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Willow experienced every kind of possitive early socialization. Went everywhere with us from 10 weeks of age, has been loved just like a child, even sleeps with us at night.

She has been enrolled in so many training classes with wonderful gentle trainers, along with well-adjusted gentle dogs that we have lost count.  She has had several private classes with very qualified trainers.  She has had the most expensive and knowledgeable medical evaluation we could find (UC David, Behavioral Specialist, Sacramento.) She has been prescribed many different medical treatments including Prozac.

Two-years of loving work with her without any success. Two-years of reading everything we could get our hands on, two-years of asking all the questions, two-years of spending when it really hurt to spend another dime, two-years of tears and patience, two-years of buying every calming aid known to man. Thunder coats etc. 

There is no visible reason for her fear, or any cause anyone can point his or her finger at. She is just simply afraid of everything aside from her family. 

There is only one conclusion that we are left with, one very sad and disappointing conclusion that the vets told us about and we just didn’t want to hear during our attempt to help her adjust to the world around her. Unfortunately, many breeders will breed very shy dogs, and they pass on the defect in further generations. Because of this, our pain and worry has been massive, our financial lose has been enormous and Willow apparently will spend her life afraid, and that hurts the most. We have been doing everything possible for two-years to disprove this conclusion, but sadly cannot ignore what is fact.

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Replies to This Discussion

Patti, Every time I see an update on Willow I hope she is improving. I am so sorry for Willow that she lives with such fear on a daily basis and very sorry for you and all you have been through in your quest to help her. It is perfectly normal to have the expectations that you do...walking in the park, driving in the car, etc. and I am sure the realization that this won't happen is devastating. I have no advice and no words of wisdom, but Willow is lucky to have you and maybe now that you know you have done all you can what you have together can be enough. I do believe that Willow came to you for a reason and I hope that any small moments you have of normalcy with Willow can see you through the difficult times. I will pray for a miracle for all of you!

You are so right! Willow is the dog for us, we know that, and she will never be passed to another. This is her loving home forever.

However, my husband and I are 60, we have had dogs all of our lives, at the present time we have two other dogs. All have been totally well adjusted and never fearful of anything aside from the vet's office from time to time. But Willow has thrown us for a loop, a big loop.  

Thank you for your prayers.  

I wondered if another dog would help, so that answers that question. I am so glad she is loved.

Patti, it breaks my heart to read this.  I'm so very sorry and I know how heartbreaking this must be for you.  I've struggled with exactly the opposite issue with Murphy, but for now his aggression is under control with his meds and training/behavioral program.  I admire you so much for what you've done and are doing for Willow....you are very special.  I will pray that things get a little better as she gets older.  Bless you.

So happy that Murphy is behaving like a the fine young man he is. Thank you for the kind words and most of all your prayers. I admire you also for not giving up on Murphy. Once they touch your heart, one would just about do anything to love and help them in times of trouble.

P.S. Your doodlekisses page is sooooo cute.

I can understand how you feel about wanting to help Willow find her peace.  My Bo also has his issues with fear.  He came to me through the DRC as an 18m old.  He had been crated pretty much 24/7 in his original home and his foster family did a good job rebuilding the muscles in his atrophied back legs and socializing him.  But.... when the fear clicks in he can become uncontrollable.  My vet discovered this when I left him to be neutered and he bit one of vet techs trying to take him out of the cage.  Later when I took him there for a bath and grooming they told me he bucked like a bronco when they tried to do anything.  With time and some meds he has improved a lot.  He has made friends with most of the folks there but still must be sedated for grooming.  I can only hope time and love can help him lose some more of that fear. I  hope time and love will take some of Willow's fear away as well.

Thank God Willow has never bit anyone. She shows no signs of aggression. 

I hope you are right that one day she will just give it up and be happy.  Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Hi, Patty... I have not been on DK for awhile and I came acrossed your post. I am so sorry to hear that  Willow is still struggling.

My Charlie is the same in the different way. She is now 4, and like you, she has been to extensive training and lessons. However, she is still the same, reactive girl. I began accepting her for who she is now....It is sad that she is hard wired this way.... I now have a 5 months old standard poodle who came to me at the end of the long the long story. This guy is sooo mellow, and not manythings bothers him. He is very laid back. I am seeing the very different personalities in two dogs, which I thought all dogs are happy and friendly.....  Wllow is very luck to have you s her owner....

 

Thank you. Yes it is very hard. I purchases a stroller so I can take her places with me. I could never leave her with a stranger, or at a kennel if we were to even go away for the weekend. 

We love her so much.

What a great idea!!! So nice that you were able to think of the way for her to go places with you!!

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