When Winston, my black dog of depression, leaps out of the bag, morphs and starts misbehaving, I’ve noticed my pomeranian Patty has been suddenly like velcro at my side. Usually she’d be off loving Dolly (which looks indistinguishable from biting, mauling and beating up her stuffed meerkat) or sleeping under the futon. But when Winston threatens to comes out, Patty has been right there.
I first noticed this when walking her. I’d bring her back in and usually she would trot back through the myriad of doors we have to pass in my building. But on bad days, she would try to get me to go back outside until I’ve dragged her through too many doors. She would persist at the front door, act odd and then give up. At first I assumed she wasn’t finished with her business but each time that has not been the case. She stayed close by, keeping an eye on me although I feel fine. Then later, Winston would come out and run amok.
Courtesty Black Pug Art, Deviant Art
It turns out this type of behavior is not unusual. Sensitive canines such as seizure alert dogs are being used to assist epileptics. They also may be able to detect other disorders including diabetes and cancer. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why animals are able to detect the onset of a seizure or a hypoglycemic attack in a human. They theorize dogs are able to smell chemical changes or are more connected to us. Their reactions can be false positives; dogs may react whether it’s an actual episode or not not. However scientists point out the important thing is the owner’s response to the dog’s signals. A diabetic should immediately test her blood sugar; an epileptic should find a safe place to avoid injury. Googling this subject, I’ve learned dogs are also being used as psychiatric service animals to detect disorders like depression.
I’m learning to anticipate the slumps, either alerting myself to log the episode, checking medication or rearranging activities. This has been immeasurable in assisting the doctor in treating my condition. Although Patty has not been trained for any type of detection, perhaps being such a sensitive dog, she has trained herself to anticipate my moods. It appears as if Patty and Winston are squaring off nose to nose like competitors. This possibility grows stronger every day.
I’ve been in bed, in my best writer swoon, trying to shake some malaise that’s been clinging for the past week. The downtime has given me a chance to read the fanfic of writers showcased during FanstRAvaganza. The talent and creativity has both amazed and given me food for thought as writer. Appropriate for Surreal Saturday, I just spent a surreal hour grooming my pom Patty. She not only flopped on her back and allowed me to brush hardened bit of rubbish out of her tail, but remained calm while I used scissors and a brush to cut out matted fur and lightly groom. Anybody having dealt with this traumatized high-strung pooch would appreciate how shocking a development this is. She’s friendly sweet girl but hates for her tail and butt to be touched. Yet, there she lie grinning like it was just an unusual petting session. Then she climbed into my lap and dozed. Incredible. Anyway, just realized I haven’t posted video *really* surreal and that this one might fit the bill. There’s nothing deep here, just 9 minutes 38 seconds of WTF. If the internet were made into a music video, would this be it? I hate to say it, but yes, yes it is – but they left out the hamster dance.
Seriously NSFW. Oh, and if you “get” many of the mash-ups, yeah, you’re old.
I’ve been dealing with some issues in the past few days, the biggest being complete dismay over the emotional relapse of my pom, Patty. I rescued her from the humane society over two years ago, not knowing she had been possibly abused and traumatized. I never knew exactly what would trigger her fearful issues, but learned to avoid the obvious ones. She changed from a snarly, growly, nervous, ball of nerves to a still sensitive but happy dog.
The blizzard, with its violent winds, set her back, big time. She cowered in the bathroom and under the bed and kept it up after the storm was over. She jumped out of her skin at the slighted noise, quivered, bolted and basically acted as if she were in a prolonged panic attack. She refused to eat but I could nab her for walkies the day after. On Thursday it was worse, taking me 1/2 hour of coaxing and trickery to leash her. It seemed as if she didn’t know me.
So instead of spending too much time directing my Muse (who has temperamentally flounced off), I’ve been showering Patty with TLC, constantly petting, hugging and talking to her while keeping escape routes closed off. The attention has been paying off. She’s started eating and stopped bolting. She’s now attached to me like Velcro, which is preferable to the way she was. Hopefully, she will be 100% soon. Oh, just saw her energetically loving Dolly (a stuffed meerkat) for the first time in days.
Patty the pom in calmer days.
Speaking of doggy tribulations, here’s video of a more laid back pooch.