I’m finding one challenge to a Photo a Day challenge is having the time to post my photo’s. I missed yesterday, but enjoyed today’s prompt:
We took the dogs to coffee this morning. It was nice to sit for a few minutes, I’m thrilled to be able to get Maizey out and about a bit more, but she really can’t last too long before the anxiety gets too high. Interestingly, she’s started reacting to people at a distance. Mehusbandy says he thinks she’s always barked at people, but I think it was more selective than it is now. Also interesting is her ability to stop barking and settle back on her mat. (I thank Karen Overall for Relaxation Protocol everyday!) It used to be she couldn’t access her training when we were out and she got triggered, but the level of reaction to everything except dogs is much lower now and she really does better with leave it’s, focus and Look at That, always defaulting to her mat.
I’m certainly seeing signs of higher stress level in her this week. We’ve had two episodes of diarrhea. She hasn’t had any diarrhea in about three weeks. That’s a record for her. The 10:00pm to 11:00pm hour has been one of her highest stress times and has gotten worse the last few weeks. I have no idea why. Finally after a really hard night on Thursday and a morning that nearly had me in tears yesterday I decided to try some supplements I haven’t tried before.
Last night and tonight we had tea together. I had really yummy Lavender Dreams from Teavana (a wonderful gift from my little sister) and she had Quiet tea from The Honest Kitchen. Last night we only had one barking outburst about 10:40 and that was when the neighbors pit bulls got into a noisy scrap. Tonight we had fireworks for the first time and she sat up and noticed, but didn’t bark or hide. A few minutes later I noticed she was laying so loose and relaxed she sort of scared me! The fact that she looks weird to me when she’s relaxed, says a lot about how tense she is most the time. Poor girl! I realized just now she didn’t bark at all tonight so maybe the tea does help!
All in all she’s still doing better. I’m trying not to panic over this week and feel like it’s all going down hill from here. I’m going to keep her in for a day or two and give her body a chance to reset. I’ll keep her mind busy with training and puzzle toys and hope for the best.
It’s hard for me to not take her with us, but then we have a day like today where she’s conflicted to be out with us. She’s obviously not too stressed in these photo’s, but we stayed out a bit too long for her and I saw the result of higher stress the rest of the day. It’s such a fine line and I’m constantly doing a balancing act to know what will be best for her. It’s hard to just take Magnus too much of the time since she does much better when he’s home. At the same time it’s not fair to him to stay home sister-sitting all the time. I’m always working to find a balance, but I think in general we’re succeeding. Bottom line is a year ago in June she couldn’t go anywhere, not even the front yard so I’m thrilled with the level of happiness and adventure we’ve achieved!