Scarlett has had a mixed time of it lately. She’s started to open up somewhat with my sister, but she’s regressed a lot in other regards.
I suppose dogs can have PTSD just like humans do. She has had meltdowns repeatedly on walks in the complex, with people she has met before, at pet stores she’s been to before, loud noises she’s not familiar with, and over seeing my shadow. She even got into a spat with McKinley, which is very unusual – it happened once before not long after she got here. She’s flipped out and run between my legs, almost causing me to fall. There is no such thing as a relaxing walk with this girl. 😦
Someone suggested a split lead, but I’m afraid she’d end up harming McKinley during a freakout because of her struggles. She is younger, larger, and stronger. So they remain on two leads.
A dog loving neighbor has offered to be a part of the team to help Scarlett be less fearful. The last time we went to her place, Scarlett had a meltdown and cowered behind me next to the door – terrified of the extremely passive little poodle who is the omega dog of the complex – except for Scarlett.
I do believe she is hard of hearing, but not deaf. It could be part of the reason she is so hyper vigilant. She is now responding to her name, but only if it is said loudly and clearly.
There are times she’d just as soon stay on the couch in her safe spot all day and all night. I can’t let her simply shut down for long periods of time. There are days she does better. Sometimes I think we are making one breakthrough after another – the spring forward. Then there is disheartening fall back. She has made progress, but not enough (yet) to be a comfortable companion for someone who isn’t dog savvy and endlessly patient.
She won’t walk with my sister, who regularly takes McKinley on walks. Not only that, I don’t want her to hurt someone who isn’t used to her freak outs and meltdowns that are back. Now I need to find someone who is used to dogs to walk with her. Because how can she go into adoption if she won’t work with her new Dog Mom/Dad?
Expectations: I need to give them up. She is going to continue to struggle for awhile.
Answers: I wish I had them.