My how time flies. Milo has been with us for 3 years. I had no idea what I was in for when I picked him up. Having an extremely fearful dog is an emotional roller coaster. Moments of frustration, elation, sadness, joy, heartbreak, delight, and worry happen daily. Progress happens at a glacial pace. Yet lately, the speed of his progress has increased.
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3 years after we got Milo…
I took Milo to the vet for his annual checkup. Going to the vet is terrifying for him. It isn’t the vet. It means he has to go into the garage, get in the car, and ride in the car. Then be in a different place and environment.
Before today, Milo would panic so much about going into the garage. He would pee as soon as he was close to the door. Most times he would poop as soon as he was in the garage. He’d tremble the entire way to the vet.
Today was different. No accidents by the door or in the garage. He wasn’t happy, but he walked right to the car without a struggle. He hopped in the car and I didn’t have to pick him up. He did tremble on the way.
He knew when we arrived at the vet. He tried his best to stay in the car. He jumped from one side to the other so I couldn’t get him out the door. Then he jumped into the floorboard under the steering wheel. I was able to grab the handle on the Ruffwear harness to pick him up and out of the car.
Once inside, Milo hid under the bench like he usually does.
His checkup went fine. He’s healthy. If only he was mentally healthy too. Sigh.
It takes a while for him to decompress after he’s had a major fearful event. I tried to give him treats for being a good boy. As usual, he won’t eat when he is in fear mode. He just shuts down.
Milo had some other signs of progress. He is relaxing more around my husband. Milo will sit in his lap without stressing out. A few times he has come to my husband in the kitchen to get a treat – without being called! All on his own. YAY!
Milo is showing small signs of goofiness and playfulness. As my husband said “Every now and then he acts like a normal dog”. Those times are glorious. Thankfully, they are happening more often.
What caused Milo’s progress advancement?
I attribute the increase in the rate of his progress to two things. First is him being on anxiety medication. The other is giving him CBD oil for dogs. The combination of the two helped him greatly.
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Oh, I also use a calming collar for more stressful times. He needs extra calming during a thunderstorm, fireworks, or going to the vet. You can see he’s wearing the calming collar in the photo of him under the bench above.
Love, time, and patience will keep his progress moving forward. 3 years and counting…
Do you have a fearful dog? If so, what has helped your dog? Comment and let me know because I’m always looking for ways to help Milo.
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