A Ray setback!

As many of you know, we have been slowly reducing the anti-anxiety medication, that Ray has been on since he was rescued by our local Humane Society. He was initially given 40mg/day and, over quite an extended period of time, we reduced him to 10mg/day (at the end of this past June). Since June, we have had isolated events which may/may not be attributable to his meds reduction and so, not wishing to take any chances, he is currently still on 10mg/day.

As many of you know, Ray developed severe separation anxiety. He is attached to both of us, but more so to Carol. We have tried to address this numerous times, but other events/issues have always sabotaged our efforts.

Carol and I used to do a lot of cycling together before Ray entered our lives but, as a result of his separation anxiety, it has been quite impossible to continue. We have recently decided however, that Ray should not stop us from cycling, but it would have to be underΒ  different circumstances. A neighbor also cycles and invited Carol to join their group … which she did. The idea worked well for Carol who is not comfortable cycling on her own.

As many of you know, dogs interpret things very literally. Ray, for example, would have no prob;em with me leaving by the back door, but had a huge problem if I left by the front door! So where is all this going?

Ray is getting used to Carol leaving in her car. He will complain for about 10-15 mins after which he will settle down. The other day, she took out her bicycle and road off down the driveway to meet the neighbor (and her cycling friends) as they had planned on a relatively long bike ride. She left mid-morning, and returned in the early afternoon … and Ray did not stop whining, moaning and barking during the whole time! Not only was he wearing me down, but the poor guy was so distressed. I made the decision that Ray’s meds would be increased to 20mg/day and we would monitor that for a while.

It will be a balancing act between his level of medication, and what is necessary for him to adapt to being on his own. Perhaps the 20mg dosage (and the standard separation anxiety training regimen of taking it a small step at a time) will create the “magic” for all of us? We shall see.



58 thoughts on “A Ray setback!

  1. Aw, I’m sorry to hear of Ray’s anxiety. He is a true child, he misses his momma. I can’t even imagine what he went through before being rescued that has him so upset over being left behind. Poor guy. Give him a hug from me. Tell him I said it will all be okay πŸ˜‰ On a side note, I think increasing his meds while you transition is a good idea.

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  2. All five of our dogs have separation anxiety whenever we leave the house. Especially whenever my wife leaves the house (she feed them). But we’ve never given them medication for it. That seems rather strange to me. So far they’ve survived. However on occasion we have one that will chew something up when we’re away, perhaps to punish us. Perhaps medication would have saved us a pillow or two, but I’m not ready to go down the meds road just yet.

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    • Ray was put on anxiety meds at the shelter because GSD’s can lose their self-control in confined areas (the caged pens), and worse when they cannot escape from the stares of passing strangers (potential adopters). They will often get into self mutilation such as chewing their tails. Our shelter’s goal was to prevent the stress evident from such behavior. Dogs have chewed through walls and doors and jumped through glass windows, with severe cases of separation anxiety, in an effort to find their human. Less severe cases offer a number of alternatives of course. Thanks for your comments.

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  3. Thinking of you and your dilemma. Poor Ray. Hopefully it won’t be long before he accepts the new routine, even if he’s not exactly happy about it.
    We have a similar issue with Maggie as if we leave her alone in the house, she howls. Yet if we take her with us in the car and leave her in that for a little while (never long I hasten to add, and NEVER EVER on a hot day) she will curl up on the front seat and snooze. However, there are dognappers around, and she does not look like an old dog, so a good candidate for breeding at a first glance. We won’t take the risk, and if we can walk her with us, that’s fine, or if it is hot and we can’t, one of us stays in the car with her, leaving all the windows and a couple of doors open.
    There are a few people locally who have little buggies attached to the back of their bikes and the dogs love it. Mind you, they are either westies or JRTs. Somehow I can’t see Ray riding pillion. Hugs to the big guy by proxy.

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  4. Awh, sorry to hear about Ray’s setback. I can imagine how his whining, moaning and barking would get draining for that long of time and how you felt helpless at trying to soothe him. I think you made a good decision about moving his dosage back up to 20mg. Whatever it takes to have him feeling good. Hoping the “magic” does happen for all of you, and that you guys can continue to enjoy cycling again!

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    • We have tried many things that have apparently worked with other dogs, but his current meds are the only ones that impacted Ray. We are aware of the CBD potential but, given that his meds do work (albeit in a higher dosage), and he does function very well even at 40mg/day, we don’t want to “rock the boat” just yet! πŸ™‚

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  5. Poor Ray. If only we could explain that she is coming back. Maybe he was deserted or unnaturally separated from his mother too early and that bad feeling hovers in his dog brain. If there is a dosage that helps him, that’s a good thing.

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