October 18, 2012

Canine Psych

I am dog people.  I have had smart dogs, stupid dogs, mutts, purebreds, and dogs of all sizes.  My first dog was an English Sheepdog, a furry hulk that would try to crawl under furniture at the sound of thunder or sirens.   Then came a Lhasa Apso, a Cocker Spaniel, a Rottweiler, Labrador Retrievers, and a Dachshund.  

There were generations of bird dogs at my grandparents and my parents have had a Bassett Hound, a Bull Mastiff, and their current Chow/Lab mix, Jake.  Jake is spending the week with us.  He makes me crazy - because his brand of crazy is contagious, but he is the only one being treated for it.

Jake has a lick granuloma. I Google-diagnosed this condition over a year ago.  The vet is just now catching up.  Jake's OCD compulsion is to lick his paw.  Just when one paw will get healed, he will move on to another.  My parents have tried every cone, wrap, shoe, and spray known to discourage contact and promote healing.  Nothing works.  It is all in this dog's tiny little brain.

Today's veterinary medical practices routinely address behavioral issues such as this by prescribing doggie Prozac.  Literally the same medicine, for the same reasons.  As Jake is vacationing at our abode, and the vet is ready to start the regimen, I have been tasked with observing his behavior and noting any side effects.

I am tempted to print out some Rorschach inkblots to use as place mats for Jake's kibble and note his preference for one shape over the other.

Constantly listening for Jake's late night lick-fests, and bandage ripping escapades robs me of sleep and peace of mind.  Now I am supposed to observe how Prozac affects him?  Is there any way to report on that without sounding like an imbecile?

I know it is wrong, but part of me wonders if I should eschew the Prozac and just share a little Shiner with the dog.  Lord knows it keeps me sane...

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