Boone is having a hard time mentally. Plain and simple he is having a complete meltdown with life. We have had LOTS, and LOTS of very bad, very loud, very long storms pretty much the whole summer. Boone started out having mild anxiety about storms, and now any slight rumble of thunder, or rain cloud sends him into a barking, spinning lunatic.
The Thundershirt is amazing. I must say- it has really made a difference in how bad he reacts. He still is scared, but isn't so unsettled. He is able to lie down beside me instead of spinning and barking. I am also using rescue remedy although I haven't noticed much difference with that. I am going to try another natural product that a friend suggested and see if it works better.
Anyway, back to the trial. I only had him entered in three things- but I knew after an hour of being at the trial site that there was no way he was going to run, and have fun with me. It made me sad, and I was upset for him. He was nervous, and hyper (which is how he gets sometimes), and couldn't focus on me at all. Barking, Spinning, almost in a trance. He was way, way over the top. So I asked my dad to come and take him to my house for me- where he could at least settle.
I am upset that it seems like we have taken this giant step backwards. But am not willing to concede defeat.
I've ordered a desensitizing CD for thunder storms, and have started thinking about a game plan to help him to learn to self calm. He just gets so wound up, and then can't calm himself. If he could just learn to take a deep breathe and focus he'd be okay. :)
Fear is an interesting (but sad) thing, and I've been doing quite a lot of reading about general fear, as well as specific fears such as thunder. I do think that Boone's already unstable temperament has made this problem a thousand times worse that it could be. Really he is not that sensitive to noises anymore at all and used to manage storms just fine. It's just been this summer that it has gotten bad. Boone is a strange dog on good days though- Pyr Sheps are not known for their stable temperaments...he is easily overwhelmed, distracted, lots of nervous energy, would spin and pace in every new place if I let him. I have to keep his brain busy or he goes a little crazy. It's been a journey with him for sure.
My hope is that I can at least get the happy, goofy Boone back at home. He had started hiding, barking at noises, being anti-social and just being weird. So I've had to take away his hiding places, close the crate door when I am home, in some cases tie him to me, and am trying really hard to let him know that nothing has changed. When I first got Boone this is how it was- worse actually, and I got him through once and I am sure I can get him through it again. If I can get the normal Boone at home I will be happy. He doesn't have to play agility if he doesn't want to, although he does like it. We'll just have to play it by ear and get him over this one tiny step at a time.