Oh, Ducky! Part 3 – Making Progress

Before I get started on this post, let me say HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!

So, for those of you who are interested but missed Parts 1 and 2 of this “Oh, Ducky!” saga, you can find them here and here.

And for those of you who have been following along and waiting (or not) for the next “installment”, here goes…

Back at the beginning of November the Whole Dog Journal published a blog post entitled “Listen to Your Gut When It Comes to Your Dog – and Act on It!”  by Nancy Kerns. I skimmed over it, put it aside, and promptly forgot about it.

Until a few days before Christmas that is.

I was working with Ducky out in the back yard. About ten minutes earlier she had gotten a bit snarky with Shadow – again – over who knows what at this point.  This has been going on almost daily for more than two months. I’m tired of it.

And I’m tired of her barking her fool head off at hubby and acting like a cujo dog every time he gets up out of his chair to do whatever.

And I’m really tired of hubby yelling at her to stop barking at him. I love him to the moon and back; but sometimes he drives me up the wall, across the ceiling, and down the opposite wall. Yelling at a dog to stop barking is like laughing at a little kid while telling  said kid to stop laughing. Ya know?

Admittedly, my frustration with the situation tends to surface in my tone of voice and transfers to my patience level. Or lack thereof.

Anyway, I’ve been working with Ducky on her place command pretty intensely and will continue to do so. (Especially in the morning so I can study or just read.) She settles down into a little nap pretty quickly once she’s had a chance to relieve herself out in the yard.

But, while Ducky continues to do what I ask of her most of the time – providing there aren’t any tree rats or other critters to distract her – I’ve noticed some momentary tail tucks. And that breaks my heart.

So, I’ve started an online course to help me get a handle on Ducky’s reactivity by getting a handle on my own reactions to her behaviors. I just started the course last week, but I’m starting to see some progress….

Normally Ducky starts getting snarky when I’m giving her (Ducky) attention and Shadow starts approaching us. That’s been my impatience trigger. This past week I’ve been forcing myself to stay calm when Ducky starts getting snarky. I’ve just held her in place, told her to relax, and kept her there until she calmed down. The shuddering and shivering as she calmed herself Thursday morning only lasted less than a minute.

So, we’re making some progress. Whether or not the combination of the Fluoxetine and Trazodone is any more effective than just the Fluoxetine by itself I may never know. But as long as the two together – along with the change in my approach to the problem – works, I’m not going to look a gift dog in the mouth.

9 thoughts on “Oh, Ducky! Part 3 – Making Progress

  1. Brenda says:

    Thank you for sharing and updating us about Ducky. It’s really interesting how you deal with different issues coming out. I would be very glad to ready your next post, hopefully both Ducky and hubby are all well.


  2. Donna says:

    Interesting about Ducky barking at your husband. I don’t know if you remember from my blog from way back when, but Medi does that too. We had seen some progress having her sit and me giving her rewards for being quiet every time he left the house…but the behavior has come back full bore now. I’m interested to hear how you are trying to fix it?

    As for the other stuff, so sorry you are having issues! Hugs to you. It’s not easy when they don’t get along, that’s for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My Golden Life says:

      With respect to Ducky’s barking at hubby: We make progress and then we back track. Hubby has issues, too, so sometimes he “barks” back at her rather loudly. And impatiently. When that happens, all it does is upset Ducky AND Shadow, and frustrates me. Then Ducky barks a few mornings in a row until I can calm her down. Thankfully, hubby’s issues have not surfaced in the last few days.

      Ducky has IBS, so I have to be careful about giving her treats; but I do try to calm her by talking to her softly and soothingly. It usually works well enough that I can then walk her over to “daddy” for a pat or two on the head and a happy greeting. Then she’s fine.

      Part of her issue with Shadow is that she’s very possessive of me. She does NOT like Shadow coming near me when I’m already giving her attention. Most times I can settle her down, sometimes I can’t. And sometimes she doesn’t react at all. I sometimes really believe she does have the canine equivalent of OCD.


  3. Jan K says:

    At some point I was almost caught up on my blog reading and commenting, but you can see that went south in a hurry as soon as I had to go back to work!
    Anyway, I’m glad you are making progress with Ducky. I don’t have a lot of patience either, and I’d be curious about the online course you’re taking. I try to remind myself to just stop and take a deep breath at times, but sometimes the impatience just comes out first.
    Luke gets snarky with his sisters too, it’s totally a jealousy thing, but like Tails Around the Ranch I try to see ahead and nip things in the bud. If I don’t, Luke will back down though as soon as I raise my voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My Golden Life says:

      Ducky normally does not back down unless either Sam or I grab her before she can get to Shadow. Yesterday, she was in Sam’s lap when she started the snarky crap. I just got hold of her collar, got her off the chair and calmly – but firmly – told her no (and a few other words). She finally settled down after I attached her leash to the collar and made her stay in place for about 15 minutes. Most of the time I can catch the look in her eye before she escalates; but I didn’t see it at first. It turned out okay though. No one got anything more than bruised feelings.

      As for the course, it’s called “Your End of the Lead”, and is actually done by a British gal named Janet Finlay. I’ll look for the website’s URL and email it to you.


  4. Tails Around the Ranch says:

    Kudos on pursuing a solution for Ducky who I know has vexed you over the past months. Now if I could just find a similar online course for applying that kind of pro-activeness when it comes to husbands/companions…LOL Seriously though, happy you’re seeing progress. Sam gets crabbish sometimes with Elsa (and vice versa too) but we’ve started seeing some modulating in that regard. I know they’re jealous if I’m giving the other one attention so I’ve been trying to see ahead and nip things in the bud before they erupt. Sounds like you’ve figured out the trigger and are dealing well with it. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sand Spring Chesapeakes says:

    From what I know stuff like that takes patients and practice so baby steps, baby steps. I’m sorry Ducky is a boob, that is why I got Preacher back, Pearl was being a boob and Preacher wouldn’t back down and being younger she was biting and holding on and the peoples couldn’t deal with that. Some girls just have personality conflicts. Keep up the good work and staying calm.


    • My Golden Life says:

      Hi JoAnn! To be honest, I think some of Ducky’s snarkiness over the last few months was partly my fault. But, that’s the past. We’re starting from scratch. We’ll get there. I know you love Preacher, so getting her back was better than okay in your book. 😍

      Liked by 1 person

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