Sunday, May 16, 2010

Of Sad Days, Dogs & Prozac

I haven't posted in a while. Life got stressful & a bit complicated. Over the last few weeks, my Jack Russell named Mabel started giving me a lot of problems. She has always been an anxious dog, but she became increasingly so, especially when I had friends over. During a gathering at my house in January, she bit a friend of mine unprovoked and regularly tried to nip people's feet. She also started peeing in her crate about once a week. All of these signs were telling me, "Something is not right with your dog."

I decided to take her to the vet to get her checked out, but she passed with a clean bill of health. However, the vet said that if Mabel was experiencing such high anxiety, she might be a good candidate for Prozac, a solution that might or might not work to the tune of $250-$500 a year. While thinking this over, I decided that if the environment that I can provide her makes her so anxious that she needs medication, maybe she needs to be in a different environment. It was not an easy decision, but it came time for Mabel to have a new home. Through a coworker connection, a family down in Wichita is Mabel's new family as of this morning.

(And just to be clear, I did not "minimize" my dog because she was complicated. Dogs are one complication that I am more than willing to accept in my life as long as the dog is able to live in my home without being completely stressed and taking it out on my friends' feet.)

It was pretty hard to see her leave. After having her for 1.5 years, walking her twice a day, enjoying the dog park, going through obedience training and having her as a companion, I know I will miss her & greatly miss having a dog around. I wanted to help her calm down and be a happy dog, but for whatever reason, I wasn't able to provide her with the right environment to do that. I do have faith though that she will be happy and hopefully not as anxious in her new home.

So friends, you may now once again walk barefoot in my house without fear of losing a toe!

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