Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bella S.O.S and a Sale

Remember when I posted about my new dog Bella and her problem with being home alone and with loud noises? Here is the update: The thundershirt does nothing, the DAP collar does nothing, to be fair we have only tried them with the thunder CD, we have not had the real thing to test yet, but I am not hopeful.

She does not like her kennel much and I am afraid she could hurt herself if left alone in or out of the kennel. The doggie seat belt I got has helped a lot for when she is in the car, she can move around, but cannot get out. She does okay in the soft kennel that goes with us to some of the houses I work at. The problem is going to be when it gets too warm for the car and I will have to leave her at least two days a week, alone in the house, during thunder season. This has me in a sort of a fit to tell the truth. I want to stay in the moment and I don't want to worry, but I have to prepare. The medications are not something I can just give her on the days she has to be home, from what I have read she would have to be on them all the time. I am out of ideas here.

She is on a training program to try and get her okay at home alone, but there is no training to not be terrified of loud noises, except for playing the thunder tape, which I do, but here's the thing, she knows it is not the real deal and even though she does not like it, she also does not go into a full terror panic.

I am going to look into doggie daycare, but in a small town like Taos I am not sure it exists and if it does it will likely be beyond my budget.

So Bella and I are sending out this HELP message, do any of you have an answer or a suggestion? I will be calling my vet also to see if he has anything new to suggest. Then I am out of ideas.

In other life changing news, I have decided to no longer do ceramics. I may do clay sculpture at some point, but I will be making no more bowls or pendants or buttons or spoons, I am reserving all my energy for painting at least for the next year and maybe forever :-). I would like to liquidate my ceramics on my ETSY site, so here is the deal, if you like something make me an offer by email and if I agree I will reserve the piece in your name at the offered price. You can also make offers on the paintings, but this is mostly to clean out my shop of ceramics and perhaps make money for doggie day care :-).

Thank you everyone,

Happy Animal Wednesday! XOXO


kj said...

oh gee whiz annie, i feel for you. this is a dog lover's worst fear because the lack of a solution so affects you and your other animals. i had a dog who was terrified too. she ate the woodwork around doors trying to escape. i know that doesn't help you. i hope your vet suggests something

one thing though: you could trade art for doggie care. index cards and announcements at grocery stores etc. maybe someone will feel like they've won the lottery including bella's company.

i will pray!!!!!!

kj said...

p s annie, would you consider turning word verf off? it is a giant pain to figure out those yuk words and everyone seems to confirm that it is unecessary since there is already a spam feature in blogger


Lori ann said...

i don't really know annie, but i think i just saw an advertisement for 'doggy tv'. it seems there is a dog channel to leave on in your absense and somehow it comforts your pet. i just saw it in our newspaper, maybe you have something like that?

Judy Shreve said...

I am so sorry for Bella's fears. Our border collie was terrified of loud noises - the garbage truck on our walks, airplanes flying too low and thunder. I was never able to make him less afraid. He felt safest in the bath tub during storms.
I have no suggestions except medication - we tried the shirt and the tapes too.
Good luck selling your ceramics - I understand the call to just paint!!

Mim said...

See what happens with thundershirt during a real storm - all my dogs knew the difference between thunder recording and a real storm. Must be a feeling in the air. This is a tough problem.

Annie said...

Kj, Well abstract is not big around here, but I will likely place an ad for a pet sitter and ask the vet about it, he may board her those days, if I can afford it.
I took away word verification.
Thanks for the prayers.

Lori, I have no TV, it costs at least 100 dollars a month to get TV where I live.xoxo

Judy, :-). xoxo

Mim, Yeah dogs are smarter than we think :-).

angela recada said...

Dear Annie, I'm so sorry you and Bella are having these troubles. I wish I could offer some help or advice beyond what you've already received. . . My prayers are with you both. I'll keep my fingers crossed that your vet can help you in some way.
Love you,

Annie said...

Angela, Thank you sweetie, love you too. xoxo

sukipoet said...

Oh this is sad as you are a loving mom to Bella and she is in a great home. I know nothing about dogs so can offer no advice. good luck with just doing painting. sounds great.

Annie Jeffries said...

My brother has exactly the same problem with his Lab. He has taken to kenneling her when he knows a storm is coming through. $17 a day isn't cheap but it's not needed everyday and gives him peace of mind when he is at work. Since Casey has a talent for escaping the yard, this is especially important.

Wishing you good luck with your Bella.

Annie said...

