Sunday, August 12, 2012

One Missed Day

I didn't post yesterday because I didn't try to train Aisling by putting her in her cage--she'd already destroyed it by the time I'd come home from a brunch date.

And she pulled down the curtain.

And chewed up a library book.

And gnawed on the corner of a table.

And tore the molding off the door frame.

The situation struck me as evidence of things getting worse and that I needed to pursue other options.

I'd already picked up some Benadryl to see if that would work on her since I knew I'd be spending a good part of the evening at a friend's birthday and then going to see a midnight screening of Mommy Dearest. Dosing my dog still strikes me as extreme, but if it's an issue of her potentially hurting herself versus having a sedative, I'll give her the pill.

Also, lest I come off as some fussy city-living pet dilettante, "Oh, taking care of another living thing is so inconvenient. Why can't she just be cute and make people like me for owning her?" That's not where I'm coming from. I've grown up with dogs, I take care of my dog, and I'm worried about her hurting herself while I'm at work. I'm not interested in her as a status symbol.

After seeing all that destruction, the pills were an easy choice, and a bit of an experiment. I don't know what is the root cause of her anxiety, but even my friend noticed Aisling's been different over the summer; not only in regards to this acting out, but seemingly depressed and needy in a way she wasn't before.

So there's more to the dog situation than I initially thought. There may even be a food-based allergy going on. I'm continuing with the training, but only locking her in my room with no cage at all. The cage itself seemed to be a source of stress for her--she'd start panicking as soon as I put her in--so maybe it's for the best that she destroyed it. The cage wasn't the sole problem, though. She destroyed my room once when I hadn't put her in the cage at all. Her anxiety is still the core problem and I don't know how to address that. I don't know how to help her stop feeling sad.

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