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Jellyblush

Please Help Me Save My Dog

889 posts in this topic

Woah.... what happened in here?! Extra pages appeared from nowhere!

As ever thank you so much to all of you for your support and kind words. Many different perspectives in this thread, however I know each of them is put forward in kindness and with Roo's best interests at heart, so thank you. I have never been offended by any suggestion to put Roo to sleep - the reason I came to this forum was to see what genuine dog lovers and dog experts think is a reasonable way forward, and so it is as helpful to hear that as anything else.

I see Roo every day feel I do a pretty good job of assessing her quality of life. When I began to post here, it was not high, she was anxious as often as not. Now, through a mix of medication, some moderate behavioural change, and daycare, she is anxious for a much much much smaller fraction of her life. I know there will be some of you that think any anxiety at all is too much, and unfair to her, while others will think a loved, happy dog for 80% of the time is a dog worth keeping around. In the end it is me that has to decide.

What I am not as good at, is drawing that same line for myself. I often feel trapped by my life revolving around Roo, Greymate is right in this. However, again, the extent to which I care more for Roo than I do for myself is also up to me.

Anyway, as far as I can see there is one thing I haven't tried, and that is Nekh's training program without medication. Other training programs have not worked, but have been markedly different to Nekhs in ways I won't go into, and medication has not worked in the long term, except to make me broke, it has worked pretty well for that! I intend to discuss weaning off the meds with my behaviourist (I do not think this will be welcomed but still...) and give it a shot.

Wish us luck, and thank you all again. Here's a pic for the Roo-lovers :)

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I also wanted to especially thank Tdierikx, Woofnhoof, Hankdog, Snook and Sheridan for your comments over the last day or so. In one way or another you have all especially made me feel supported and encouraged. Hankdog, I'm sorry to hear about your dogs problems :( How can creatures so adorable be so mental!!

Edited by Jellyblush

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Katdogs   

You're very reasonable Jellyblush. I'm on the 'there's got to be a limit' side but I have immense respect for your care and efforts for lovely Roo. I truly hope you can both find peace, one way or the other.

ETA I haven't had a SA dog other than one little foster I gave up on after three days (took him back to the Rescue's kennel). I just don't know that I could cope at all :(

Edited by Katdogs

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corvus   

I don't hold any particular fondness for so-called professionals in yours or Corvus' line. I prefer to have some humanity when talking about someone's pet. You keep making it personal every time you tell Jelly to kill her dog.

There's nothing inhumane about acknowledging human nature and finding ways to assess the welfare of a being in your care objectively. The whole point is to be as humane as possible. I think we owe it to our animals to have something more substantial than "I think it's working" when their welfare is potentially compromised, whether their life is in the balance or not. This is a general comment for everyone out there who is or will in the future be facing difficult decisions about an animal in their care.

I've always felt that if you loved your animal you would do the right thing by them whatever that may be. I still believe that, but to me "doing the right thing by them" means being as sure as I can be of my assessments. I'm about 6 months off a PhD in cognitive biases. Guess why I like numbers. I think it's fair to say Jellyblush understands that the ultimate decision lies soley with her and she will be supported and not judged regardless of what she chooses to do. This is a different issue to how she makes her decisions, and encouraging her to approach assessment and decision making with the tools to be rational when the situation is so emotional is not the same as urging her to put her dog to sleep or something. It's hard to keep your head above the water. Being able to make assessments you believe in helps a lot IME. By all means, try all the things you want to try, just make sure you can't pull the wool over your own eyes about their effectiveness. Because people do, particularly when we care so much. It's how we work and that's fine as long as we are aware of it.

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She's just so gorgeous :love: it's obvious from the photos that she does spend many hours as a very happy and content girl, with her beloved mum :hug:

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she IS gorgeous!!

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Here's one of her with her Dad, he who moved to the UK and left me to deal with the mental one on my own. Too cool for school.

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tdierikx   

If the behaviourist's methods aren't working, and Nekh's methods have had some success so far, I'd be inclined to thank the behaviourist for their efforts and going with Nekh's method only for a while to see if Roo keeps improving.

Whatever the long term outcome, your patience and dedication is incredible. Roo is the luckiest dog alive to have you as her mummy.

T.

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Aidan3   

The behaviourists methods were Clomicalm, which appears to have made a tangible improvement. The cost and stigma seem to be the problem there. I don't have any solution for the cost, but the stigma is unwarranted. Clomicalm reduces anxiety, and that's it. It's not a hypnotic, any extra sleeping is because your dog can relax. There are anxiolytics out there which do some strange things, and even clomicalm can do some strange things in rare individuals, but it is not a drug that comes with a huge risk of that.

Jelly, you mentioned state-dependent learning earlier in the thread. It's an astute observation, but not a huge practical concern.

What you really need to be satisfied with is that the benefits of the drug outweigh the costs. Put aside cultural concerns or any ideas that a dog "shouldn't" need drugs to be able to function normally. Which genes your dog gets are a random assortment of what is available when dog meets bitch. Mood disorders appear with some probability just as serious liver or joint or heart problems do. The real problem (as i see it) is the financial cost vs the amount of benefit gained - is that benefit enough?

I feel for you, and for Roo, and commend you on the outstanding effort you've made to ensure that Roo gets the very best chance.

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frufru   

We used clomicalm with a dog who developed anxiety when she had lymphoma. She developed several phobias and these disappeared when she was on the clomicalm - If possible I would give it another couple of weeks as it may reduce her anxiety to a level where she is able to learn new behaviours. Best wishes

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Roo is one beautiful dog. Don't really have anything constructive to add but just wanted to say I have been following this thread and I am wishing you and your gorgeous girl all the best.

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Nekhbet   

I think I'm going to put my foot down on this talk and speculation.

This is still, at least in most part, a private professional relationship between myself and Jelly. She can posts up whatever she feels comfortable to on here, I am open in what I do, but if her or I do not divulge EVERY single detail to you lot, that does not mean it's time for speculation, or panic behavior.

The medication situation and effects, as well as previous medication trials have been taken into consideration with my decisions regarding roo as well.

The behaviourists methods were Clomicalm, which appears to have made a tangible improvement.

They haven't actually. Not at all. In fact the dog's moving backwards on the medication.

It's OK greytmate, I actually know what I'm doing and your constant insistance of a time frame and written plan are frankly, annoying - I don't plan on protracting this situation forever but frankly our agreement is none of your business. Your insinuation like I'm some DVD scholared behavioral trainer is insulting. I do what I do, it works. I have spoken IN DEPTH to Jelly A LOT about all facets of this situation, and I literally have my phone open to her 24 hours a day, no matter what the problem is. I'm the last person to be unrealistic about this situation and Jelly knows this, but ultimately I will help her until she says she doesnt need my help anymore for whatever reason that may be.

So keep this thread light, that is the point of it.

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trifecta   

I actually think we should all give Jelly & Nek some space, put this topic to bed for a month & then revisit it :)

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Rosetta   

I have done extensive searches on this forum around separation anxiety and I don't think any poster has received the level of support that Jellyblush has received. I believe the majority of posters have been genuinely caring and made constructive suggestions.

Jellyblush if you find this thread too overwhelming then perhaps you should just request that the thread be deleted and work with whomever you choose in private.

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