Monday, May 10, 2010

Nothing To Lose

Reagan continues to decline. Just as I plot out my next strategy, the strategy becomes obsolete. I can now define the phobic trigger as motors and engines..... trains, trucks, diesel engines, lawn mowers, 4-wheelers, and so on. Also, little thuds like people closing car doors or horses tapping their feet to dislodge flies.

The idea that Reagan and I will ever compete in agility again is far from my mind. I think it would be a miracle. The truth is that Reagan's phobias have been increasing for 2 years and there is nothing to suggest that suddenly something will change for the better.

I noticed a couple of phobic reactions soon after bringing her home in February 2008. Reagan was just 10 months old and had never been off the greyhound farm when I adopted her. Being cautious of new things was to be expected, but some of her reactions were not normal, fearful, I-Have-Never-Seen-That-Before reactions. They were unreasonable and dramatic.At the time, they were few and far between. Months would pass, but I made a mental note that I needed to be very careful with Reagan as I felt she was prone to develop phobias. I managed her very carefully and made sure everything she experienced had a positive spin on it. Life went on and I think I did a pretty good job keeping the issues at bay. I almost forgot about them.

It is funny how your goals change. I used to dream about showing Reagan off at agility nationals and earning championships one day. All of it was very achievable. Now I just hope she has a somewhat normal and happy life. How much will she change in the next 2 years?

For now, we just have to take it day by day. Last Thursday, I closed the car door too many times. Saturday, clearly uncomfortable inside the house with the sound of the neighbor mowing his lawn. Yesterday, we jogged and biked. She was unsettled by the ride in Stephen's SUV and shaking in the parking lot at the trail head. All off leash privileges were revoked a couple of weeks ago. The last 2 or 3 recalls required two calls as she was trying to decide whether to listen to me or to a boat engine.... I can't trust her if she has to think about it.

Prozac has done nothing after 2 months so we are moving onto Buspar. We are also experimenting with Xanax. Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication given prior to a specific event and is not designed for daily use except in severe cases. I am keeping a journal and recording the doses, the timing, and the results so I can learn if Xanax serves a purpose in our lives. We shall see. Nothing to lose at this point.