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?

My sweet boy!

4 Comments

  1. Well said Teresa! I hope Landon’s results are good and he can move past the events of this morning and love the rest of the day! We suffer with reactive dog issues with Zian, he went from being super happy at the vets as a baby to terrified and reactionary. You are correct that you cannot train this out, we can only soothe their emotions, make them feel as secure as the conditions allow and be their advocates. Many people do not think about how COVID-19 protocols have effected their furchildren; I can see the panic in their eyes when we show up at the vets office and just hand them off to technician to see the doctor. We do everything in our power to ensure that they are always booked to see the technician (if possible) and their regular doctor, but emergencies happen and you can see the added stress a stranger has on them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SO well said Theresa! Our son has a fear reactive rescue dog from Mexico and it’s been tough to get a handle on. I’m hoping his Daddy decides to get some meds for him :(.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a hard choice to make! I was against meds at first but once I saw how they helped Landon, I changed my mind. And working with reactive dogs that have been on or are on meds and seeing the difference it can make makes me advocate for them more. If your son has any questions or concerns, I’d be happy to try and help if I can!

      Like

Leave a Reply to Angela Botermans Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s