the big, bad world: enter ThunderShirt part 4 (Remington)Posted: September 30, 2013
Remington is a big part of my life. I met him when he was just a puppy, and he’s been sweet and sour ever since. Part Winnie-the-Pooh, part devil, this guy has a big heart that has a tendency to grow anxious in certain situations. His anxiety comes out in the form of destruction. He has actually, truly eaten through a metal crate, and he has eaten most of a wall, and he has torn through a friend’s couch, and some other stuff (we’ll spare him the embarrassment of exposing the full extent of his deeds). His worst enemy: being alone or confined, or worst of all, alone and confined.
His family loves him dearly, so when they embarked on a new canine anxiety-producing adventure, I really wanted to help, both him and them, so I called up my friends at ThunderShirt. They were eager to help me help Remington.
I’ve been helping Remington’s mom open Square Roots Preschool out of her home, so I’m intimately familiar with Remington’s new position: being confined to the master bedroom during school hours. His family set him up for success, yet he still floundered. Here are a few examples of his work since the first day of school:
Before Remington’s ThunderShirt arrived, his family tried music and a gentle lead,* which kept him busy, but didn’t really seem to reduce his anxiety level:
He eventually just laid down and stared at me, as if to say, “help.”
I tried to spend time with him, but school duties called.
Since I’d experienced the success of the ThunderShirt with other dogs, I was very anxious for Remington’s ThunderShirt to arrive. I introduced it slowly, at first, as the directions suggested. We offered up his favorite treats, using his new ThunderShirt as a plate:
He took to it quite nicely, so we tried it on. That’s where we hit a bit of a speed bump. Remington was unsure, so he tugged and pulled and twisted.
With a bit of calm encouragement and supervision over several days, he has become more comfortable with the idea of the ThunderShirt, and we’re hoping he’ll be able to wear it for all anxious occasions very soon.
If you’d like to read more about my experiences with the ThunderShirt, please check out the following:
Disclaimer: I was provided with a ThunderShirt in exchange for my honest opinion.
* I do not promote or recommend using a product for a purpose other than for what it was originally intended by it’s manufacturer.