Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Drunk Dog Drama

Today I'd like to interrupt the road trip series to tell you about the Fourth of July drama we're currently experiencing. Otto hates the Fourth. To say Fireworks terrify him is an understatement. And firecrackers are already in full force here on the hill, so Otto has been slinking away to the back room every night. He seems to find a smidgeon of comfort in the dirty clothes bin.

Last year his vet gave us an anti anxiety medication that seemed to do nothing. So this year the doctor prescribed Xanax. The prescription calls for 1/2 to 1 pill every 12 hours. I gave him 1/2 pill a couple nights ago and it didn't help. So today, with firecrackers starting bright and early, I figured we'd try a full pill.

Well, Otto is drunk!  His coordination is way off, he can't really navigate stairs. He isn't really responding normally to commands (come, sit etc). And his normal inhibitions are gone. Usually, if I'm eating he'll sit back hopefully, waiting for a treat. Today he's practically in my lap trying to get food. Normally, when I open the back door, he goes and lies in the sun, today he was running around, scratching at the back gate and trying to get out.

So, I'm hanging out in the back yard with him and he goes into the laurel hedge. There is a fence on the greenspace side of the hedge, so I didn't really worry. But in about a minute he was gone. And then I started to hear yelling from the greenspace.

A second for some back story. About a month or two ago, people essentially moved into the greenspace. They make a lot of noise, I'm pretty sure they have fires, they play music, they sing, they party. I've tried everything I could to see where there are, but couldn't. The city was supposed to have removed them (you can't camp on city land), but they are still there.

So, I could smell food, Otto was gone (and is currently not following commands and no normal inhibitions), and there was yelling. Conclusion, Otto is in the homeless camp trying to steal food. So, I panicked and rushed out and forced my way into the greenspace. This used to be pretty easy, but now the blackberries are so overgrown, getting in there from my house is pretty impossible. But, much like a mother who can lift a car off her child, those blackberries were no match for me.  Well, it turns out there is a tent essentially 20 yards below my house (no wonder it's so loud). I found Otto stumbling around just above above the tent, grabbed his collar, and headed out. Unfortunately, I didn't have a leash. We tried to get out, but there were so many blackberry bushes that Otto balked, he pulled away from me and ran as fast as he could the other direction.

I tried to follow, but he had disappeared, so finally I just fought my own way out and FORTUNATELY, he had come out and was standing above the house. Crisis averted. Usually I wouldn't really worry - he can handle himself normally - but right now he is not himself.

Currently, he's sitting by the back door, whining to go out. But I think Otto's Xanax days are over, from now on, we're sticking with the Thunder shirt*! (Only 10.5 hours until the Xanax wears off!)

I'm drunk!! 

Pretty pretty please, let me go forage for food!
*A friend suggested I try the thunder shirt. It's like swaddling a baby. I guess it applies pressure on nerve endings and calms dogs down. It actually seems to help!


Anonymous said...

Poor Otto. Sucks to be a dog during this particular holiday. Glad he's back home safe and sound!

tracy said...

what a nightmare 'berta! sorry you both have to go through it.