Friday, March 9, 2012

Guest Blogger...Asha!

Its been almost three months since my last post. You can read it here.

Life has been exhausting. Last time I wrote, I had just met my new friend, Dr Pachel. He's a behavioral vet who specializes in doggies like me. My mom and dad had gotten to the end of their rope and needed more help. We've been working with Dr Pachel since then to see if we can get me settled down.

I've mentioned before that I get real anxious. Well, that got worse over the last couple months. We've tried three different anxiety medicines and every one of them gave me some sort of side effect. The biggest problem we've had is my sleep, or lack of sleep. I don't sleep at night. I wake up every two hours and I pace around my parents room. I refuse to sleep in a kennel, I like the bathroom floor and in the middle of the night I like to get up in bed with my mom and dad. But I just can't sleep. No matter how hard I try, no matter how tired I am. Every night, its the same thing...1 am, 3 am, 4 am, 4:30.....

My mom and dad take turns taking care of me at night. They get up and try to settle me down or help me into bed. Then at 4 or 4:30, my mom takes me downstairs and I go to sleep with her on the couch for a little bit.

The lack of sleep was really wearing on my mom and dad. I'm lucky, I get to sleep during the day, but they go to work and stuff. Dr Pachel prescribed some sedatives to help me sleep. 5 different kinds....none of them worked. One of them actually made me sleep LESS. One of them made me lose control and pee myself while I slept. I still woke up at my usual times, but then I'd get up in mom and dads bed and I'd end up peeing there. I don't like to be out of control, so when I start to feel sleepy, I fight it - I moan and groan and whine and cry.

My mom and dad have been pretty patient with me, but sometimes I know they get really mad. I don't think they have slept for more than 4 hours in almost 3 months. My mom was losing hope and was really feeling sad, thinking this is how I was going to be forever. I told her it would be okay, but what do I know...I'm still just a puppy.

On February 9th, I turned one years old. We celebrated with a bath and a trip to see my friends at Petsmart. My mom said that birthdays are really important. I always like to get on the scale when we go to Petsmart (my vet is there too).. My mom is always saying that I am getting too big - but then my friends give me treats...while I am on the scale! My vet says to just give me half a treat but when she's not looking they give me a full one, sometimes two. I think I'm perfect just the way I am and so do they.

About a month ago, we changed to yet another anxiety medication. The first couple days were really tough. I hate changing medicine because I feel so out of control during the in between times. I want to destroy stuff and I don't even know why. I run and bark like a crazy dog. My other medicines took the edge off, but none of them have really made me feel good...until now....

It started on February 29th...leap day. Buster says that day only comes around once every 4 years. I don't even know how long 4 years is. But that day, I felt different, more calm. When my mom and dad weren't with me, I just layed down and relaxed. At the end of that day, my mom asked my dad "did she seem better today?" and he said "yes" and then they agreed not to jinx it....whatever THAT means.

Since then, I haven't had the urge to destroy anything during the day. Well, there is this one spot on the couch that I really like and sometimes I chew on that. But for the most part I leave stuff alone. There are chairs around the kitchen table for the first time since I started going crazy back in September. My mom moved them into the TV room because when she wasn't home, I would knock the chairs over and drag them into the front room and chew on them. She also moved the end tables back next to the couches. They were sitting in front of the stairs to keep me from getting through the railings and getting upstairs. I get into lots of trouble up there....there is a box full of treats (Maggie says its the cat box, but I say its MY box).

Best of all.....I have been sleeping almost all night. I still wake up at 1 and 3, but I just wake up and ask mom or dad to help me up onto the bed - I put my chin on the bed and say "woof", if my mom ignores me, I go to my dad's side and do the same thing. If they STILL ignore me I go open the bedroom door and stand there, that always gets them out of bed and they help me up. Then I fall right asleep. The past few days my mom has gotten out of bed before me. Its been awesome. My mom doesn't believe it. She keeps telling me what a good girl I am and how much she loves me.

Last night I got into bed and laid down next to my mom, I put my head on her tummy and slept that way all night. I love my mom. She takes such good care of me and always makes sure I have what I need and I am safe. My dad too, but he doesn't like me to touch him when he's sleeping because I tend to crowd him off the bed.

My mom still takes me to the pet store a couple times a week and I love it there. Everyone is so nice to me. I always go behind the register....I want to get a job there!I cannot believe how much attention I get when I am there. The other day, one of my friends, John, was petting me and he said I was really shedding. He told my mom to take me to the groomers in the pet store. My mom did not think I would like that at all, but she figured she would give it a shot. Oh man.....did I ever love it! This nice lady took my leash and walked me to a nice spot on the floor. Then she and another nice lady petted me and brushed me and GAVE ME TREATS! I didn't want to leave. My mom says I look a lot better now and my vet even said I looked like I lost weight (but it was just all my fur).
In February, I got to do something really fun! There is a lady who lives in Portland who takes pictures. She is working on a book of "differently abled" animals. She is trying to get it published and wanted to include me! So I had a photo session. It was really fun. I got a good bath that morning and I was the cleanest I have ever been. Buster and Maggie went with me just to be sure I wasn't taken advantage of. I'll keep you posted on that book.

I can tell my mom and dad are feeling better about things. Maggie and Buster seem more relaxed too. My mom told me this morning that she finally has hope that we might actually get to live a normal life. I think she had given up hope and that made her really sad. I know for a while she wasn't sure what to do. I couldn't help her because I was having issues of my own! I can't imagine anyone working harder for me than my mom and dad. They have a whole team of people who are trying to help me. I'm not sure what would have happened to me if I didn't come to live with them, I don't like to think about that.

My vet says that this should just be the beginning for me. My new medication is kicking in and I should feel better and better over the next couple weeks. I can't wait. I want to be a regular dog, I want to be calm and relaxed. I don't like being anxious or restless all the time. Most of all, I want to make my family happy. I love them more than anything (except for my friend Angel...I like her best) and want to spend a long, happy life with them. I'll keep you posted...

1 comment:

erin @ oliveourhouse said...

i am SO SO excited to read that things are going better. i really hope this new medication is the answer, and asha continues to improve. you guys are so committed to her and i hope you're rewarded with 8 hours of sleep and untouched furniture forever!

oh and basil does the exact same thing to get on the bed! he rests his nose on the bed, right next to our pillows and WHINES. but he only does this when one of us is out of town and he knows we'll probably give him the ok. otherwise, it's the floor ;)