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.