Author Topic: Serious question. need opinions. (long story)  (Read 1730 times)

Offline fearlessella

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Serious question. need opinions. (long story)
« on: January 24, 2015, 08:48:54 AM »
Macy, my 13 year old dog, has been with us since she was a puppy.  Please don't say anything mean because I don't believe in outside dogs, but my parents did.  Macy lived on 13 acres till about 4 years ago.  She had full run of the property and she would come in when it got too cold or stormy. 
My parents had to move about 4 years ago.  The 2 outside dogs were put on chains and dad planned on buliding a kennel.  I also moved about 4 years ago into my own house.  I tried to make Macy a city dog but she destroyed my living room one morning while I was at work (I forgot to say she has anxiety).  She ripped back carpet to the tack strips and had been bleeding, chewed the trim, tried to climb out the window etc.
Anyways, my mom just started chemo and I knew they wouldn't be around to take care of Macy.  Plus, the weather got super cold and her old bones shouldn't be out there.  So she has been at my house for 2 weeks.  My schedule has changed a bit so my husband is home when I'm not a lot of the time.  She is weaker in the back end.  So my vet put her on arthritis meds, joint support, and gave me xanax for her anxiety.
My husband and I can tell that she is not happy here.  She loves it outside in my backyard to being in the house.  She pants and paces a lot and sits by the door.  I cannot leave her out 24/7 because I have awful neighbor children and I have a chain link.  I feel like she'd be happier tied in her backyard, but I feel awful for thinking that.  It is wearing on me every day.  She's even urinated inside twice now.  I'm so lost....  I know her time left with me is short because of her age and how she is doing.  Ugh.  Help.
The Dogs: Macy, Laynee, Roman, Sicili, & Cappy 🐕
The Rats: Astrid,  Imogen,  and Yvaine 🐀
The Cat: Charm, Kitten & foster kittens Mad Hatter & Mad Max!  🐈

So many 4 legged babies are missed.  Alice & Whimsy are the most recent.  ❤

Offline Blackmoons

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Re: Serious question. need opinions. (long story)
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2015, 05:16:10 PM »
I can see your heart is in the right place but I agree with you, your dog is unhappy indoors.  From what you've said,  I think it was all probably a big shock going from being an outdoor dog to an indoor one.  That is an enormous change for an older dog. 

If she's never been indoors, or was briefly as a young dog, this is probably all the more traumatic.  All the indoor noises, smells and seemingly mundane things (for example the sound dishes make when you pull them out of cabinets) are all going to be totally new to her and probably very frightening.  Even with limited access to the house when it was cold or stormy isn't the same as living inside full time.  It just isn't what she is used to and comfortable with. 

Sadly, I think you are in a no-win situation but if you are determined to keep her indoors I would severely limit what she has access to - either with a crate or a room just for her (perhaps with a window open for familiar scents and sounds) - and try to desensitize her to as many things as possible using food when she is out and about indoors with you.  Being that she is an old dog and this is all mostly new, this won't be easy nor will you ever be 100% successful.   But my hope is that with patience you may be able to bring that anxiety level down from a 9 or 10 to a 7 or 8. 

I wish you the best.

Offline bit-bit

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Re: Serious question. need opinions. (long story)
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 03:06:06 PM »
That's tough.  I agree with Blackmoons that a crate will solve the practical problems of her hurting herself and your home.  But I also think that if she's upset about being "pent up" in the house, she'll be worse in a crate.

My childhood dog Raisen would get violently destructive - jumped through a plate-glass window, chewed through drywall a few times, removed the ducting from our dryer and tried to fit her 100 pounds through the vent, got herself bloody more times than I can count, even destroyed half of a door to escape her room - if she was home alone and it thundered.  Obviously, this is quite a different issue than Macy's, but maybe some of the same tricks we used can help you.  A crate is safer than a room; if she's not huge, you can get an oversized one so she has room to move around.  A radio did wonders, and it stayed on 24/7 with talk programming.  Voices seemed to soothe her, but music wasn't as useful.  Long walks or an off-leash park can help her burn off some energy so she's more inclined to rest at home.  Any kind of toy that she shows interest in, especially a Kong-type with treats to keep her busy.  Raisen also did best with another dog for companionship, but I wouldn't really recommend bringing home another pup while Macy is struggling to adapt to indoor life.

We never tried psych meds for Raisen (this was 20-ish years ago, they weren't widely used in pets).  Have you seen any improvement with the Xanax?

Offline fearlessella

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Re: Serious question. need opinions. (long story)
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2015, 07:14:45 AM »
I actually have a better update. She actually had improved quite a bit.  Instead of staying out for hours she chooses to run back in with the little dogs 80ish percent of the time.  She still gets panting and pacing.  I have noticed the less the meds the better but she occasionally needs them.  The xanax helps but it makes her pant more too, so I just have to be aware of that.  Shes been eating great the last 5 days.  Hopefully this continues!
She has bent a crate severely in the past to get free and she is deaf now, but thanks for the suggestions!  She weighs 76# so she could do some damage if she wanted too.  :/
I appreciate the help.  Hopefully she keeps it up!
The Dogs: Macy, Laynee, Roman, Sicili, & Cappy 🐕
The Rats: Astrid,  Imogen,  and Yvaine 🐀
The Cat: Charm, Kitten & foster kittens Mad Hatter & Mad Max!  🐈

So many 4 legged babies are missed.  Alice & Whimsy are the most recent.  ❤