Saturday, July 12, 2014

Project Hailey - PTSD?

As always, I have been thinking about my girl. The spring and summer are hard for her and I have been wondering what to do. While driving to work this week, I heard a news story about attachment disorder in adopted children. The researcher said children who are abused or neglected shortly after birth can end up with very serious attachment disorder. The researcher suggested that attachment disorder was like a solider having PTSD.

This got me thinking, Lee was taken from her mom at 3 weeks, could this be the reason for her anxiety?

Then I did a little research on the side effects of dogs being removed too early. I was not surprised to see behavioural issues (anxiety, phobias, OCD etc) were more common in dogs who were removed before 60 days. It appears to me that they develop an attachment disorder too. Perhaps for her it is like
having PTSD.

These thoughts, while perhaps not new to others, are giving me a new way to frame my girl's behaviour. I had a mild form of PTSD after Gemi's death (and nearly 3 years later still have flashes of it), and can empathize with those feelings. I am finding this frame for her behaviour is making me feel more patient with my girl (it can be hard to be patient when you haven't got enough sleep because it was a little windy).

I have a new energy with project Hailey and this week we have been:
-having longer walks (it has been cooler so we can do this)
-increasing training time (we will share the tricks we are working on next week)
-giving half her dinner in a puzzle (I have yet to work a puzzle into the morning . . . . .mornings are crazy, so it may not happen daily then)

Thank you all for your suggestions on what may help my girl. She does have a thunder shirt that we use (as long as it is not too hot). We also have a liquid natural calming solution. These do seem to help a bit, and every bit helps).


  1. you know something else you can add - is puppy massage. Give her at least 20 minute each evening especially during windy days will help her relax. I do this with Denny and he loves it so much I can feel his muscles relax as soon I lays down now.

  2. What a wonderful human mom you are Hailey is so lucky to be loved by you and vice a versa! Bravo.
    Looking forward to great results!
    Madi and mom your bffff

  3. I hope this works for your sweet girl.

  4. I (Frankie Furter) had the same problem with MY Thunder Shirt... it made me too HOT.... That sort of made thingys worse fur me...

    Hailey you have the Bestest most CARING mom. Give her some extra Kisses.

  5. I would like to see the tricks, maybe I can learn some tricks too! I'm sure together you can manage everything .

  6. What wonderful ideas and routines to get into!!! We can't wait to see the tricks you are learning!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  7. That's great you are so caring and putting so much thought into her care. I definitely think there's something to it.

  8. I think that makes perfect sense. It sounds like you have a good plan in place and are doing everything you can for her. I sure hope it all helps.

  9. Many years ago before I had pugs, my ex husband brought home a 5 week old lab. I definitely think she had attachment disorder, we never could really connect with her. You are such a wonderful Mom for Hailey.
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Greta

  10. We think just loving her and persevering with her may be the answer. Sounds like she wasn't socialised much as a baby. Good luck.

    XXXOOO Bella Roxy & Dui

  11. We were going to suggest a massage too. We met a lady that was training therapy dogs, she suggest a movie with loud noises etc. playing over and over and increasing the volume. After awhile noise is not a factor ( wind etc)
    Lily & Edward

  12. Of course we don't really know but this sounds very reasonable to us. It had to have some sort of an effect!

    Your pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  13. We hope your new plan can give some relief to Miss Hailey.

  14. Hopefully you'll find a good plan for your pretty girl. Unfortunately, I have no help once so ever as I've never owned a dog. But Saphira (I think) was taken away from her mother too early as a kitten as she still tries to "nurse" on my arms at night, like as if I was her mother and she was a kitten again from 8 years ago..

  15. It is amazing how "reframing" how you look at your dog can change your attitude a lot. I think your new program with Hailey sounds really smart. I'm looking forward to hearing about your tricks.

  16. Oh wow! I'm so glad you found some new thongs out that will help your work wit Hailey ♥ I wish you the best of luck!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  17. Hailey is a lucky girl to have you. My friend Aly has a lot of anxiety and fear aggression. She tried the vest, but it made her too hot. Rescue Remedy really doesn't work for her. She has her own cushion that the people will say "place" when she's not doing well and she'll hang out for awhile there until she calms down. They also give her some calming biscuits called "Composure" and they work really good.

  18. This is so interesting to me as Macy sure has some issues! I know she's been mistreated and she runs if I get to lovey dovey with her. Breaks my heart as Mabel was such a cuddle bug!


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