Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guarded

*Warning* This is a complaining post!
Despite Reagan's teeter successes, I remain guarded about any sort of agility career. Her tolerance for traveling in my van is declining. In hindsight, I should not have taken her to Perry in July. It was too many hours (two) of travel in too few days. I have not been able to reclaim the progress we had made prior to Perry... Dang it! But I am not going to beat myself up about it. I would have tested a longer route sooner or later. I just found out sooner it was simply too far and always will be.

Reagan will no longer eat while traveling so I have stopped using the Manners Minder (click here if you don't know what that is). She pants, shakes, and startles with greater frequency. I have simply stopped watching her in my rear view mirror and drive as gently as possible. She has not refused to load, but some resistance is showing and her eagerness to leave the house is diminishing. I won't make her go.
I have entered Reagan into a couple of local agility trials, but I am having second thoughts. The local trials are still a 35 minute drive. Can she handle that 2 or 3 days in a row? Maybe I should only take her to my agility field 3 days a week and quit trying to compete. It is the best place to maximize activity and I think Reagan enjoys it thoroughly.
I may attempt to counter condition the van one more time, but I'm not willing to utilize my car until it cools off. Even so, do I really want to put forth the effort on rebuilding something so breakable? Not really.

Remember the Mutt Muffs? We have been playing around with them again. They are suppose to protect dog ears from loud noises. Sometimes they stay in place and sometimes they do not.
I am not quite ready to pull the plug, but I think its unlikely Reagan will recover completely. It is just such a frustrating disappointment because she also has to be so much fun to train and so talented. Just a bright and funny little greyhound that few will ever get to see. That is my complaint for the day.

21 comments:

jet said...

aw, that's a pity... there is always youtube I suppose!

gyeong said...

My guys love the travel, but know nothing of agility :). Hope she doesn't regress further.

Sue said...

I've only recently found your blog, so apologies if you've already tried these suggestions:

Take two dogs together, even if only one is competing.

Use a DAP collar. Spray the vehicle with DAP.


Enjoy your dogs, without competing them, but get another greyhound that will compete. So many need homes.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Sue, I do need to try the DAP. I will. She never travels alone and Riley is the finest example to have on board.

I didn't make it clear, but it really has nothing to do with competing. I would trade her agility talent for happy travel vibes. Yes, I'm disappointed about the agility, but if I had to choose one or the other, I would choose a happy traveling dog so she could tag along on the adventures. I know other people are used to their dogs never leaving the house, but I'm not.

I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Sue, something else. My dogs travel everyday. We travel to go hiking and we travel to go train. At least 6 days a week. Its a big deal for me to leave Reagan behind.

Sandy ~~~ said...

Jennifer...I think you have "hit the nail on the head". Do what Reagan loves and be happy that it makes you happy too. You know it's not always about competing but about the bond you have with your girl. There are a lot of "champions" in our backyards.

andrea said...

how very frustrating for you :(

I want to say I know she will work through it but you are right and it could backfire -

she will need to be able to travel though for life so all the work you are doing will pay off either in agility or in life

hang in there

whygreyhounds said...

Fear/anxiety responses are always a difficult thing to work with. Poor Reagan, being in that state of mind isn't a nice place to be at all!

Your right, at least if she could travel calmly she could tag along with you all & just hang out!

Sending Reagan calming thoughts :-)

jcp said...

Sorry to hear that. You are the most active greyhound owner I have ever met and so I know its frustrating. It has got to be tough when there is a mismatch in lifestyle/capability. Especially since a person who is more stay at home oriented may be a great fit for Reagan and she for them. Please Let us know how the DAP works. I'd never heard of that before. Hang in there.

houndstooth said...

