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Experience With Paxil?


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Hello, after consulting with a vet behavioural specialist, our vet has recommended we start our recently adopted 2-year-old girl (Ruby) on 20 mg of Paxil, aiming for 30 mg in 3 weeks. She currently is on 150 mg of Trazadone for acute anxiety when left alone. The plan is to titrate her off the Trazadone as the Paxil builds up in her system. She likes Paxil better than Prozac, because it (according to her) it works well for dogs who urinate in the house. Ruby only did this once when in a panic in her crate, but we are fearful of her doing it again. We just remodelled our house and put down all new (expensive) hardwoods, so want to forestall that going forward. We are hopeful that she will only need to be on a short term course of an anxiolytic, just long enough to get us through the process of alone training and also getting us through any set back that could occur over the summer when my partner, who teaches, is home more, therefore creating a SA crisis when she has to return to school in August. So, my question is, what is your experience with Paxil? When left alone now, off Trazadone, Ruby paces, whines, cries, looks for out the window, has trouble settling, etc. We are terrified of her building to another panic, which is a big no-no with alone training.

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I'm all for using appropriate medication for anxiety when it's warranted, but it sounds to me like you need to take it more than your dog!

 

She peed *once.* In her crate. Early on in her new adopted life (I'm assuming, which may be incorrect as you haven't said how long you've had her). Which *could* have been from just being in the crate, or being left alone in the crate, or separation anxiety - it's hard to know exactly with new dogs. And her separation anxiety behavior since then is, really, fairly mild from what you described above.

 

How long have you had her? Have you done *any* alone training without meds on board? It sounds like you can watch her when you leave, so how long does the panting and pacing go on? Does she ever settle and lay down? Has she ever peed or pooped in the house when you've been gone (other than the one incident you described)? Are you still using the crate with her? How much exercise is she getting daily?

 

Most importantly, why are you considering changing her to Paxil from Trazadone?

 

I defer to your vet, but, FWIW, my experience is only going the other way. We tried many drugs with our girl, including Paxil, with little to no positive results, but Trazadone was the one med that worked to help her lead a nearly normal life. If you are just looking for some medication support for the short term I would think the Trazadone would be a better choice. For *most* dogs it's very safe, with fewer side effects than other anxiolitics, takes effect faster, and, she's already on it at a clinically effective level.

 

The key for the summer will be to keep her on the same schedule as a normal school/work week as much as possible. Sucks for the humans, I know, but Greyhounds thrive on schedule and routine, and if you can get her over this little SA bump at all, she should be fine. There *may* be some regression in the fall, but you will know how to help her through it, and she should settle back into "work" mode quickly.

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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We tried Paxil and Trazadone with our Ruby, and neither one helped with her S. A. After trying so many other things with no relief, our vet told us to leave her in our back yard when we are gone. We have a large fenced in yard, so that's what we did. She still has terrible S.A., and she is now nearing age 12. Outside she is happy and loves being out there. For the rainy days, she has a patio that is covered, a large dog house and a heater inside to help her stay cozy. We felt we were doing more harm with all the drugs than helping her. We rarely leave her as I am retired, but on the rare occasion it is over 78 degrees outside, we have a cooling mat under the tree that she likes to lay on.

BUT......Paxil helps with a lot of the pups, it just didn't work for our Ruby. Good luck.

