And The Saga Continues…

First of all, thank you so much for the kind words everyone!  I am just now looking at my blog after posting the news and I am overwhelmed by the support.  So again, seriously, thank you!  I am very happy to report that Maggie and Tag appear to be back to business as usual: loving and cuddling each other, Buddy, and Rich and I.

I think we did the right thing by taking things slow, but not too slow.  My gut told me not to keep them separated too long and risk creating an issue that might not actually be there.  As I type this, both girls are curled around each other next to me on the couch, and my heart is happy.  Stressed, but happy.

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Dakota.

Why am I still stressed and why is this post entitled, “And The Saga Continues..”?  I wasn’t kidding when I said I would never allow this to happen again which means I have been strict about keeping the dogs separate when we aren’t home.  By Thursday evening we were feeling a little trapped in the house and decided to go out to dinner.  Tag and Maggie were still somewhat drowsy from the pain medicine so I decided to leave Maggie loose in the extra room and crate Tag in our bedroom while leaving Buddy loose in the living room.  The extra bedroom was “Maggie’s” after the incident and that was where she had spent the majority of her time so I felt it was best to leave her there.  My thinking was this would be the least stressful scenario for her; I put her new Thunder Jacket on her and assumed she would just fall asleep on the nest I had made for her on top of the bed.  Wrong.  We came home to a torn up door with slobbery blood all around.  Ok, crating it is then.

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Tattoos! Food Truck!

Friday was the first full day that we left the dogs alone since the incident.  I put Buddy in a crate in the extra bedroom, Tag in a crate in our bedroom, and Maggie in her new “Maggie-proof” crate in the living room.  Ha!  We came home from work at 5 and were greeted at the door by our little Moo–with fresh blood running down her face.  Yup, she smashed right through the new, wooden, solid, “Maggie-proof” crate probably within a few minutes of us leaving.   Ok, so that’s not going to work either.

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Face Painting!

Saturday Buddy was due for his annual HW test where I learned he has Ehrlichia, a tick borne disease.  Great.  Another dog issue.  I then had to be at an adoption/fundraising event (see photos throughout this post) for a good portion of the day so Rich dutifully stayed home to keep an eye on our little rascals.  Not long after I got home Rich went to run an errand.  I stayed home so we wouldn’t have to crate them…but soon I got a call from Rich saying his car battery was dead so I had no choice but to crate the dogs again.  I had noticed Maggie kept going and checking out her old crate so I decided I would leave her in that (besides, her “Maggie-proof” crate was now useless) and crate Tag in the other room with Buddy loose in the living room this time (I didn’t have a crate for him since the girls were in my two original crates and, even if it wasn’t destroyed, he wouldn’t fit in the “Maggie-prrof” crate.)  I was gone maaaybe 45 minutes and when I got back discovered Maggie had managed to rip the metal bars off her crate and twist them into nice, sharp, little metal points.  Ok, so once again, this isn’t going to work.  Great.

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Kissing Booth!

Sunday rolls around and, to say the least, I’m feeling a little beside myself.  Throwing a pity party isn’t going to get me anywhere though so I got on the phone with a friend and started trying to devise a new plan.  She really felt like a plastic crate would do the trick.  The rescue had an extra one I could borrow so we went and picked that up, along with Rescue Remedy.  Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic spray that helps to relax you.  I’ve heard people rave about it but never had any need to try it out since my dogs have always been so mellow and unfazed by things.  Obviously that is no longer the case.

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Balloon Animals!

Tonight we decided to try out the combination of the new-new crate, Thunder Jacket, and Rescue Remedy.  I put Buddy and Tag up, made a Kong and put Maggie in the new-new crate with all of the above mentioned items.  We again just went to a quick dinner but returned to a house with all of the dogs in their proper place.  I did notice a large about of drool around the front of the crate, and Maggie was panting when we got back, BUT everyone was safe, uninjured, and had wagging tails.  I am concerned about the excessive panting and drooling on Maggie’s part (a sign of stress) but I am praying that if we can stick it out for a few days, Maggie will relax and get comfortable with the new set up.

