Alright, so here's the long version with tragic backstory, etc. TL;DR is at the end -- I just wanted to give anyone who reads some insight as to why my poor baby is feeling this way.
A couple of months after I moved in with my ex boyfriend, a co-worker of mine had a puppy left with her, by her cousin, that she ended up bringing to work...I had been wanting a dog, not a puppy mind you, but I instantly fell in love with her and so when my co-worker established that she would be unable to keep her I was the first person she asked and I said yes immediately.
We brought her into our apartment, she is super sweet but timid, and she was terrified of my ex for all of 10 minutes before she was a daddy's girl. She's still a very high strung dog, she growls and barks at nothing, barks at strangers, runs away from people, barks if someone I know comes into my apartment, though she's calmed down quite a bit. (i.e. She doesn't instantly run inside if she hears a car door or a single rain drop hits her on the nose. She's even handling thunder storms better.)
My ex boyfriend and I started going through the break up process in October '16 but he was unable to leave until February '17 due to our lease. I thought I was going to have to move back to my home state, because I couldn't afford to stay in Atlanta by myself on my salary at the time, and I was planning on taking my
dog with me; but my ex insisted it was best for her to go with him, because she would have another dog to play with and he made more money so he could get her fixed ASAP and it would all be fine and dandy, plus if I'd have moved home I wouldn't have been able to have her with me anyway, so we parted ways, which was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.
From October to February she became very defiant, though she's always stubborn and doesn't like to listen (although she knows better), she was resorting back to puppy behavior like destroying things, she would pee in our bed, we would take her outside and bring her back in just to have use the bathroom in the house, she became very needy for both of us, so much so that if you were in the other room she would whine and cry, even if the other of us was in the room with her. I felt so bad that she had to go through all that, because we are her care takers and while not intentional we are the ones who caused that stress on her originally.
This past week my ex found out he was moving Alabama (irony, my home state) for work and will also have to do a lot of traveling up to his home state over the next several months, the apartment has a no pet policy and he can't take her to buffalo with him so he asked if I would be willing to take her back. As I never wanted to give her up in the first place I was crying tears of joy and bouncing around my office to tell every co-worker that knew the story that I'd be getting her back.
He brought her back Tuesday of this week and she actually ran from his car to my arms. When he left she didn't seem phased at all, which is strange because she loves him so much. She was so happy to see me, but I couldn't help but cry my eyes out because I know that she's probably so confused and scared and sad...
She was returned to me in the following state:
-- Blisters on her paws from being run out on the hot sidewalks, (I know they are meant to handle all climates, but they looked really bad; though it didn't seem to impair her movement.)
-- No leash, both of her broken and he never bought another.
-- No bed in the bottom of her crate, "she tore it up", just old t-shirts.
I don't think he was mis-treating her, but as an overbearing dog mom I was frustrated to tears over these things and immediately ran to Wal-Mart to get her a new bed and a leash. THE POINT OF THE POST
She was given from one owner (not sure where she came from before that), dumped on that owner's cousin, given to us, taken from me and then brought back to me...I can only imagine she feels unwanted and confused.
I've been putting forth a lot of effort to make he feel loved and at home. The first night she moped around with her tail between her legs so I laid in the floor with her and pet her and told her I loved her. She waited on the bath mat for me to get out of the shower and then snuggled with me all night. The next day she was really playful and was essentially back to normal, no issues eating or drinking, played fetch and hide-and-seek, then ran around the apartment crazy-dog style.
Last night she was gassy so I took her out several times and nothing....Finally she went to the bathroom but it was lacking shape and smelled absolutely awful; after that I was out with her every two hours for the rest of the night, and even had to clean up some vomit from her crate this morning - The vomit was solid, it was almost whole pieces of food, so I know that could have something to do with it. Aside from the tummy problems she seems fine, she not super lethargic, she's wagging her tail and snuggling like normal.
I know there are many things that can cause an upset stomach and I'm not looking for a diagnosis so much as friendly advice - I know she's stressed and I am doing everything I can to help, playing, snuggling, keeping her distracted, praising her for pretty much everything, sometimes even nothing, letting her sleep in my bed, kissing her before I put her in the crate before I go to work in the morning.
I am just looking for some advice from people who's dogs might be anxious, as she also has separation anxiety, or stressed to see what works for other dogs; I know all dogs are different.
I am being very cautious of anything that could cause her more stress, as well as her body language and any other signs she distributes...I am leaving all my stress at the front door before I come home, I'm trying to keep obnoxious music and noises down to a minimum....Pretty much anything I can do.
As for the tummy issues, I am going to try a 24 hours fast with plenty of water and ice cubes to see if maybe I just fed her too much yesterday, and go from there. TL;DR
My dog was taken by ex and returned to me. She's a very anxious and emotional dog as is, and the stress of being bounced back and forth is catching up with her - Her tummy is very upset but otherwise she's doing pretty good.
Doing a fast to make sure she wasn't just over-fed, and to give her tummy some time to feel better.
I also want some friendly advice on what everyone does to cheer up their pooches when they're sad or stressed.
As above I've been doing everything I can to keep additional stress out of the picture for her, snuggles, praise, kisses, fetch, etc.
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!