120 Days With Zach

Time flies! It has already been 4 months since we opened our home and our heart to Zach. Coincidently, today was the day we took him to see Dr Sung, the veterinary behaviorist. After a few weeks of training Z to get into the car and enjoy the drive we will put those skills and my mad muzzle techniques to the test.

We departed for Dr Sung’s Kirkland location around 1:45 pm to get there 15 minutes early. Getting Zach to accept the muzzle is hard but not impossible and I was surprised that a cheese string serving later, he took it with no major issues. Fitting him with the harness is always a struggle but he managed to cooperate readily. Car rides aren’t his thing, yet, but we are working on it. He happened to enjoy this one thanks to the shower of cheese string I threw back at him. The CX-9 has a comfy cargo space and he appreciated the room and treats. Who knew that string cheese had magical powers? (Every dog owner ever, apparently.)

Once there, Allicia (Rescue Pup) went ahead of us and made sure the coast was clear. Zach hopped off and went into the office with minimal incident. He did growl and bark at the unknown environment and people but he calmed down and cooperated for 75% of the encounter. He was so fixated on the Dr’s trainee he growled at her a few times which prompted the doctor to teach me to distract Zach with noise. (The classic change inside a can trick.) She also reassured us she had seen worse cases and that with training and patience we could expect some improvement. He is still a puppy and he has a long life ahead of him to learn how to cope with anxiety. That will be achieved by perfecting the desensitization exercises for which we will need volunteers. Any takers?

The second half of the almost 2 hr consultation came down to teaching me which basic commands Mr Barkypants needed to learn, and how. After a few instructions and confirmation that what I had read in many books was in fact applicable to his case we left the office on a quest to find the cheapest pharmacy we could buy. Turns out Costco sells veterinary prescriptions at a deep discount for members. I dropped off the puppy at home and went shopping with ny husband. Back home we gave him the medication as prescribed and waited to see if any adverse reactions presented.

Around 11 pm, we noticed Z was edgy but we went to sleep hoping he’s calm down. It wasn’t until 4 am that he finally settled which is understandable based on the medication’s action time and half life. The next morning (at 6:30 am) we gave him his new dose of meds and he was still anxious and shaky but soo tired he slept until 2pm. I stayed by his side to make sure he didn’t get worse or needed assistance. He barks a little less than usual or for less time, and does answer to commands almost on the dot. We are expecting that by the weekend he’ll be better acclimated and if not. Dr. Sung stated she is more than happy to revisit the plan if nnecessary after a week or two or if anything changes drastically.

For now, we will continue to enjoy Zach. He is not fully oblivious to what is going on and we need two pill pockets to deliver the doses. Costco happens to sell those two 60 for $7.99 at the time of this post. We may move the rest of hid meds to this pharmacy if it ends up saving us even more. Right now, $10-$15 bucks a month gets us a less on edge pet. That’s less than three lattes; totally worth it. (I don’t drink coffee because I am allergic but the Starbucks price metaphor is understood by most. I wish video games were this cheap!) The staff asked us to document his progress and I will use the blog to post my observations.

Paws crossed! Wish us great success. 🙂


Thanks for all your donations and moral support. We appreciate everything you have done for us and Zach. ♡

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