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 Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o

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Niraya
Breeding Subject Moderator
Niraya

Female Join date : 2011-08-30
Location : Easton, Pennsylvania

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Empty
PostSubject: Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o   Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 3:06 pm

I know I'm not on here often - Been extremely busy.

On the 25th of September my father went into the hospital to have a lung transplant. Him being away from home for several days on end isn't really anything new to Bella as he was a truck driver. After the first 3-5 days of dad being gone Bella had a pretty noticeable change in behavior when I/we(family) started leaving to go down to the hospital. She's eating but her eating patterns aren't the same - she used to eat in the morning and at dinner and now she sometimes skips a meal - I expected as much. What I didn't expect is that she's begun to eat the walls again and has more recently, as in the past few days, become a sock thief and is up to having destroyed three of Kurt's socks.

She's not getting any/much less attention even with me going gone every other day - I still make time for her and to do things with her. Kurt is staying here until dad is out of the hospital and done with his rehab. My neighbor (who bella loves and also has two dogs that are Bella's good friends) has also been coming over to let her out, take her on walks and has been taking Bella to her house to play with her dogs.

I guess I'm looking for other insights into what this might be and how I can curb it - or if I'm really out of luck until my father is out of the hospital.

Thank you in advance

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Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Eyes_p10

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Oil_pa11
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Tika
The Long-Winded Canadian
Tika

Male Join date : 2011-08-11
Location : Montreal, QC

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Empty
PostSubject: Re: Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o   Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 3:20 pm

It could be that she is reacting to the increased levels of stress in the household as well as some separation anxiety.
TIka started stealing socks and clothes while we were at work when we first started letting her out of the crate. It increased to chewing on shoes. We strongly discouraged it, but at the same time now every morning before leaving I check the floors/closets to make sure nothing is open that she can get into. Maybe try getting a hamper with a lid if you dont already have one, or leave the clothes in the laundry room with a closed door.
As far as the chewing, I dont know if bitter apple works for you but you can give it a try to spray around. You can always resort to crating her if she is crate trained, it might just eliminate the potential destruction she can cause.
To me it sounds like a stress reaction, but hopefully things will return to normla quickly for you and her.

Wishing your dad a speedy recovery
Kelly

_________________
Is this about the cake problem? What's the matter with you mathematicians, cake is never a problem. - Professor Lazlo
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Niraya
Breeding Subject Moderator
Niraya

Female Join date : 2011-08-30
Location : Easton, Pennsylvania

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Empty
PostSubject: Re: Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o   Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 5:01 pm

Thanks for the ideas!

A few things: absolutely cannot crate as she will hurt herself after long periods. (She IS accustomed to them just can't leave her in them). The sock/clothing thing is new. She has never gone after socks or clothing. Her favorite place to sleep is in a pile of clothing. I've never tried the bitter apple with Bella. Never had to as she only chewed paper (shuffling/falling paper would spark her prey drive - and that's the only time she would destroy paper). She really doesn't have separation issues. She is very used to us leaving and my father being gone for days on end. If this had started when he went into the hospital I'd say she's feeding off the stress of the situation but this started a few days ago (eating socks and the wall was about 5 days ago). My father has been in the hospital 2 full weeks now. I at first though it was because she wasn't getting enough attention that she was used to but now I am not sure.

Thank you for the well wishes for dad Smile

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Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Eyes_p10

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Oil_pa11
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bellecma
Teenager
Teenager
bellecma

Female Join date : 2012-09-21
Location : Chicago, IL

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Empty
PostSubject: Re: Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o   Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 5:31 pm

Hope your dad is doing well. Maybe Bella misses your dad? Is he at a hospital or a rehab center/nursing home? Can you take Bella to visit? A hospital would say no, but a rehab center might let you. Just a thought.

PS. My dad was born in Easton :-)
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Niraya
Breeding Subject Moderator
Niraya

Female Join date : 2011-08-30
Location : Easton, Pennsylvania

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Empty
PostSubject: Re: Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o   Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o EmptyWed Oct 10, 2012 6:49 pm

I know she misses him but him being gone is not new so I'm having problems figuring out why she's behaving like this. He drove truck over the road for a living and she is used to him not being home. He is still in the hospital right now in the step-down unit from ICU. Once he is discharged he will be coming home but will be attending rehab three days a week but we will be driving to that.

