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Raj's Sep. Anx.??? Update us CF!

sammiec
September 15th, 2004, 11:02 PM
Well, I haven't been able to find any information about your first week back to classes and just how Raja is coping during the day! :D Just wanted to check in and see how much she has progressed!! I hope it's going well; such a beauty she is! :p

Cactus Flower
September 16th, 2004, 02:58 AM
Well bless your heart for caring! (I wish there was an emoticon for warm fuzzies, as you just gave me a major case of them).

I have been taking Raj to the boarding kennel while in school, and she only chewed herself once while in there, so far. I am not using the Rescue Remedy. At first I thought it helped her a great deal because she didn't chew any holes in herself, and I was so excited- just thrilled about that. But the third day I gave it to her she chewed herself, so it made me wonder. On the fourth day I didn't give her any, just to see if there would be a difference- and she didn't chew herself. So I'm thinking now that the Rescue Remedy wasn't helping her in the first place.
She seems to really be getting used to going to the kennel now, but I still can't leave her at home for very long. I tried ONCE to leave her at the house while I was in school, and she chewed herself and everything else in the room and piddled on the carpet.
Any time I've left her she has chewed something up. Something/anything/everything.
I know it wouldn't make sense, but I wonder sometimes if leaving her at the kennel is making things worse for leaving her at home. She just does NOT like to be left at the house, even with Chloe in here with her. At the kennel, there are other dogs around (not in with her, but in kennels all around her). Maybe it's just too lonely at home, even with the t.v on and things that she is ALLOWED to chew on, and Chloe for company. I think she really associates home with being with me, so it is harder for her.
She totally ignores her "allowed" chew-toys, and tears apart the garbage, books, whatever she can get her hands on. And she pees on the carpet.
I just don't know how I'm going to get her past this. I am still leaving her for short periods of time, and trying to lengthen the time as I go along. But it seems as though I'll never get her past a certain point.
It's really hard for me not to just give up and just take her with me everywhere, like I did when I first got her.

Anyway, thanks again for asking! I'm very flattered that you were thinking of her!

moontamara
September 16th, 2004, 04:09 AM
Cactus Flower, does your dog chew holes in herself? I haven't heard of any dog doing that except Molly, my mom's bichon who was our family pet. Is Raj a rescue? Do you know what causes this kind of behaviour -- I mean, stress, obviously, but why some dogs do this? It's sooo sad... I think Molly started to get neurotic when my parents were splitting up and there was so much sadness and quiet and strangeness around her for too long. She wasn't neglected, but I think her environment changed so quickly and drastically that it was almost the equivalent of emotional abuse (not as cruel of course). I still feel guilty about how much Molly suffered during that time.

Are you teaching or studying at school?

I hope it gets better with Raj soon...

melanie
September 16th, 2004, 05:40 PM
hey i just had an idea, well its not really mine i have seen it before thats all. i reckon you really need to work on her desensitisation about being alone. and i have an experiement for you, here it is-
how about you record your normal daily life, all your movements in the house, set up your tape recorder and tape your daily activites on the weekend. ie doing the dishes, vacume, move around, hum, read, bang the lot. so tape it all and transfere it all to a CD. one day leave the house for say an half hour to an hour and play this CD on a constant cycle at a low volume, just a bit of background noise. and see how she goes.

i remember years ago when charlie and i went through sep anxiety this i started playing the radio at low volume when i left the house, it seemed to help her as it was company and normal house noise thus reducing the need to stress as she felt someone was around. (i didnt have a cd player then so radio all i had). it worked for her.
i dont know if this theory will work but i have heard of it being used for various stress problems.

and when you leave the house make sure you remember to leave the house with no fuss, dont forget anything and go back, dont speak to her jsut go out, and when you return dont speak to her for at least 5 minutes, just enter and do your ting, if she really hassles you for a hello just calmly acknowlege her and walk away. but im sure you know all this already, jsut a reminder. and dont ever think she cant overcome this problem, with time and patience, she will be happy to stay at home some day on her own. :D and she will really love it :D

Luba
September 16th, 2004, 07:20 PM
Melanie that could be a brilliant idea...except what if Raj is constantly looking for her expecting her to be there because the 'noise ' is??