I'm really sorry! I know that you have high hopes for her. I wish I knew a magic trick for you to try so that she could gain some ground. I love to go places with ours and I know that has to be incredibly frustrating!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Thank you for all the kind comments, support, and understanding. I always feel so much better after I do a post like that. Just get it all off my chest.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

And just ordered some D.A.P. spray.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Good luck with the DAP spray. I hope it's a miracle cure, wouldn't that be so wonderful. Could you try driving a little way then walking then more driving and break it up into 'baby steps'?

Life With Dogs said...

Given your passion for agility I understand your frustration. But noise sensitivity is tough as hell. Sola suffers from it and it can be limiting for her. I hope you have better luck!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I'm still playing on the fact that there is really nothing fun to do at home and if she does want to play, it takes a 20 minute van ride. And then as soon as we arrive, I immediately play fetch with her so she is rewarded immediately and can unwind. Talking through it all, I've made some decisions so I feel like I have a plan of action again. Thanks.

Jen said...

I'm so sorry... you must be so frustrated! I felt a lot of that frustration with my Lucy... she was so unpredictable around other dogs, and for years I pushed, pushed, pushed to socialize her, get her out... to enjoy activities I loved (playdates, greyhound meetups, etc)- all for naught. To her dying day she was a loose cannon, fine one minute and the next minute have another dog by the face. It is SO FRUSTRATING to know they have an issue, and not be able to figure it out!! I regret that I pushed Lucy to be social for so long, when she clearly hated it... you are much more attuned to your greyhound than I was to mine... she is so lucky to have you as her friend!!

Jen

Jessica, Rainy, Sunshine, Murdoc, & Frizzle said...

I thought the Bustar was working well! :(

I'm getting to the point where I am weaning my Sunshine off Prozac. She's being super brave about everything. She still startles but her recovery time is 1-3 seconds. Instead of never!

I know you've tried tons of training/working and a number of drugs on her but have you tried thyroid stuff?

I also know that NGAP and David Wolf are not highly regarded in most greyhound circles, but it worked for us!

http://www.ngap.org/greyhound-hypothyroidism-y462.html

I had to vet hop through 3 different clinics until I found a vet who actually owned a greyhound and she allowed us try this as an experiment. It helped with Sunshine's phobia of the dishwasher, leaves blowing, etc. Not sure it helped tons with her fear of strangers, but the results were within 48 hours.

Her unmedicated T4 was a .09 which isn't low for a GH, but I wanted to treat her symptoms not the #. on .6mg Soloxin twice a day her T4 jumped to 1.7 and on .8mg twice a day her T4 jumped to 2.4 (which is where were were trying to get her)

We go for a vet exam and blood tests every 6 months (3 months after we first started) and I watch closely for any behavior changes that show she is tipping her T4 too high.

If you've tried everything else this might be worth a shot even to try out for a month??? It's not medically proven and is experimental in any Vet's eyes... but it worked for us and a few other greys that I personally know.

I think NGAP is very open to talking to vets about this theory so if your vet wanted to call they could chat with someone there.

Jessica, Rainy, Sunshine, Murdoc, & Frizzle said...

*** forgot to add that my results within 48 hours were a crazed 2 yr old puppy greeting me at the door and knocking me flat on my ass! Previously she would hide back behind our other grey when I got home. Always there for the greeting but never brave enough to come close and always made sure she could run back to her crate if there was anything scary.

Imagine my surprise when she launched herself at me!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Jessica,

The BuSpar works awesome for motors and engines so no plans to take her off that. But it never helped in the van. We had van successes for other reasons, but they've been undone.

I'm familiar with thryoid thing and we've ruled it out. She is well into normal range.

Thanks for all the concerns.

cindi said...

Sympathetic. I'm in the process of bringing home a new dog who is a terrible spook. I think he has potential - but he's scared of everything new per the adoption group. All this advise will certainly come in handy in a few weeks when he's here.
I know he has potential but getting over those initial hurdles will be hard...

Jessica, Rainy, Sunshine, Murdoc, & Frizzle said...

Well your just going to have to buy a helicopter to get her to and from places! :) Safer to fly anyways... lol