Addressing anxiety

Matt distracts Charlie as a tech readies to give him a shot.

Matt distracts Charlie as a tech readies to give him a shot.

We recently brought Lex and Charlie to the vet to get them up-to-date on their shots.

For Lex, this was old hat. She calmly waited for her shot, and didn’t even try to hop off the exam table.

Charlie, however, was another story. He wiggled and whined and twisted and turned. The vet tech told us not to fret, that she had it under control. And then Charlie would break free. Matt stepped in to help calm Charlie, gently rubbing his nose and telling him he was such a gooooood boy.

I took this opportunity to speak with the vet about Charlie’s anxiety. I told her about his destruction, the couch cushions, the window sills, the Thundershirt. His insistence upon pooping in the house, even though we have a dog door.

She suggested leaving him for short periods of time, and seeing how he reacts. Rewarding good behavior, then leaving him for longer periods of time.

Other alternatives tossed around include consulting a behaviorist, purchasing a special collar and anxiety medication.

We’ve opted to introduce neighborhood walks, in addition to our running games in the back yard. Also, we have increased the number of times and length we leave him alone. For extended periods of time (for example eight hours or more) we have opted to board the dogs at Camp Bow Wow, which they love.

I have been experiencing medical issues that have prevented me from being as actively involved with Charlie as I would like. I’m hoping to get this resolved by summertime.

I think Charlie would like a new walking partner.



8 thoughts on “Addressing anxiety

  1. Medical issues are not fun. For anybody. Dogs included. I hope it all gets resolved with a minimum of poop in the house! Cupcake is presently adjusting to my knee problems and a few little 5 minute walks each day. Not fun.

  2. I cross my paws for the poop-project. But you know what? I’m always totally over the top if I have a vets appointment. The vet tried a “trick” ,because he is always exhausted after wrestling with me: if we go into his office, we don’t use the main entrance like all others, the vet tech let us in through the side entrance. By now it works, if I haven’t to pass the waiting room and the reception. But is it the “alltime”- solution too ? who knows?

    • Thanks Zena! Charlie really seems to be improving. We’ve bought a new group of mouth/chewy toys, and that really helps keep him out of trouble. And we’ve been more consistent about keeping the baby gate up, and he is willing to go potty outside. Yay for minor miracles!!

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