Today we had the conversation with the behaviorist that I’ve been expecting for a while–the one about putting Silas on a daily medication.
She’s the one who brought it up, and she said it is entirely up to me. He’s at a manageable level. He spends more of every day happy than unhappy.
That management, though, is exhausting. It’s crept up on me gradually, so much so that I don’t even realize some of it happens. There has literally not been a person in my house besides my husband and me since we had the downstairs toilet done, and that was maybe six months ago. I know it’s been a year since we had anyone over just to be friendly.
We don’t take walks; we have to drive to the park. And not just any park–I have every park in the city ranked by how stressful they are, how far Silas can walk there before he panics over something, and how likely we are to meet someone that scares him.
If I have to leave Silas in the car (in the winter, obviously), I park all the way at the end of the lot, because he will bark frantically at anyone who walks even close to the car. This morning, he barked at the person who parked next to us while that person was still in their car.
We have heavy blinds/curtains on all the front windows, and if he doesn’t stop obsessing about the neighbor’s cat, I’ll have to put them on the patio doors.
We don’t travel at all anymore, unless we can rent a cabin (and even then I have to check, because some cabin rental places put them too close together) or stay with my parents. When we visit Mom and Dad their whole life comes to a halt, because Silas can’t handle the people who usually go in and out of their house.
Is any of that stuff an impossible burden? Not really. Does it make me feel bad? Yes.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get him through his fear of cars without more help than we’re already using. I was really proud of him on Friday. The behaviorist seemed a little alarmed that it took so much effort on to my part, plus the medication dosage we used, for the results that we got.
She insists that he won’t be dopey or drugged or funny acting–if he is, the medication is wrong. He wouldn’t be on it forever, although it would be for a fairly long time.
Still, I don’t know. If he were a person, who could weigh in on his own treatment, I would never say, “No, I don’t think I’ll give you this medication that will make you feel better.” Medicating a dog is harder, though. They can’t say, “hey, this makes me feel a little funny” or “I don’t like the way my stomach feels when I take this.” It makes it hard for me to give him a largely elective medication.