Karen

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It is true, my anxiety has shot through the roof since adopting Ruby 6 weeks ago. It stems from her freaking out in her crate on day 4, shredding her bedding, our bedding (the crate was by our bed), peeing in the crate, etc. This came as a shock to us because we thought she was adjusting so well. I started researching and was introduced to the concept of SA and alone training, and honestly, the more I read on it, the more freaked out I became, especially at the admonition that she not be allowed to get to "panic" state. We consulted a trainer who has a history working with grey's in a prison program and she also reinforced the idea that Ruby should not be allowed to build to panic, at which point she **could** (not would) become destructive. Since we had the incident in the crate, we wanted to head any further destruction off before it could even occur, hence the medication. To answer a few more questions, we exercise her daily by walking her at least 2 miles. We have a fenced back year, and she runs and plays out there a lot. We get her together with my bf's dog several days a week and try to socialize her to the outside world as much as possible. She has been uncrated for the past week, as the trainer concurred that crating her may be making things worse. She had to be lured into the crate, and when we got the spycam, I would observe her cycling between being settled and howling in there. She has not been one of those dogs for whom the crate is their "safe space". When we decided to test her outside of the crate, off of any meds, she would pace, whine, cry, and chew on the baby gate blocking her out of our bedroom. It started at 8 minutes, next time was 13 minutes, up to 21 minutes. The trainer said that since the time in distress was increasing vs. decreasing, she felt that a medication consultation with our vet was warranted, which is what we did. The vet consulted the behaviourist, who recommended the medical protocol I laid out in the OP. That is where we are at. What is making this even more stressful is that it is concurrent with hookworms that we are in the process of treating. She just had her second deworming and will have her third in a week. Again, researching can be problematic, as now I know about hookworm larva potentially being in the yard. Reading up on issues and concerns can be a recipe for catastrophizing, I totally recognize that. Straddling the line between trying to mitigate signs and symptoms vs. just rolling with it is a tough call, especially when we hate to think of Ruby being in distress AND potentially destructing a house we literally just finished remodelling, not to mention some of the CRAZY recommendations on eradicating hookworms in the yard, such as blow torching it. Again, catastrophizing, I know. So, yes, I am owning my own anxiety with all of this. We had none of these concerns with our first grey, who we lost last fall to hemangiosarcoma. So, some patience with me as I try to figure out the best path forward will be very much appreciated.

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And to answer the question around switching from Traz to Paxil, it is because Traz has such a short half-life, and we want her to get to a place of being secure enough for us to come and go without having to structure our lives around making sure we dose her at the appropriate time and get back in time before the meds wear off. As it has been, we have restricted our coming and going exponentially. There is zero spontaneous outings at this point. I get that initially, it needs to be this way as Rubes is adjusting to her new life. And it is not as though we would leave her for long stretches, alone, on a regular basis. But, if we want to catch a matinee last minute, or grab a beer with friends in the evening, or run out to the store, we want to be able to do so without being concerned about her being anxious and in distress. Paxil, theoretically, will build up in her system and allow for a steady state of calm, vs that being contingent on a dose of Traz at just the right time. And to reiterate, we hope that any medication is short term (no longer than 6 months).

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I cant address the question re meds but please try to get your anxiety under control, as your pup is surely feeding off of it which is not going to help her going forward. Your intentions are in the right place.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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You're doing the right things. Stick with the advice you've received from the behavior and medical professionals who have seen your dog. I'm sure she warned you of any potential side effects. Usually these things are just something of a wait and see until you know if it will help. Side effects are typically mild. Keep us posted on her progress! And good for you for being proactive!

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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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I have personally been prescribed every drug above for my use and about half of them for dogs over 20 years. Depression and anxiety are a fine line to split.

Trazadone turned both my sister (R.I.P) and me into zombies but just took the edge of the dogs. As far as antidepressants in people it is most often used as a sleeping aid vs. Paxil, etc.. Antidepressants do take time to build up in the brain and generics are a crapshoot. Ativan is my best anxiety friend and can be used on dogs.

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Thanks for all the words of encouragement. Trust me, I am trying my best to get a handle on my own anxiety. I won't go into all the back story, but will say that there are other things that have lent to my own anxiety syncing up with Ruby's. It is one of the reasons I so want to get this right with her. I know the pain and suffering that accompanies anxiety. I, at least, can process it verbally. She cannot. It kills me to see her on the webcam crying and pacing. And it is not lost on me that if I am anxious, she is probably feeling it and it is affecting her. So, that is why I am here. To try to get input from others who have experience with Paxil for their pup. The "personal" stuff is being dealt with in other venues. And in case anyone may be concerned that Ruby is trapped in an asylum with a crazed mom, please know that she is very well cared for, with lots of affection, interaction, variety, stimulation and devotion from people who love her.

