Mothering Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,552 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello mamas. i'm going to try to make this as brief as possible but i am hoping some of you might have a little advice for me.

basically, we have a dog (one of three rescues
) who has had serious issues since we adopted him from the pound 4 years ago (he is 5 or 6 now). he was a stray at the pound, so sweet and loving. we named him banjo.

ever since the beginning, banjo has had problems. at a vet visit, it was determined he had been shot with a bb gun--there was a bb under his skin.
(we had it removed.) we soon found out we couldn't leave him alone in the house (even with our other dog), or he would try to jump out the window. he'd claw at the doors and the molding--he ripped it off twice. he tried to jump through a closed window and cracked it.


we took him to two animal behaviorists. we tried different medications--prozac, clomicalm, acepromazine (a sedative that he developed a tolerance to). he is now on xanax (yes, xanax) and it's not doing much anymore. we did training classes. we tried crate training--he would just break out of the crate. we kenneled him at the vet every day for months so he would be safe. we had to stop when one day, when one of the techs reached in and frightened him, he bit her (not badly, but still).

we then got an invisible fence to use with the regular fence so he could stay outside with one of the dogs and play during the day. this worked for awhile, but he still managed to get out--THROUGH the invisible fence and THROUGH the regular fence. !!! banjo is big, strong and determined.

we have since moved, and in our new house have built a beautiful six foot cedar fence around our backyard so he could run and play during the day. it thunderstorms a lot here without warning and it's scary...he has broken out THREE TIMES. the $2000 fence is destroyed in two places.

yesterday was the worst. i came home at lunch to see if banjo was ok. it was raining, we weren't sure if it was thundering at home and i was going to bring banjo to my dh's work. well when i got there banjo was STUCK IN THE FENCE. i was so scared i was hyperventilating. his head was caught in the hole in the fence and his paw was stuck between two slats. he was making the worst noise i have ever heard in my life--a scared, pathetic, crying whimpering noise. i couldn't remove the board that was causing him to be stuck and called dh in a panic. he talked me through getting the board off and by some miracle banjo looked ok, though scared. i took him to the vet and they checked him out and determined he was all right.

so basically we are at a loss. we do not know what to do anymore. meds don't work. he can't be inside. he can't be outside. the vet suggested getting another invisible fence but considering banjo got through it at our old house (without the aid of thunderstorms to scare him) we just don't believe it will contain him. he can't come to work with me (no dogs allowed on the campus where i work) and he really can't come to work with dh longterm, we don't think...

we just don't know what to do. i emailed an animal sanctuary near us, telling them banjo's story and begging them to take him and help him because we just can't give him what he needs. i called my sister, who lives on a commune in virginia, and left a message asking her to call me. i thought maybe she could take him--i'm sure banjo would love a wide open space and lots of people around all the time. i looked up doggie day cares near us and we really cannot afford over $400 a month (or more) for the next several years. he!!, we can't even have another KID yet because we can't afford two in daycare!

oh this is so long, i'm so sorry. does anyone have any ideas?? anything at all?? we do not want to put him down...it seems wrong to me to end his life because WE can't give him what he needs, yk? he's not sick. he's SO sweet, and wonderful with ds. he has many years ahead of him, but i am afraid not with us. and giving him to a shelter--even no kill--isn't really an option. we know no one would adopt him with his issues and he would just die there.

anyone who has read this...thank you. please, if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please, PLEASE tell me.

thanks.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
396 Posts
Hugs mama. I too am a WOHM to a Liam.

There are wonderful dog experts here who I know will weigh in and give great advice. I think you have done all that anyone could do. I don't have any advice for you though.

Maybe your sister can come through? Is she at Yogaville by chance? I live sort of near there...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,552 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you, mydragonboy.


my sister is at twin oaks in virginia. do you know it? she loves it there. i haven't visited but i know they have dogs and cats there.

i am hoping some dog experts here will be able to help me out. dh and i both believe we have done everything we can for banjo and we just want him to be in a safe, happy place.

this is killing me.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
396 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by liam's mom
thank you, mydragonboy.


my sister is at twin oaks in virginia. do you know it? she loves it there. i haven't visited but i know they have dogs and cats there.

i am hoping some dog experts here will be able to help me out. dh and i both believe we have done everything we can for banjo and we just want him to be in a safe, happy place.

this is killing me.
I am glad it is Twin Oaks! I have heard that Yogaville has some pretty strict rules (then again, I only know people who have left so of course they would be more unhappy probably) but it sounds like a real possibility then!

Please please don't beat yourself up over this. You are a great dog owner. Really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,284 Posts


I just went through this with our dog Rudy. He was a stray that showed up in our front yard about 2 years ago. He was very thin and it was the hottest part of the summer here in Texas. We brought him out some water and he drank a giant bowl of it. After determining he wasn't food aggressive and gentle with the kids and our other dog we decided to bring him in until we found his owners.

Owners never claimed him. He was such an awesome dog- my other dog loved him, my kids could climb all over him and he didn't mind at all. He even got on well with the cats!

