I had a home visit a few months ago with a rescue group I wanted to be approved for.  I had many conversations with the adoption coordinator about Doug and how crazy very exuberant he is.  I explained to her how he never really calms down, even when he is still, he’s gearing up for movement.  I told her these things during the conversation about how when I add the next dog, I don’t want two Dougs.  She assured me she had seen it all, she’d been doing Pit Bull rescue for 20+ years. She came and met us. Her exact quote after the visit was: I never in my life have met a dog as energetic as Doug. He is awesome, but he is by far the most hyper dog I’ve ever met. 

Told you so!

Despite only being 12 days out of surgery and having at least 10 weeks of rest to go, he thinks he is fully healed and he now tries to do a modified zoomie in his crate, along the edge of the bed.  It’s like tightrope zoomies, IN A DAMN CRATE. When he is in the x-pen, he wild ponies up on his hind legs.  To say this is against every thing the doctor said he SHOULD NOT DO, is a grand understatement.  I mean HOW do you keep a dog down, literally down, on all fours.  Should I put bricks on his back?

After he runs the zoomies in the 4×4 space (and after I plead with him to stop (no, NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!) he resorts to ramming the crate or pen door.  Like a bull.  Like a bull with a broken leg who is supposed to be resting.  Every time I go in to spend time with him, it’s like an ultimate warrior cage match.

He has been doing all of this, since day 4  post surgery. I mean even superman could be held down by Kryptonite.

I am not a dramatic person. If I say Doug is crazy, he’s crazy.  I’m very matter-of-fact. Trying to keep Doug calm has made me drink cry.  It’s brought actual tears to my eyes.  I legit hid from him at one point because I just couldn’t fight the fight anymore and I needed a break.  My hiding, only rev’d him up more.  Hide and seek, fun!

I feel like the vet surgical community failed us when they sent us on our way post surgery with a see you in two weeks, keep him calm and off that leg.  Pretty sure they threw in a wink and smile for hurtful measure. I had tried to explain that Doug was VERY energetic.  That there was no way to keep him calm.  And I’m sure they hear that A LOT from owners who don’t really know what true, nuclear energy looks like.  I watched as our surgeon’s eyes glossed over when I explained to him that while I was VERY committed to Doug’s recovery, Doug would in no way, shape or form be at all committed to it.

He said to me…Doug will realize his limitations. And then he tried to send me home without tranquilizers. Uh no, nice try.

Sadly, the tranquilizer we were given was no match for Doug. I get it, Excedrin Migraine is as about as powerful as a tic-tac when it comes to my migraines. Some medication just doesn’t stand up to the challenge before it.  Doug’s current tranquilizer is one of those things.

I am willing to do the hard work. I kept Jake in a cone for six weeks after his eye surgery. Six weeks in a heavy cone for a dog with a compromised spine could almost be considered abuse (which is why I ordered that ridiculously expensive head mask – remember that???), but saving his eye was important for his well-being. In the end, it was the right decision. Well, it was the right decision before knowing he had terminal cancer.  Had I known about the cancer I would have had the eye removed and let him live as struggle-free as possible. Ahhhhh, hindsight, you’re a bastard.

Speaking of hindsight…Jake had it. IMG_5422

Keeping Doug calm is up there with juggling sand. Impossible.

I’m OK with Doug continuing to hate me as I try to get him through this timeframe intact and with 4 healthy legs at the end.  This phase in our lives will be all but a blip. We are going to try a new tranquilizer. And if that doesn’t work, we will try something else. If nothing else, all our trying will pass the time. Right?

He is still planning my death. Thankfully, the cone and donut SHOULD come off tomorrow when his sutures come out. IMG_4149



11 thoughts on “Kryptonite.

  1. As I read this, I found myself saying “omg!” over and over again. Then I reminded myself that Doug is still very much a puppy. You know how they say that the puppy phase for Labradors lasts 3 years? Labrador breed, meet Doug. Anyway, while I can’t say that I’ve felt your pain, I can say that your patience and dedication regarding all things Doug is amazing. He is so blessed to have you as his momma. Hang in there.

  2. Doug sounds like our girl, though at almost 5 she’s finally starting to chill the heck out a bit. And by chill out I mean…. she isn’t going every single second, but damn near, and it takes very little to get her wound up. We are doing a major flooring remodel and she will have to be crated some during that time. Last time we put her in her crate she flipped it on it’s side and somehow managed to get it halfway down the hallway. So… yeah that should be fun!

    Have you tried the CBD oils? They may help. I know you probably have a thousand suggestions, but just throwing another one out there. Also, there is a thing… a jump preventer harness thingie, but not sure it’d work since his surgery was done on his back leg.

    On the other hand it may just piss him off more…I looked into it briefly when my boy was younger because 70lbs of crazy weimaraner throwing himself at you is downright scary sometimes. He grew out of it so I never actually got one.

    I love hearing about Doug because it makes me feel like my dog isn’t the only insane one out there. Praying for speedy healing for Doug!

      • They ARE crazy, and it makes me crazy in turn. I wish I were a drinker some days because she makes me feel like I need one! Then there are glimpses of calm, like she spent Saturday night curled up on the bed watching me paint… then was a monster Sunday. We pick our battles!

  3. Our sympathies! Video Doug and show it to the vet so s/he understands what you’re dealing with. Changing tranquilizers sounds like a great next step.

    Habi was constitutionally unable to relax when we first adopted her, though for different reasons that Doug. We had to teach her a Just Relax cue, which gradually grew from a specific trick that she could maintain for a millisecond (for a Really Good Treat) to a general reminder to chill out. Does Doug have a solid Down? Can you shape him to roll one hip over, then put his head down, or roll over onto his side? (Sounds ‘easy’, may take weeks).

    Can you click and treat ANY signs of relaxation – deep breaths, heavy eyelids, chin resting on forelegs?

    And as I think back to Habi’s first months with us, even though our situation was very different – have you considered consulting a veterinary behaviorist? I remember when, about three months in, Doug finally was able to stop and snuggle with you. I thought at the time “Ah, he’s starting to trust that he’s home.” And now that he’s post-surgical his world is turned upside down again. I wonder how much (if any) of his over-the-top energy is anxiety-driven.

    Just a few random thoughts. I remain in awe of your ability to deal with whatever life throws your way. We send big hugs to you and calming vibes to Doug.

  4. Yeah…I remember feeling the same way!!! MY dog’s recovery was 6 months per the vet, I did my best, No walks, No stairs, tried the No jumps, all in all her leg is almost perfect!! Was she calm all the time during recovery; HELL NO! I did my best and prayed it would work, and it did. I did not crate my dog it made her more hyper, I did sit on the floor a lot and had her sit by me, and I slept on a blanket on the floor with her for 2 months. I agree with the vet…they do know what they can do and can’t. These types of dogs are incredibly strong. I wish you all the best with your recovery process. Did they tell you that after the first leg injury they are 50% more likely to have the same injury in the other leg? I keep my fingers crossed.

  5. My Zari was at the vet last week for her annual exam and because she is dachshund/papillon and had hurt herself the week before we talked about how to keep her calm. Hahahaha! She hurt herself doing zoomies and running into a step! Calm is not happening. Because she has that dachshund the main concern is back issues so I have health insurance but wanted to know if there was anything I could do to stop her jumping up, charging into everything and protect herself. My vet (who owns a dachshund) laughed and said keep her healthy and her weight under control. Some dogs will never be content with calm and Doug is yours! You’re doing great, keep him healthy and his weight under control. It’s the best we’ve got. Chin up and have a drink (cry)!

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