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And in case anyone may be concerned that Ruby is trapped in an asylum with a crazed mom, please know that she is very well cared for, with lots of affection, interaction, variety, stimulation and devotion from people who love her.

I don't think that entered anyone's mind on this forum. They've been dealing with me for about 20 years. Hope you find what works for Ruby. :grouphug

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Hey Pam,

I was speaking in generalities. It was more an expression of my own self-consciousness and likely a projection. I do very much appreciate the support of the forum, and the people such as yourself who make it a rich source of info. And thanks for the encouragement.

 

Re: Trazadone turning folks into zombies. it is another reason we prefer to try an SSRI vs. something that is so sedating. The dose that seems to eradicate the signs of anxiety also totally zonks her out the rest of the day. If we are only going to away for 2-3 hours or so, we hate to dose her with such a sedating medication. We prefer she be even-keeled and secure all the time, and able to adequately handle the comings and goings of an active and spontaneous household (of which she is often, but not always, a part). I know alone training is part of the protocol to get her there. It's how to accomplish that in the context of also having to leave her totally alone on a daily basis for at least a few hours at a time. So, medicating her as we go about this transition and training is what was recommended by her vet and trainer, and what we, in essence, feel optimistic about. Though we are still curious about others' experience with their grey's and Paxil. I see lots of posts on Prozac, but not Paxil, hence the OP.

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I thought someone else recently asked about Paxil as well, but you're right, it's not as commonly prescribed so you probably aren't going to be able to get much feedback here.

 

FYI, separation anxiety is a true disorder where your dog is panicking. Your own anxiety isn't causing it and likely isn't making it worse unless you're doing some really outlandish stuff when you come and go, which seems really unlikely since you seem to have your head on straight and are getting really good help. ;) So just stick with what you're doing. If Paxil doesn't do it, there are plenty of other options to try so that you can eventually remove the drugs that cause sedation. FYI, Trazodone is an interesting one. One of the vet behaviorists I work with told me that in order for it to help with anxiety you have to give enough that it first "fills" all of the sedation receptors and then the rest hits the anxiety receptors. But sleepy and relaxed is still better than anxious until you can find the SSRI or similar drug that works for her.

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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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We are trying to be very low key when we come and go. I notice that when she has been dosed, she is far less likely to "shadow" us around the house and whine and pace when are getting ready to leave. We typically dose 90-120 minutes ahead of departure, to give the meds plenty of time to get onboard, as well as clear her system quicker when we get home. We left her alone, uncrated, on Traz yesterday for 4 hours which was a first. Sweet freedom. We typically give her a frozen kong when we depart, and keep the interactions to a bare minimum for the first 2-3 minutes when we get home. We love that the Traz has allowed us to leave her uncrated, and we have come to start to trust (this week) that she will be ok on the loose. I actually forgot to raise the blinds when I left this morning, and as I watched her on the webcam staring out the window for a few minutes, she didn't seem interested in the blinds at all. Whew!

I had read the bit about dosing with Traz high enough to "hit" the anxiety. How does one know that this has occurred besides the absence of typical anxious behaviours (pacing, whining, shadowing, panting, etc.)?

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That's how you know.

 

Sounds like you're doing a great job. And I totally understand the relief that comes with being able to leave the house for even a short period without watching your dog lose it. I went through it with Violet and it was so horrible to watch her panic when alone. We finally found the sweet spot with an SSRI and leaving her uncrated with access to the front door and it was such a relief. Hang in there.

Edited by NeylasMom

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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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  • 2 weeks later...

How is sweet Ruby doing? :goodluck

 

Trisha's recent article is interesting, including Fear in dogs is also a hot topic right now, given the widespread coverage of the study by Biagio D’Aniello and colleagues that Dogs Really Can Smell Your Fear. (See PubMed for the abstract.).