We soon found out why he was a stray- he could climb an 8 foot privacy fence. When the neighbors started spraying him with their hose when he ended up in their yard he quit climbing over- and started chewing through the fence in the opposite corner. When we fixed that, he decided he'd get out through our front screen door- our house is constantly shifting so the door never latches correctly. He'd stick his nose in and out he went like a shot. Two, three, four times a day. My kids can't open the big wooden door (shifting house and it sticks bad!) by themselves so I leave it open so they can come and go.

I couldn't leave him in the backyard, it's too hot. I didn't want to leave him chained up. I couldn't leave him in the house because the kids running in and out the front door all day long. I talked to everyone I knew about this dog. I called Rescue Groups, no kill shelters, everyone I could think of. For two years. After two pick ups from Animal Control.

Finally, when we were just about to give up and take him to the pound, we had our AC replaced. The repairman fell in love with Rudy and thought he'd be the perfect dog for his family. They have several older children who all ready walk their other dog every night, which is what Rudy needed- more exercise!! My son really didn't play with Rudy much..

We gave the guy full disclosure, the good and the bad with Rudy and he said he could handle it. I can tell you it feels like a weight has been lifted! My kids can play freely in either yard, we can go in and out without looking for a black and white dash going for the door. I can concentrate more of my time on *my* dog that we brought into our home from an animal shelter before Rudy came in to our lives.

I know my story is probably not that helpful, but we got Rudy a home when he *really* needed one, in his last hour. Get the word out, let people know this dog is out there. I bet there is someone who can take him on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,457 Posts
Can you bungee-cord a big crate - or figure out another way to keep the door closed - and try crate-training again? I don't have any good book recommendations on how-tos for crate training, but there might be a trainer in your area who could help. Crate training was a godsend for 2 of our rescue dogs - eventually they could be out in the house without the crate without problems. One of them was really good at getting out of the crate, but we figured out a way to latch it so she couldn't. Then we realized she would be fine in the house and really just wanted to sleep on the bed.


You might try calling a dog trainer anyway, and asking about the problem. Some of them are really good "doggie psychologists" and could maybe figure out what is making him want to bolt all the time.

HTH and good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,552 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
piscean, thank you for the story about Rudy. I am so, so glad he has a home that works better for him.
fwiw, we have tried the whole exercise thing with banjo...it hasn't seemed to make a difference.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nancy926
Can you bungee-cord a big crate - or figure out another way to keep the door closed - and try crate-training again?
we hadn't thought of that, and i'll run the idea by dh. thanks!

Quote:
You might try calling a dog trainer anyway, and asking about the problem. Some of them are really good "doggie psychologists" and could maybe figure out what is making him want to bolt all the time.
i plan on doing that this afternoon. i called the human society and am calling their dog hotline, too, to see if they have any suggestions.

thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,936 Posts
Will you keep us updated? I'd love to hear of any solutions...

We have a similiar dog, who will hurt herself trying to escape from wherever we put her.

We basically bring her with us wherever we go, sometimes leaving her in the car, and she'll wait there without doing any damage to the car or herself, she'll just bark the whole time.


Summer is very hard for us, since it's just not safe to leave her in the hot car anywhere... last summer I came home to find she'd chewed a hole in our solid-wood kitchen door- big enough that she was sticking her head through it to bark at passers-by!!!
:
In a crate, she bloodies herself methodically working at anything she can get a purchase on.


Basically, she's a pretty nervous dog, with wicked separation anxiety.
She's never snapped at anyone or anything, but she gets so nervous around kids, I could never let anyone adopt her who had kids. Also, she gets totally frantic around strangers if I leave her with them where she cannot follow me.

When we lived in a rural place, we could simply tie her on a line to our covered deck, and she'd do fine, (other than barking- but there was nobody to hear her there) though back then we had another dog with whom she was close. But that dog died right before we moved to town (no yard at all now, and lots of people close by) and that's when things got Bad.

She's in heaven when we go places she can run around, but even at her happiest, her basic anxiety never fades. She just sleeps a little more when we get home. Chew toys used to keep her busy and use up some of her nervous energy, but in the past two years (since we moved) she'll barely touch them.
Years ago, we hired an animal behaviorist who showed us how to massage her, and we did it diligently for a loong time... with no change in her temperament. We can't afford to medicate her (and she doesn't seem to like beer
)... and... what's left?
We're stumped, and expecting a new baby any day now... the situation is driving me nuts!

She's eight and a half now... a 40lb lab/dalmation sort of mix... I look forward to hearing more success stories... anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,573 Posts
It sounds like he has a pretty severe case of separation anxiety. I can tell you that there is no harder issue to deal with in the world of dog training. The only real hope is when medicaiton and training are done at the same time. Did you do any separation anxiety modification?? It works roughly 50% of the time and while it seldom is a cure, it will at least in that 50% bring about liveable improvement. The hard part with separation anxiety is the dog is truly in a full blown panic attack--they honestly believe you will never return each and every time you walk out the door.

