Thursday, October 14, 2010

House Dog

I have reached a point where I have spent enough time, effort, and money trying to solve Reagan's noise sensitivity to our dog van. I have tried dog appeasing pheromones (D.A.P.), a Thundershirt, body wrap, and Mutt Muffs ear protection. We have quieted the van's rumbling by adding soundproof matting to the walls and floor and roofing cement to the wheel wells. The wire crates were switched to soft-sided crates to eliminate rattling and I drive as gently as possible. I have worked with Reagan on counter conditioning various noises and utilized sound CDs. We have great success at home (even with thunderstorms), but zero in the van. We had short lived success with the Manners Minder, but she will not eat in the van anymore.

I consulted with a behaviorist at Tufts University and they helped me with drug therapy. Reagan completed 8 weeks of Prozac with no change. She then started BuSpar which has reduced her phobia to motors and engines significantly, but had zero effect on her fears associated with thunderous van noises. I plan to keep her on BuSpar since it keeps Reagan sane when a diesel truck passes the house, a plane flies overhead, or the neighbor mows his lawn. I was hoping Xanax could be used for occasional trips, but it results in a belligerent, back talking greyhound with serious munchies... who is still afraid of the van.
I am so glad I came to my senses and did not trade my dream van for a mini van. Reagan's tolerance for riding in my Honda Fit and Stephen's Xtera is diminishing so I am certain she would be having the same reservations about a mini van by now. I would be hanging off a tall building ready to jump if I had sold my dream dog van.

So I am fully satisfied with my efforts. I wish to try nothing more. Reagan is learning to be a house dog.

12 comments:

Mad Red Hare said...

I think it is safe to say, that you did your best!!!

Sue said...

I hope Reagan can settle in your home and just enjoy all you tlc.

jet said...

I think Reagan will be happy with that. Some hounds are just meant to stay at home!

Anonymous said...

Love the picture. I feel like that myself some days.

Hiking Hounds said...

Sorry to hear that Reagan still has her phobias. She is very cute in her ear muffs and jacket though. Kind of makes her look like an old time pilot.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

She is defitely "flightly"! Bad joke! :-)

Sandy ~~~ said...

I think you have found Reagan's niche. It just took both of you awhile to discover it and now you both can be happy with each other. She can still be a champion at home. ;-)

houndstooth said...

I think you've gone above and beyond what many people would have done to try to get her out and about. I also think that you've made the decision that works the best for you and for her. Beating your head against the wall as you try to solve a problem just creates frustration for you, and probably for her, too! Plus, it looks like Riley is more than happy to take over the spotlight in the agility ring. ;)

KF-in-Georgia said...

I'm sorry it's turned out this way. She clearly adored doing agility. It's a shame you can't host agility competitions in your living room.

But sometimes we just have to accept that a condition exists that we can't beat, and continuing to push is just going to make the dog--and us--unhappy.

jcp said...

Princess Leia looks pretty happy there with her ear muffs and pill stash. I can just picture her laying on the couch in therapy.. "So how does the van make you feel?" .. "So you like the jumps and tunnels but not the van?..
I know it has been a long and rocky road but no-one can say you didn't try everything!

Jennifer said...

Speaking of the couch... the little princess has been thinking that is part of the house dog deal. No deal, Reagan! Way too much of a crabby b!$&#.

Kathy said...

Gosh Jen--you have done everything you possibly could. I commend you for your effort. I honestly don't think there's a person alive who could have tried more than you have.

I do love the picture too though. She's cute as a button with all of her "paraphenalia"