I’m at my wits end with my puppy Winston. Never had a dog with his issues and I’ve had three before and also grew up with dogs.
Not sure if it’s physical/medical or behaviour?
He eats sticks like he was addicted to it. This makes him need to go to the bathroom, a lot of times, in the middle of the night. He also trows them up regularly. So far nothing worse has happened but I’m always worried that one will get launched and he’ll need surgery.
He’s had a few other physical issues in his short (almost 8 months) life.
Skin itching, gotten a bit better since I started giving him Algae.
A stomach thing with a fever when he was much younger.
A cold a couple of times and this last time developed into pneumonia and then also gastric catarrh.
The last one happened the same day that I was getting my second chemo treatment, not great timing, to say the least.
But the most serious thing is that he has developed guarding his food, the sticks he picks up and anything that falls on the floor, like a sock or a paper towel.
The other day he bit me when I tried to take the sock from him! Didn’t puncture the skin but got a bruise on one nail so it was definitely a bite and a line crossed.
I have always been able to take toys etc from the dog’s mouth, touch their food while eating, I’ve never even thought of this before, except from seeing it on TV or so.
I’ve always been the pack leader of my dogs and have had them well trained.
Winston is very smart and learns things quickly. After this last incident I’ve worked on reestablish me being the leader since maybe he feels my weakness in going through chemo.
He responds when it comes to small adjustments I’ve made but still challenges me sometimes. Things that might look like playing, or being a bulldog and not wanting to give up, but that I don’t see as that anymore, unfortunately.
The guarding “scares me”! I feel like I can’t have him around children anymore and I don’t know if I can ever trust him 100% again.
Maybe it’s a reaction to my “weakness” but the guarding of sticks started as soon as I started taking them from him, long before me starting this treatment. I just never thought of it as something that could develop into something more serious.
All this, at the moment, is a bit overwhelming, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to get through it.
Maybe it’s all based in the fact that I’ve never felt like we really connected somehow.
He is so focused on me, but at the same time i don’t feel like he gives me, he only sucks energy from me. Don’t know how to explain this or where this is coming from?
He just always felt so demanding. requiring so much attention, more than “normal”.
This is such a weird thing to say, but he doesn’t like to cuddle. He doesn’t like to play. When training him/working with him he’s only focused on the goodies, not really on me, it seems. Yes he looks at me etc but I feel like it’s only because he knows that’s what’s required.
I love him and he’s such a cutie in so many ways and it seemed that when I started chemo he was so “understanding”, just hanging out with me, sleeping and being calm.
Not to sound like a “dog lady” sometimes I even think he understands what I’m saying, in an almost weird way.
Having a check up with the vet tomorrow, I will have him checked for diabetes (due to his fixation with sticks-read somewhere that it could be a deficiency somehow and I do think he drinks a lot of water- I’ve had a dog with diabetes).
I will also contact a dog behaviorist to get some help with his guarding.
And maybe I’ll see if I can find a “dog psychic”, to see if I can find out what’s going on deep within, so to speak.
I need to find a solution, a step towards healing, inside and out, for us to continue together, specially with me having another 11 weeks of treatment.
This is taking too much out of me and not fair to him either, if I can’t give him what he needs.