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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It is with the most broken of hearts that I am sharing that we are returning Ruby tomorrow to the adoption group. It has been a gut-wrenching decision, and I have second guessed myself a thousand times, wondering if we are giving up on her too soon. She had a major regression last weekend. The pacing, howling, etc. had returned, and she also started jumping on the kitchen (our exit) door, which was a new behaviour for her. On Monday, when I went to work, I watched her on the spycam. She howled and paced for 30 minutes, and then I heard the most awful noise, which sounded like she was throwing herself at the door. I couldn't actually see what was happening but assumed that was what was going on. She did finally settle down and fall asleep at about 45 minutes in. I had given her the 150 mg of Traz about 90 minutes prior to departure and was shocked that the anxiety had broken through this high of a dose. When I arrived home, the blinds were mangled and the wooden door was all scratched up. I can't believe she did not break through the glass panes in the door. I am so glad we did not come home to a blood bath. I was a total wreck, and after talking it over with my partner that night, we both agreed that she would likely be better in a home that at a minimum had another dog or perhaps with someone who did not come and go as frequently as we do. We are rarely gone for longer than 5 hours at a time, but we do come and go a lot, between work and all the other activities of life. If we were to keep her and continue on with the process of helping her overcome her SA, we would be worried that she would harm herself or destroy our house in the process. Not to mention the emotional toll that it has taken on me to be so worried about her every time we leave. I found myself obsessively watching her on the spy cam, holding my breath, hoping that the signs of SA would not appear. It had gotten to the point that I could not focus at work, was eating Klonopin just to deal with my own anxiety, and I literally could not think about anything else except Ruby and how she was doing. Not only am I dealing with a shattered heart, but I am also full of guilt and remorse that we do not have the resilience or fortitude to deal with this and provide her with what she needs.

Our previous grey was just an ideal dog for us, and in all honesty, we need a dog that can come into our lives and be secure from the get-go. We are just not equipped to deal with special needs. I feel horrible saying that, but it is the truth. We lost our previous grey to acute and aggressive hemangiosarcoma last Thanksgiving. Between the hole in our heart from losing her, and now this on top of it, we are going to take a good long time before we entertain having another dog. We need time to heal from both losses. We do know that we are dog people and that one day, the right dog will find its way into our lives. Likely we would like to foster grey's in the future, with the intention to adopt one that is a good fit for us, and us to her. I don't know when that will be, but I trust that day will come. We have fostered in the past (3 different grey's) and babysat numerous grey's, so we know this breed is for us. We just are not equipped to give a special needs dog what she deserves.

I have been so torn about posting this here. On the one hand, I really long for words of support and encouragement. On the other, I have feared a backlash from those who might righteously judge us. Given how emotionally wrecked I am feeling, I have opted until now to share this news. I am taking the risk to just be very honest about our struggle and where we so, so sadly have ended up. We got the below email from our dog trainer (who has worked in a greyhound prison program), who was working with us on overcoming the SA. It has helped tremedously. If others find their way to this thread and are struggling with a similar dilemma, maybe these words can be a balm to them as well:

 

"I am so sorry it has come to this point. I know it will take a while for you to truly hear this, so come back to this email as much as you need until you believe this: you are not a failure. Dogs with Separation Anxiety are the hardest dogs to live with. I certainly couldn't do it. I don't have the lifestyle nor the emotional bandwidth to work through it the way a dog would need.

Having a dog with SA is emotionally draining and if you don't have a specific life style or a lot of money to throw at the problem, and even if both conditions are true, it can be a painful and impossible disorder to live with in your home. You are absolutely, positively, 100% making the right decision here. I know that doesn't make this any less painful for you. I am truly sorry that you are going through this. Ruby will find the right home and when you are ready you will find the right dog."
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You are good dog parents, and the right hound for your family will find his/her way to you. Take good of yourselves and don't beat yourselves up. You "done good" for Ruby. :grouphug

 

 

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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You found yourself a good dog trainer right there. :heart

 

I'm so sorry this is where you ended up, but try to be compassionate with yourselves. Maybe you can read through this thread imagining your posts are from another owner and think about what you would say to that person after hearing they returned the dog. I would imagine you would find it quite easy to offer them support and sympathy. So try to do the same for yourself. Sometimes it's just not a good fit. And honestly, if being in a home with another dog and/or a more routine schedule solves the issue for her, it's probably the kinder solution for her as well.

