this is classical conditioning — for me, not Laev

Okay, I’m getting twitchy.

June 2002 – While we’re away for the weekend, Dante does not eat his dinner one night. The petsitter does not know him well enough to know that anything other than diving into his food bowel constitutes a full emergency for Dante. We return home and, hearing this, take him to the vet, but he dies before surgery for an intestinal blockage. Autopsy reveals that his intestines were completely necrotic; the blockage was old and his notorious imperviousness to all discomfort had hidden it from us until he was dying anyway.

first week of July, 2003 — Chaucer has a few accidents indoors the week we move to a new house; I’m not worried, figuring it’s stress. She is losing weight, too, so I take her in. The vet thinks it’s a bladder infection and we treat with antibiotics. That doesn’t seem to help, so back we go. She catches a rabbit on Monday, is diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis on Tuesday, and is dead on Saturday.

June, 2004 — While Tempest has made amazing progress in her aggression issues, her first instinctive reaction when startled is and will always be to bite. For the safety of humans and Tempest herself, I make the painful decision to euthanize.

Now it is June 2005. I am not generally superstitious in any way, but these events hurt. Now Shakespeare is suddenly lethargic, wanting only to sleep on his bed all day instead of running the fenceline for hours on end. I hope it is only the heat coming on and not anything more. I’ll keep my eye on him for other symptoms.

Gah, it feels stupid to confess worry on the basis of timing alone.

About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.
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One Comment

  1. Oh wow Laura! I hadn’t put everything into the timeline like that. I totally understand why you’re hyper-concerned about a behavior change from Shakespeare! My best wishes that it’s just a heat thing and nothing life threatening.

    Tami & the Scocker Crew
    Norbert & Nessa
    Hillsboro, OR

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