It could either be absolutely brilliant or completely backfire, should ya chance it or not?

Jeopardy music plays.........

melanie
September 16th, 2004, 07:38 PM
i was thinking she should not tape herself talking, but i think a bit of background music with some normal house noises mixed in might be a goer. :D

Sneaky2006
September 16th, 2004, 08:46 PM
I know dogs and cats are totally different but I know my cats would go crazy trying to find out where the noise was coming from.
It'll be interesting to find out what happens...

melanie
September 16th, 2004, 09:54 PM
never had a cat so wouldnt know, i just know this has successfully been used in different therapies for stress treatment, when the radio going and they talk and what not my dog does not try and find out where the ppl are or anythign like that. and it is not loud, it is just a quiet background noise of daily life.

Writing4Fun
September 16th, 2004, 09:59 PM
I leave the radio on for Phoebe as well. I do it while we're home, too, so that it's a perfectly normal noise for her, and it's just continuing when we're gone. Nothing new, nothing strange, same old, no reason to freak out... ;)

Cactus Flower
September 16th, 2004, 10:40 PM
Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts. I can't tell you how impressed I am at the brainwork happening here. I feel like I should turn to Raj and say: "Don't worry, honey, I've got a team working on this right now".

Yes, she chews herself. Yes, she was a rescue. She's been through some terrible abuse and neglect. But she has come a LONG WAY. It seems she just can't handle being seperated from me. This is severe.
As an example: Raj rides in the back of my Jeep Cherokee. Usually I have the back seat down, to give her more room. This means she can ride with her head sticking into the front area, right next to me. If I have to put the back seat UP, which keeps her in the very back of the Cherokee with the back seat between us, she will chew up whatever is back there. If there is nothing to chew up, she'll chew herself. Always ignoring the "allowed" chew toys.
And just because there is a seat between us.

Melanie, I think you have a terrific idea. I would even consider putting my voice on the CD. That might be just what she needs. I would of course be concerned about it confusing her/freaking her out. So I'm thinking I might make the CD of various household happenings and background noise, with a bit of my voice here and there (maybe just of me reading something). Then I'll put it in the computer and select continuous play, and leave. I will sneak around to the back window and just watch how she responds. If she seems to be confused by it I can come right in and turn it off. If by some miracle she seems soothed by it and just goes to bed or something- well then I of course will be inspired to win the lottery and pay you handsomely for solving this problem!

Thank you, Luba, for being concerned about Raj and any confusion the CD might cause her. Without your warning, I wouldn't have thought to "test" this first, to make sure it isn't going to trouble her.

I do have the radio or television on when I leave, but that seems to make little difference. And giving her the Kong-type toy is a zilcher, too. She could care less. Heck, she doesn't even bother with that when I AM at home LOL.

Now all I have to do is find someone who can transfer any recording I will make on tape- to CD! If I just play the tape, it will only be good for about an hour.

Thanks again!

Luba
September 16th, 2004, 10:59 PM
There are tape recorders and most cd's do continuous play.

Just try the tape out for a few minutes see if it works/not. My guess with this angel girl she's smart enough to know YOU are not there. She see's and knows you are leaving and that is her entire focus, completely and fully.

Do you ever do any yard work/wash your car or go for the mail without her?

If not maybe start doing those little things, because they are quick and she knows and see's you returning.

All in all, it may be just time that she needs. Afterall whatever happened to her before is obviously still with her. The fear of being alone and you leaving her consumes her every moment.

She may also sense the anxiety that you are feeling when you leave, especially if you make a big fuss or change the tone of your voice or even facial expression.

If you are treating her differently then Chloe she will automatically assume something with 'her' is different and she'll react to it.

If Chloe doesn't care that you leave and you just say goodbye or give her a little pat when you go.....I'd maybe suggest you try the same thing with Raja.

Make sure they're both together, close by one another. Have a little treat with you tell them both something like 'I'll be back' give them both the treat

(NEVER SAY STAY or they hold the STAY COMMAND waiting for the break command)

Simply just leave then. If you leave a radio on put it on a soft music station without a lot of talk radio or harsh music.

