Notes From Mom

I am a parent of a dog with anxiety

I try to have patience, it gets me no where.  I cry, I love, I yell, I feel guilty.  I am the parent of a dog with anxiety.

6 years old we adopted an adorable husky mix and named her Koda.  She had just had pups and been stranded on the side of the road.  An Indiana Rescue took her in and put her up for adoption.  We were looking to adopted one of her pups but feel in love with how lovable and sweet this adorable young mother was.  So we brought her home.

Still shy about the whole human connection, she stayed in the back of the car the whole 3 hours drive.  After be introduced to the family.  Me, my husband and our adorable bouncy 6 month old saint Ossian, I believe she knew this was her home.  She romped and played with Ossian in the backyard, and would lay next to my husband on the couch while we watched tv.

Then the first night happened.  We kenneled trained Ossian so we thought we would do the same with Koda.  It was one of the worst nights.  From my upstairs bed room….I could hear the nails scrap against the melt bars, and loud whimpers (worse than baby Ossian at 5 weeks old)

I went down to see about her.  Freaking out I tried to comfort her.

Out of the cage, in the cage, outside in the yard, inside in the living room.  ALL THE SAME.  Panting, pacing, I thought she was hyperventilating.

I cried all night.  But by the morning her tired self laid down and was sweet and normal again.  I expressed my frustration and anxiety of adding a newly adopted dog with unknown history to an already perfect family.  But because of the bond we had already made, we decided to plow forward with the adoption.

Fast Forward to 6 years later….

I’m here, trying to type this…and Koda is freaking out for unknown reasons right beside me.   Panting, Pacing-I feel like she’s hyperventilating

Over the past 6 years we have tired everything.  Training, Medication, Reiki, A pet psychic.  We have yet to figure out what sets off these ANXIETY attacks.

We know the norm: Fireworks, Storms, Doorbells, Being left alone.  And we have plans for those things….we foresee most of them and are prepared.

But today…..this anxiety attack happen out of the blue for no reason.  I don’t know what to do.  We are both here, my husband and I.  We were laying in our bed-her on her bed in the room.  Nothing loud happened, nothing changed…except all the sudden….shes Panting, Pacing and it seems as tho shes hyperventilating.

I try to have patience, it gets me no where.  I cry, I love, I yell, I feel guilty.  I am the parent of a dog with anxiety.

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33 thoughts on “I am a parent of a dog with anxiety”

  1. I’m sorry you and Koda are still going through this after 6 years, but I’m so happy you saved her. She must have been through hell in her prior life. My little dog Phoebe had extreme fear of men when we adopted her. It took a year to have her be normal around males. Now she’s great but sometimes has what I believe are nightmares where she whimpers excessively in her sleep and wakes up terrified. Perhaps that night Koda had a nightmare of her prior life and it takes a long while to calm down afterwards? I wish I had some good advice for you but I don’t. I can only wish you strength as you continue to work with Koda on her anxiety
    Love & Biscuits, xoxo
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them.

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  2. I’m sure everyone has their own opinion and offer them to you all the time, and I hate to be one of “those people”, but…Have you considered holistic approaches, such as herbal therapy, aromatherapy or music? We used to use those methodologies all the time in the shelter where i used to work. I think they are great tools to add whenever possible! Thank you for writing about your experiences with an anxious dog. Reading your words is sure to be helpful to others!

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  3. Anxiety is the worst! *Hugs* I know it is difficult, but please don’t blame yourself. There are physical reasons for these behaviors.For us on the outside of that body, love and patience are the only answers.My cat, Cinco, has anxiety too. I have issues with anxiety as a human. It happens to the best of us. My prayers are with you and your family!

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  4. Oh my goodness. Sending you lots of healing prayers for Koda and you! The only thing I can think of is to stay as calm as possible and just hold her. Sometimes they feed off our energy and if we get upset it spurs them on. However, after saying that – I have never dealt with this so…

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  5. Did your vet recommend a different medication when it was determined the valium wasn’t effective the way you’d want it to be? I hope you’re able to find what’s causing her anxiety as well as a way to alleviate it. Sending positive wishes to Koda and all of you! ♥

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  6. I would have never guessed she suffers from anxiety. You certainly have done a great job of giving her a rich and fulfilling life. Have you ever kept a journal so you can see if there is a pattern with food/activity/weather, even earlier events in the day? I know that in humans sometimes a blood test can find toxins or other things that may affect the brain and produce anxiety. I think it is important for you to realize that you’re doing a great job and she’s lucky to be part of your family.

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  7. You poor thing. Thank you for hanging in there, as I know most people would have surrendered her instead of dealing with it. Bless your heart. Khloee has anxiety too. I rescued her when she was 3 months old so I thought she’d be young enough for us to combat any trauma she was put through, but nope. It’s not as bad as anxiety attacks but it’s pretty close. I’m guessing you’ve tried natural calming supplements and what not. Have you tried lavender oil in a warm steam vaporizer? It may be a bit of help, as least.

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  8. Our dog Shermie has anxiety and while it sounds like your sweet munchkin has it worse, you may want to try herbs. We have had tremendous success with sedatives like Skullcap. Now we’ve had a holistic vet prepare tinctures as these herbs are not safe to explore without an expert but I wonder if that may help out? Email me for sure if you have any questions as I’d be happy to share my experiences…so sorry you’re dealing with this.

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  9. I don’t know much about dogs and medication, but Valium might help. Might ask your vet about this if you haven’t tried it already. Have you tried a Thunder Shirt? I hear those can really help, too.

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    1. Thunder shirt didn’t help. We’ve done valium..but basically just makes her unable to move…she still is freaking on the inside. She just can’t move to show it. So we decided to stop the valium

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  10. Aww, poor Koda! I’d give her a big hug if I could. Our dog has a bit of separation anxiety, but he just pulls our clothes down to his bed when we leave. It’s so hard not knowing a rescued dog’s history. I’m glad Koda is with you though, because another family may not have put up with an anxious pup. So it sounds like she has the perfect home with you.

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  11. From one dog mom with a dog who has anxiety to another, I know your pain. It really, really sucks. Both of my dogs have anxiety to some degree and we are starting to think about medication again. ((hugs))

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