 

I have to say that my views about dog returns from back when I did rescue to now as a professional trainer have done a 180. It's easy to judge when your concern is keeping dogs in their home. But that's shortsighted. We now know how damaging emotionally it can be for a family to have to deal with behavior or aggression issues with a pet, especially when it leads to euthanasia or a return. Many of those people don't go on to adopt other dogs when they would have otherwise so it ends up hurting rescue efforts in the long run to discourage returns or shame people when they do it, not to mention adopting out behaviorally unhealthy dogs in the first place.

 

Anyway, I'm digressing a bit. Bottom line, I hope you can find peace in your decision. You did everything right here. :grouphug

 

I am curious, did you end up trying the Paxil and if so, did you see any effect? Only asking for future reference.

Edited by NeylasMom

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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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Thanks for those kind words. They do help. Re: the Paxil, she was only on it for a week, so too early to say anything about efficacy. The fact that she seemed to "amp back up" with the SA behaviours when she seemed to be doing a bit better has me wondering if introducing it may have caused a period of heightened stress as she gets used to it in her system. I was in touch with the adoption group all along about the SA, so this is not a surprise to them, and they plan to keep her on the treatment protocol as they work re-home her. She is such a wonderful dog in so many ways; once the right scenario presents itself for Ruby, those will be some lucky folks. She has BIG personality. I would describe her as a tomboy toddler crossed with a graceful WNBA player. She has no fear of anything except being by herself. She does not have a "spook" temperament. She is affectionate and playful. And she is beyond gorgeous. We call her the supermodel. She was in foster care between track (she only raced 8 times) and us adopting her for two weeks. The foster parents were retirees with other dogs, so she was never really ever left alone until she came to us. When we brought her home, she came in like she owned the place. We got her on a Sunday and had to go to work on Monday. The Thursday of that week is when it all took a turn and she started hating the crate and struggling when being left alone. I know that 8 weeks is not a long time when it comes to transitions. Again, another reason why we are second guessing ourselves. But in the end, we just know that we don't have it in us to go through the long and arduous process of adjusting her to being alone. I just read a thread from a man who took 7 weeks to build up to being able to leave his pup alone for 10 minutes. God bless those that have the patience, mental/emotional resources, and lifestyle to offer that kind opportunity and support for a dog who struggles with SA.

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I'm so sorry that life with Ruby did not work out for you. You did the right thing by returning her so she can find the perfect home. Be kind to yourself and know that the right hound will find its way to you.

Mom to Ranger (PB's Long Ranger), Esso (Kiowa Stay Over) and Cookie the rattie mix

Missing Kahn (Gil's Khan) 10-29-03 - 11-7-16  Belle (Regall Belooow) 8-9-07 - 3-12-17  Star (Greyt Star) 1-19-07 - 3-13-2020  Pitch (Emerald Pitch) 4-1-08 - 6-3-2020

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Well, we are about to load up to hit the road for the two-hour drive to meet the adoption rep. We took Ruby on a long walk this morning and she had a fun game of busy ball. I have cried buckets of tears this week, and just when I think I am about to dry up, they start flowing again. The second-guessing is torture. This is even harder than when we had to put our Rosie down. With that situation, there was no hope of a good outcome. With Ruby, it is different. Maybe she could/would eventually come around. But when I think about the uncertainty and the road to get there, I then know we are making the right decision. The only way the past two months have even been possible is because my partner and I are on opposite schedules so that there have only been short overlaps of time on most days that she has had to be alone. My partner's mom is elderly and lives 2 hours away, and she could take a turn at any given moment. I think about how I would possibly be able to handle all of Ruby's needs on my own if K had to tend to her mom and be gone for long stretches, as has happened at several points in the past few years. There is no way I could do it. So, again, deep in my heart, I know this is the right thing for all of us. It just sucks so damn bad . . . The thought of returning to a home that is so quiet and devoid of the special and unique energy that a pet brings is gut-wrenching. But part of our path ahead is to fully feel and move through that pain and grief. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. And keep Ruby in those, too. I actually am fully confident that she will end up in a good situation for her. I think she is quite resilient. I just hate that we are all going through this.

