Zach’s Invisible Pack

When we moved to my sister’s townhome, we knew that the next door neighbor used to complain about her dogs so we figured Zach would receive the same treatment. For months we wondered when she was going to complain and one day, out of the blue, we realized why she hadn’t: they had been planning to adopt a dog and figured they didn’t have a right to complain anymore.

Their dog barks A LOT but not enough to bother us. The entire row of homes is dog owner occupied so adding one more dog to the mix wasn’t outrageous. Curiously though, Zach wasn’t concerned about the other barkers except the one right next to his fenceline. Having a comparable peer too close to him gave him anxiety and got his wheels spinning. Both dogs used to lunge at the fence and make a scene until either he or the neighbors’ pet was put away. Their exchanges rallied up the rest of the canines which created a cacophony of woofs that could wake up the deepest sleeper. After a few weeks, we all got used to it, even the dogs grew uninterested and kept quiet.

Zach trues to politely say hi to his buddy next door and seems to have made peace with not being able to see or smell her over the fence. He went from “Hey dog, stay away!” to “Oh hi, wanna play?” but not confidently enough to try a meet and greet. We have not ventured to introduce any them but Z is giving the impression he can handle being around dogs and not reacting through the fence. (After we moved he still ran the fence and barked people and digs away so we are staying clear of intros, for now.) I wonder if he will be missing his new friends once we move into the Château. 🤔

Zach runs to the door to go outside and listen to his pals play and bark. It is amazing how unphased he appears to be, even with the lower dose of Prozac. I am inclined to believe he knows the dogs won’t hurt him because the fence protects him. Hopefully he carries this belief with him into the future so we can build and improve on his quality of life. Who knows? If he does well, he may even be able to tolerate a fur sibling! (We made peace with the idea he is better off as an only child. One can dream…)

Stay tuned…

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