Another day with Ravioli--some questions!

First off, I want to thank everyone for their support and advice, it really helped to know that everyone went through the same thing. this is another long one but i hope you read it because i could still use some support! Ravioli did better yesterday after my first post and he seems like he's opening up to us a little bit. he seems to be eating normally now whenever i give him food and isn't as mopey--he seems to explore more when we're just sitting on the couch instead of laying around like a lump. i took everyone's advice with the leash and walking with treats. he's doing better with that now that he has an incentive =P 

i do have a question. every now and then, but not too often, he'll make this kind of cough/hacking sound. it will just happen once. it sort of sounds like what a cat sounds like when they're about to harf a hairball. it concerns me because it doesn't exactly sound very good.. is this what a reverse sneeze is? i've never heard one. this morning when i took him out of his crate there was a little white-ish loogey looking thing about the size of a quarter in his crate. it sort of looked like what a jellyfish looks like. where did it come from? it obviously wasn't poop. did he hack it up? i do know that he likes to lick the rug a lot until he forms a hairball and tries to eat it. i'm quick to pull it out of his mouth but who knows if he's eaten some when i wasn't paying attention.

let's talk about crate progress. last night i put a towel over the sides of his crate (by the way, should i just put it over the sides, or should i try to cover the front door to the crate too?) and he didn't bark nearly as long this time before being quiet. what DID make me very upset though, is what happened this morning. so around 8ish i woke up and was just lying in bed for a little bit trying to summon the energy to get up and let ravioli out, and RIGHT as i pushed the covers off to get up, he started barking and whining in his crate! what?! why! and he keeps barking and barking and barking and barking! i was JUST about to let him out!!!! i was so upset because if he had just stayed quiet for one more minute i could have let him out, but instead since he started barking i had to wait it out until he was quiet. and of course afterwards i had to take him outside and i ended up being late for class because i had to wait longer for him to stop barking. i really wasn't very pleased with him. what made him start barking like that in the morning?! he isn't in the same room as me so it's not like he could see i was awake. when i took him out he did go to the bathroom. how can i tell if he is barking because he wants out or if he is barking because he needs to use the bathroom? i was kind of having an internal battle of what i should do (wait or let him out) because i couldn't tell if he was just being whiney or if he really needed to use the bathroom. 

now here is where i need some more support. i'm still feeling very overwhelmed and worried. not so much about him being depressed but worrying about him and what he's doing in general. it's like i can't relax because i'm constantly thinking about "where is he? what is he doing? what if he's eating something over there and i can't see him?" like last night after work for example. when i come back from work it's usually after 9pm and i just like to relax and watch some tv. i can't fully relax because my mind is consumed by worrying about what he's doing and if he's ok and wondering if he's getting himself into trouble. the only time i've felt peace of mind is when i was at work yesterday because i knew he was safe in his crate. did anyone else experience this constant worry? i really feel like it consumes me and it stresses me out. i used to get these nervous stomach cramps before i ran a race in cross country and track and now whenever i think about ravioli (which is literally all the time) i get nervous stomach cramps. don't get me wrong, i put on a happy face in front of him, but the worry and cramps have me on the verge of tears all the time. normally when i'm stressed out i can take a shower and feel better, but even now when i take a shower i'm constantly thinking "i wonder if he's ok in my room.. i hope he's not getting himself into trouble.." obviously i can't crate him every time i take a shower, that's just ridiculous. right now i just have him in a barricaded section of my room. like this morning after my class i just wanted to take a little nap. i knew he would start barking again if i put him in the crate so i had him in the "safe space" in my room, but i couldn't even sleep and when i did i would wake up 20 minutes later with worry. every little noise i heard my eyes would shoot open and i would look at him to make sure he wasn't getting into trouble. yesterday i left him there for an hour while i went to class and i came back and he had found a piece of paper (i dont even know from where!) and had torn it to shreds. after taking a shower today, i went into my room and he had somehow gotten to the other side of the barrier! he was on the opposite side of the room that i had blocked him off from! HOW ON EARTH DID HE DO THAT?! i couldn't figure out how he got over there! the fact that my "safe space" is turning out no to be so "safe" is really contributing to my constant worry. my friend who was supposed to lend me her xpen (which was SUPPOSED to be his safe space..) said that it's locked in storage and she can't find the key.. -_- my boyfriend is going to his parent's house today to look for the gate they used to use for their dog. at least this way i can gate him off in the kitchen where i know there won't be anything for him to chew on.

anyway, this post is getting long. did anyone else feel this constant worry all the time? how did you deal with it? i feel more stressed out than i think i should be.. the thing is i thought i had thoroughly prepared myself, but this is the one thing i didn't know would happen! i don't recall reading anything about being worried and stressed out all the time when he's a puppy! i really hope you guys have some supportive words, i know you will!

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Comment by Julia on April 25, 2012 at 3:03am

When I showered with a puppy, I actually showered with the puppy. Or at least with the puppy in the bathroom with me :) I even did that with my human babies once they could sit up in a walker.

