Ice. Ice. Ice. We are living in a world of ice and I’m sick of it. The laneway is impassable to all except our trusty Subaru. Our visitors last night slipped and slid into their parking spaces and needed a few shoves to get them on their way again at the end of the night. I won’t walk outside. I get in the car for a drive to the gate when we go anywhere, and even then slide all over the place when I open the gate.
It is ridiculous. The field is covered in a thick glaze. We could probably skate on it.
So life carries on inside the house. I’ve still got the cooking bug and made a ginger lime carrot soup that came partly from a recipe online and partly from my head. I’ll write it down in ChefTap so that I can recreate it. We had company and everyone had seconds.
I’ve probably mentioned Spikes anxiety over Pat’s visits. He has a good memory and we are pretty sure he associates her with me leaving. He tries to hide and shakes like a leaf when she comes over. Poor Pat - I hope she doesn’t take it personally. His anxiety triggers my anxiety and when we are away I am worried sick about him - scared he’d run away or something - obviously nothing happened, but I can’t help but worry.
So after we got home I knew I had to find a solution otherwise there is no point on me going away. I investigated drugs (there might be one that works), I tried a herbal concoction called Rescue Remedy - it had helped him relax in the truck on our trip west a few years ago - but it didn’t work. Then I remembered someone talking about D.A.P. collars/sprays a few years ago. I did some research -thank goodness for Google! DAP stands for Dog Appeasing Pheromone which is the hormone released by a nursing dog to keep her puppies calm. It seemed worth trying. A local trainer carried a few items so I met with Michelle yesterday and got a spray and a collar.
Pat was coming to supper so it was the perfect time for the first trial. I followed the instructions for the spray (I’ll leave the collar sealed until our trip) and tied the spritzed bandana around Spikes neck a few minutes before Pat’s arrival.
He didn’t exactly run to the door to greet her, but he didn’t hide and stayed on ‘his’ loveseat for a while. He wasn’t shaking and didn’t have his tail tucked. He was noticeably better - he only hid in the pantry a few times and could be lured out with a treat, which he actually ate. He even did a few tricks which wouldn’t have happened before. Others noticed a difference too, so it wasn’t just me.
I have hope that with exposure he’ll come to love Pat as much as the other dogs do, and maybe not worry so much about us leaving.
“My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet.” ~Edith Wharton