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Spooky Little Girl Is Depressed.


Guest Shermanator
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Guest Shermanator

Some of you know little Travel's story. Travel was adopted @ 5 weeks ago, after we lost our first grey, Sherman, to osteo. She was a bounce, severe separation anxiety. She also is VERY shy, and spooky. She was adopted for us, and for Patton, who was Sherman's companion for 6 years. Fast forward 3 weeks- Travel is starting to come out of her shell, chewing bones, eating well, using the dog door, and no separation anxiety. She LOVED Patton, and followed him everywhere. 2 weeks ago, Patton started to limp. 5 days later he was gone, taken from us by osteo. It was fast, and we were devastated, losing our first greyhounds within 6 weeks of each other.

 

Little Travel retreated into her shell. Barely eating, or drinking, and back to the shaking, scared little girl, who runs from us if we come too close. No bone chewing, no playing, no socializing. She prefered to hide in the den, which is attached to our main room, and closed off by double doors. One door stays closed all the time, and the other stays open, making the perfect 'safe spot' for her.

 

Last Friday (3 days ago,) we tried to adopt her a companion. Very long story short, we brought the first guy home, he was a big boy, who terrified her, and while they thought he was cat safe, he was not, and immediately went to attack the cats. (Everyone was muzzled, the cat is fine.) He went back immediately. We bring home a 2nd pup, who Travel seemed to like, but the same thing happened. They thought he was cat safe, and he was not. Went for the cats, and tried to attack the cats. Absolutely NOT cat safe. He went back. All in one night.

 

Sat and Sun, Travel has really taken a downslide. While in the morning, I took her to the bark park, and she did well with the other dogs, as soon as we got home, she'd retreat. She would not come out all day. Not to eat breakfast, not to drink, not to potty. We have a dog door (unlimited access outside), and I actually had to leash her to get her outside in the backyard. On Sat, she had tummy rumblings, so I thought she did not feel well, and made her a dinner of boiled hamburger and rice. She ate 2 helpings, and drank a little water, and then back to the den, and did not come out for the rest of the night. On Sunday, she did not have tummy issues. We went to the park, and when home, she immediately went back to her den. No water, no breakfast. That was about 7am. I finally pulled her out to potty and possibly eat @ 4pm. She pottied, but refused to eat. No drinking, either. Finally after about an hour of the hamburger and rice sitting out, she came in to eat. She ate a little, drank a little, and then off to the den for the rest of the night, and will not come out.

 

Sigh. I know its depression. But she is really not eating or drinking. She will not come out of her den. (If we call her, she'll get up to see what's going on, and immediately race to our bedroom to hide. I'll calling our vet today to see if she needs fluids. I'll bet she does, and hopefully she'll feel a little better.

 

We are adopting a companion for her Friday- a little girl, identical to Travel, who is absolutely cat safe. (She is a bounce from divorce, and lived with cats.) So, hopefully she'll start to perk up with a new friend. But in the meantime, what do I do to help her? Is it really ok for her to sequester herself from us all day long? Is it ok that she's barely eating or drinking? Please, help.

Edited by Shermanator
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Guest mbfilby

Have you tried putting food and water in her Den? Behavior aside, it is most important to get her drinking and eating. Our super spook Cy hid in our den in his open crate for a week. We fed him in the room with the door closed and gave him access to water right in the room. Eventually he started coming out to explore, and overtime we would close the door to "his" room for a few hours at a time.

 

It sure sounds like she is a hound that needs a companion, but have you had her thyroid levels checked?

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I too would put the food and water in her safe spot, and would leash her and take her outside at appropriate intervals. When you bring her in, keep her with you for just a couple minutes and do "dog grooming" (gentle dog petting) maybe while telling her a little story. Then let her go to do as she pleases. It can take time to get over the loss of a mentor :( . Hugs and best luck.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest Shermanator

By putting food and water in her den, aren't we now showing her we are giving in?

We are bringing home a companion for her on Friday.

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Guest mbfilby

No, I wouldn't say you are giving in. Her fear (or depression) is over powering her instinct to eat and drink, which is dangerous. With our spook we fed and watered him in his room, then gradually moved the feeding station out to the general area. It is most important to keep her fed and hydrated.

 

Greys are social hounds. They are not used to being without other greys. Likely once you get a companion that suits your home, she will break out and become more comfortable. Until then, I would do what ever is need to keep her eating and drinking.

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Guest Lovemyhound

Lots of hugs for that poor sweet girl... Please let us know how she does with her new friend on Friday! Prayers for a successful match!

