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A New Lesson

I’ve said it before and I know I’ll be saying it again…and again. Every dog who comes into my life brings a different lesson. As an example, when I was studying for my certification as a behavior consultant/dog trainer in 2002, I was asked to take Gizzy, a 4-year-old, 88lb fluffball Golden Retriever, because he could not be placed anywhere else by the rescue. It was either me or euthanasia. He taught me more about how to deal with difficult dogs than any textbook or course ever could! He was aggressive to other dogs and children, resource guarded, and had extreme thunder phobia as well as other issues. Flash forward to 2021 and in comes Peanut. Behaviorally, he’s perfect. Well, almost. He likes to bark when he can’t find me. That’s okay, I love to be with him. He has a health issue that I’ve never had to deal with before. He has very itchy skin. When he arrived at the shelter as a stray, his skin was raw in spots and elephant-like in some areas (elephant skin is a term used to describe skin that has thickened and is hairless due to dermatitis). He had fleas so the shelter gave him a treatment and a bath and put him on anti-biotics. Ten days later, he has not improved. Poor Peanut needs to wear the dreaded “cone of shame” so that he doesn’t continually lick, bite, and scratch himself. I tried several over-the-counter shampoos, ointments, and sprays to no avail. I have to admit, it’s very frustrating to have a dog who won’t stop chewing on himself. It’s upsetting to watch, and also sad to make him wear the cone. Peanut finally gets to see our veterinarian tomorrow. Let’s hope we can find a solution.

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