Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bubbie Love

Paxton - our sweet Bubbie is on Prozac....yes, bless his little heart, we had to medicate him.  Paxton is our sweet little rescue mutt who has some pretty serious issues.  When he was a puppy, we thought it was so cute when he stole Seamus' toys - all of them.  We laughed when he laid on top of all of the toys and in general was a little cute, black furball of a bully.

Little did we know that the little lip curls and snarls would evolve into a scary, slightly possessed behavior that he has very little control over.  Right now, he's curled up on one of his beds - yes, he has two downstairs and two upstairs.  (Get over it.)  He's calm now, but 20 minutes ago, he was lunging and biting at B because he made the mistake of bending over to pet Paxton in the kitchen.  Maybe it was the dim lighting, maybe it was the fact that B bent over, who knows.  Whatever the trigger, it set him off and he became the Tazmanian Devil in 5 seconds flat.  It's scary when it happens.

Sometimes you can see it coming and others, he just lunges without warning and you have to jump to get as far out of his way as possible.  Otherwise, you'll end up with a bite mark, a scratch or worse, bloody.  He's a brutal little one when he's in the zone.  You can see it, his eyes glaze over and he's not there anymore.  Paxton as we know and love him is gone.  It's a darned good thing he's only 11 lbs...otherwise, he wouldn't be here.

When he snaps out of it, he's very upset and shakes, moans and typically is either under the coffee table or in his crate - all dependent upon whether it happens upstairs or down.  If you can get him to focus by getting him to sit - using his brain - he snaps out of it faster, but if you can't, he will continue to attack and try to get you to stay away from him.  It's totally based on irrational fear.

We've had two different trainers and have been to our vet numerous times.  The latest visit sent us to a behavioral specialist (veterinarian) who was bloody expensive.   After the first 3 hour visit with him, we learned Pax has something called, Owner Based Fear Aggression.  Basically, if he moved in with another family, he'd do it to them too.  It's just how he's wired.  He's also socially handicapped.  He doesn't pick up on cues from other dogs.  Basically, he doesn't speak doggie-ese. 

It's so heartbreaking it's hard to describe.  He's sweet and loving and so attached 90% of the time.  He's so happy to see me when I get home and he waits for me when I'm upstairs no matter what.  He sits at the top of the steps and won't go down until I do.  We love him to pieces - but boy is he a mess.

So, we've gotten him to a point where the outbursts are fewer, but still just as unexpected - and we figured we were being bad 'parents' if we didn't try to help him with medication too, so here we are.  He's been on the meds now for about 5 days and so far he's gotten even more affectionate - if that's possible.  The outburst with B wasn't AS bad as it's been in the past, so maybe, just maybe it's starting to take off the edge.  We should know more in about a week's time.

In the meantime, we'll spoil him, we'll love on him and we'll give him boundaries.  We'll keep slipping him Prozac in his peanut butter and we'll pray that it helps him to calm down and realize that we're here to take care of him, not hurt him.  We love him so much and can't imagine ever giving him up, but if we're ever going to bring a child into our home, it's a reality that we can't ignore.  So in the meantime, please keep him in your prayers and pray that the little sweet ball of fur gets a chance to feel calm and safe for a change.

Happy Tuesday Ya'll and I'll leave you with one of my favorite Paxton pictures - he was doing a bit of yoga...working on his inner peace -

The dog knows how to get comfortable doesn't he!  :o)

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