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Found 2 results

  1. Hey everyone, I've been lurking the forums quite a lot for the past few days, as my wife and I have adopted a 4yo ex racer for about a week and a half now. He's an AMAZING boy, super sweet and really likes a cuddle. But a bit too much - so yeah, it's yet another separation anxiety post. And a long one at that, so thanks to whoever reads through! My wife has dreamt of getting a dog for the past 5 years; we did a ton of research about breeds that would fit our lifestyle and the Greyhound was on the short list, especially because we moved to the UK and there's a lot of ex racers who need a home. Hindsight is 20-20, but we should have researched a lot more into ex-racing Greyhounds specifically (it was more of a broad breed research regarding health, temperament etc). The first day was a complete joy, but the following ones were hell: they hit us like a brick and showed how unprepared we were. A lot of despair and emotional rollercoasters (my wife actually got sick on the 3rd day out of sheer stress), but our sense of responsibility kicked in and we decided to power on to see if we could improve the situation. I work full time, which means she's the one who spends most of the days with him, doing the alone training during the week. Now, from what I've read around, his separation anxiety is relatively mild: he's a velcro dog and on the first nights he cried and clawed or bedroom doors - nowadays, we give him 2 t-shirts of ours, a stuffed kong with PB and it's around 20mins before he's walking around the house all night and whining every few minutes. We started from day one not allowing him to sleep with us because we knew that it would be way harder to separate later on. The rule is: as soon as we close the door, it doesn't open until the morning - we were going back and telling him to go to bed and giving him some treats when he did on the first couple of days, but stopped as we realized we were most likely getting him to think he'd be rewarded for scratching the door. Nowadays, he still pants and whines quite a bit and walks back and forth through the night, but no longer scratches the door. My wife today got him to around 6mins of alone time with the "I'll be home soon" technique (put on your jacket/shoe, grab keys, give the Kong, go outside, wait, come back, take the Kong, clothes off, leave the key, wait a minute, rinse, repeat). Unfortunately, he drops the kong very quickly if he doesn't get any treats, so we kind of reached the point where he eats the Kong before we can extend the time even if it's frozen, and he just stops paying attention to it if it's too hard to take whatever is inside, which reduces his time to around 3 minutes alone without whining. We now spend at least 10 minutes not giving him any contact when showing up in the morning and after returning from work. He unfortunately doesn't play with anything that isn't food (there's this plush toy he destroyed in about 5mins and he doesn't really touch it unless we incite him A LOT, but even that isn't working too much anymore). We do 2 pee breaks before meals to guarantee he doesn't have accidents, and we try to give him at least 2 40min walks a day. One is literally before bedtime, between 10 and 11pm, but there's a lot of foxes around the neighborhood so we're starting to consider if this is just getting him more amped up at bed time instead of tired from the exercise. One of the things that originally attracted us about Greyhounds is that we are pretty laid back, so even though we don't mind caring for him, our routine was very affected by turning into a clockwork bootcamp. Not being able to have some wiggle room or just say "let's go out to the supermarket together" in the middle of the day was way of a bigger burden than we expected. We live in a relatively small flat, with no garden, where both him and us are mostly on the living room. Even thought some Greyhounds will do well in that situation, we feel bad because the only thing he's interested in is food and cuddles, and we can't give him cuddles when he asks for it with all the independence training, which means he's probably bored most of the day (which in turn gets him less likely to sleep at night). It's also pretty heart breaking that we can't make a fuss with him when he comes to greet us. Here comes the hard part: we do love his eventual antics, and we were very emotional this Saturday when he managed to talk to some dog friends in the park (he gets INSANELY anxious at the park seeing a dog running and playing and it breaks our hearts that we're so far away from being able to leave him off the leash to run somewhere). But the hard truth is that we're not madly in love with him, at least not as much as we should have been, most likely because we constantly worry so much and have to ignore him when he's the most excited to avoid increasing his SA, that we're having a hard time bonding with him - right now, my wife feels like she's basically living for him, and not getting a lot of joy from the experience. Thinking this rationally, at the moment we're doing things way more because it's out responsibility to him than because we'd want to keep him even if his condition took many months to improve. The feeling is that, while he is much better in a not-so-good situation with us than waiting for adoption in a kennel, he'd be way better with people who have more experience, a garden, a dog buddy, or someone that is set to love him unconditionally (as we thought we were when we took him). We do know, however, if we were to return him, we'd have to do this as quickly as possible (as he's starting to get used to his routine and feeling a bit more relaxed at our place). It's been really crushing for us to take care of him, because it's been both emotionally and physically draining: the idea of living through months of this without any guarantees that it will improve is, to be honest, terrifying to us. So at the end of the day, my biggest questions are: do you think we're just not the right people/environment for him? Or is this just normal and our feelings also develop over time? I've read so many stories here of situations way, way worse than ours and people who really went above and beyond for over a year, and I simply don't see us being able to do that. Should we simply give up sooner rather than later to avoid turning a mild SA into an acute one? How long do you think we could keep on trying without risking ruining the dog for life? If it was me reading this post some time ago, I'd be judging us hard, but we truly just want what's best for the dog and, if we can't be happy with him, how can we expect him to be happy with us? We're fully aware that this is all on us and that we have probably made a mistake by thinking we were ready for a dog, so thank you to whoever reads the wall of text and provides some insight.
  2. Hi there, a friend on him who trains and races Olympic endurance horses. First of all I would like to say, weve spent a great sum of money on trying to get Gable Warjab comfortable. He gets what I call an episode every three months which requires us to go to the vet. Hes sensitive to medications, so weve taken him off all of them (except the Gabapentin for his nerve pain which causes sever muscle spasms occasionally). With natural products, he has improved sooooooo much!!!! Ive learned so much! My friend being around enlightened me. She says Gabe is exactly like a horse! From the way he behaves, to the way their body is similar and this has similar problems. Since then its been such a breakthrough. Ive found a vet who works with animal athletes and have found that Im having the best success with using methods Ive found looking F race horses, and agility dogs! Its hard to find, and then convince a vet that Gabe is NOT a dog, he doesnt act like one, he cant be retrained like one (and frankly is too smart and well mannered already) and that his physiology is different than a bulldog, lab, chihuahua etc. At least where we live. So now to my point! We have just ordered leg wraps, hock wraps, a mat, and the mesh jacket for Gabe-0. They say the products need to be introduced slowly, with every product having a different introduction schedule, and then there are also rest periods. Im waiting for the back on track team to consult with me. In the meantime, has anyone else used these products? If so, if you have any insights, and tips or tricks, or just any advice at all I would love to hear from you!! If you had any other natural methods Id love to hear them too! The drugs made his situation worse!!!!! By A LOT.... weve taken him off them since mid-November, and the improvement is already night and day!!!! Additional Gab-0 info 7yr old male. Raced 177 times until he broke his back right leg at 5. Has arthritis in all joint on all four legs, as well as hips. Outside track legs are much worse then the inside track ones. And the hip on that side seems quite bad, which affects his front left shoulder as well. He seems to have possible a slipped disc issues right around where the spine hinges, which creates a pinched nerve that causes severe muscle spasms in his adomen. Which then causes diarrhea. Sometimes when he is in pain he also gets diarrhea (which I call stress poops 🤣). I love you all and I appreciate any advice, just please be respectful and non-judgemental. If you dont agree with my natural approach, just skip commenting. I promise we have already tried all proven greyhound methods, and they have not worked.
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