Update on Zeke the Foster Dog

It’s time for an update on our foster dog, Zeke. I have had people inquire about how he is doing which is encouraging for me. Although I can’t say Zeke is over his issues and acting like a normal dog, I can report that he is showing improvement. To what do I attribute this? Two things. Number one, time and consistency. Number two, drugs! The vet prescribed Prozac and occasional Valium for him.

The Valium seems to have little effect so I have only used it twice. Both times he still “drove” his crate across the dining room. When in his crate and we both go away he apparently flings himself against it so hard trying to get out that it moves across the room. We find it up against a piece of furniture or the wall where it was impossible to go any farther. If you’ll remember, he also drools buckets in the crate with standing puddles of it inside the crate and some flung out while we are gone. One time he cracked off part of a fang. He only had two fangs when we got him and now we know why. The Valium has no effect on these episodes so I probably won’t give him any more. Luckily for Zeke, the times when my husband and I are both gone at the same time are rare.

By the way, Zeke is fine in his crate when we are home. We feed the dogs in their crates and then they have a rest time in the crate right afterward for a short time. Zeke also sleeps in a crate and is fine. It’s the being alone that’s the problem. I felt the need to crate him when we leave the house though because I suspect that he would jump through a window to come look for us. The first three weeks I would crate him when I left for work because my husband was still upstairs in bed. (I leave at 6:00 am so who could blame him.) Zeke would do some minor barking and lots of drooling. So, I got brave and left him loose in the house because my husband was still home, just upstairs. Zeke has been good as gold. He has not tried to jump through the window and has been laying down and being good as gold at these times. Someday I may get brave enough to let him loose in the house when we both go away. Not anytime soon though. Because he has been known to knock pans and containers off the kitchen counters and stove. We also need to make sure there will be no incidents between him and the other animals. They get along fine but there is always the possibility of a misunderstanding occurring and the results of that could be disastrous.

Zeke was barking in his crate at night at random at first. Nothing hysterical, just attention seeking. We moved his crate beside our bed and now he doesn’t make a peep. Usually I would not allow the dog to control us like this but these are extenuating circumstances. Zeke needs to gain confidence and calmness to overcome his various problems.

Luckily Zeke is easy to love. He is affectionate and loving. He likes to snuggle and sit on your lap. You better have a big lap because he probably weighs about 45 lbs. now! He has a pleasant temperament and is fairly obedient when given commands. He listens when you talk to him and seems to understand a great deal, given his reactions to conversations.

More on other Zeke behaviors soon!