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Please help me save my dog

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#1 Jellyblush

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:36 PM

Hi all. Once again I post in pets in desperation. I have a beautiful bull terrier x, Roo. I've had her from 6 months as a rescue, she's now 3.5. She has terrible separation anxiety. She self harms and does thousands of damage to property daily.

I've posted her before and had some great advice (see below) but unfortunately I think we are now at the end of the road as to what I can try or very close to it.



Since the previous threads, she is fully medicated (Reconcile daily  plus Trazodone when left) and I have actually moved house to one that is concrete and steel to minimise the damage she caused in her anxious frenzies.  She has one hour minimum of heavy exercise (running or bike) per day plus she has toys ie tug a jug etc, plus her food (I feed raw) is always fed frozen so it takes a while for her to get into it. I bury a bone for her to find once a week.

She currently has a paw bandaged after surgery to remove a claw which she split to the pad from scrabbling at the concrete for hours a day. That didn't stop her doing it again today and I've come home to find the bandage off and the wound reopened, she also managed to get through the steel doors somehow, even though I had someone come and turn the handles upside down as well as locking them. Sigh.

Anyway, the only thing I can think of now is to crate her for her own protection during the day....

So my questions are:

1) How long is too long to crate a dog ?She could be crated inside with tv on etc. But I do work 8 hours days, so 9 hours with travel time.

2) Is this ^^ viable?

3) Have I got to the point where pts would be kinder (crying just typing that)

4) Does anyone in Melbourne know anyone that might dog sit during the day (i.e. elderly etc)? I had this suggestion from one of the other threads, I letterboxed and door knocked but no takers. Roo is a perfect, submissive dog who would be no trouble. Her crazy only comes out when alone.  She is actually very well trained with impeccable manners.

Can anyone offer any advice? Please? I love her so much.

#2 Jellyblush

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:38 PM

#3 boatiebabe

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:44 PM

Your dog is gorgeous.

If I lived closer I would over to take her the days I don't work.

I'm so sorry. I hope someone can help.

I have read your other posts and really feel for you...  sad.gif

#4 grohl's chewy

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:44 PM

Whereabouts in Melbourne are you? BTW, I think you are amazing, so dedicated. xx

#5 paod

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

How is she with other dogs? Is getting her a friend to play with during the day an option?

#6 la di dah

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

Oh Jellyblush.  sad.gif

I don't know about crating for that long in a day. It made my family's staffy with separation anxiety a bit nuts to be crated that long (in the home before she ended up with us...) and she ended up with vet bills from hurting her teeth trying to eat her way out of a metal cage, and she also panicks in small spaces, I don't know if she did that originally but she certainly isn't cratable now.

Basically I am afraid for her. She sounds like she's suffering terribly - NOT  that you are unkind!! please don't be mad! - but suffering nonetheless.

I am sorry the pet-sitting idea didn't pan out.  sad.gif

I don't have anything helpful to share really.  bbighug.gif

Is she panicky in her crate? Is she crated at all, ever, now, and okay with it?

#7 Nepheline

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:47 PM

Oh Op,

That is so sad. I can't advise on crate training but your poor dog sad.gif

We had a behaviourist out about our dog once and she was telling us about the horror that is true separation anxiety.

If I was in Melbourne I would watch her for you. Could your budget stretch to one of those Doggy daycare type programs? 9 hours a day is a very long time for any dog to be on its own, let alone one with separation anxiety.

She is beautiful, I really hope someone can help.

I can hear your love for her in your post.

Good luck.

Eta: A quick google of doggy daycares in Melbourne shows they range from 30 - 45 dollars a day, pretty expensive sad.gif

Edited by minimae, 14 January 2013 - 05:51 PM.

#8 whatnamenow

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

All i can offer is DH's family are from melbourne so i can put the word out to them and ask.  What area of melbourne?

#9 FeralBee

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

*hugs* OP, I am almost in tears after reading your posts (this one and the previous ones). She is such a beautiful girl, and really lucky to have someone who cares about her as much as you do.

My worry if she is crated is that it won't stop her from self harming - either trying to chew the crate or biting herself.

I really do hate to suggest it, but I think the best option is to find her a home where someone will always be there for her. If she's ok as long as she's not alone, then the kindest thing to do for her is to put her in a place where she has someone there always.