Annie, That won't work for me as she will have to be kenneled 2-3 times a week, 51 dollars a week is going to be too spendy and during our Summer months it can thunder daily, which is okay if I am with her, but not so good if not. I think I will look for a sitter and if I can get it down to 10 a day for 6 hours that I can do.

Kate P said...

Annie, have you heard of Rescue Remedy? It's an herbal liquid for both people and pets that is supposed to be calming--you could put it in Bella's water. (Or everybody's water so everybody mellows out.)

Have you ever seen Dr. Karen Becker's advice articles at I'd recommend taking a look there. Best of luck with little Bella.

studio lolo said...

Hi Annie~

I too, was going to mention Rescue Remedy as well as keeping the Thundershirt on. Don't give up on that shirt! Br careful on hot days though.

There are also anti-anxiety drugs that the vets I work with put some of our patients on as in Prozac and Clorazapam? I know it's NOT diazapam (valium) I'm not sure the second one is right. Anyway, they help immensely. In a perfect world we would keep our pets (and us) drug free, but fear is a real thing and if meds can help, why not? I don't think they're expensive either.

best of luck my friend. And YAY for your painting passion!


marianne said...

Hope you will find a solution dear!
I can't be of much help from here.
Maybe put up an add for a petsitter in return for the same favor at other days?

becky said...

Annie, I sure don't have anything to add to what everyone else is saying. Hopefully your vet will have some ideas. She is such a sweet dog! No more ceramics? Looking forward to chatting w/ you tomorrow. I'll have to check the weather & lets give each other a ring this evening...

Annie said...

Kate P and Lolo,
Thank you for your suggestions, I am keeping the coat just in case and I have rescue remedy and I don't see any difference in her or me(I take it too :-).
Calling the vet today.

Annie said...

Thank you for your good thoughts.

Annie said...

Becky, yes, we have much to talk about, I woke up to 3 inches of snow and it is still snowing, off to check the weather and email you.

xxx said...

Darling Annie I have no suggestions and truly feel for you. Very frustrating situation for you and Bella and I sincerely hope something falls into place soon.

I'm sure you'll return to ceramics at some stage as you make such beautiful things, but in the meantime keep on loving painting... This year I'm back loving it too.

Take care Annie and I'm wishing hard for a solution to Bella's anxieties. xx

xxx said...

ps... I just read Lori's suggestion about the doggy tv and can recall a family I knew who used to do just that... leave the television on when they were out for their poodle... it worked for them x

Annie said...

Thank you Robyn,
I don't have TV have not had it for 14 years, it would cost more than a pet sitter where I live, and I am not sure it would be enough, she is more than afraid, she is in terror.

Unknown said...

Try putting the Rescue Remedy on her forehead. I have heard it can work well in animals. Some animals do take things like Prozac when they are totally neurotic...or vets often prescribe Benadryl too...makes them sleepy. When I was having issues with the birds I found a yahoo group and they truly have the best info. Maybe there is one that will work for Bella?

Annie said...

Vic, Hi, lovely to see you!
Making them sleepy is not so good because even though they can't hurt themselves they are still in a terror panic inside and that would be awful, I just read this and crossed sleep aids off my list.
I am hoping the vet has something like valium for dogs :-). Then I would only give it to her when she was going to be alone for the day.
Love you.xoxo

Marion said...

Lucky was much the same as you describe, Annie. After many years (he's now almost ten) we finally discovered something that works most of the time. I put Lucky on the herbal tablet once a day. Each day thunder and lightning were in the forecast, I would rub him down with a dryer fabric softener sheet, which lessened the effect of electricity in the air.

He takes to the Valerian well and he's a much happier dog these days...every sound and bang and me leaving him does not bother him as much. Of course, his age probably has a lot to do with it.

He'll come round. In the meantime, I'm so happy for you that you are going to focus on your wonderful paintings...they are so filled with joy and love! xx

Annie said...


I will ask my vet about this, but you win the prize because I had not thought of this or read about it, thank you Marion!!!!xoxo

Secret Agent Woman said...

No helpful ideas - sorry! I hope the training helps.

yoborobo said...

Holy cow - it sounds like she needs Xanax for dogs. Poor Bella! Poor you! How awful. We had a dog that freaked out during storms. She tried to chew her way out of the mud room once. I felt terrible when I realized she was that afraid. We've always had someone at home (when the kids were here), so we just let her sleep in bed with one of us. Having to leave her alone - I can see where you have a problem. Hope the vet has some answers for you. xoxoPam

Annie said...

Pam, yeah, that is the problem, not to mention she is also afraid to be home alone and then if it thunders on top of that, well she could really hurt herself in a panic.
Thank you for you kind thoughts.