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Friday, July 16

Our "Best in Show" Morning

We spent the morning with Dr. Kelly Ballantyne

at Furnetic, a part of UI's College of Veterinary Medicine.* **

Our Rhodesian Ridgeback, Caine, has thunderphobia that we have seen drastically worsen over the last three stormy months. All of the illegal-in-name-only city fireworks haven't helped, and his phobia has generalized to other areas of his life. This has made his and our life together a lot less joyous. We were interviewed for 45 minutes by the two veterinarians and a tech...

while Caine mostly did what Ridgebacks do best.

Because Caine has been using the floor under the basement coffee table as his safe place, they suggested that we create a new safe place for him on a dog bed that can be moved to wherever we are. We will do this by rewarding him for being on it on a calm and relaxed manner, starting with times when there aren't thunderstorms and hopefully moving to light rain and then thunderstorms. This will hopefully allow him to realize that good things can happen during rain too!

One of the other important points from our meeting is adjusting his medication. The daily anti-anxiety med will be increased in dosage by 50% for two weeks, and we will either see a change or we'll switch him over to a different one. She also changed his as needed med to a different class of drug and he will get this an hour before a storm is due or an hour before we leave the house. Hopefully this will be a short term fix that will help him to realize that storms don't come into the house, that he is safe, and even that fun things can happen during storms.

We will also begin working with a new trainer/behaviorist, and both of them will work with Dr. Van Pelt, our awesome vet at Family Pet.  We'll let you know how it goes. Should have plenty of storms to practice with starting this weekend!

*Awesome photo of Dr. Kelly and her Ridgeback, Bludger (great name!), shot by our friend, the wonderful photographer David Sutton.

**Note that both our new vet behaviorist and our new trainer have Ridgebacks! While showing their fine taste in dogs, this also makes us happy because they can be a peculiar breed in many respects. Having somebody that understands these nuances makes us feel very relieved and excited. Not everybody gets them.

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