Ducky and I paid a visit to the vet on Thursday to talk about her IBS/IBD treatment and management. Although she has had a couple of vomiting episodes in the three months since her diet change, she has actually been feeling better in general. But, while I’ve seen some limited improvement since adding the Prozac to her treatment regimen, I’ve also felt at times that the Prozac was making her more “antsy”.
Looking back on those times now, however, I believe it was boredom and lack of sufficient exercise, not the Prozac, that was making her hyper.
Back to the visit to the vet: I started by saying that Ducky wants 24/7 playtime and/or attention. And she barks at us — sometimes seemingly incessantly — to get it. Which triggers hubby’s impatient shouting at her to “shut up!” and my own impatience with him for shouting while sitting less than a foot away from my head. And, at times, finding my own impatience boiling over into angry words before I can put a lid on them.
And I said I know that shouting at her doesn’t do a bit of good because she sees it as us barking back at her. But that doesn’t always stop me and it always goes in hubby’s one ear and out the other. Dr. Steve smiled and said “men can be so thick at times!”
“Your — and Sam’s — problem with Ducky isn’t Ducky. It’s that her sisters are senior, chilled-out, Golden Retrievers. Ducky is a normal, curious, active, young dog. And with the Corgi part of her heritage, she’s part herding dog. Herding dogs tend to be talkative, some more than others; and Ducky is one of the more talkative ones.”
My Mom would call her a “chatterbox”, like she did me when I was a little kid.
So what do I do now? Lately I’ve just been taking Ducky and her sisters out to the yard to play and work off some of her energy. But that’s not enough.
It does work off some of her excess energy. And it does keep me from getting a headache because the TV is too loud. But sometimes that’s not enough either.
So, I’m going to start “nose work” and tracking with Ducky. It’s something we can do inside when the weather’s too whatever, and outside when it’s pleasant.
Since the improvement hasn’t been that noticeable, Doc said “let’s increase the Prozac to twice a day and re-visit this in three weeks. The additional amount is not going to turn her into a vegetable. And, with the tracking and nose work added to her routine, you’ll probably see a big improvement.”
I’m in the middle of a book that gives step-by-step instructions on how to start. Once I finish reading that and feel comfortable with knowing where and how to start, we will start. This book has some games to play to make it more fun, but I want to get the fundamentals down first.
Meanwhile, I played some mind games with Ducky yesterday. It was really just an added reinforcement of her obedience training, but for her it was part of the fun. Instead of just throwing the Bounzer around the yard for her, I simply asked for a sit-stay and focus for a few seconds. When she accomplished that to my satisfaction, I threw the toy and let her play keep away for a little bit. And then repeated it to make it a little game. We played by ourselves for about an hour and she was wiped-out the rest of the afternoon.
So, after hubby and I get the grass cut, I’m going to bring her back out here to play our little game — and maybe mix it up a little bit.
Have a great weekend!!