For the Love of My Son

JetOnce a year we make our trek to the vet…okay usually we have one other major incident that also leads us to the vet because my fur kid is just about as accident prone as I am. Yesterday was Jet’s 8 yr check up.

We came out with a relatively clean bill of health although I’m ashamed to say that my boy has gained far too much weight and we are upping our exercise and eliminating the people food snacks that have mysteriously weaseled their way in to his diet. We have 10 lbs to lose…CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? I am completely ashamed because I have always been one to keep a vigilant eye on his weight because of his hip problems. Aside from the weight gain we also checked in with our “fatty lumps”. We now have five fatty lumps, the largest about the size of a golf ball on his right side. All of these are – thank God- just fatty lumps and nothing to be concerned with.

Following our usual shots and overall checkup we addressed the biggy – separation anxiety. Jet had never been an anxious dog until a few years ago. Until I began leaving the house more often, when we had an office to work in. He had become so used to me working at home that the sudden change really turned his world upside down and now he trembles and drools insanely at the thought of me leaving him. We talked about the pheromone collars – these did not work for us. We talked about¬† the herbal collars – these worked for a short time. We talked about anxiety wraps – our vet had never heard of nor did she recommend these. We talked about medication…I shot my vet a dirty look and told her I did not want to medicate him. She explained that it was a doggy xanax that would take the edge off for him and we could use it as sparingly as we pleased. I told her we would consider it. We also discussed the possibility of moving him to a crate. Jet has ALWAYS had free roam in his adult life, his puppy life was cornered off by baby gates. I was afraid a crate would possibly make him feel just as anxious but it is a better alternative to try before we medicate. We are going to be getting a soft crate and leaving the doors open for a while so he can get used to it. My hope is that he will see it as his safe place and we will not need to close the doors on him. Buzz is not impressed with the idea but then again he’s not particularly a “dog person”. All in all we left the vet with a plan and a wealth of literature on how not to worry your dog when you are getting ready to leave the house.

Today we are trying half of a xanax pill to determine what effect if any it has on my boy. I am sick to my stomach thinking about it but I need to know if this is a valid option. I am also ordering a large soft crate (see here) for us to move Jet’s bedtime place to and giving away his current bed to someone on Freecycle. I am also going to be trying to implement more outings with my boy to try to desensitize him to some of the noises that seem to startle him so much. It’s going to be a long haul but he is my son and I love him and he is so, completely and totally worth it.

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