I know that this will be really hard, she is your family and I hope that someone else might have some other suggestions, but you've tried so much already.

Sorry I can't be more help. Take care xx

#10 Jellyblush

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:59 PM

Thank you everyone. Yes, she is gorgeous!  I noticed when I posted this that I have now posted in 2011, 2012, and 2013 on this sad.gif And feel like I've gotten nowhere.

QUOTE (paod @ 14/01/2013, 06:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How is she with other dogs? Is getting her a friend to play with during the day an option?

Hi Paod. I tried this very early on - I got a very placid golden retriever friend of hers to come and stay for 6 weeks. It helped marginally but unfortunately not enough.

QUOTE (la di dah @ 14/01/2013, 06:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
and she ended up with vet bills from hurting her teeth trying to eat her way out of a metal cage, and she also panicks in small spaces, I don't know if she did that originally but she certainly isn't cratable now.
Is she panicky in her crate? Is she crated at all, ever, now, and okay with it?

Thanks Lah di dah. Roo has four teeth missing currently from biting at metal doors, so I know this one!

I've never crated her before. I'm just desperate....

QUOTE (minimae @ 14/01/2013, 06:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We had a behaviourist out about our dog once and she was telling us about the horror that is true separation anxiety.

Eta: A quick google of doggy daycares in Melbourne shows they range from 30 - 45 dollars a day, pretty expensive sad.gif

Thanks minimae. Roo sees a leading behaviourist here, she actually teaches vet science at Melbourne Uni and has used Roo's videos as examples of extreme behaviour in her course sad.gif She sorted the meds and they did seem to work for 6 - 12 months or so but no longer.

I can afford a day of daycare a week but that doesn't really solve the problem unfortunately.   I have also enquired about working from home but my job just doesn't allow it.

Silly little animal. Just rebandaged her paw....

#11 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:02 PM


I'm really sorry Roo is still having major issues. Can you talk with your specialist again?

Will also PM you.

#12 Jellyblush

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:02 PM

QUOTE (SqueakyBee @ 14/01/2013, 06:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I really do hate to suggest it, but I think the best option is to find her a home where someone will always be there for her. If she's ok as long as she's not alone, then the kindest thing to do for her is to put her in a place where she has someone there always.

Thanks squeaybee original.gif

Her team (ridiculous!) of behaviourist, vet and trainer are great and all have suggested that rehoming successfully would be unlikely as anxiety is cumulative, so it would probably worsen her general anxiety levels so much as to not solve the problem.
I would love to know what people here think about this  - I'd hate to just pass the problem on and obviously would hate to lose her but will do it in a second if it's the right thing for her.

For those that have asked I am in Northcote. Thank you so much.

#13 Jellyblush

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

QUOTE (*Spikey* @ 14/01/2013, 07:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm really sorry Roo is still having major issues. Can you talk with your specialist again?

Cheers Spikey, appreciate it. I was hoping you'd pop in original.gif  

Her behaviourist is not cheap - about $600 a visit, not covered by pet insurance since it's behavioural. I am saving up for it. In the meantime I am talking to her usual vet and trainer but it's her behaviourist I really need at this point I think ....

Thanks so much to everyone that has sent hugs. I am a great big bawling mess right now and I am so grateful for them original.gif

#14 Sue Heck

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:08 PM

Doggy daycare. http://www.diggiddydoggy.com.au/

I don't know Melbourne so perhaps it's too far away but maybe there is another one closer.

#15 BeakyHoneyButt

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

This is probably a stupid suggestion. But when DH was a boy MIL worked at a nursing home. The nursing home had a resident dog. This was Abby, a cocker spaniel x Lab. She was about 6 or 7 before she worked out how to break out of the nursing home and they had to re-home her, dh's family adopted her.

Maybe you could look into her being a pet therapy/hospital dog 9-5. Maybe dogs need super training for that job,i don't know, but anyway .. i just hope you can work something out. You care so much that you just really deserve to have something work!

#16 The Old Feral

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:23 PM

If you do want to at least suss out the possibility of rehoming, please let me know because I'd like to recommend the wonderful rescue organisation I fostered for.

They are 100% foster care based, no kill, and take on animals nobody else would (excluding dangerous ones obviously). They are incredibly patient and will wait for the right home. They're based near you in Essendon.

