Oakley ate something again..FML

Medically he's been so up and down since the surgery that I don't think it's out of the realm to think his thyroid is off, especially with the behaviors I'm seeing. I also think I'm hoping for some of it to be his thyroid bc it is easier to fix than behavioral issues. Nevertheless, I have seen clear patterns of escalating behaviors that I firmly believe have something to do with his surgery, his resulting fastings, numerous food changes to address his intolerances both from the surgery and allergies to foods..all while having dropped to skin and bones…while ive found a food that FINALLY works for him it's not been a fix all. At last, Oakley is on natural balance limited ingredient..it's the only food I have found that addresses the must haves for oakleys body
-grain free
-low protein..for many reasons he does need this

I am very hopeful and grateful that Tufts Behavioral is one of the best in the country and its in my state; it will certainly be a worth while investment and am committed to understanding oakleys needs better and making him a more reliable boy in situations of question now and to also have behaviorists that are vets so we can truly make sure Oakleys health is not contributing to the problem. He is a good boy, certainly the boy I needed in my life...he gives me a run for my money (literally) but I wouldn't trade him for the lottery.

We did a lot of resting the last couple days trying to keep his belly settled and hoping rest would pass the plastic pieces from his belly!! So far so good!

sweet pics, thanks for sharing. and do let us know how the consult goes. it makes perfect sense to me that the time at the vet's office, surgeries, anesthesia, upheaval in his little system, etc would have an effect on his mental/emotional state and personality. And it's doubly nice that you have the best nearby.

As far as feeding, have you thought about home cooking? It is more trouble/time, but you can control exactly what he's eating. And there are websites to help you calculate all the nutrients. (I homecooked for my dear Digital when he became ill.) If there's anything I can do to help, feel free to ask.

He really looks so innocent.

Debra,

He has had a lot of practice pretending to be what he's not: innocent! What's the antithesis of innocent…??? Oh yea, guilty!!
Lol

Hard job for you as how could anyone be mad with that cuteness and those ears are to die for. Hope you hear all good news when you have your consult with Dr Dodds.

Jolanda and Kaiser

I read through this, then came to the photos. I turned to Cricket to say "how could something so cute cause so much destruction", when I realized… She wasn't laying on the couch... She wasn't in the room... Then I heard the unmistakable noise of something plastic break between cute, but powerful jaws.
So while I was reading this, she went into the bedroom, opened the closet, pulled my husband's overnight backpack off of the second shelf, unzipped it... pulled out his toiletries kit, unzipped it... ate the toothbrush, destroyed the top off a contacts solution container (fluid is everywhere), chewed open a travel sized tube of toothpaste (blue toothpaste is all over the carpet), and was trying to get through the contact case.
You are not alone. I have to go clean a carpet now...

Lmao…they aren't at all interested in being good...no shame whatsoever!

It's been 9 days- the doctor feels after ten days is safe safe safe...he is eating, drinking and going to the bathroom. He has days where his tummy bothers him but truthfully that's par for the course since his surgery. I really do feel like he's not the same since having it..his stomach is super sensitive- he has to rest after eating otherwise he gets nauseous, and there are days he rests a lot and others where he is a normal beast..lol.
I find myself worried a lot more now than before; certainly more in tune to his feelings.
Nervous for the ONE hour ride to his appointment on Friday..he gets so excited its tough to settle him- I might need a drink before leaving..haha

He's passed his 10-day mark by now, so I hope Oakley is doing okay. You can't watch them every single second… though sometimes, it seems like that's exactly what it would take to keep them out of trouble! Oakley has been through a lot-- and so have you!

Have you tried calming treats? They seemed to soothe Ava when we were having all those crate issues. I don't know how they would work with Oakley's stomach, but they seemed to take the edge off for Ava. Some people swear by Rescue Remedy for stressful car trips, but just the smell of that would have Ava shaking her head "noooo."

Oakley seems to be ok. I am so grateful to have been given a "pass" on this one. I haven't tried calming treats, I have never heard of them. I've heard of a DAP infuser..I would have to see the ingredients as Oakley is on a strict ingredient list right now, perhaps if they are grain free I could consider for future use. I have tried rescue remedy and Oakley had the same reaction…the car is more a source of excitement and that leads to frustration for me. I wish I could crate him but as many strides as we've made in the house with the crate- he has complete breakdowns in the crate in the car...so i keep him on the passenger side and he distracts me, has shifted gears in the past...he rarely just "sits"...one hour to get there, approx 2 hours there and another hour home= two drinks for me and Oakley will be mentally exhausted when we get home. The paperwork/ questionnaires have been tiresome (pages after pages)..but I am very hopeful and excited to get the doctors opinion and help. Cant wait to report more on the visit!

Rescue Remedy - not just for dogs.

just sayin'

Lol…I might need something stronger to get through the day!! I think it will be worth it as well as a little preemptive Advil

The good calming treats have natural ingredients, but I'm sure they won't meet Oakley's limited ingredient list. I used them for crate training, before Ava's allergies started, so while they're mostly grain-free, they're probably not totally. Luckily, I haven't needed them in a while.

