It’s been so peaceful in our home since Pocket Petunia moved on to her true foster home, that there are moments when we almost forget that we have an extra dog in the house. In the first couple of weeks, when the Dude was destroying crates, chewing up our headboards, and being tossed in the car for an emergency vet visit because he was coughing up blood, we didn’t think such a peaceful day would ever come. But here it is.
Doodlebug is still bravely battling the worms that are trying to eat his heart and lungs. He accepted the first heartworm injection pretty well, and after a few lethargic days, he got back to his normal calm self. We’re doing our best to keep him totally calm, which is hard for a young guy who loves long leash walks more than anything in the world and gets very excited at the sight of other dogs. Leash walks are short when they happen at all, which is rare. We walk at night. Around the block only. Not every night.
To battle the boredom and anxiety that come from physical inactivity, we’ve introduced kongs (both regular frozen kongs and kong genius toys stuffed with kibble and yogurt), tug-a-jugs, and other food-dispensing toys to keep Snickerdoodle from going nuts. He eats all of his meals out of these toys — never bowls — and they help soothe his need to be active. When he’s feeling particularly itchy for an activity, he wiggles around on his back in the grass — a pastime that is as cute as it is funny, and seems to help him get his crazies out in a relatively low-key manner.
His destructive anxiety is all but gone. We haven’t done much crate training since the first death-to-crates spree he went on weeks back, mostly because his heartworm treatment has put everything else on hold, and because he has proven to be trustworthy when left alone with his foster brother Chick. He is also taking anti-anxiety meds as an extra precaution, but we hope to start tapering those down once he is through his heartworm treatment.
We’ve got seven more weeks to go, but we’re already getting ahead of ourselves and planning big celebratory hikes and camping trips to mark the end of Dude’s bedrest. It’s a ways to go, but we’re feeling confident — the Dude is a remarkable guy!