I hope you find a solution that allows you to keep her, though sad.gif

#17 MooGuru

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:31 PM

With the other dog that came over, given it was quite some time ago is it worth revisiting? I know I've thought "tried that" with things and dismissed ideas but then its worked a couple of years later because other things have changed... Second the idea re disability or nursing home visits.

#18 ~Jot~

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:49 PM

I've been where you are and it's heartbreaking. Behaviourists, vets, medication, exercise, nothing worked for long. The self harming is the worst isn't it, my dog would chew the aluminium window frames and pace around and around the back yard until he made an obvious track and wore his pads down til they bled. sad.gif

For us another dog didn't help. He wanted us, not another dog. And we decided we couldn't give him up because what if the anxiety got worse and the next owners weren't as understanding?

He eventually passed away at 7 from cancer, we reckon he worried himself to death. I hate to say it but if he hadn't passed away when he did we would have considered putting him to sleep. It was so bloody cruel watching him work himself up like that on a daily basis. sad.gif

Best wishes with whatever you decide. You're a wonderful person for doing so much for your beloved pet, so many others would have given up by now.

#19 Wishing2011

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

she is beautiful and still a pup by the looks of it.. poor darling..

Edited by Wishing2011, 14 January 2013 - 06:55 PM.

#20 Holidayromp

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:58 PM

Sounds like you are a loving, responsible owner.  Because of your long hours away from her due to work is not ideal.  Have you considered placing an ad in your local area for an elderly dogsitter as a companion dog whilst you are at work.  
Although you are doing the right thing for your dog because of your job you are not the right fit  sad.gif . I sincerely hope you find a solution but your dog sounds miserable.

#21 Chaos in stereo

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:14 PM

You poor thing Jellyblush! bbighug.gif

I read through your other threads and you sound like such a generous, caring person. She is a lucky dog original.gif

I know you were considering rehoming her for a while there but no luck. Some posters suggested a retiree but the issue was they wouldn't have the finances for vet bills or the energy to walk her. What if you took care of the $$ and the walking and the elderly person enjoyed all the benefits of a dog with no responsibility except feeding and cuddles?

I know this is far from ideal - and you've probably canvassed this anyway - but if you are desperate to avoid pts for her... might need to broaden your advertising strategy though and I can't help you there  sad.gif

Edited by Chaos in stereo, 14 January 2013 - 07:16 PM.

#22 Jellyblush

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

Thanks everyone. Yes, I agree the best fit for her would be someone elderly at home during the day. It's just finding someone?  I have canvassed my area, I have not tried nursing homes though so that is a great idea. I have also just contacted a local church as I know someone who works for them, they may know of someone?

Jot I am so sorry to read your story xx

Holidayromp, we were a great fit when I got her. I would never had got a dog as a single person due to working hours, however I got her with my ex partner who worked nights, so someone was always around. He left, and Roo's anxiety got much worse at that time. I suffer terrible guilt for the amount that I work but Roo costs about $450 per month as it is with 2 x meds, a vet visit most months, food and pet insurance. I need to work sad.gif

Thanks everyone for your support.

#23 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:09 PM

Oh jellyblush. sad.gif I'm so sorry. I was just thinking of you today because my pup injured herself when she was left alone for 3 hours this morning. She's still limping.

I have no advice for you. But honestly, I think if you decide that euthanizing Roo in your arms is the kindest thing to do for her now, there would be no need for you to feel any guilt. You have tried so hard to make this work, you have gone above and beyond for her already. I'm not a trainer or anything even remotely close (I'm just a fellow SA dog owner) so I don't know what other options are available now, but please don't feel guilty. You have already done so much more than most pet owners would.

If I was in Melbourne, I would absolutely help you out. But I'm not. sad.gif

#24 *Ker*

Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:46 PM

JB, have you tried Tamara and Stuart Mulholland from Underdog, in Melbourne? They are very very good, and not horrendously expensive.


Good Luck.

#25 Jellyblush

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:24 PM

Hi Ker, no I haven't, I have used Point Cook dog training and her specialist is Dr. Gabrielle Carter who have both been great - but always grateful for the suggestion of somewhere new to try because a new perspective could really help.

Karla, thanks so much. That is just so supportive and encouraging

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