Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Animal Wednesday (My Bella and her bella dramas)

This is Bella. I have had her about 4 months. If you remember she was chasing the cats last time I mentioned her. Cats are the least of her problems. Over the past two months she has torn down curtains, shredded two and it became obvious that she has problems when I leave her home even for an hour.Then last week she was in my car while I was working a short job and it thundered, never mind that it was also snowing and was not supposed to thunder. It was cool and the windows were down only about an inch and a half, you see she escaped from the car once when they were open 5 inches, so I had them up so she was safe, I thought. When it thundered I decided to go check on her because I had a hunch she may be afraid as she hates loud noises. I could see her as I headed her way and she actually had her head stuck in the window! I knew she was choking so I rescued her as fast as I could, she was okay but very shaken and she had tore up the car door. I never leave her in the car without checking on her often and lots of times she can come in the houses while I work, she likes the car and never gets destructive unless she is scared, but this was total panic. I have a dog terrified of thunder. I have been thinking about what I will do in the Summer and now I was really worried because it thunders almost daily here for part of the Summer. I went on line and got some ideas, I have ordered her a Thundershirt, I have no idea if it works, but I need to try everything, it is supposed to calm dogs down. I ordered a soft crate so that I can bring her in the houses while I work and she can be contained. I am getting a CD of thunder that I can play and hopefully get her used to the sound. If any of you have any other ideas or suggestions please share. Bella is a really wonderful dog, but fear has a very bad effect on her. Happy Animal Wednesday! XOXO


Judy Shreve said...

Poor Bella - poor you! My border collie was very afraid of loud noises and especially thunder. In GA thunder is a very common noise in the summertime. I have read that if you start to associate the sound of thunder with good things it will help - so maybe that cd will help her. I also know that your vet can prescribe medicine for her anxieties.
She must love you so much for saving her - she doesn't want to let you out of her sight.
Must be so frustrating to deal with . . .

Suzanne said...

Oh you poor thing!

Barbara/myth maker said...

Aww, poor baby. I had a german shepherd/husky who was so fearful of thunder, too. Nothing much calmed him. He was frightened driving over bridges, too. Like he knew. Hope the Thundershirt works... never heard of such a thing.

Teri and her Stylish Cats ~ Coco the Couture Cat, FurryDance Brighton, and Disco NoFurNo said...

So behind in visiting...but saw your Bella post and had to stop for a minute and read your update.

You are doing just what I would have recommended...the Thundershirt, the soft crate and you might also try using DAP

kj said...

Oh Annie, darn. I think that fear is a DNA thing

We've used rescue remedy with some success. It's a squirt and it seems to help dogs as well as people with anxiety

Triple sainthood for you for the time being


Ps lo knows all about the thunder shirt

Laurie Wambaugh said...

Hi Annie,

You need to order her a Thundershirt Anxiety Treatment Dog Wrap. It comes in various sizes for all dogs. You can order it from QVC at in pet supplies on their website. It is about $40.00 which is a little spendy. It really helps, definitely worth a try. Send me an e-mail at my home address of and I'll forward you the link and a picture so you can see and read about it.

Love you Sis, Laurie

Lynn Cohen said...

Oh my goodness...never heard of this before, any of it...poor puppy. I hope all the things you are trying work. I can always send you one of my relaxation CDs. They are for people, but a few clients have told me that their dogs listen too and relax while the CD is on (it's fifteen minutes long)perhaps she'd train herself to relax from it. Worth a try? All I know to offer.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Our greyhound is extremely afraid of storms (and fireworks). He wowld hide in the bathroom and shiver and drool. My ex is a former veterinarian, and he gives him benedryl. It relaxes him and dries up the drooling.

Mim said...

I have it on excellent authority that the thundershirt works miracles. don't know how but it appeals to something atavistic in the dog and calms them down.
Good luck with that, and with the soft crate

xxx said...

Buggar Annie, what a dilema!
Fortuantely our new hound is happy with noises and slowly stopping chewing everything in sight.

I have no solutions I'm afraid, but sincerely hope something works for you soon.

You truly are wonderful for keeping her in your care.

love to you

marianne said...

Lo s Emma has the thundershirt, so ask her. I think she was pleased with the rsult. Difficult when the poor dog is so afraid, but I am sure she will do better in future just like with the cats :)

angela recada said...

I'm so sorry that Bella is having these issues. My heart goes out to both of you. It sounds like you've gotten some good advice here. I hope it helps you both.

Bless you for rescuing Bella, and for sticking with her to help her with these issues. I know it can't be easy. . .

Love and hugs to you both,

Annie said...

To ALL, Thank you so much for your caring suggestions,

Laurie, I have the thundershirt on order, but thank you, love you too.

Teri, I will look into Dap.

Kj, I have rescue remedy on my list.

Lynn, Thank you for your offer, but I have lots of relaxation CD's, but thank you for the idea.

Secret agent, Thanks for the tip, but I would need to give it to her daily for most of the Summer and that can't be healthy, but I will ask my vet.

I will give you an update after I get the Thundershirt.

Lori ann said...

poor thing! i've heard the thunder shirt is the way to go too, hope it helps annie!

~Babs said...

She is such a beautiful girl,,,poor thing, I'm sorry that she gets so frightened.
I once found my Mille with her head stuck in the lattice of the fence, so I know your panicky feeling!
Good luck with this,,,seems as though you've gotten some great tips here already!

ArtPropelled said...

Thunder and fireworks can cause untold panic. I know what you are going through since we had a dog who would dig out and get lost for weeks if we had an unexpected storm. If we were prepared we could keep her inside where she would hide behind a couch or under a bed..... as long as it was dark and cosy. So sorry you have to go through this Annie. It can be really upsetting.

soulbrush said...

oh pooor little bella. my heart goes out to her. our little sbuffles is terrified of thunder and crackers- it is really alarming to watch her struggle- we close all the curtains, and put the television on really loud- and tuck her into our cardigans to snuggle her- but she can feel it!

Silke Powers said...

Hi Annie,

You know Winslow is afraid of loud noises and when it thunders, he goes and lays in the dark shower. I let him because I think it makes him feel safe. I used to get very nervous with him (about him really), but I've trained myself not to. I think he got more nervous when I got anxious on top of whatever was freaking him out.

I don't know what the Thundershirt is, but someone here had a very nervy dog who couldn't be left alone and they got him a shirt, which is somewhat tight and made him feel safe (sort of like swaddling does for babies). Is that what you are talking about? It worked wonders for their dog!

And I see you are working with rescue remedy. That helps as well.

I hope it all works out soon! Bella looks like a wonderful dog!!!

Love, Silke