Friday, October 5, 2007

"Nervous Nellie"

My mum's dog Nellie is staying with me until Tuesday (10/9). Poor Nellie, poor mum. A few years ago my mum got Nellie off of Craigslist. She had been bought by a family in Wayland that thought they wanted an older dog (9 mos.) that was already housebroken, etc. and had bought the dog from a breeder they *thought* was a reputable source, the president of the North American Cockapoo Registry. Yup, you read correctly. So there-in is part of the problem.

Anyway, the breeder shipped the dog to the family and the dog was beyond traumatized. She would not eat or drink for days, just shook, etc. The family had three children, the mother taught Spanish from her home for over-achievers; it just wasn't working. So my mother adopted her. My mother's vet thinks Nellie was never socialized with humans, she LOVES other dogs. When she is running with other dogs is one of the only times her little tail comes out and up.

In her own home Nellie has come thousands of miles, and she loves me, John, and Ike, but staying with us...ouch. She arrived Wednesday night, so yesterday was the first full day she was with me. We (me, Ike, and Nellie) had a GREAT walk at about quarter past 5am, her little tail was out and wagging. She adores Ike, even though he thinks she is an annoying white fluff. When we got back to the house I put out her kibble, but she wasn't interested. Okay.

During the day Ike stays at my in-law's house with their dog Carmen and my sister-in-law's Yorkie Joey. Carmen is a b*tch and Nellie is afraid of strange men - needless to say I though it would be more stressful for my FIL and Nellie for her to stay there, so I left her at home in her crate with the birds and g-pigs. Well, Nellie doesn't have a love-love relationship with her crate; she tolerates it. This makes me feel badly, but to work I go.

I had my mother bring her DAP diffuser because this has seriously helped Nellie in her own home. For those of you who might not be familiar with this item, DAP stands for Dog Appeasing Pheromone. I believe the pheromone is similar to what a lactating female gives off to calm her puppies. It works really well with some anxious dogs and has no effect with others. (Just like anti-depressants it is similar to shooting in the dark! What works for Joe might not work for Jane.)

I had a meeting at the Shelter last night to discuss how we will be teaching the new training program and decided to bring Nellie. After being locked up all day I didn't feel it was fair for her to have to stay home. I am not sure that was the best decision. Nellie was obviously stressed out. It makes me heartsick to think about. She hid under the table we were working on and panted for 90 minutes.

Then we went to get Ike from my in-laws. Transformation! We go in the house and she eagerly sits pretty for treats and steals Ike's favorite chew. Hmmmm. This morning when I walked the two of them her little tail was up and wagging. Happy as a clam. She is a totally different dog when there is a dog around. I feel badly for her because my mother's older dog just passed away about a week and a half ago.

Sometimes I tune my mother out (hey, she's my mum!). Well, I wish I had listened to her more about Nellie. She needs to work with a good behaviorist and try to set up a solid and consistent plan to work on desensitizing Nellie to the scary world. What's so sad about this is that Nellie has the sweetest, most lovely personality - she is just scared of the big bad world.

I am bringing Nellie over to Katrin's this afternoon because I would like to have Nellie and Ike attend the adult-dog playgroup on Monday. I know Nellie will have a blast. Mr. Ike, well as we know he can be a pain sometimes!


Shelly said...

Poor Nellie!! I might be able to help out--as one of Sandy's major issues we've worked on is being "out in the world"

Jules and Ike said...

Wait until you meet her, Michele. She is such a sweetpea.

Shelly said...

You are bringing her to Marlene's Correct??

Jules and Ike said...

Yup, she LOVES other dogs - you'll get to meet her tomorrow! Yay!

Katrin said...

That link is AWESOME!!!!! Thanks!!!!

Jules and Ike said...

You're welcome. I wish I could post it to the world. People need to do more research! For the love of gods or dogs....