Category Archives: Annabelle
I am constantly in search of new dog toys. Toys that will continue to squeak, amuse, and entertain. I found this toy recently at PetsMart (or you can find it here at Amazon). The nice young kid behind the counter said I could bring it back anytime if they didn’t like it.
Can you see what it says on the package? It says “Mental Stimulation”. The idea is that you put treats or kibble in the middle and the dogs work to get the food out. When I first gave these to the dogs, I added some kibble to them and let them go. Annabelle had no trouble getting the food out and having a good time. For Solo, the mental stimulation seemed to prove too much and he gave up after just a few minutes.
Add in over 24 hours of rain and Solo was downright bored and unbearable yesterday. The barking started about 12:45. I couldn’t get it to stop. I found the balls and added the kibble. Annabelle went to work and Solo kept barking.
I added dog crack. Or in our case, ANIMAL CRACKERS. Yup, just plain, old Stauffers Animal Crackers. Solo has never worked so hard for anything in his life. And I felt bad, seeing him struggle between wanting the crack(ers) and the mental challenge being almost too much for him. But he kept at it. For over an hour.
And I didn’t hear a single bark for over 3 hours. VICTORY. And dog crack.
Up till yesterday, my review of the Thundershirt (see original post here) was going to be a strong review of how the shirt is a thunderstorm deterrent. Every time we had a storm right on top of us, I would put the Thundershirts on the dogs and the storm would magically disappear. I thought it was pretty cool, the way it could control the weather like that.
Until yesterday. A massive hurricane managed to miss us completely and yet a small thunderstorm popped up yesterday and gave us some much needed rain. I put the shirts on the dogs. Solo climbed right back on the couch and continued his nap. He is not completely freaked by storms however, until Annabelle freaks out.
Annabelle, rocking her shirt the way only she can, climbed up on the couch and lay down. This is an improvement in several ways. Normally, she would begin by pacing around the house, looking scared. Next comes the panting. Then she would typically find a hiding spot. Downstairs, that means by the bathroom door or in the kitchen. Upstairs is in front of my dresser. So the fact that she stayed on the couch seems to be some level of improvement. She did still have a look of mild fear about her, but wasn’t panting, pacing or hiding.
I will continue to try the shirts whenever a storm present itself. And, according to the materials that came with it, once in a while for no reason at all. This is to ensure that the dogs don’t associate wearing the shirts with the storms. And Michael, always loving my out-there purchases, did comment that no matter what they did for the anxiety, they would make EXCELLENT shirts to keep them warm on their cold, winter walks.
This morning I posted about Solo and his fits, tantrums and rants. He is a very vocal dog and uses his voice to try and get what he wants. One of, actually THE key issue with Solo is a lack of consistency from his parents and even Annabelle. We were told to ignore his whining and barking and he would learn that he doesn’t get what he wants when he does that. I ignore. Michael does not. And since Solo doesn’t distinguish between negative and positive attention, Michael scolding him or yelling at him is still the attention he was looking for.
Annabelle is even worse. When I am ignoring Solo, she jumps off the couch (yes, the couch, don’t get me started) and brings him a toy or plays with him. So, it is hard to train the dog, even harder to train Michael and Solo gets mixed messages. But when I yell at him, he knows it is serious and stops whatever he is doing.
As I am typing this, Solo is taking a nap. And while he is the vocal one, Annabelle seeks what she wants in different ways. She barks some. Not nearly like Solo. But as I look up from my computer, I see this. And she didn’t make a sound…..