If you hang around Facebook at all and are friends with me there, you know The Werewolf. He’s my 120-pound, all black German shepherd dog, whose real name is Anubis. Unusual name, I know, but Google it and you’ll see why it makes sense. Of course, I call him every other name you can think of and probably some you’d never guess like Jimmy, Tuna, The Buddy, and when he’s being difficult, Mephistopheles.
While Anubis is a sweetie to my husband and I, his grandparents, and one other friend we have, he basically doesn’t “do” people (which we don’t really either, by the way). Everyone is considered dangerous in his eyes and must receive the warning growl which quickly escalates into the foaming-at-the-mouth bark of a raving lunatic dog which can sometimes result in a hole being nipped out of your pants if you don’t move fast enough.
Yeah, anxious dog? A bit. Okay, more like a lot of bits all piled together to make a pooch who would rather scare you first before you get the chance to be scare him.
And let’s not forget car rides. Oy.
A four-hour ride to Northern New England is a festival of whining, whimpering, crying and dramatic yawning the likes of which you can’t even imagine.
Did I mention we make that drive almost every other weekend?
We’ve tried the following to alleviate his complete and utter loathing for car rides:
-calming tablets and chews
-spraying him with a water gun
-making stops along the way
-several car harnesses
-therapeutic Native American flute music (or Rage Against the Machine blasting to drown him out)
-completely removing the back seats in our truck and stuffing his mattress-sized bed into that space so he could travel in leisure
-XanaX (prescribed by vet)
-begging him to stop
-screaming at him
-consulting an animal medium who described his troubled past lives
None of them helped with any lasting results. The only two things that seem to work are:
1. spending the entire day outside, walking, playing, running, chasing, fetching, before having to go on the car ride, which is only feasible in the summer when I’m home from the real job. Thank the goddess for July and August!
2. a sedative prescribed by the vet, which we don’t love giving him, but knocks him out for the four-hour ride and gives us peace and quiet
I always laugh when I see dogs on TV or in movies or read about dogs in books who just hop into a car, bundles of excitement and joy radiating off them as they hang their heads out the windows, tongues lolling and ears flapping in the breeze.
Not my dog.
My dog’s what you call “high maintenance.”
But I wouldn’t trade him for the world.
What “quirks” do your furry friends have?
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