I'm not really sure how to proceed?
When last we spoke, I had finished telling you all about our visit with Dr. Dodman at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Animal Behavior Clinic and the track we were going to take to try and heal Bella. We were making changes to her diet, her exercise routine and our communication with her.
The continuing pieces of the puzzle would be Bella's Agility for Reactive Dogs classes and the medications prescribed for her. I want to tell you about both but haven't yet figured out the tack I want to take to do so. Do I approach this chronologically, inter-mingling both as they arise in the timeline? Or perhaps it makes more sense to tell stories about each one separately?
I think I'm going to take a combined approach picking up chronologically from where we left off interspersing stories from her reaction to the meds in with her reactions to the agility class.
The blog is still running about 1 year behind 'current life' and I'm anxious to catch up with real life soon but I don't want to short-change these stories in my attempt to get to "today".
Part of me is very sensitive to losing sight of those stories in my memory though, and I feel at times like I'm living a dual life - the one we lived a year ago and the one we live today. (Admittedly, I've got to get better at keeping a journal for Bella than I am but that's why I started the blog in the first place...)
That's been my dilemma for a few weeks. Crazy days at the office, little time after work for sorting all this out and an unpredictable Mother Nature throwing everything into a blender just to add to the delight.
But in an effort to get things started, and force my muse to finally make an appearance again, tonight I'm just going to share a few details of what Bella's life was like a little over a year ago.
Bella began her medications on September 2, 2011:
Soloxine - 0.4 mg 2x/day (for thyroid)Bella's first week on the meds made for an inauspicious start: she was completely exhausted from the visit with Dr. Dodman, snarked at Gus when we took her to visit him and Molly at the dog park, got sprayed by a skunk and had to deal with thunderstorms. It's no wonder I remark in my notes that she seems "a little dejected".
Fluoxetine - 10 mg in AM and 20 mg in PM (for anxiety/aggression)
Clonidine - 2 to 4 0.2 mg tablets as needed up to 2x/day (thunderstorms and anxiety) ***
And it went downhill from there. Yay us.
I mentioned in my first post about medication that meds are not a magic pill. And life with Bella after starting them has not been a straight line of progress. I'm glad I kept a daily journal so I could refer back to exactly what we were seeing with her when. I referred to it often in my follow up conversations with Dr. Dodman. The last year has been filled with ups and downs and sometimes we've just shrugged and decided we have no idea what drives her.
I've made adjustments in my expectations and desires for her:
- She doesn't have to be social, she just has to survive a visit to the vet without causing World War III in the waiting room.
- She's never really going to 'do agility' but she has so much fun running around the ring and the obstacles when there are no other dogs around that we will continue to take the class.
- And she's never going to be a therapy dog but she can survive family get-togethers.
She's still a wonderful, sweet and playful little dog who charms everyone she meets. So long as they don't try to pet her. ;)
I promise, next week will be more interesting...
*** I should note, as this will be important in her future, we gave Bella 2 Clonidine pills on 9/4 to deal with the thunderstorms and I noted in her journal: "Bella slept very soundly last night. Lots of dreams, didn't wake even when I put my hand on her chest to make sure she was breathing. Not like her."
|Do I LOOK playful?|
A question to the writers among us - have you ever gotten so completed muddled in what you wanted to say that you couldn't say anything at all? If so, how did you manage to break free of it and what helped you do so?
|Thanks to Snoopy, Alfie, Luna and My Brown Newfies for hosting the blog hop!|