Sunday, October 24, 2010


I have been SO BUSY. I haven't had a moment to update here. Briefly, I finished Reactive Rover with Gustav, been doing weekly BAT/mat/etc work with Nancy and Vanya (what a find! I'm so glad I finally found a committed dog owner to work with. And we're both helping one another out, I don't feel like I am incurring a huge debt with someone by taking up their time.), and jogging, walking, and so on. I have been incredibly busy with school, but mostly sticking to my one-big-formal-session a week plan plus the usual day-to-day stuff. Now that Reactive Rover is over I plan to set up a weekly or every-other-weekly session with Tisha to continue BAT with Gustav. On the off weeks I can maybe drive Dottie over to the dog park and do some BAT, assuming Justin is home or I get a little farther on my completely stalled separation anxiety treatment with Gustav.

Other big news: we started Gustav on Prozac this week. This news has sort of freaked out or disappointed some friends of mine, but I think they've mulled it over and realized it's not such a crazy decision since they've watched me work with dog for two years and honestly, not a whole lot has changed. In fact, he's still worse than when we first got him (to think: we used to go to the dog park and let strangers pet him and have parties at our house with people out and dogs visiting!!) but perhaps not as bad as his worst. It's really discouraging. Chelse just said that she didn't want to pressure me, but that every time she saw Gustav "prozac" popped into her mind. So why not. We're giving it a 3-month trial. I just can't ignore an option that could make my dog lead a more balanced and happy life.

Okay! Busy busy busy! I have work to do. And dogs to jog. I'll keep you all updated on Gustav's entry into the 21st century of SSRIs. Who knew I'd ever be here? Sigh.


  1. You know, we put our lab on prozac after working with him for three years. He had gotten so much better, and then regressed terribly. The prozac effect was astounding, but it took about three months before we saw his behaviors really start to change. Just don't be discouraged if it doesn't help right away, and don't beat yourself up for putting him on it- you are doing everything you can for your dog! :-)

  2. Good to hear! I appreciate the story. What changed? What sorts of things did you notice first? It's funny, I can't help staring at his head once in a while, imagining little serotonin molecules or whatever banging on the door, trying to get back in, and the prozac standing like a guard saying "I will NOT reuptake you!" As you can see, my grasp of the science is pretty firm :)

  3. Haha! I like that description. I'm a forester, and we're always trying to find ways to merge science with other disciplines - you'd do well with it!
    We noticed several changes, including a much more accepting attitude towards our cats (he attacked one last year, so was on "house arrest" for months - it wasn't until he'd been on the Prozac for two months that he stopped growling if he saw one of them come within about 10 feet of him). He watches the cats now, and will even sniff them, but is calm when he does!
    His resource guarding with locations (although not food) also greatly decreased. Finally, he just seems generally more relaxed - he still goes to high alert if someone knocks on the door, but he calms down much faster.
    Anyway, lots of good stuff for us, I wish the same for you!