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:grouphug :grouphug

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Please don't be so hard on yourselves. Sometimes it just doesn't work, and that's sad, but it's not a huge tragedy, especially for Ruby.

 

Consider that you have been her long term foster home, and prepared her for the next adventure in her life. Now her adoption group knows what she needs to have a successful placement in her forever home. And you also have much more information about the future dog you need.

 

Also consider that SA is notoriously difficult, just as your trainer said (she's a keeper, btw, compassionate and understanding), and its it's definitely NOT a failure on your part to have to return her. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and the fact that you recognized yours and still did what is best for Ruby is a good thing!

 

It's also quite possible that there is nothing you could have done for her, no matter how long you tried or how hard you wanted it to work. There are just some dogs that cannot live by themselves, and Ruby may be one of them. She will still find a perfect Forever Home, and you will find your perfect Heart Healer!

 

So, dry your tears and be happy for her! Look forward to seeing Ruby with her new family at events because I guarantee she will remember you fondly! And maybe by then you will have a new dog to introduce to her too!

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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So, its been 48 hours, and all in all, we are doing ok. The burden of not obsessively worrying about how things will go when we leave for work this week is like a ton of bricks lifted from our shoulders. Am I still sad, yes. Do I still flagellate myself with guilt? Not as much. I think anytime something like this happens, there is bound to be so many conflicting emotions. So, we are just riding the waves as they come and go, and trusting that in time, the right dog WILL find her way to us, as many of you have suggested. As far as having a better sense of the kind of dog that will fit our lifestyle, we are now very clear that whatever dog comes into our lives, from the beginning, she will need to be secure enough to be alone. In addition, we also realize that a dog on the petite and calm side is also going to be a must. We called Rosie our "cat dog". She was 52 pounds and 2 years old when we got her, and although she was playful, her play was never really overwhelming. Ruby was 62 pounds of pure muscle and energy, and also 2 years old. She got to where she would jump on us if she was excited. I imagine in time we could work to extinguish that, but in the interim, it could be scary. She greeted me at the top of a 10 step landing by jumping on me and nearly knocked me backwards recently. Although not elderly, we are solidly middle-aged and are a lot more careful physically than we used to be, back when we were invincible youth. So, that is also something to consider when bringing a new dog in as well.

On the topic of vetting dogs, to what extent to adoption groups allow adoptees to be specific with their wishes? I have to say, our local group conveyed that the new reality, with track's closing and the adoption pool shrinking, is that the likelihood of specifying certain traits in a dog is dwindling. I felt as though it was not ok to have specific criteria with them. It is one of the reasons we went with a group a few hours outside our area. I am so glad we did, too. They were so understanding and told me they would not hesitate to work with us again in the future. Once we are back in the saddle, I may post a thread on this, but just out of curiosity, what experiences have folks had with being quite specific in their requests when adopting?

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It is going to be more difficult to find dogs with specific traits - actually, any dogs at all for some areas of the country - so you may need to wait an extended time if you need certain things.

 

You also may need to compromise some things - since you *definitely* need good alone, you may need to get an older dog, or a bounce that already has a history in a home, rather than a young fresh-from-the-track training failure. Or a male instead of a female.

 

It's good you now have a group who knows you and what you will need, so keep in touch with them! Consider volunteering with them for events, or in other non dog owning related ways. Being familiar to the "deciders" in a group can give you a leg up when new dogs come in.

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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