“Stuey is hiding under the bushes. He’s shaking and won’t come in the house. It’s like 10 degrees out there. If I try to go near him he shows his teeth.”
That’s certainly not the text you want to receive from the pet-sitter when you’re away for the weekend. But that was the one of the first clues that something wasn’t quite right about our little brown dog.
The next time we visited our veterinarian, he confidently diagnosed Stuey with Separation Anxiety Disorder. I know, some of you are thinking: Seriously? He’s a dog. He’ll get over it.
But it’s no joke. According to the ASCPA, Separation Anxiety is more common in dogs who have not been with the same family during his whole life. Stuey was found by the side of the road as a puppy, and he lived in at least two foster homes before coming to me.
A change in guardian or family can be contributing factor leading to SAD, and not long after Stuey turned one, my husband and I separated. And then I moved to another house -- contributing factor number three -- complete with 100 years of scents. He hid in the attic for the first few days.
So here we are, almost seven years old, and this poor little pup still has issues with change. Short car rides are fun -- OMG so fun! -- but after about 30 minutes he probably gets a feeling he’s not in Kansas (or Connecticut) anymore.
Our veterinarian gave us a little bottle of little pills, which we have yet to try. I don’t want to give my pets medication unless they really need it, but we’ve come this close to cracking them open.
Last week, we gave him a few droppers of Liquid Health K9 & Kitty Calmer, which we carry here at Green Tails Market, before we left on a four-hour car ride. While it didn’t seem to have any effect on our nervous little stinker, we’re not ready to throw in the towel, since I was pretty conservative with the amount I gave him. I wasn’t too fond of its smell, which seemed to attach itself to the upholstery in my car.
Tomorrow we’re giving something new a try: Earth Animal Chicken Cutlets in the Calm variety. And maybe we’ll add in a few of the drops. Think good thoughts as we head off on our long, strange trip with our anxious little dog.
(Stuey resting his head on a comfy paper bag)
And now for an update on our anxious little friend, Stuey ...
You know how some people seem to be immune to caffeine? They enjoy a cappuccino at dinner at 8 and are blissfully asleep by 10, while the rest of us are wide awake at 2 am?
My 7-year-old Little Brown Dog appears to have a similar immunity to any product with the words “calm” or “relax” on the label. Despite repeating the recommended dosage an hour after giving him a dropperful of Suzie’s CBD Drops -- by which many of our customers swear -- he still panted and paced for a good portion of the four-hour drive we took this past weekend.
But, he had one 30-minute period of relaxation, shown in the photograph above. We are joyful and optimistic that perhaps CBD is the answer to Stuey’s anxiety. We plan to experiment with more CBD products until he can make it to the Charlton rest stop with a normal heart rate and no drooling.