Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sad Suzy

Yeesh. Apparently I didn't kill the dog when I gave her twice the recommended dose of a homeopathic anti-anxiety remedy. I jest, of course, because the main ingredient of said remedy is L-tryptophan, so essentially the dog is enjoying effects similar to those I will be enjoying on Thursday after eating an obscene amount of turkey. Still, I was a little concerned when I reread the directions on the bottle after the kiddo and I successfully fed Suzy a full anti-anxiety tablet. Oops. And when the animal poison control hotline (oh yes, I did call) wanted fifty bucks to answer my question, I hopped on the Internet for free and learned that the dogger would indeed be fine.

I hope this homeopathic stuff has the desired effect. That is, I hope it helps ol' Suzy settle the heck down and not cry like a dying cat whenever we leave the house. Today the kiddo and I needed to go to the store, so we crated Suzy per her owner's routine and instructions, then left. We could still hear her crying all the way downstairs although the windows were closed. Poor doggie. She was miserable. We're doing the ignore-the-dog thing for twenty minutes after each return home (so she won't associate our returns with special treatment), but I doubt that will be enough to modify her behavior -- hence the meds. *

If the homeopathic stuff doesn't work after a week or two (as I understand it, these things take a while to accumulate and have an effect), we're looking into Clomicalm. Suzy has a prescription for it that was never filled, but perhaps that will be the silver bullet. Who knows?

I was a tad embarrassed when I was downstairs in the garage and the neighbor across the way said she could hear the dog crying. She was nice about it, but I don't completely trust her opinions at this point because a.) she said she could hear Suzy this morning, when in reality I had been home all day and the dog had been quiet; b.) she was overly reactive when we had the recent round of wildfires (she swore the northern and southern fires were going to meet, surround us and force us out toward the ocean, when such an event was a hundred million-to-one longshot); and c.) she has that look. I can't explain the look, other than to say that she looks like she's constantly sizing me up and wondering if I'm on to her. Anyway, she volunteered to babysit Suzy when I go out, and although it's nice that she seems to care, I don't feel great about it and will probably continue to work with Suzy on my own terms. Also, and maybe this sounds terrible, it would be pretty inconvenient for me to have to call a dog sitter every time I just want to go to the store on the spur of the moment, so that's probably not going to happen.

I suspect part of her motivation is partly altruistic and partly her desire to keep a lid on possible noise, but let's face it -- her husband's motorcycle (coming and going before dawn and after dark), loud radio, and myriad car power tools are a hundred times more annoying. Add to that the car power tools of the other neighbor, the yelling and loud musical instruments and barking dogs of other neighbors, and it's probably about time I started exercising my right to make a little noise around here. ;-) I joke, of course, but my point is that I'm abnormally quiet and a little noise (faint to others in their homes) from Suzy won't upset the status quo.

Nonetheless, I do hope Suzy starts feeling better with some medication or other. She's a pathetic little thing when left alone, and her crying just breaks our hearts into a million pieces.

* She has weak teeth, so I can't give her a treat-filled Kong to chew on in her crate, and we're in and out a little too much to effectively conduct a systematic desensitization routine, so we're resorting to meds and hoping for the best. I have a feeling we're going to need to go to the good stuff (Clomicalm), but we're keeping our fingers crossed.