Could you restrain Oakley in the back seat? Probably not. I can relate. The last time Ava traveled in a crate in the car, she had explosive diarrhea all over it. So I bought a seatbelt restraint and tried that. I spent hours Q-Tipping diarrhea out of every crevice in the doors, seats and dashboard– before I had the car detailed. I need the whole bottle of Rescue Remedy just remembering. Maybe Oakley will settle in once he realizes it's a long trip? The DAP helps some; it didn't work for us, but it might for Oakley. Safe travels, and let us know how it goes!

I think he will settle some, mainly he likes to lean into me and whine loudly from the passenger side..but his front feet always rest on the shifter and that's caused problems…I think he just wants me to know he's excited....it's cute until it gets distracting. Ill take some pictures of our day tomorrow and post about it. Hope it's good news!!

[QUOTE. The paperwork/ questionnaires have been tiresome (pages after pages)..but I am very hopeful and excited to get the doctors opinion and help. Cant wait to report more on the visit![/QUOTE]

ohh I forgot about that long ass questionnaire….it was worse then my grad school applications!! 🙂 Good luck tomorrow.. I hope its as helpful as it was for me and sonny!

It was a very long day! Our appointment was at three and we didn't leave until 6…he is a resource guarder when it comes to food and his ambivalence towards other dogs is fear based. Yet the fear doesn't show through because he has a boldness in him true to his personality. Considering that he comes from a good size ltter and his litter mates as well as dam and sire don't have these issues she says its indicative of genetics playing a role (when breeding pure sometimes they can get too much of a good thing). We are to implement "nothing in life is free"..which she says is making him obey a command before eating and getting treats and picking something else he enjoys and making him obey a command before he can get/have it. Based on her description we have already been doing it- he has to sit and stay for his meal, he always obeys a command before treats and he has to sit before entering our home. Also I am to remove all triggers of food aggression so he has nothing to trigger over in order to get his reactionary level back down. Trashes are up, when I cook he must be out of the kitchen, when I eat he must be crated (she believes he will NEVER be able to be near the dinner table bc of his inability to be in control around it), if he steals food out of the trash or on a sidewalk that he can have it unless its a danger rather than take it from him. I have to feed him in a low traffic area and let him be while eating. As far as the dog to dog issue, she recommends using a head halter (which he started about a month ago) to gain better control in situations he may try to nip, she thinks exercise is a big part of it. Since my knee injury we no longer run- she wants me to find a dog daycare but I highly doubt one would take him with full disclosure, I also think its a liability right now as he is so hit or miss. Also, once he gets tired, naturally he gets cranky..No more than 5-6 hours in crate at a time so I've hired a dog walker I know to come midday and wall him..but as a single woman with a management job I can't help my working hours. She think he needs two hours minimum of high energy exercise. She still thinks I should try dog parks with a muzzle. I brought him to one in wrentham Saturday and got twenty minutes out of it, some with the muzzle, some without. He got along without incident chasing the big dogs but ran into a tiny rat terrier..no fight but he didn't back down when she gave him clear indicators too..it got too busy and I decided to leave- also there was a couple who brought their 4 year old and a couple with a stroller, that's too much stress for me as the behaviorist suggested at this stage not to allow children to interact with him as you don't know if they have/had food. She wanted to out him on a six month trial of Prozac which I declined. I firmly know and believe his lack of intense exercise is the issue more than him needing meds. But she did say it was on the table and that Prozac can help with resource guarding and aggression over guarding...I just am not comfortable. It's a lot to take in and digest- its a time consuming change and also expensive but I am committed to trying to make him a mor reliable dog around other dogs and to be able to have him around people/people food without incident. I hope for my sake that we can make progress because I want to have A family one day and his behavior is certainly a stress factor for me. The saddest part is that when it comes to him with other dogs I know he wants to have fun with them and play... You can see plain as day he is conflicted about what he wants and what he's compelled to do to/with dogs.

I'm hopeful, it's been tiring. I have to nail down a more permanent schedule at work, get up much earlier and dedicate an hour in the mornings to him and an hour when I get home..perhaps find an indoor area we can rent time in when weathers bad to be able to exercise...yesterday he was exhausted and he was great...but I know there will come a day when I have a family and I may not be able to dedicate my entire life to him..I hope he can handle it. As hopeful as I am, I'm also overwhelmed and feeling a bit constrained- like I will never be able to so anything like go out with a friend or a date..but maybe it's because I'm in the thick of it. I can't think long term with him bc it worries me he may not accept me having a family, babies... As the doctor said, and it rings very true..with a dog like Oakley "there is no room for error".

Chealsie & Oakley

Regardless, I love him and I won't give him up, now or in the future

WOW! I think this sounds really fabulous and thanks for sharing with us. I mean you can't solve a problem without identifying it. So good on you there. Have you done any relaxation protocol with O? I don't think it would be in conflict with any of your new program with O.
http://www.dogdaysnw.com/doc/OverallRelaxationProtocol.pdf
That's how I fed Z her dinner for quite a while when she was younger.

