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 under 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.