We have some news on Ray, regarding his nocturnal activities! While we know that he is still restless during the night, he has occasionally allowed us a little more sleep.
Our neighbor has regularly seen foxes around 2:00 – 3:00am and, a few days ago, they told us that the pair that were regular visitors has grown to three! Those foxes are on the top of our list of possible causes for his restlessness, and the inconsistencies of Ray’s behavior could simply be driven by whether the foxes decide to come close to our property or not.
The fact that he has seen a fox when on a walk and totally ignored it, does question this rationale but then … Ray will “hide” if he deems it necessary.
“Hiding” is when he wants to pretend that he is busy, and so puts out body language of “I am no threat to you”, “I am currently very pre-occupied”, “Just go about your business”, etc.
This was evidenced on one of my first few walks with him in early 2013 when we saw two large German Shepherds (leashed) coming towards us on the other side of the road. (The incident is noted in my book about Ray “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” – see link in right column for more information).
From my “first dog perspective”, I was amazed that he did not notice those two dogs as they passed us. A trainer friend explained that he would have, without any doubt whatsoever, known exactly where they were at all times, but he did not want any trouble and so went through his “leave me alone. I’m busy” routine!
Not wishing to overlook some other potential causes for his night time restlessness, we changed giving him his anti-anxiety meds from dinner-time, to breakfast, and there was some improvement, but it was temporary.
Earlier this week we took him to see his favorite vet (who gave him a brief examination – nothing obviously wrong!) but, apparently, there is a slight chance (extremely slight) that the meds which have been helping him to stay calm (full story is also in his book), could now be working against him. We have decided to try and wean him off them and see if they are necessary now.
He started his first reduced dosage yesterday, and there are no symptoms of any problems as a result but, to be realistic, it will take him 4-6 weeks to totally adjust to this new dosage.
We shall see what the future holds!