Monday, July 5, 2010

Help for neurotic dogs and more!

Happy day after the fourth of July!

I ended up not going anywhere on this fourth of July.  Why? you may be asking yourself.  Well, my poor neurotic dog decided he was afraid of fireworks and thunderstorms within the last week.  Last year, he was fine.  This year, he was clawing his way into the drywall.  Not knowing he had developed this phobia, I did not have time to go talk to my vet about tranquilizers.  I guess that's just as well, because the idea of doping up a pet with hardcore drugs does not seem like the best idea in the world to me, though I completely understand those of you who need to do this for your animals.

So, I went to the store and did some internet research and came up with a plan of attack.  I read about TTouch and "wrapping" dogs for calm behavior.  You wrap the dog in an Ace wrap following a certain pattern.  The dog is calmed  because of the steady pressure.  Apparently, this has been used on autistic children, fussy babies, and anxious horses.  You can find directions here for how to wrap a dog .  I also got valuable information from the helpful people on the English Shepherd yahoo group.

I went to PetCo to try to find a pre-made dog anxiety wrap, but did not find one.  Glad I didn't, because the Ace wrap I got ended up working very well.  I got a 6" wide, 5' long one for $9.99 at Dominick's, though I'm sure it would have been cheaper if I'd driven to Wal-mart.

Anyhow, when I was at PetCo, I found an herbal pet calmer, incidentally, Pet Calm, by Richard's Organics.  Here's the Amazon page for it.  I wrote a review for it yesterday, so if you look at the one for the fourth of July, that would be mine.

July 3rd, I was at my mom's with Riley and left the stuff at home.  He was a complete mess.  Eyes bulging, muscles almost vibrating, bunching up, shaking, pacing, drooling, trying to climb into my mom's clothing, hiding in the bathroom.  The above photos are pics of him at home after the kids outside my house dropped a few pop-pops on the asphalt (just tiny things).

July 4th, I stayed home, wrapped him in the Ace wrap, gave him 3 droppers of Pet Calm and here's the result:

I live in front of a large park where kids were setting off illegal fireworks, so this is nothing short of a miracle.  As you can see, he is not hiding, he does not look concerned, and he is sleeping (it was ten at night).  He occasionally would get up and move around when there was a huge bang, but he did not look groggy or panicky.  When I took off the Ace wrap later, he seemed a bit more agitated, but still not so much, so the combination of the Pet Calm and the Ace wrap is a good one.

Hooray!  Next year I might actually be able to go out on the 4th of July!!

Anyway, since he's given me so much grief, I decided to put him to good use and use him for a model in my Zazzle store.  Here are two items I made with his gorgeous face:

I also made mugs, t-shirts, buttons, hoodies, etc., with the two designs.  You can see the English Shepherd Big Nose design here, and the Back Away design here.

I got a new camera, so there's my reason for all the photos.  It's a purple Nikon CoolPix, 12 mp, which is more than I need.  I mean, do you really need to see the individual pores in a person's face in a picture?  Not really.  But it makes for some good animal pictures:

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