Monday, October 31, 2011
Ferg's First Sleepover
It's been a long week. Ferguson has been on Fluoxetine for over a month now, yet still seems anxious...it's driving me crazy. But, I've been configuring a different set up that might make his improvement more noticeable. For one thing, we're going to set up an ex-pen in the family room after disposing some trash-quality furniture left by previous renters (so it's space no one was using anyway). I think part of the problem is the amount of negative associations Ferguson has had upstairs, so if we move him downstairs where he can see more going on, I can begin without flaw the step-by-step guide that is in the book, "I'll Be Home Soon."
Additionally, we are going to be babysitting another greyhound from the Greyhound Welfare group that lives just down the road to see is there is a significant difference in Ferguson when he is left with another hound. At work, as you all know, Ferg's dangerous anxious behaviors ceased completely when he has been placed with another dog and has had the same result with 3 different dogs, so it sounds like a very good hypothesis. While it would be just GREAT if Ferg could get over his moderate SA on his own, it's important for us to keep an open mind to know what works. Additionally, having him stay with another dog that has no anxiety at all about being left might help contribute to his conditioning of people coming and going.
So, Walter is coming to visit this weekend while his family goes out of town for business. From his owner's description, Walter sounds like a very well-behaved, well-adjusted guy that is the same age as Ferguson. I think they'll have a blast. The plan for now is to first try having them stay in the Ex-Pen together; his owner seemed to think this would be no problem at all for Walter, and he very much enjoys the company of other dogs. Ferguson also seems to have little concern over personal space, so I'm hoping this will work for them. Of course, muzzles will be worn, dogs will be extensively exercised, and many practice sessions will occur before we decide it to be feasible. If it doesn't seem plausible, we may have to try crating Ferguson next to Walter in the pen, etc. But I'm really crossing my fingers that it will work out just fine.
I will have to videotape all the practice sessions and have them to compare. But, in the least, I'm quite excited to have Walter stay, and I think Ferg will be too!