What kind of dog is Maisy?
Maisy is a "corgi-poo," or so I was told when I got her. Personally, I think she looks more like a corgi-terrier mix, but I have no reason to doubt her heritage. Just let this be a lesson to you: poodle mixes do shed.
Can I have her?
Where do you guys live?
St. Paul, Minnesota
Can I quote your posts in my blog?
Yes, absolutely, but please:
1. Quote only the relevant text, not the whole entry, and
2. Credit me by linking back to my blog.
So it's okay if I link to your blog?
Yes. And I love it when people do.
I'd like to print out one of your entries to share with a friend. Is that okay?
I'm flattered that you like my writing that much! Of course you can, but please include my blog address and credit me with my full name- Crystal Thompson.
Why did you put Maisy on medication?
I have written about this extensively, but the short answer is because she has an anxiety disorder. This is an illness of the brain, and I consider medicating her for this no different than giving her antibiotics when she has an infection.
Don't you think that's a cop-out?
Using medication is not a cop-out, nor is it a cure. Medication works to change the chemicals in the brain to reduce stress so that the dog can begin thinking and learning. Medication must be paired with behavior modification. Failure to do so means you will either be missing out on the full amount of improvement possible, or you'll see other unintended behaviors crop up. On medication, Maisy became brave enough to approach things she feared, but didn't know what to do when she got there. This almost resulted in a bite incident. Continued behavior modification got her though this scary time, and she continues to improve.
Okay, but shouldn't you have tried something else first?
I spent almost two years doing behavior modification work with Maisy, including specialized classes with behavior trainers. I also tried natural supplementation. Both made a difference, but she was still very worried about her environment. She had difficulty sleeping even at home. My only regret is that I didn't start the medication sooner.
Aren't there side effects? Haven't you seen the warning labels on those things? Do you have any idea what it's doing to her?
Yes, it's making her better, and I believe that the benefits outweigh the risks. That said, I know that many of these medications are used off-label, which means they haven't been studied and approved for use in pets. They can also have serious side effects, which is why it's important to have an expert prescribe them and monitor your dog. We did baseline bloodwork before starting, and will do a CBC and chem profile every six months and a thyroid evaluation every twelve months as long as Maisy is on medication.
Did her personality change at all?
If the medication has changed her personality, it’s only because it has allowed her personality to shine through even stronger. She is so much more relaxed, confident and outgoing. I really feel like the anxiety was altering her personality by preventing its full expression. If anything, the medication is allowing her to grow into her true self. She’s the same dog, but better.
Can I offer you a job or a lucrative writing contract?
Okay, no one has asked me this, but I like to pretend that someone might. And the answer is yes. Yes, you can. I'll even accept not-so-lucrative offers. I hope to publish dog-related articles and/or books in the future.
How do I contact you?
My email address is reactivechampion (at) gmail (dot) com