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Oliver is now 7. I've had him since he was 5. We have discovered he is a spook. (Doggie autism) if anyone has or had owned a spook please discuss your experience.  How did we know?  Oliver is the quietest, sweet and quirky dog. He is afraid of almost everything in the house. Water bottles, the whole kitchen,(like the entire room) and by the way, the whole house except the living room(he never goes in any part of the house he stays in the livingroom only),  ceiling fans, the Christmas tree in the kitchen but it's the kitchen so it is scary, anything that makes a sudden noise. He very anxious. He will try to shrink into himself when he goes into a panic attack. He has had quite a few attacks. Sometimes he goes into a zone, trance like and doesn't react to his name or my voice. (Out of the blue) A very loud "hey"! Will snap him out. Or not. He may be in the house staring at some unknown thing that's out to get him or outside he will be just walking to go potty and bam hes not there mentally..just is in a zone and doesn't hear you. He will sometimes look through you not at you. He has a ... I'm not sure how to word it but he isn't in there. It's a dead look. Then other times he looks at me with such devotion and love. He doesn't like change. We need to be on a schedule.  The more scheduled we keep it around here the better he is. He actually has a personality when things are going according to schedule. 2 years and hes not changed.  But I realized it's not about him changing so much as I need to see the world as he does. He can be happy and adjusted but in his world happiness isn't crazy jumping and barking. Oliver's happy is quiet and soft music (I found that spa music is key to help him relax and really settle) Oliver is perfectly happy walking the same trail everyday at the same time, seeing the same things over and over.  I need to adjust my meaning of happiness and how to be contentment.  Oliver is who he is. A very large beautiful dog who is normal in his mind... we're the weirdos that don't fit in his ideal world. 

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I have had a true spook and it is everything you describe.  Schedule is everything.  We never changed a thing in the house while she was with us.  Her world consisted of our living room and bedroom, and that was fine with her.  We had to leash walk her - in our fenced yard - for 8 years, since she wouldn't come inside on her own once she was loose.  We just dealt with her on her own terms and everyone was calm and content.  

A calm companion dog did help her some, but unless she felt connected to that dog it was like she was living alone.  We also tried a variety of anti anxiety meds for her, with no positive results, until we tried Trazadone.  That particular drug was a life saver for her, and allowed her a level of contentment we were surprised at.  But we literally tried 6 to 8 meds prior to that.

One thing that concerns me is he episodes of staring.  Staring, unfocused, unable to respond to outside stimulus, frozen muscles - can all be signs of a form of idiopathic epileptic seizure called a "focal seizure."  If it happens more often than once every 6-8 weeks he *may* need to be on seizure medications.  OR it could be an indication there's something physically worng - a brain tumor or some other neurological disease.  Talk with your vet about a referral to a canine neurological specialist for an evaluation.  And the next time he has one of these "spells" try and video it with your phone to show the vet.  Begin keeping a log of these episodes - date, time of day, duration, what he does, what you do - to watch for patterns.

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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Are Spooks able to function as racers?

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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9 hours ago, LaFlaca said:

Are Spooks able to function as racers?

My spook, referenced above, was a very good racer - she won a stakes race at Ebro quite handily.  But when she was moved to a better track at Orange Park, in a new kennel for a new trainer, she was only moderately successful.   She was retired to adoption after one season there.

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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6 hours ago, greysmom said:

My spook, referenced above, was a very good racer - she won a stakes race at Ebro quite handily.  But when she was moved to a better track at Orange Park, in a new kennel for a new trainer, she was only moderately successful.   She was retired to adoption after one season there.

Fascinating!  Thanks for sharing. 

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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Oliver sounds to me like a very wise and loveable fellow.  He knows whats important to him (and you), is loving and caring, and there is no doubt in my mind he has it more "together" and is a better friend than many many humans would ever be.  Sending him some love :beatheart

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