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So. It’s been an interesting, and definitely not relaxing, long weekend.  I do think we are on the road to getting things under control though.  Maggie will be going back to the vet tomorrow because she has developed two masses on her face that I think are puss filled and not draining properly.  I am hoping this will be nothing more dramatic than putting a couple of small drains in and we can go on about our day.  I hope everyone had a better weekend than we did.  The adorable (and amazingly well behaved) German Shepard in the photos is available for adoption so please get in touch with me if he tugged at your heart strings.  And I promise, I will be back to happy posts soon!

6 thoughts on “And The Saga Continues…

  1. You poor thing! I have honestly never heard of a pup that was so determined to not be crated. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but I really do not. I so admire the extreme efforts you are going to, however, and I do think that with time, Maggie will begin to find comfort in her crate. I’m sure you have tried feeding her while in it? What about having her in it for short amounts of time when you are home? Then you can reward her by letting her out when she is quiet. Also, you could try some extra scrumptious frozen kongs, to keep her busy? I don’t know, just brain-storming… I’m so sorry that you have to deal w this! If it makes you feel any better, that rescue remedy is actually what I use for my own anxiety! haha My husband calls it “relax max” 😉 keep us posted on the progress that I KNOW will come!

  2. Eddie had major crating issues at first, and we couldn’t slowly crate train him due to heartworm treatment. He wouldn’t eat from his Kong while we were gone, made lots of noise, and wouldn’t leave a blanket in place, and bent some of the bars. We tried leaving for short periods of time, putting the crate in the middle of the living room and crating him occasionally while we were home, feeding him in his crate, etc. Nothing worked and the Kong just stressed him. As usual, we were training a dog that didn’t follow the “rules” that many swear by.

    For him, the magic combo was making him wait in his crate for meals, feeding him out of his Kong and putting the empty Kong in his crate when we left – he’s extremely food motivated unless he’s upset. We placed his crate so he could see the other dogs since his separation anxiety is more about his housemate dogs and not us. He went from being an absolute mess when the other dogs left to listening when I say “go to your room,” and making little noise except when he hears my husband’s car pull up. The only thing that gets messed up in his crate now is his water bowl sloshing when he runs in and out of his crate.

    There is a magic combination for Maggie, you just need to do some experimenting and she will get back to being okay with her crate!

  3. It’s important to make her associate crating with happiness. So like the first comment above, it might help if you do it when you are home for short periods and keep giving her treats and go about the room doing your usual chores so she learns it is a normal activity and does not associate it with you leaving her. Kahlua is not crate trained, but when I tried initially this really worked, and he would actually just fall asleep in the crate. Just for fun one time I actually sat WITH him in the crate (we have an FB picture) and just gave him treats and kisses and asked for a ‘paw’ and did ‘sit’ and ‘down’ just so he thinks ‘look, mom is in this weird thing with me and we seem to be having fun, so it’s all good’. This was my brief attempt at crate training when I realized our crate was not airline approved, and I sold it.

  4. I have a dog that had severe separation anxiety. We found him as a stray 4 years ago. He destroyed 5 different crates and broke through a glass window to get to me outside. We purchased this crate (and have used it for several dogs in our rescue with similar issues) for him about 3.5 years ago and he has never once escaped from it. It’s impossible to escape from. It’s quite expensive but I know I’ll have it for the rest of his life and I never worry that he will have gotten out while we are not home. http://www.petedge.com/product/Home-Kennel/Cages-Crates/Cages-Crates/ProSelect-Empire-Dog-Cages/pc/194/c/310/sc/502/45512.uts

    We also use a flower essences spray that helps keep him calm and reduces his anxiety. It’s sold by Black Wing Farms and the formula is called Shelter Blend (we spray 6 sprays directly on to a treat and feed it to me about 15 minutes before we leave). I’ll play calming music from an iPod on repeat- classical music works well but I also have downloaded a calming dog music cd. Good luck 🙂

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