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Overall I think it is just going to take time. Don't want to be a broke record but I would bet she could really be helped by the appropriate BACH flower essence or at least some Rescue Remedy. Rock Rose and Minimus wouild help her too if you can get them. When I first got Goldie he wouldn't come out the "dark" back bedroom either-I actually put his food/water bowls there. Then I got to thinking he would never get over it if he didn't learn that he didn't have to be afraid of anything so I started leashing him and making him sit out in the living room and watch tv with me etc. around quite a bit of noise. He wanted to bolt back to the bedroom but I wouldn't let him. I did not shower him with affection and thus reinforce the freight but just tried to calmly reassure him and that was it. And with the flower essences in a month or so he actually lost his fear of being out of the bedroom and started laying on the living room sofa etc. He was still a fraidy cat-easily spooked- and then Slim came into our life. Slim was very aggressive. Goldie started learning from Slim, his self confidence grew and grew and about 2 years later Goldie actually had become very self confident, NOT scared of hardly anything, and relaxed etc. ! Seeing him you would never believe how spooky he was originally. I frankly never would have thought it was possible for a dog to change that much but what really put him over was when Slim came into the family. I am sure little Travel will make great improvement but I think it may just be very gradual. But that's OK. Ya'll have the most important ingredient to help her and that is love which is the most powerful force in the universe. Praying for your little girl. Poor thing has been through soooo much.

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Guest Greytluv

kiss1.gif Little Travel.

 

She'll feel better when she gets a friend. I agree to move the food and water in her room. She needs to eat and drink. You don't want her getting sick.

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poor pup,,, :( how is or was she walking,,, I know I say this all the time,,, but I am a big beleiver in walk,,, walk,,, walk,, and as you have said she is a pup that likes another dog around to help her feel safe,,, keep us posted

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By putting food and water in her den, aren't we now showing her we are giving in?

We are bringing home a companion for her on Friday.

 

 

Bailey was extremely shy and it took months for her to come out of her crate. We gradually closed the door to her crate for a few minutes at a time so she could explore and find out it was ok outside the crate. This took months. I agree, let her eat where she feels safe...gradually as she get more comfortable, you'll be able to slowly move it back to her regular spot. It sounds like there's a lot of "uncomfortableness" going on in her world right now, she needs to feel safe and secure more than you need/want her to feel comfortable.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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My gosh, life has given all of you a couple of good swift kicks. She's obviously very sensitive and is probably picking up on the fact that you are mourning as much as she is. I'd do as others suggested, let her eat in her safe place. You can start to work on the other things once you get the new resident in the home and settled. I'm sure it didn't help anyone having two cat zappers come into the home and then leave. I've got you all in my prayers and hope Friday works for all of you.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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I too would put the food and water in her safe spot, and would leash her and take her outside at appropriate intervals. When you bring her in, keep her with you for just a couple minutes and do "dog grooming" (gentle dog petting) maybe while telling her a little story. Then let her go to do as she pleases. It can take time to get over the loss of a mentor :( . Hugs and best luck.

This is what I was going to say. When Jack first came home this is what I had to do. the only thing I did not give him in his bed, which was his safe spot, was treats. He had to at least put a foot or two off the bed for that. Otherwise his food and water he could have wherever he felt safe. Other than that he was left alone except for pottying and the "grooming". In the end he chose to come out of hiding on his own. he also took steps backward and I would despair every time. But then with each one of those he came back braver and more relaxed every time. She will too. So patience and time remain your best friends. The new girlie should help too.

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Susan, Jessie and Jordy NORTHERN SKY GREYHOUND ADOPTION ASSOCIATION

Jack, in my heart forever March 1999-Nov 21, 2008 My Dancing Queen Jilly with me always and forever Aug 12, 2003-Oct 15, 2010

Joshy I will love you always Aug 1, 2004-Feb 22,2013 Jonah my sweetheart May 2000 - Jan 2015

" You will never need to be alone again. I promise this. As your dog, I will sing this promise to you, and whisper it to you at night, every night, with my breath." Stanley Coren

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Guest zoolaine

Poor Travel. Danica is shy but not a spook and she will only eat in the bedroom with the door closed. She will now come and take treats but is very nervous to eat of the bedroom door is even open.

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You can't evaluate, analyze, train or treat a spook as you would a dog that does not have severe anxiety. Normal behaviors simply don't apply. Her world is entirely made up of this that scare her and things (probably very few things) that don't. And the one thing in her world that she felt comfortable with and safe with has abandoned her.

 

Please give her the time and space she needs - and spooks seem to need exponentially more time than other greys to do everything. She is frightened and grieving the loss of her one friend. Feed her wherever she will eat. Give her water wherever she wll drink. If you need to leash her to go out, then you leash her and make sure she stays on her regular schedule. This is not coddling her. She is absolutely not in any mental state where any training or behavioral modification can make any impact.

 

Let her be - for now. See how she does after you bring home her new companion. And give her time to adjust to this change too. If, after two or three weeks, you are not seeing any incremental improvement (and they may be small) in her behavior, I would urge you to talk to you vet about some interim prescription help for her. Don't feel like drugs are a cope out. You can't help her if there is a chemical imbalance in her system that will not allow her to get better. It doesn't mean she will need to be on them forever. But no living creature should have to live their lives in a state of constant fear and anxiety.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest 4greytful

Yes definately try some of the BACH flower essence oils. She has experienced a confusing and sorrowful time too. They will help her through this unknown time in her life. She may be retreating because she fears she will be leaving too after seeing the others come and go. She needs her confidence built up. They helped my girl when her best buddy passed and she went into a depression. I would recommend the Star of Bethlehem or the Rescue Remedy ones. You can put a drop direct on their tongue or add to water.