This way she can learn from Chloe and copy her. It's not gonna work the first time or maybe even the 10th time but one day it just may click! :D

krdahmer
September 16th, 2004, 11:28 PM
What is rescue remedy? :confused: I've never heard of that.

Oh and since I am not a dog owner, I can only offer piddle remover advice.... FOLEX, it is a wonder stain remover especially on pet stains and you can get a big bottle at Canadian Tire for about $9. :)

glasslass
September 17th, 2004, 01:20 AM
Just had a horrible thought! She doesn't bite those beautiful nails does she? :eek:

Cactus Flower
September 17th, 2004, 12:44 PM
I know there are tape recorders LOL. I was just saying that I would have to have a way to transfer the TAPE to CD, so I could put it in the computer on continuous play. If I just have a tape, it will only play for a short while in the tape player.

Yes, I go out on short trips without her, like if I just have to run to the store for milk. I didn't at first. At first I took her with me everywhere. I've been doing the short trips, then gradually lengthening the time. It just seems I've reached an impasse, where I can't get her past a certain amount of time, and certainly not to the point where I could leave her here when I'm in class.

All in all, it may be just time that she needs. Afterall whatever happened to her before is obviously still with her. The fear of being alone and you leaving her consumes her every moment.
I think you're right on the money there, my friend.

I don't make a fuss when I leave, or when I return. Someone recommended that when I first posted this issue, and I stopped making a fuss that day. Your idea about treats when I leave is a good one. I will definitely be trying that. Maybe it will help her associate me leaving as a more positive thing.

Rescue Remedy is an herbal mixture, given by dropper. It is supposed to calm anxiety in humans, and has been touted as doing the same in dogs. I am not saying that it is useless, just because it didn't work for Raj. I think her anxiety level is so severe, it just can't put a dent in it. Rescue Remedy may work just fine with lesser levels of anxiety.

LOL- no GlassLass, Raj doesn't bite her nails.
She chews up the pads of her feet :( Even sometimes when I'm just sitting here, spending perhaps too much time on the computer, and she hasn't gotten any attention for an hour or so, she'll start chewing on her feet and grumbling at me from her bed which is literally two feet away.

Princesss04
September 17th, 2004, 12:49 PM
I beat she would feel better if you posted more pictures of her. LOL. Well, at least that would make us feel alot better/ :D

Cactus Flower
September 17th, 2004, 01:06 PM
Your wish is my command!

Here she is "grooming" her ball:

Cactus Flower
September 17th, 2004, 01:08 PM
I'm still a sucker for sleeping pics:

Princesss04
September 17th, 2004, 02:02 PM
She gets prettier wash time I see her, I love the color of her nail polish (the little princess)! She looks so happy when she is sleeping. She better be careful she will out grow that bed. So how is your classes going? :D Oh, by the way, I had been meaning to ask you what do you feed her? I can not find a food that Meat Loaf and Charming are tha crazy about. I am going to go and get a pack of the Chicken Soup dog food this weekend and try it. Thanks CF. :D

debanneball
September 17th, 2004, 02:42 PM
She looks so peaceful when sleeping; it's hard to imagine that she could cause damage.

Now, you want to speak damage...let's see -
- coffee table - now moved to basement because it was a very large chew toy
- couch - cushions - one is say half, the other is quarter size...oh, instead of tossing the lumps out, I now re stuff them back so hopefully when Stella chews and destroys, she gets the old ones
- chair - my puter chair is oak, very nice, minus one corner
- dry wash stand - missing moulding thing part at bottom
- books - moved out of room, actually, the whole wall unit is now bare
- blinds - levlor, now are all bumpy in places
- recliner - now in a corner due to the fact that the hidden side has no material or stuffing...very pretty to look at
And, she's only 10 months old.... :cool:

chico2
September 17th, 2004, 04:54 PM
CF,Raj is soo pretty,I certainly hope you get her anxieties worked out,lots of help here :D
I can imagine when Raj piddles it's a small lake :D
She obviously loves you very much,it must be heartbreaking to know she's stressed out without you.
A friend of mine has a"Nature sound"CD on for his bird,ocean sounds(sounds like someone peeing :D )birds etc...it soothes the bird when he's alone.
But Raj,as big as she is,might be scared of something like that..

