While I’ve been busy writing various rants for the last week or so, we’ve had some big changes behind the scenes. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster, honestly.
First, Silas has started refusing to get in the car. This has been coming for a while. He was getting increasingly hesitant, but rather than working through it, I assumed we just needed more practice. After our road trip in March he had, indeed, been doing a little better. Then we took the trip where I forgot that my air conditioner was broken. Desperately afraid that Silas was going to have an actual heatstroke, after a very long walk while the car sat in the sun, I had no choice but to roll the windows down. After that, he was apparently done with the car.
In a panic, I e-mailed his behaviorist to say, “We both know that he’ll just get more and more paranoid if I don’t take him out, but I can’t get him in the car.” She adjusted his medication levels a little and changed his short-term anxiety medication. While I wasn’t really looking for more/different medication, it does seem to have helped. (This is the downside of having stopped our office visits. When I was seeing her in person, she was filled with sage training advice. Over e-mail, she mostly just changes his medication.) I like that the new short-term anxiety medicine, which I only give him when he really needs it, seems to work better even when I give him a much smaller dose.
With the new meds in his system, Silas decided that he could go out of the garage again. He used to do this ages ago–he would walk out our garage, down to the street, around the corner of the block, and back in our front door. For some reason he stopped, and I haven’t been able to get so much as a toe past the garage door since. On Friday night, even with loud Friday neighborhood noises, he walked out the garage and back in the front door.
Then, on Saturday night, I probably ruined it all. I could not find my house keys, and I really didn’t think Silas would go all the way around. At the corner of the block I realized that my husband was actually busy in the garage, and who knew how long it would be before he realized that Silas and I were standing at the front door. So I had to turn Silas around. He did not care for that. He is a dog who loves routine, and I changed the routine. I haven’t had much luck getting him out since. In hindsight, I don’t know why on earth I didn’t just unlock the door from the inside before we left. Oh, well.