@Chealsie508:

We are to implement "nothing in life is free"..which she says is making him obey a command before eating and getting treats and picking something else he enjoys and making him obey a command before he can get/have it. Based on her description we have already been doing it- he has to sit and stay for his meal, he always obeys a command before treats and he has to sit before entering our home.

I think this is wonderful for so many dogs. They need to occupy their little brains. And you can have fun with this. Z! usually has to work for most of her meals. One behavior for one/couple of pieces of kibble. Outside we work on agility stuff and heel work (both sides). Inside we work on our freestyle stuff. Right now we're working on pivoting into heel and side (heeling on the right side). Z also has to sit and focus on me before I let her off lead and into the dog or agility yard. I started doing this after reading about default behaviors in the book Control Unleashed. Lately I've added a hand touch, so our routine looks like this: sit and focus on me, hand touch (nose to my hand), leash off, hand touch again and release. Anyway, once you have some basic obedience stuff down, there's no need to limit yourself to just those behaviors. 🙂 There are several good trick books out there if you need some inspiration.

@Chealsie508:

Since my knee injury we no longer run- she wants me to find a dog daycare but I highly doubt one would take him with full disclosure, I also think its a liability right now as he is so hit or miss. Also, once he gets tired, naturally he gets cranky..No more than 5-6 hours in crate at a time so I've hired a dog walker I know to come midday and wall him..but as a single woman with a management job I can't help my working hours. She think he needs two hours minimum of high energy exercise.

Is biking an option? It would take just a little bit of training but I've used the springer bike attachment with all of my basenjis. Of course you'd have to find somewhere where you're not going to run into loose dogs.

@Chealsie508:

It's a lot to take in and digest- its a time consuming change and also expensive but I am committed to trying to make him a mor reliable dog around other dogs and to be able to have him around people/people food without incident. I hope for my sake that we can make progress because I want to have A family one day and his behavior is certainly a stress factor for me. The saddest part is that when it comes to him with other dogs I know he wants to have fun with them and play… You can see plain as day he is conflicted about what he wants and what he's compelled to do to/with dogs.

is there any chance he can learn to read other dogs and play with them someday?

@Chealsie508:

I'm hopeful, it's been tiring. I have to nail down a more permanent schedule at work, get up much earlier and dedicate an hour in the mornings to him and an hour when I get home..perhaps find an indoor area we can rent time in when weathers bad to be able to exercise…yesterday he was exhausted and he was great...but I know there will come a day when I have a family and I may not be able to dedicate my entire life to him..I hope he can handle it. As hopeful as I am, I'm also overwhelmed and feeling a bit constrained- like I will never be able to so anything like go out with a friend or a date..but maybe it's because I'm in the thick of it. I can't think long term with him bc it worries me he may not accept me having a family, babies... As the doctor said, and it rings very true..with a dog like Oakley "there is no room for error".

Chealsie & Oakley

well, it sounds like you're going to be very fit with your new schedule! And you just need to find some dog friends who want to go on a long hike. Dates too. Who says dates have to be dinner and a movie? Hikes at the local off beat parks are so much more interesting. (Here in Colorado there are many, many nice hiking places.)

You're a good dog mom and i'm sure it will all work out for you. And you may even look back on this in a few years and think of this as a blessing. Sometimes unexpected paths are like that. I believe they will bloom if you let it.

I haven't agile..what I am upset about is that I want to subject Oakley to more social situations because I think his ambivalence comes from a place of just not having enough experience around others because I live alone so both with people and dogs he doesn't get interactions often. I'm upset because I looked up agility classes ( upon the behaviorists rec.) at a couple of local training facilities and Oakley can't participate because they consider him dog aggressive, also one of those facilities has control unleashed 6 week programs and is love to get Oakley involved in that but again they specifically state, it's ok for dogs with issues with other dogs but bc Oakley may or may not "take it there" he isn't eligible. I just wish we could participate in classes bc I think it would help him, I get it but I don't at the same time..he wants the interaction..but that switch for "I want to" and " I don't want to" is intertwined. When I saw him playing with the golden doodle and black lab yesterday he was just full out running..he loved it, so it's hard to see him miss out on that when I think it's the key to helping him move forward with dogs

@Chealsie508:

also one of those facilities has control unleashed 6 week programs and is love to get Oakley involved in that but again they specifically state, it's ok for dogs with issues with other dogs but bc Oakley may or may not "take it there" he isn't eligible.

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. If the trainer hasn't seen him in person, could you do a few privates before taking a group CU class?

And actually, I can see where a group agility class would not be a good idea for O right now. So many times dogs will get over the top energy and surrounding him in that sort of environment may be a set back right now.

I don't envy you, but I do sort of envy the learning curve I think you're on right now. (I will say the renal failure learning curve, while interesting, just flat sucked.)

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