One of my clients recently adopted a young hound mix. Though the dog had shown signs of anxiety early on in his stay in his new forever home, his owner had been taking major steps to address them, and gradually his dog was acclimating to life in and outside of the home. However, nothing could have prepared him for the fright he received Thanksgiving weekend during which my client was outdoor dining in New Jersey with some friends and his dog at his side, the leash attached to one of the legs of his chair. A loud noise from nearby caught his dog’s attention and all of a sudden, he was off to the races! He ran down the street, tugging along the chair, which apparently was creating sparks on the concrete! After some time, he managed to release himself from the chair and booked it into the nearby wooded area. Can you imagine yourself in my client’s shoes? Thankfully, after seven hours of searching the forest with flashlights at nighttime, he finally found him!
I am grateful that the owner gave me permission to share this story. With the influx of new patients that have come to our clinic, many have come with their fair share of behavioral issues. Even after major improvement, the hound was showing, it all came crashing down in one fell swoop with the most catastrophic of scenarios! But this is the nature of the game, a little progress followed by a setback here or there. Over time, with behavioral modification and/or medication, new owners can help their pets live more comfortable, happy lives. Despite the horror story, I do have high hopes for my patient moving forward.