I’m sitting at the vet office waiting for Landon to get an x-ray of his shoulder/leg. I’m not too sure what he did to it but he’s been limping and it’s not normal for him.
Last time he had an x-ray, he needed to be tranquilized and he fought it. Hard. The vet actually said that she gave him enough to tranquilize a horse! They had to let me in with him while he was x-rayed and that is not a normal protocol.
Thanks to Covid, I’m not allowed to do that. I am allowed in the exam room and for that I am grateful.
If you have never had a fear reactive dog, you probably won’t understand why this is nerve-wrecking. Landon is NOT aggressive. He reacts because he is terrified. His reactions look aggressive because when you have a reactive dog, they learn that when they behave aggressively, the thing they are scared of usually goes away. Landon doesn’t want to be scared, he wants to be safe. And if he feels that he isn’t (even when he is) he reacts.
Reactivity isn’t something you can simply ‘train’ out of a dog. That would be like telling a depressed person to smile because it’ll make them happy. It’s not quite how things work. His behaviour can be managed and I have worked really hard with him to help him with his fears. He’s also on medication for fear and anxiety. Most days are good. But there are days, like today, when he is super stressed and it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart because I can’t tell him that he’s okay and safe and that no one is going to hurt him.
Thankfully, the staff at the clinic he is at right now are very understanding. So now, I just wait.
The one thing I can leave you with for now is that YOU are your pet’s voice. You have to speak up for them. You have to make sure that they feel safe. You are their advocate. I’ll make another post on why this is so important. But know, I will ALWAYS advocate for my pets. Because if I don’t who else will?