melanie
September 17th, 2004, 07:15 PM
gosh love thsose nails :D :D
i jsut remembered another tip i heard years ago and often do myself. if you can give her her meal when you leave, say her breakfast when you leave for school, it is similar to the treats but is larger and she will associate your bieng gone with havin a good feed and a nap. what i do with my girly here is (she used to be queen of the sep anxiety and the pathetic :D , these days she is better though)-
i take her for her 1 hour walk in the morn, come back get ready for the day. just before i leave i prep breakfast and give it to her and go, she does not notice me leave i tell you. and then she has her nap in the sun as she has no energy left,

and that is one of the most important points in my eyes about sep anxiety, energy to burn. i dont ever leave her alone without having exercised her first, when she is all tired and tuckered out she really doesnt care much about me or what im up to., she just is exhausted and wants to sleep. :D

oh gosh these babies are such a handful sometimes :D :D

Cactus Flower
September 18th, 2004, 08:30 AM
Princess: Classes are going fine, thank you! I feed her whatever "higher end" dog food I can afford, which varies from check to check. Monday I'll be buying a brand I wouldn't normally be able to afford. The pet store/kennel that boards her while I am in school has it, and I can't for the life of me remember the name of it. I know I've seen it mentioned here. Maybe Nutro? They have a few bags of the food for dogs with allergies, (which contain yams!), then some of the non-allergy type. I'll be able to tell you for sure Monday. I got up at 5 am and my brain won't be working until at least 7 :D

Debanneball: Goodness, you've got your hands full! In comparison, I've little to complain about! Have you found anything that helps?

Chico: A "small lake", oh yes. I wonder if I could get a CD with desert sounds on it? (Sixty minutes of silence LOL :D ). Thanks for the compliments!

Melanie: A full meal......that makes sense. I know that after my belly is full, I certainly want to take a nap! Walking her before I leave is a good idea, too. I'm embarassed to say I don't do that. It takes an hour or two before my legs really get working in the morning. I feel like the tin man until I've been up and moving around for a little while (I've had a lot of surgeries and have some hardware in them). I wish Raj was content to just go outside and play with Chloe while I'm getting ready in the morning. Burn off a few calories. But she just goes out to potty, then is bawling at the door the minute she is done- wanting to be wherever I am. Maybe I'll try throwing her ball for her for a while before I have to go. That wouldn't take any legwork on my part. Thanks once again for your suggestions.

Yesterday, I gave Raj and Chloe each some cheese, then went out the door. I was gone for two hours. When I came back, no lakes and no chewing. I'd already gotten her to the two hour point, but sometimes she regresses (especially after a long weekend with me). But I'll be giving treats each time I leave from now on, or a meal. The only thing I worry about with the meal is that those little lakes will turn into mountains :eek:. But I do think it's worth a shot!

melanie
September 18th, 2004, 06:13 PM
for an easy excersise, a tennis ball and racket helps, you dont have to move (as long as she will bring it back :D )

sammiec
September 18th, 2004, 06:52 PM
Glad to hear that things have improved... and that you decided against having her in the Jeep while you're in class... :)

She is absolutely adorable... I wish I was closer so that I could "baby"sit!! So pretty!

I would definately get her out in the morning. The tennis racket is a great idea, gets her moving and you hopefull stationary... I am NOT a morning person and I am usually getting up later than I should :rolleyes: but I REALLY notice a difference when Briggs gets out before I leave the house... :D

destroyed:
1 corner of DVD cabinet
3 corners of wall
1 wall - chewed the drywall - now hidden by the dishwasher
1 book
1 wicker basket
1 pair of sunglasses
1 white out
2 magnets from the fridge
1 chewed but still functional baby gate
1 bed sheet with random holes....

It comes with the territory... they decide what you should and shouldn't have....