was smaller.  Of the two female yellows, MY preference (even though I did NOT want a dog...but who can look at puppies and not melt?) was for the smaller who had ears the color of cognac, but I was over ruled and the larger, more aggressive was chosen.  Ah....but WE don't get to choose.  The breeder gets to choose based on how we intend to use the dog.  And he chose the smaller, brandy eared dog.  Through all this, I kept saying  NO DOG.  Again, I was over ruled.

So, we brought Remy home (EVERYONE else thinks she was named after a Remmington gun.  I happen to know she was name after a bottle of Remy Martin...but SHHHHHH).  And she has been a good..NO, a great dog.   In 4 years, she has had ZERO accidents in the house (we have her bell trained...which has its own challenges).  Seriously.  ZERO.  She went through a brief period as a puppy where she chewed a corner of a wall, but it has been repaired and she hasn't repeated the incident.  She does seem to have a fetish for the girls' underwear but as long as they manage to get them in the hamper it's a non issue (yes, you  can safely assume what you're thinking).  She doesn't get on the furniture.  She knows her station.  She will stay at "heel" on a walk without a leash.  She is a GREAT dog (and coming from a non-dog lover, that's an accomplishment). But, she is probably more my dog than anyone else's.

Back to the story...about 2 years ago, shortly after the 4th, neighbor kids were setting off "extra" fireworks in the back yard.  I was out with her and she was fine.  Then, all of the sudden, she started having issues with loud noises.  It was weird...she was fine one day, then the next she was a quivering mess if she heard a loud noise. Then we pin pointed it to storms.  Storms with thunder. Now, it has progressed to the point where she acts like a barometer.  It can be clear as a bell, and she'll be in a state and we'll all be scratching our head trying to figure out her issue and within an hour a storm will roll in, complete with lightening and thunder.  Our "duh" moment.

The fourth seems to be especially tough on her.  First, this year it's hotter'n hades (100+ with heat index) so she's already panting.  And everyone over 10 is lighting off bottle rockets (including my 11 yo) so now she's a quivering mass of fur.  I had meant to get her a thunder shirt.  YES...I am the least likely to believe in stuff like this but I have tried using some simple OTC meds on Remy (Benedryl/Melatonin) with minimal effects and I'm thinking that this might be what she needs.

Right now, she's a mess. She's curled up in our shower (or she uses the kids' bathtub).  We put the fan on her so that it would (hopefully) eliminate some of the sounds of tonight. I'm not willing to unnecessarily drug her and I'm not willing to give her up.  So, we're gonna get the Thundershirt to see if it works.

Because, it's heart breaking seeing a British Lab...who is trained at gunshots, looking like this:

 *sniff*

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