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WHERE'S THE CANINE PROZAC?
1 April 2006
I think Sheila is depressed. Maybe Kimba is depressed. And all of this is very depressing to me as well.
As far as Kimba is concerned, she makes life difficult, though I suppose if she were typing this she'd say the other way around. She wants to be with me all the time, but she doesn't want to be around the puppies. I try to erect barriers to keep them away from her, but if I get up for 2 seconds, she's upset because she's "locked up."
I built this great barrier of little milk cartons around her bed, so she could stay in her bed and the puppies would leave her alone, only a couple of the puppies figured out the "back way" into the bed (going around my recliner), and the other two took running leaps and jumped over the milk cartons, landing on Kimba.
Eventually, Kimba just gives up and wanders around aimlessly, hoping I'll come back to the office so she can get into her little "cave" under my desk, leaving the bed to the puppies.
Kimba refused to eat yesterday, until I added pureed vegetables from the corned beef to the kibble. Then she ate it, but in the morning I had to add some chicken to her kibble, and then she only ate the chicken, leaving the kibble (the puppies found that and ate it later--they have taken to carrying Kimba's bowl around the house).
In the meantime, Sheila stopped going into the family room. She seems to be freaked out by the tarp, which she was fine with the day before. I can only assume that she slipped on it or something, because if one thing goes wrong with something in the house I've noticed that she will never approach that "thing" (whatever it is) again, without being extremely cautious.
So I started feeding her in the kitchen. Last night she only ate half of her food, very slowly, very reluctantly. I was able to add more of the carrot/potato puree to it and get her to eat a bit more, but not much.
Then she went upstairs. It was about 8 p.m.
And she just never came down. She's on a hunger strike a pee strike, and everything strike. I sat on the stairs with her for a long time, telling her what a wonderful dog she was. I even brought her some chicken I took off a bone from my dinner, but she wouldn't eat the chicken and refused to come downstairs with me.
I went out for awhile, caging the puppies while I was gone. When I came home, Sheila was downstairs. When I let the puppies out, she had this look on her face that said "how could you!" and headed back upstairs when the puppies gleefully raced over and began biting her legs. I ended up taking Sheila out for a walk as a kind of apology. I would have taken her to the dog park, but it was raining and the park is closed.
Wednesday morning the puppies got me up at 4:30 and Sheila came downstairs, very tentatively, to check what was going on. Again, the puppies were thrilled to see her and galloped across the floor to greet her. I swear she looked at me and said "I can't take this; I'm going back to bed," as she turned around and headed back upstairs. When I tried to feed her, she wouldn't eat, even when I added leftover beef juice from last night's roast to the food.
So I think everybody in this house, except for the puppies who are blissfully happy, is suffering from some level of depression. And I'm depressed because I can't make it all right for everybody. I love these little guys, but I'm sad that the weather has been so bad that the original plan, to leave them outside all the time, has made it more difficult for the bigger dogs to live in their own home.
But we seem to have worked out a do-able schedule that should get us through the rest of the puppies' time here. In the morning, Sheila stays upstairs, I stay locked in my office with Kimba and the puppies have the run of the house and outside.
In the afternoon they sleep most of the time. Sheila peeks in from time to time.
In the evening, when they've had a lovely afternoon of napping, I sit in my recliner and keep them away from Kimba, who is in her bed, not wanting to be disturbed. Sheila peeks around the corner to see when/if the coast is clear. I feed the puppies and get them interested in some rough (i.e., tiring) play. Then, when they are finally starting to slow down, I put them in their crate, they go to sleep, Sheila comes into the family room, I feed the two dogs and all is well.
Sheila still really hasn't eaten, though. I'm not sure how much longer her "hunger strike" is going to last. She isn't even interested in liver biscotti, her favorite food in all the world. But I'm hoping that as we settle into this new schedule (and as I start to make use of the indoor pen that Ashley is bringing--larger than the crate, but still confining so they can't bug Sheila), maybe Sheila and Kimba will forgive me for disrupting their happy home. Again.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The puppies' favorite thing is to bite