Friday, May 18, 2012

Life Is Good for My Mentally Ill Dog

My dog Gus has an anxiety problem. Many things have come together to create such a beast. Being a boxer/lab mix and the runt of the litter doesn't help. Living in a household of insane children and adults who yell contribute. Not to mention the dog gets attacked regularly by the overly aggressive cat. She is a mere 7 pounds to his 75, yet rules the roost with an iron fist. We don't fuck with the cat..or else.

I took the dog to the vet last week because he had large bald areas on his side. The vet, after watching Gus piddle every time he looked at him, decided that Gus has anxiety issues and that he is licking himself bald. My vet is awesome. He is an acupuncturist/herbalist and not out to screw anyone financially. He's been the family vet for years. So he recommended Bach's Rescue Remedy for the dog's anxiety and Nettle tincture for his skin/coat. He gave me a long winded explanation involving Chinese medicine. I don't remember any of it but I totally buy it.

When our old cat was sick (she was 14+) we took her to a different vet, who wanted a million dollars to test her in every which way. It was ridiculous. I later took her to my vet (at the time he didn't have as many office hours because of school). He put her on a bland diet and some herbs to help her and she lived the last several months of her life in comfort. At a significantly lower price. Yes, I put a dollar amount on what I am willing to do with my pets. That's for another time perhaps.

Back to the point. I put Gus on the Rescue Remedy and the results are telling. He is calmer and more focused. I like him a lot better. We are also taking care to not be so loud with him. We are far kinder now that the perspective has changed from "He's an annoying asshole of a dog" to "He's sick in the head, be nice."

Things have been good for the Ol' Gus-Buster.

Last night I took him for a walk. There were a lot of other dogs around and he was going nuts, pulling and whining. I wanted to throttle him with his choke collar. I did not. I kept calm and tried to maintain control. I did so by imagining myself running into the asshole who came up with that MYTH about pet ownership being good for one's health. How one can actually lower their blood pressure by spending time with an animal. I imagined what I would do to said expert. It wasn't pretty and the end result involved me wearing his entrails as a necklace.

I went home and took some Rescue Remedy. Looks like both me and the dog need it.

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