So it's been a week and a half since the ER incident, and Theo is 90% back to normal. Unfortunately, there's some characteristics he's displayed since we brought him back home from the vet that haven't quite gone away. Those two days we were separated were apparently a little traumatic for him. A word of advice: quickly grab a t-shirt from your drawer if you're running off to the vet for an emergency. That way if s/he has to stay overnight, they'll have something to remind them of home. I think Theo would have been much better off if we had thought of something like that.
So the first characteristic is something I've mentioned before: the separation anxiety/clingyness. If we let Theo have free-run of the house, he would probably just sit by the door all day, waiting for us to come home. He doesn't like us to be out of his sight (or direct control), and when we are, he freaks. The other day I was sitting about 2 feet from him, but the gate was between us, so he started crying and barking. Even though he could see me, he didn't want to be separated from me. Now if I go upstairs and leave him behind the gate, he paces, he cries, and eventually he barks. I'm hoping that time and a schedule will get him used to us coming and going again.
Another example is on Sunday night I was in one room playing the Wii while Husband was in the next room playing the XBox 360. Theo was in a chill mood, so he just laid down at my feet. Twenty minutes later he got up and sat down at Husband's feet. About twenty minutes after that, he came back to me. He divided his time between us like that for about 2 hours, until we went to bed. It was adorable, but definitely not something he did before.
Next is his eating. He's always been a food monger, but ever since the vet, he eats like he's never going to eat again. Before he wasn't a big fan of kibble, and would usually leave it behind in his food dish. Now he gobbles it up with the rest of his food. He hasn't left a single morsel in his bowl ever since he was on that i/d diet, when were only allowed to feed him 1-2TB of food at a time. I mean, he licks his bowl clean every single meal. It's crazy.
Surprisingly, the week that we weren't able to take him for walks completely destroyed a lot of what we had accomplished with him. We've slowly been getting it back though. The first few walks he would just dart forward and wouldn't walk by my side for the world. Now he's much more mellow, though the stretch of street our house is on, he still doesn't do so well. Last night's walk was actually really good, as good as before. It felt really good to know that we hadn't ruined him somehow. Hehe.
I have to say, even though some will disapprove, that we got him a "choke collar" a few weeks ago (before the ER incident). First off, it's the nice kind with nylon weaved through so it doesn't catch on his fur. And second, it's been like magic ever since we got it. We had just reached a brick wall in his walking training with his buckle collar (and I won't even mention the harness debacle!). He would just pull and pull and never listened, never learned. I mean, we're talking weeks and weeks where I tried a bunch of different things. I tried refusing to walk if he didn't heel. I tried the constantly changing directions so he had to keep up with me. None of it worked. It was like he didn't even feel the pressure on his neck. In the first 5 minutes of walking him with the choke collar, he was a dream. He walked right by my side and when I stopped or turned, he responded accordingly. Now that he's gotten used to the new collar more (I only use that collar for walks, nothing else), he's not as responsive, but it still works wonders.
The only thing I have to be careful about is stimulation. When Theo sees a person, or a car, or especially another dog, he jets forward. I've finally trained him to stay by me when a car drives by, but I haven't been able to make a dent with people or animals. He tries to jump at them as they go by, or if they're ahead of us, he pulls me like a Husky pulls a dog sled, and since he's tethered to the leash, it usually involves the collar tightening very hard around his neck. I try and just hold him back so the collar with loosen, but that doesn't seem very conducive to the training. Any tips on how to deal with a dog who won't sit nicely to greet people? Hehe.
Other than that he's back to the old trouble-maker Theo.
St. Patty's Day Feast - I can't believe how long it's taken me to blog about the food I made during the week of St. Patty's Day! I made such good things that week and such good...
6 years ago