Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weekend At Barry's

He likes the off-the-shoulder look.
**WARNING: Somewhat graphic descriptions about doggie poo poo and other nasty things. There are no pictures but the post does have descriptions. If you cannot handle that sort of thing skip down after the next picture and continue from there.**

The night before (Friday) on one of the evening walks I noticed white moving things in Barry's poop (ewww- sorry). I pointed it out to Husband and we realized that he had worms. I had never seen first hand worms in dog poop or ever 'googled' such a thing but it was blatantly obvious what it was. So much for the idea of passing a fecal test! That same evening I sat in bed with my iPhone trying to get pictures of worms and figure out which kind of worm it was. I didn't realize there were different types of worms. I incorrectly diagnosed his parasite as being roundworm at first. It turned out that it was tapeworm. Feel free to google away and look at pics but I'll spare you any of that on this blog.

Okay, back on to Saturday. In the morning upon waking we started to wonder if the hard rice-like things on the comforter on our bed were from Barry and possibly dried up pieces of worm! Disgusting! I googled some more and we found out that it was tapeworm and that it is common for the parasite to break off into small rice sized pieces and then crawl out the 'back end' of the animal leaving behind the hard dried up parasite wherever the animal lies. GROSS!!!!!! Boy, you know I washed that comforter on hot and bleached it! SICK! We noticed the strange hard rice thingies on our comforter Friday as well but it was less important with all the fuss over Barry's escape. At the time I just picked them all off one by one (SICK! I can't believe how gross and ugh! I can't even - GROSS!) and threw them away because I didn't know what they were. Still really gross.

NOM! Barry has no issues taking medication. If we allow him to eat it he will.
Anyway, we found that near us (walking distance) is a highly recommended and well reviewed veterinarian that takes walk ins! The vet I called the night previous was unable to get us in until the following week and we really wanted to get Barry in for a look at his face and now a fecal exam so we could start deworming him. So we got everyone ready and took Barry out for bathroom and a walk to the vet. We kept some of his poop to give to the vet as instructed.

The experience wasn't bad. Barry was well behaved and basically awesome. The vet said he was very healthy and gave us a dewormer upon my supplied description of what I saw both in his poop and on our bed. She seemed much less disturbed about it than I was. I was also surprised and relieved that she gave us the dewormer right away. We gave him the dewormer later with his dinner as prescribed.

The white bowl upside down in the middle slows him down so he doesn't inhale all of his
food in 30 seconds flat. Now it takes him about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to eat.
A little after noon we got the deadbolt put in. The building maintenance guy did it for us for a small fee and we were happy to be able to get it in right away. We didn't have the necessary tools to do the job. Even though living in a condo amongst many other people has it's many downfalls, there are perks and the onsite maintenance is one of them. If we needed to hire someone to come and put it in it might have not gotten done until Monday at the earliest - and what do we do on Monday? Go to work. And we happen to have a dog that refuses to stay put along with the fact that he had worms and wouldn't have been allowed for boarding or doggie daycare anywhere. We would have been screwed. So, all that to say it's lucky we were able to get the deadbolt put in on Saturday.

Game Changer
Throughout the rest of the day and much of Sunday we worked with desensitization and counterconditioning. We wanted to show him that our leaving wasn't a big deal and that we'd return each time. We did different things like put on our coats. I'd get my purse. We'd jingle the keys. All the things you'd do before leaving. Then we just wouldn't leave. Took our coats off, put the keys down, etc. We did that for part one. Then we started part two and would leave for a couple minutes. We would quickly leave without paying attention to Barry or trying to soothe him. Then when we'd come back we'd ignore him for a couple of minutes until he calmed down. Over and over. Each time longer and longer. It was actually really tiring and I hated it. It needed to be done, though.

On Sunday we did more desensitization and counterconditioning and even wound up leaving for about 20 minutes to get a few things from the grocery store. Later I called PetSmart to set up obedience training with Barry. We were able to sign him up for a 6 week course and would go over basic commands and help with some behavior issues.

All in all we felt we were able to overcome many of the issues slowly and eventually with work. The weekend was really nice at home with Barry and we were able to fully appreciate him. Barry is a very loving and affectionate guy. He's whacky and clever and has a distinct personality all his own.

He loves his daddy.
Things seemed to finally be falling into place. We were all slowly adjusting to one another. Just as we were adjusting our lives for Barry, he too had to adjust his life for us.

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