If you've already attempted behavior modification at the same time as meds, my best suggestion is that I think he'd make a great live in pet for an old age home. There is always someone around and more attention than he could ever wish for. Not all nursing homes will take live in dogs, but more and more are starting to--and he's just the kind of dog they look for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,552 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
oh wow, a nursing home...we had never thought of that! what a great idea. i'll look into it!

in the meantime, i just went to the local natural pet food store and bought a friggin' expensive bag of food (it's very high protein, no grains), and a supplement called "thunderstorm" to put in his water. I have no idea if those things will help, but i really want to try *everything* for him, yk?

ugh, i'm so torn up inside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
Try a person that communicates with animals. If you can find a bonafide animal communicator, it would probally be well worth it.

I have known a few people who have used one for thiers dogs or horses and are very happy with the results. I would like to have a session for my horse, but it is disapointingly expensive.

sorry to hear of your dogs proble,s, how stressful. He is definately lucky to have the family he does though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
I have a German Shepherd who is twelve now -- he was abused as a pup -- and he goes BESERK when it is thundering or if kids are shooting off fire crackers or on the Fourth of July.

Have you ever tried homeopathic remedies with the dog? Or Bach Flower Remedies? When my oldest daughter was nine she was nervous about doing new things. She would claw the insides of her palms with her nails she would get so nervous. I gave her Bach Flower -- I'm not sure which...I'm not at home but I could check later. I did not say, "This will help your nerves" or whatever.

And after a few days, she was a different person. I was absolutely AMAZED. She was calm, pleasant and absolutely unafraid. She has nver had another episode. (This nervous behavior had gone on for some time before I tried this.)

These remedies are safe to use with animals. Unfortunately, they do not always work dramatically in a short time. But it may be worth trying. (Although, it does seem like whichever way you go, this will not be resolved overnight.) There is a Bach Flower specifically for fears of the unknown and fear of being left alone.

I have not used these with my dog only because it isn't that often that he gets freaked out and we are usually there with him when he does (just by chance).

Also, instead of an expensive doggie daycare, is there a neighbor or relative that may be able to pet-sit for a fraction of the cost? Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,552 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
whisper, we'll try practically anything for banjo! the bach flower recommendation is wonderful, and i'll look into it today. thank you!

unfortunately, although we have family nearby, there is no way they could pet sit. and we live in a pseudo-rural area where the neighbors aren't quite close enough to keep an eye on him. however, i was talking with my neighbor the other day and she and her partner built an adobe fence themselves for about $2000, which might be an answer...not sure. anyway, again, thanks. and i'm so glad the bach flower helped your dd!


noodle, no, that's one thing we haven't tried. i wonder how i could find one in the area? it's worth at least finding out what one would cost. thank you for the idea!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,552 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i wanted to give a quick update...

first of all, my sister called last night, and unfortunately her commune has a waiting list for dogs--even dogs of members of the commune. so, he can't go there.
but i'm glad she called back to let me know.

no word from the sanctuary i emailed. i'm pretty sure they aren't going to contact me.

so, for now, we are going to keep doing what we're doing, and hope for the best. if there is even a chance of thunderstorms, dh will take him to work with him. we're giving him calming supplements and expensive dog food (the closest you can get to a raw food diet) that, because it's high in protein, may also help his anxiety.

i called our local humane society yesterday and asked to speak with a behaviorist. they gave me the number for their canine hotline and i spoke at length with a woman who has a dog *just* like banjo. she agreed that an invisible fence won't stop him; if he's in a panic he will go right through it and through the fence to get out and try to find us. she gave me some suggestions, but what it boils down to is this: there is not much we can do to "cure" him. we can just try different things to help him, but dogs with this severe of thunderphobia aren't usually cured. (however, i am intrigued by the suggestion to try an animal communicator!)

i learned something really interesting, though. she asked me what happens when there are thunderstorms when we are at home with him. i said he didn't always freak out terribly, but he usually did something weird and tried to hide in the bathtub. she said that actually wasn't weird at all--some dogs are so in tune with the highly charged air of a thunderstorm that they go where they are grounded--like in a bathtub, right above the pipes! isn't that amazing? that explains why, if he's in the car during a storm, he's not usually too upset. amazing. she said we can rub him down with dryer sheets, and that might help.

anyway, again, thanks everyone for your suggestions.
if anyone has more ideas, please, keep them coming!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,573 Posts
Have you tried tape recordings of thunderstorms yet?? Most thunder fears can be helped with those--it doesn't do anything for the differently charged air--but it does cure the noise aspect--so while it's not a complete cure, it can very often help. While you play the tapes you make sure he's doing something he loves to do--eat, be patted, brushed, whatever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,552 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
no shannon--we haven't, but thank you for the idea! i have been doing lots of research on thunder phobia and that is something i have read several times, too.

quick update:
the sanctuary won't take banjo, because he isn't adoptable. they only want dogs that can most likely be adopted out later.

we are coming to terms with the fact that we aren't going to be able to find a better home for him. i guess we just keep doing what we're doing and working with him.

i kind of want to scream.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
Liams mom- I first heard about them through word of mouth. I have also seen ads and stories in animals magazines.

What area are you in? You could try to google animal communicator. Hope something works for you.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top