When your Therapy Dog needs Therapy

Sit, my boy. Talk to me, bubbeleh (little darling one)

Anyone who regularly reads this space knows about Gatsby, our stunning rescue dog we adopted. He immediately filled our hearts with furry, snuggly, puppy love. Gatsby, he is a special being. While we rescued him, he certainly recaptured our ‘dog-loving’ hearts right back. He is our little boychik (sweet boy) who has brought us all such nachas (pride and gratification, usually through one’s kinder (children)) and expanded our family in a very healthy way.

He is the most amazing dog for us all… and, pretty early on, we realized our zeiseh punim (sweet faced) man suffered from terrible bouts of anxiety and tsuris (grief, heartache). He is a neurotic ‘Vincent van Gogh – Woody Allen – Adele’ wrapped inside (in our case) women’s best friend.  His early months on the planet had left him traumatized – and with no canine fidget spinners in sight, we experienced some tough behaviors together.  Horrible separation anxiety, excessive chewing, leash reactiveness at the sight of any dog or cat, over-zealous obsession (OCD) with squirrels, birds, noises, and lights in the parking lot… you name it, and he felt it! He was farshluggineh (shaken, mixed up) and a bit, well, meshuggeneh (crazy)

Did you hear that? I heard something… Did you hear that?

We tried training, and this boy, our four legged smarty pants, could sit, give a paw, high five and lie down (My Mrs., she homeschooled him)! We added in rescue remedy, a tight fitting ThunderShirt, DAP (dog appeasing pheromones), calming canine music, exhaustive walks – and bubkes (nothing), no change in our meshuggeneh (crazy) mutt.

Our therapy dog, he needs therapy. You all already know I’m a mess, ergo, I blog for catharsis! Now my boy, we need to help him! He is proof that stress and anxiety knows no discrimination: rich, poor, man, woman, old, young, sick, healthy, feline or canine!

I was beginning to think our little man of the house needed a little chemistry to help him along. All he wants to do is please us, yet he is plagued with such shpilkes (anxiety). Oy vey!

My Mrs., she took him to the vet to talk about this new wrinkle in his care. At first, they were a bit skeptical. Then they witnessed him going batshit bonkers over a painting of a dog on the wall. Next, it became difficult to take blood – his fur was flying at the thought of being at the vet’s office. He was shrekn (terrorized with fear) and the doc, she saw what we knew. She put a muzzle on my poor boychik’s face and carried on with the exam. We left with some Trazadone to calm him and a prescription for Prozac.

The Trazadone worked wonders. He would calm, without being at all lethargic. We needed this while the Prozac built up in his system. About a month in, he is doing much better. He still prefers we stay together (as do we) and never leave him behind. He still barks outside, but he is not inconsolable. We can deflect behaviors. Riding in the car is greatly improved.

Our glass is half full. Thank you momma’s – I feel so much better.

I share this with you all because, much like 2-legged people, sometimes our 4-legged friends need a little help. I did some research and found that about 30% of dogs exhibit some form of canine anxiety. Like any of my other kinder, we will do whatever it takes to take care of him. Our CVS fills the prescription with a pseudo-affordable generic. When his Rx is ready, they call out, “Gatsby!” Medication is not always the answer, but in our case, we are grateful for such a solution.

Not everyone the dogs bark at is a thief. Nit yederer oif vemen hunt bilen iz a ganev.


Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure. Vas finds a gatray fraynd, finds a autsr.

We have found a treasure indeed!





57 thoughts on “When your Therapy Dog needs Therapy

  1. oh buddy! My mom just took her little guy to a six week “reprogramming” bootcamp that cost an arm and a leg. Pretty sure it didnt work a lick! maybe we should look at doggie Prozac…


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Try it! Talk to your vet! He is his same very precious self, with less anxiety (less, not none). Easier to break out of the hard behaviors like barking on a leash, etc. He is just so worth it! He has me wrapped around his little paw… Can you tell! #FabFridayPost


  2. What a beautiful boy! He looks very similar to my girl Maggie (she’s a cross mastiff Lab) She too is very nervous and anxious but I tend to turn a blind eye… one looney female in the house is just about enough for my husband to take! Great post! #Blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I just want people to know, especially with rescue dogs, some extra measures can help. Poor guy had a few homes before us… Must have been so hard for him. We got him at 4 months and he is just so precious. Thanks for reading and commenting too! #BlogCrush xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, bless him. Well done for keeping at it. We’ve got a rescue cat and it’s taken months for him to settle. We tried Felaway and that worked a treat. He’s still grumpy, but he seems happier in himself

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Su! Us too. We were headed out for vacation and I was terrified to leave him! He did very well with a friend in our apartment all week taking wonderful care of him — he was ecstatic when we returned! #FabFridayPost xoxo


    1. Thank you so much! He is the biggest sweetheart and he is doing better! Thank you for you support! I will tell him how much he is loved online! 💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜 #bigpinklink And at home, of course! 😘


    1. Oh he is doing so well! He is calmer and easier to walk now. He is just so darned sweet! He sure keeps me calm and happy! Thanks so much for your kindness. Wish our little pups could have a play date! #triumphanttales 💜


  4. Aww beautiful Gatsby My parents used to have a Dalmatian. he had therapy for his fear of small dogs. Apparently a lot of dalmatians need therapy for various reasons. Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics


  5. Aww Gatsby! Poor little man but so glad to hear his meds are working and he’s starting to feel a bit more relaxed. I would absolutely love to rescue a dog one day, I think it’s such a special thing to do, I just wish people wouldn’t mistreat their animals in the first place though xx #blogcrush


    1. Oh, Wendy, how I am with you! He is a gift, and he needs our help. He is nestled in my lap as I type right now. Worth every minute. Rescue dogs, dogs in general, just fill your heart with unconditional love. TY! #blogcrush xo


  6. Gatsby is ADORABLE!!! I hope the meds work for him!! We have had (somewhere around) ten dogs since we got married 20 years ago. I am one of those crazy dog people that takes in strays & finds them homes, etc. I chased a Beagle down the side of the interstate once, but that’s not what this is about. I just wanted to say that I understand doing whatever it takes for the four legged members of your family! Because they ARE FAMILY!!!


    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this post and I totally get it as our pooch is very similar. We have problems with him being highly reactive, so he is very sensitive to the environment and will go barking mad at even the teeniest of noises. We are doing harmony dog training classes and had a massive break through this week. Hurrah!!! I will keep my fingers crossed for you. #DreamTeam xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The more I read about Gatsby, the more I fall in love. He is just the cutest little thing ever!!! my MIL’s cat is having treatment as she has terrible grief over losing her puppy buddy a few months back. I agree that if we can have medication to help us with issues, then why cant animals?? Here is our furbabies having a happier future!!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Popping back from #fortheloveofBLOG, looking through the comments, he really does have so much blogging love! you should do a vlog with lots of footage of him being a little rascal! I know I’d LOVE to see that! or just send him to the UK for my christmas present hahahahaha!

        Liked by 1 person

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