OK, so you might notice that Gail looks kind of soulfull and sweet in the this shot. Indeed, she has made an extreme amount of progress, and it is all thanks to this wonderful little pill she takes every afternoon. It’s called fluoxitine, and it is used to treat separation anxiety. I call it a miracle!
Some of you might recognize the drug. It is the same drug that goes under the brand name of Prozac. While it is primarily used to treat depression in humans, fluoxitine is an anti-anxiety drug when administered to dogs, and is the only approved medication for separation anxiety in dogs. As an added bonus the overall improvement in Gail’s temprament is something to behold. She is… Lovable.
I guess once you take away a dog’s anxiety, they tend to enjoy being cuddled and fawned over more. It is obvious that Gail is much more content these days, and she is far more trainable. Although not perfect, she is starting to get a grip on a basic vocabulary, and will typically retreive the object you ask for such as a ball, rope, or Wubba from the other room.
Even my cat, Alex has noticed the improvement. His anxiety level has also dropped thanks to the fact that Gail has stopped using him as a chew toy. Every once in a while, Gail will get a little too “nosey”, but for the most part she is respecting Alex’s boundaries.
Initially I was told it would take up to 30 days before there would be any behavioral changes, but honestly I could tell that something was happening after only two weeks. It has been a little over two months, and Gail is like a new dog. It is also of note that the medication is rather affordable. At only $18 for a 60 day supply, I can keep Gail on this pill indefinitely to ensure that her previous disposition never comes back.
Some amazingly kind and generous soul has been using our submission page during my extended hiatus. They are a bit different from my usual style, but the submitter was kind enough to provide them, so I will be posting them over the next few weeks with minimal editing. I hope you all enjoy.
“I’m envious of actors. You shoot a movie or you do a season of ‘Big Love,’ and then you’re on hiatus and you have a bunch of free time.” ― Jack McCollough
So during the last fireside chat, I might have given some of you the impression that I don’t like my dog. Well, I do, but with such boundless energy she can be very tiring. I’m getting on in my years, and having a living bouncy ball sap my energy every day is frustrating.
But Gail is my baby girl, and though she often tests my limits, she does have her up sides. Off hand I can’t think of any, but… Oh wait! She does actually settle down, and when I’m sitting on the couch or lying in bed, she is right there snuggled up next to me. She looks at me in such a way as to tell me that I am her everything.
And Gail is still just a pup. Granted, she is an 85 pound musclebound pup, but her brain is still developing. It is always a pleasant surprise when something finally “clicks” in that head of hers, and she learns to control some of the less desirable aspects of her behavior.
Make no mistake, there is a long way to go before Gail is what I would consider a “good” dog, and I have had enough dogs to know the difference. In the meantime, she still gets plenty of toys and treats and belly rubs.
August 4 was Gail’s birthday. She’s come a long way since she was a little puppy, and she still has a long way to go.
Can I be frank though? I got Gail to help me cope with the loss of my beloved Grace who passed away nearly a year ago. Unfortunately this did not pan out like I’d hoped. Gail is a beautiful Labrador, but when you see her in person, it’s apparent she lacks the lovability that Grace had.
She has no impulse control. When you try to pet her she wants to chew on you, or jump on you, or claw/kick you. Not in a mean way, but in an overexcited loss of control way. She also swings her head around like it was a mace on a battle field.
She barks a lot. A LOT. She growls and barks at dogs and cats on the TV. She also howls like a %^&*ing beagle. This can happen out of the blue for no reason, and it’s beyond infuriating. It’s 3AM, not a creature in the whole neighborhood is stirring, and suddenly this dog starts howling and barking. Oh, the neighbors are not amused.
She’s a digger! Yeah, all dogs will dig, but this is done out of spite. It’s a shame I don’t have the mineral rights to my lot. If I let her out, and don’t supervise her the whole time, she will start excavating.
I could go on, but suffice to say, living with Gail has been a rather unpleasant and thus far unrewarding challenge. If I had known then what she would be like at one year, I would not have gotten this dog.
If there’s anything good to say, she seems like she’s genuinely happy here. She likes the food, the treats, the car rides, the walks, the games of fetch, and torturing the cat. Sometimes she even seems to like me.
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