Those really big ears catch very soft sounds, like blankets being moved in another room. It could be that your pup was waiting quietly for you to get up to get him, and when he heard you he just got very excited because he knew you were coming. Is that the same as crying during the night because he just doesn't want to be alone in his crate? They could be two very different things.

I'm trying to remember back to when  my Lilliput would dig at the crate door in the morning, back when I still closed her crate door. I think we held our breaths in the morning, not wanting her to hear a thing, knowing that as soon as we moved the digging would start. She was lying in wait for us. But she was waiting. Just not waiting until we were physically in front of her door. We still pretend not to be awake in the morning, since twitching an eyelid will result in a corgi attack to the head. Try to access what is really going on in the morning. Maybe you don't  have anything to worry about after all.

Comment by Chris, Kadi & Brodie on April 24, 2012 at 10:33pm

It's just like having a baby. I worried like that about my son 24/7 when he was a babe and now it's the dogs. It does get easier as they get older, but only in different ways. Now I worry about Brodie getting OUT of his pen when we're gone because he can jump so high and once he actually broke one of the snaps that held it together. (That was when Kadi was sick and at the vet overnight and my mom was in the ER so we were gone for almost 12 hours). Corgis are escape artists. The best advice I can give you is to baby proof as much as possible and keep him with you as much as possible so you can see what he's doing. Nothing wrong with hooking a long lead to him and connecting him to your waist.

Comment by Basil on April 24, 2012 at 8:56pm

I keep Basil's door to his crate uncovered, maybe just a little flap at the top.  It's like a cave for him.  Hang in there, it's easier the older they get...as long as you keep the training up while they're young.  Like kids :-)

Comment by Donna and Lilly on April 24, 2012 at 7:17pm

Congrats...you are a corgi mom!!  The worry is normal.  I worried with my kids, I worry with my corgi....same thing.  I wish I could say it goes away, but I always worry about Lilly.  Is she okay, did she eat, what is she getting into.  My daughter lives with me, and she leaves later than I do, but I still worry.  Her boyfriend usually even stops by too and plays with them, but I worry.  And well, it doesnt go away, you just learn to deal with it.  But it sounds like he is coming out of his shell, and you are doing fine!!  And the worrisome feelings should start to lesson...

Comment by Yuki & Ellie on April 24, 2012 at 6:02pm

The sound you're hearing is most likely a reverse sneeze.  To me, it sounds like a sharp intake and exhale of air with a sort of snorty/coughing sound with it.  The blob inside of his crate may well have been mucus.  If he was hungry (and given how he's been hit-or-miss with eating, that is likely) then he may have thrown up a little bit of spit/mucus.

The barking this morning could have been triggered when he heard someone getting up.  Even throwing back your covers makes noise and he may have heard it and thought, "Oh boy, someone's getting up!  I'll get their attention and maybe they'll let me out of here!"  Your best bet would be to plan on this happening and get up a little earlier than usual.  This behavior should fade along with barking in the crate in general, but you should plan at least 1-2 months of getting up early to account for this.

As for the constant worry, the only advice I can give is to puppy-proof and lessen his free space.  At 4 months old Ellie was in her crate any time I could not watch her like a hawk.  When she was out of her crate she was only allowed within the living room or the kitchen and always with me.  All exits from those rooms were gated off so that she couldn't leave my line of sight.  Like Jane has already said, you might want to invest in an X-pen if you have the space for one.  That will allow him some space to move around bug also keep him (mostly) out of trouble while you're trying to wind down.

Comment by Jane on April 24, 2012 at 3:58pm

I would definitely invest in an xpen. Even if you think he can't chew on anything in the kitchen, you could come home to chewed up cabinets, or holes in the drywall. Or he's dug a hole down to your subfloor, lol. Not to worry you further, but they can be naughty!

 

At this age they really are a lot of work. Honestly you will not get much relaxing time to yourself for quite a while because you really do need to watching him ALL the time. Not only for potty training purposes, but also to make sure he's not getting into anything. I'd get some babygates if you don't have them, and use them to keep him in whatever room you are in so it's easier to keep an eye on him. You can get wood ones at Walmart for like $10 I think. And there's nothing wrong with crating him while you take a shower either IMO. If you don't have an xpen yet I think it's your best option for now.

 

And the barking in the morning thing - he may just have needed to go out. Puppies will often whine or bark if they need to potty. If he does bark and you're not sure, take him out but be all business about it. If he potties, yay, praise and treat as usual. If he just wants to sniff around and eat grass, bring him back inside and put him back in the crate. Then try again in a little while.

Comment by Emily & Scout on April 24, 2012 at 3:46pm

The only advice I can think of right now is to keep him on a longer leash when inside so you don't have to worry about him getting into things.  (didn't read everyone's comments in the last post so I don't know if that was mentioned yet) Also, by doing that, he will get used to you.

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