Oh wow really??? Not used to hearing of people from my little city!

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Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Eyes_p10

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Oil_pa11
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bellecma
Teenager
Teenager
bellecma

Female Join date : 2012-09-21
Location : Chicago, IL

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Empty
PostSubject: Re: Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o   Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o EmptyThu Oct 11, 2012 8:30 am

How much different is your schedule? Dogs really thrive on schedules so if you are coming and going at different hours, this could be part of it. Or if you have changed what time she eats?

All the huskies I've owned have become more active during the fall. So this could just be a seasonal change or her reaction to the stress. In any case, you'll have to keep the socks contained. Don't want her to swallow one. Lola is a sock thief too. Hamper with lid helps.

Hope this all turns out well and that your dad mends fast.

(My grandfather owned a silk factory in Easton. It was sold a long time ago. It is my understanding that the building still stand but is falling apart and will be torn down. Stewart Silk Mill.)
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Niraya
Breeding Subject Moderator
Niraya

Female Join date : 2011-08-30
Location : Easton, Pennsylvania

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Empty
PostSubject: Re: Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o   Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o EmptyThu Oct 11, 2012 10:02 am

Schedule isn't changed - as Kurt and my neighbor both stick to it. I'm only gone for about 6 hours max and I leave before Bella's "schedule" starts and am home before dinner.

That Silk Mill isn't too far from me. Like 15 minutes maybe!

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Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Eyes_p10

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Oil_pa11
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jbealer
Husky Stalker
jbealer

Female Join date : 2009-05-29
Location : Denver, CO

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Empty
PostSubject: Re: Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o   Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o EmptyThu Oct 11, 2012 2:17 pm

Glad your dad is recovering, im gonna go with Bella still knows what is up with your dad. when he was gone driving none of you had contact with him. this time you are going to see him and bringing back his smell and she knows he is still around but not at home. i would say try to keep all the socks away and keep up with keeping her active and i hope it all calms down when he is home, even if he would be gone for a few hrs a day

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Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Iaht10
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Niraya
Breeding Subject Moderator
Niraya

Female Join date : 2011-08-30
Location : Easton, Pennsylvania

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Empty
PostSubject: Re: Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o   Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o EmptyFri Oct 12, 2012 12:36 pm

We picked her up some extra bones and chews and stuff. We tried a bit of a test with the clothing - she's only tearing up Kurt's socks - not mine, not my moms or anyone or anything else. Only his. I had a theory on the behavior but I can't put it to words yet as I'm not quite sure even I can believe this one. It goes something along the lines of her stressing over Kurt also leaving her (the two men in her life she trusts - since she is fearful of other men). He stayed home yesterday while I took my mother to see Daddy and she didn't act out much. More vocal and mouthy but we fixed that with the toys.

Thanks everyone Smile i was just really looking to confirm my own suspicions about the entire situation.

On a much better note - they expect father to be released Monday/Tuesday. Now I just have to figure out how to contain Bella so she doesn't hurt him.

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Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Eyes_p10

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Oil_pa11
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Tika
The Long-Winded Canadian
Tika

Male Join date : 2011-08-11
Location : Montreal, QC

Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o Empty
PostSubject: Re: Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o   Bella's Stress - need ideas/help? O.o EmptyFri Oct 12, 2012 4:00 pm

Try wearing her out a lot before he comes home. Like a good long hike or run. Thay way she has exhausted all the pent up energy for when he comes in. When he does get home, maybe have her sit and wait until he is comfortable until she goes to get pets. Make sure you are calm too because she will feed off of that if you get anxious. Tika knows Gentle as a command and we use it when she's around little kids or smaller dogs, it helps her recognize when to go slowly and not just prance around like her usual spazzy self.
Glad he's coming home soon.
Kelly

_________________
Is this about the cake problem? What's the matter with you mathematicians, cake is never a problem. - Professor Lazlo
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