Thursday, October 02, 2008

Update on Porter

Today did not go as well.

Porter and I walked this morning for 45 minutes, managing to catch the sunrise over Lake Superior. He was quite excited about the walk this morning, but a little more apprehensive about entering through the back door went we got home. He knew what was up. Despite all that, I managed to get him back outside for breakfast with minimal fuss. So far, so good.

Then I made my mistake. I left through the back door! Porter, who was happily distracted with breakfast, saw me and by the time I was down by the car I could hear him fussing.

No calls from the neighbor all day, so he must not have been too out of control when I left....

Got home to this scene:

Porter peeking around the corner of the house to see me walk up the front steps (indicating he was not too wrapped up around the pole at that point). I went in the house through the front door (no excessive greetings on my part) and looked out the kitchen window to see this: dog house askew, blankets pulled out onto the lawn, and the dog wrapped around the clothes line pole.

Went out to him and found that he had taken apart about half of an old chopping block log (2 feet in diameter and rotted) and dumped over both his food and water. He wasn't over the top in greeting me, but was hanging onto his kong pretty tight and whining - different than yesterday.

I let him off the line and set about cleaning up some of the mess. Compared to pre-medication it wasn't too bad, but clearly he needs an increased dose of the clomipramine - at least for now. I had just gotten off the phone with the vet where we had decided that if he was okay today we didn't need to titrate up the dose. Sigh! She feels this is a pretty safe medication and, considering his size, 50 mg BID is going to be okay.

On a postive note his kong was empty today, indicating that he had been chewing on it during the day. I had stuffed it with his favorites - dog treats, carrots, and pepperoni sticks. Yesterday he had not touched his kong or the bone while I was gone.

Signs of separation anxiety - distress vocalization (howling, barking, whining); inappropriate elimination; destructive behavior (chewing, digging); anorexia/"depression" or inactivity; psychomatic/medical consequences (excessive licking of haircoat, pacing, circling); hyperattachement (excessive greeting behaviour, constant pestering of owner); hypersalivation.

Porter consistently displays 5 out of the 7 behaviours to one degree or another. Thank god not the inappropriate elimination of hypersalivation!

Once I was present he finished off the spilled food and polished off most of a large bowl of water. Good thing it has been cool outside, I am much less worried about his tipping over the water in cool weather. And before anyone worries - he has free access to water when in the house and we feed him "dog food soup" (dry kibble in a few cups of warm water) at every meal - a trick I learned when working in sled dog kennels to ensure adequate hydration.

Tonight the dose went up. One more day to go. The good news: I can bring him with me to my second job so his time alone will be almost half of what it has been the last two days. Though to be honest, most of the distress probably happens within half an hour of my departure.

Saturday we are off to hike the SHT from Crosby-Manitou State Park to Caribou River Wayside. Eight miles of some very hilly trail.

There has been a trend in a few running blogs to list running goals for 2009 so thought I would put myself out there and add my plans (assuming all goes well and injuries heal):

- Superior 25K in May (I was talked down from the 50K by my husband who thinks maybe I should ease my way into the longer distance)

- Half Voyageur Trail Marathon (it is a non - Jarrow's Beach year; can I defend my top ten place ? )

- One of the fall Superior Trail races (definitely not the 100!) and/or

- Wild Duluth 50K

Ambitious? Maybe. But then I am the woman who decided I would knit lace curtain panels out of linen for my front door and completed most of one before being distracted by nursing school, while still homeschooling one child and serving on a couple of nonprofit boards ;->

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hope today goes better!! Have a good hike tomorrow.