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Monday, November 25, 2019

The Hachi Chronicle

Hachi has had, overall, a great week. He's been relatively mellow and friendly. Most days, the reduction in his anxiety since he started Paxil is obvious. Most importantly (ha, ha), he's become really good at waving to me!

The only not-so-good part of the week was that on Saturday evening, I could feel Hachi's anxiety ramping up. I don't know why he was stressed but his sharp uncontrollable barking was undeniably anxiety-related. We thought that he was more relaxed Sunday morning but then he went after R during a run. He might have been resource guarding something edible on the forest floor but it was hard to be sure. They were both on leash so Hachi was quickly pulled off of R. That scuffle sure was deflating to me.

Now he's back to being a mellow and nice dog. I wish that I knew why things changed for about 18 hours.

While we're waiting for his new meds to stabilize,  I've been working on simple counter-conditioning goals with Hachi  - teaching him to tolerate a coat and teaching him to be comfortable with us touching his front limbs (and eventually paws). I've spent the most time so far on the coat. He started out scared of even seeing the coat 6 weeks ago, and  he's now wearing it for very short time periods indoors without seeming scared. He's a dog who hates having things like coats or harnesses touching his body. We still have a distance to go with the coat but it feels like he may someday be capable of wearing one without being terrified.

That's good since it's sometimes very cold, even during our desert trips.

So, the vast majority of the past week was good. I'll chalk up the difficult 18 hours to him adapting to the new meds. It's hard being patient but this "little" guy is worth it.


  1. he is worth all efort... patience can be a tricky thing, I often miss ist when I need it the most...

  2. We say it all the time and we will say it again. Thank goodness that you have the loving and supportive family that you do, Hachi. Waving hi right back atcha!

  3. Awww, such a good looking pup. So photogenic too.

    Have a woof woof day. My best to your siblings and your peeps. ♥

  4. Hari OM
    I guess the glitch only accentuated the positive... (yes, I'm a glass half full gal!) YAM xx

  5. I had a male gsd (he was neutered) that would go after our other male gsd (he was not neutered and very mellow) whenever something of high intensity would happen (another dog going by usually). When I researched it and consulted about it with trainers, they said some dogs will do this to release their anxiety by taking it out on whatever is closest. Now I have two gsd sisters age 4 and in Jan 2019 one of them got spayed (the other one not). Recently as summertime, the spayed one starting doing the same thing to her sister whenever they are on leash and something of high excitement happens (they see a deer as we are walking). So when we walk both of them on leash, when this happens, I just keep the spayed one back from the other one at a safe distance so she cannot reach her (not sure if this is an option for you if you are trying to walk both by yourself because I have help with my husband walking one and me walking one).

  6. Love the wave! What a cute pup. I hope the meds stablize as it must cause anxiety for you as well when Hachi has an episode.

  7. That wave is really cute. Just like with humans, dogs can have their ups and downs. Hopefully the ups outweigh the downs. Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. You work so hard to find ways to let Hachi be himself, and also advance, the coat is another hurdle, maybe if he can see it lying next to his bed, and get his own smell on it, would that help? Cold, I almost envy that thought , we are sweltering in 24C plus, as we strip wallpaper and prepare the walls for painting.

  9. Hi KB...I've missed a few posts due but I'm caught up.
    Waving back atcha Hachi and here is to a better week for all
    Hugs Cecilia

  10. that wave is priceless! and so sweet and adorable. sorry for the few hours of not so good, and hope the holiday goes well with all of you... Jake would not allow coats or sweaters or hats on his head. he did like to be covered with a blanket on cold nights.

  11. That is the hard part is we cannot always know all the triggers. Bailie and I were getting along great, so we tried indoors, and it was going well, but then on the third day, the cat ran through the room and we got into it over the cat. Back to square one. We were only doing short stints, and were actually relaxing in our beds when the cat came by. We know the frustrations. Bailie is having a very hard time rebuilding trust in me.

  12. It has to be so frustrating to feel like you're making such progress and then to have a back slide. Hopefully that is something that will go away once the meds are settled in more. It's definitely an up and down ride with these dogs, but you are doing so great! ♥
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  13. Hachi has no idea how lucky he is to have you.

  14. Maybe that sweet guy will give you a few hints to help figure out what triggers him. He's totally adorable and worth it.

  15. Hachi has mastered that wave!!! Maybe something to do with the changes in weather? Sounds silly but we know atmospheric changes always affected Ciara's seizures. Just a thought.

  16. I hope these incidents end. It is good you can sense when they are coming. It is bizarre how dogs can go from snuggling together to fighting in a second.

  17. Hachi is so cute waving for the camera. We are keeping our paws crossed that he continues to improve.

  18. I'm glad the Paxil is helping. Hope things continue to go well. We haven't been blogging in a long time, but wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. I agree, I thinks that the meds just have to stabilize, I gots my paws crossed! Oh, and the wave...pawsome!!! I kinda do that too...okays, mine is more of a 'slap', butts I try! BOL!!!
    I'll keep sendin' you good vibes, and lots of AireZens!!!!
    Ruby ♥

  20. I was going to say the same that KruzingwithK9s did. Habi did, and Rowan does, redirect a sudden stress onto their unfortunate buddy Obi. Rowan is unsure about meeting new dogs on the trail, so if I'm unsure too, I'll ask her to step off the trail and will enforce a "no greeting". As soon as the strange dog has passed, I release her forward, and she almost always does a drive-by scruff grab to Obi. In her case, it fortunately doesn't escalate to a tussle, but it's become very predictable. (I'm experimenting on how to change the situation so she doesn't. Not quite there yet). You might ask your behavioral vet whether the incident might have been re-directed anxiety rather than resource guarding.

    Overall, it sounds like Hachi is continuing to make progress on the new med. Keep the bumps in the road in perspective. You're doing well. Keep up the good work!

    Chris from Boise

    1. I am sorry but I just have to comment that I (kruzingwithk9s) am Chris and Michael too from Montana. Too funny.

  21. I have been watching the journey with Hachi since he joined your family.He is a lucky boy to have such caring owners.
    Was just thinking all these meds do have side effects, while taking, and also after stopping them so wondered if Homeopathic remedies might be a better option for Hachi.Homeopathy works with the body to heal the issue rather than suppress symptoms and doesn't have the side effects.


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