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Mentioned by mbfilby--but perhaps overlooked--have you had her thyroid levels checked?

 

Feed and water her where she's comfortable. Introduce her to her new buddy. But if there's not a really quick improvement, please get her checked at the vet. The vet can/should check her thyroid levels.

 

And if you have to do other drugs, please don't hesitate. Jacey came to me with severe separation anxiety. Usually the "cure" is another dog, but I already had another dog in the house and that didn't fix things. But we did valium for a few weeks, clomicalm at the same time; then stopped the valium but continued the clomicalm, then slowly stepped down the clomicalm dosage. (She was on the clomicalm for about 3 months total.) Night-and-day difference: Jacey went from peeing in her crate, vocalizing, and tearing up her feet pawing at the crate, to nice, calm, behavior in the crate while waiting for me to come home--that huge change in just 9 days. And when we took her off the clomicalm, she was fine. These days, she can be left home alone-alone--no person or dog in the house and she's uncrated--and she's totally fine.

 

You don't want the stressed-out behavior to continue for so long that it becomes a habit. At this point, she's finding that super-stress and hiding gets her "safely" through the day: she's fed, she's not hurt, and nothing really bad happens to her. She needs to learn that nothing really bad will happen to her if she's less-stressed and out in the open, too. Finding meds that will help her discover that needs to happen sooner rather than later, I think.

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Guest RobinAZ

oh poor little Travel. She's such a sweetie. I really hope the new dog Friday will help her with her depression and being scared. You know, I have to feel Layla in our bedroom. She's still too afraid to eat with the other dogs. Maybe it will always be like that, and that's okay. Hang in there, give her lots of love - it'll be okay ((hugs)).

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Nothing to add to the above good advice but to keep your voice calm and cheerful with her, not consoling and pitying. Sending hugs to Travel and to you.

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Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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Guest Shermanator

poor pup,,, :( how is or was she walking,,, I know I say this all the time,,, but I am a big beleiver in walk,,, walk,,, walk,, and as you have said she is a pup that likes another dog around to help her feel safe,,, keep us posted

 

I would love to walk her, however, being in AZ, its still in the low 100's - way to hot. At night, its still a little too warm for her, and well, I work early in the morning, so a walk is usually not possible.

 

Little Miss T had a better day yesterday. After I left for work yesterday morning, DH reported she did eat and drink. And, she did go potty. He also reported she came out of the bedroom, and laid with him in his office yesterday, for awhile. (He works from home.) I did talk to the vet, and they recommended some pedialite, and gave me a syringe. She was not too amused, but we where able to get more fluids in her. She did come out for dinner, and we put her water in the bedroom where she had retreated, and she did drink. Yay Travel!

 

Unfortunately, life has thrown us another curve ball. My brother in law in staying here for a little while. (Very long story.) So, it is an unknown person in the house, and he's staying in 'her' den. She has handled it well, but keeps going to the den, nosing the door, hoping to get in. Poor little thing. BIL did report to me that she growled at him! He was up getting a drink of water at 3am, and she was in the main room- so he had to pass her. Rather than run, she growled. Huh. I do not want her snarling at anyone, but it is good to know she is protecting herself against an 'unknown' person.

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Sounds like it might not be a bad idea to do the thyroid check someone recommended earlier. Glad she has made progress, though!

Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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You can't evaluate, analyze, train or treat a spook as you would a dog that does not have severe anxiety. Normal behaviors simply don't apply. Her world is entirely made up of this that scare her and things (probably very few things) that don't. And the one thing in her world that she felt comfortable with and safe with has abandoned her.

 

Please give her the time and space she needs - and spooks seem to need exponentially more time than other greys to do everything. She is frightened and grieving the loss of her one friend. Feed her wherever she will eat. Give her water wherever she wll drink. If you need to leash her to go out, then you leash her and make sure she stays on her regular schedule. This is not coddling her. She is absolutely not in any mental state where any training or behavioral modification can make any impact.

 

Let her be - for now. See how she does after you bring home her new companion. And give her time to adjust to this change too. If, after two or three weeks, you are not seeing any incremental improvement (and they may be small) in her behavior, I would urge you to talk to you vet about some interim prescription help for her. Don't feel like drugs are a cope out. You can't help her if there is a chemical imbalance in her system that will not allow her to get better. It doesn't mean she will need to be on them forever. But no living creature should have to live their lives in a state of constant fear and anxiety.

Very well put.

 

Glad to hear she's made some slight improvements in the meantime!

 

Have you read Patricia McConnell's Cautious Canine. If not, I'd highly recommend it.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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