Roxie, the 8-year-old Chow/Pug mix I adopted this summer, is doing well with people.
Dogs, not so much.
Trazodone is out and Prozac is in. It’s made a visible difference. The formerly permanent frown lines on Roxie’s forehead rarely show up. When she gets up from her bed, she stretches her legs. Her tail uncurls when she sleeps.
We’ve been through a round of 8 training sessions and a variety of collars. Roxie currently has a Sprenger (prong) collar, which makes me uncomfortable but she prefers it to others that lead more gently.
A few days ago, we were waiting for the elevator. When the doors opened, there was Frank. We hadn’t seen each other since Roxie’s second day in the building, when Roxie barked and lunged at Frank and I could barely hold her back.
Frank moved closer to the back wall, eyeing Roxie as we got in.
“Sit,” I said, and she sat.
I shook my head. “No, not if you’re a person.”
Because Frank likes dogs and Roxie looked calm, I said, “Say hello” to Roxie and “Keep your hands at your side” to Frank. Roxie got up, sniffed Frank, and deemed him not a danger. She leaned against his leg and he petted her.
When we walk in the park, Roxie no longer lunges at dogs half a football field away. When she starts her huffing breath, I say, “Leave it.” She stops staring at the other dog and finds something interesting to sniff nearby.
But in and around the condo building, Roxie lunges at all dogs, all the time. She no longer barks at them, but she lunges and spins. Even though I never notice it while it is happening, after we are safely away my arm feels like someone tried to pull it out at the shoulder.
We are going back to training.
Roxie is more work than any dog I’ve ever had. And worth it. I love the little snuffle noises she makes when she sleeps. I love that when I come home, somebody missed me.
Chewing the Cud of Good
Thankful for all the love from all the dogs.