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Thread: I feel like I'm in jail

  1. #1
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    Question I feel like I'm in jail

    since that terrible terrible day that our precious Minnie was taken from us so violently, I have not been able to take Cara out for a walk. Well, I actually went out once to the beach and as soon as a large dog came along, I started hyper-ventilating and sobbing. Derry had to take me home. I also tried going to the park and walking on my own, which was fine , but as soon as I saw Derry and Cara coming towards me I spotted the GS type dog on the other side of the path and again, I totally lost it.
    I just don't know what to do.

    Anybody got any suggestions please?
    Claire
    Once owned by Rudeepoohs
    then rescued by CaraMia and Minnie Moo.
    Missing all my girls every day....

  2. #2
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    So sorry to read what happened Claire (by looking back through your previous posts, as I am new to this board).
    Firstly, (and I'm no expert) yours sounds like a perfectly natural reaction to a horrible, traumatic event. It's perfectly understandable that you want to protect your dog - after all, they rely and depend on us, especially when they are so small.
    If I were in your position, I would take it slow. Cara isn't going to suffer for missing out a bit on walks. Start off with a short 5 mins or so walk in an area you know feel well and will be pretty safe (even if it means driving to somewhere). Work up from there, 7 mins, 10 mins and so on counting every completed walk as a major achievement.
    When you feel more confident, try and vary where you walk, but still sticking to known areas. I would go out accompanied in the initial, and if it makes you feel any safer (and there may be those out there who would disagree) I would carry a nice big stick.
    Being brought up in the country, I wouldn't enter a field of strange cattle without carrying one, and animals aren't daft - sometimes just shouting and waving a stick about can be enough of a deterrent. Hope this helps, and good luck. The chances of the same terrible thing happening again are miniscule, but I understand completely your fears. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry Claire, I don't know what to do but I do feel for you. Maybe you could look at some web sites that discuss post traumatic stress. I'd like to say to try some counseling but the NHS is pretty bad at providing such help.

    My sisters dog was attacked by a GSD. Her dog was not injured as my sister somehow managed to get in between Lucy and the GSD. She won't walk Lucy off lead anymore. I think pavement walking is safer as dogs should be on leads.

    Thinking of you Claire.
    ....
    Dylan, Poppy & Kipling's
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    I'm so sorry Claire, it must be very difficult and you have understandably been traumatised by what has happened.

    I think the idea of gradually building up to being out for a few minutes is a good one - that should build up your confidence. You will probably always be scared now when you see a big dog - perhaps going to training classes with Cara might help, the dogs are on leads there and it would help to build up confidence for both of you?

    Something like this might be worth carrying http://www.companyofanimals.co.uk/pet-corrector.php

    A cheaper version is the cans of compressed air you can buy in computer supply shops to clean computers! Makes the same noise. They are effective, there was a collie who lived locally who attacked Rupert one day, pinned him to the floor I always carried the pet corrector after that and had occasion to use it several times, the dog never came near us again though.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

  5. #5
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    Hi Claire, I really feel for you.

    I would do the 5-10 minute thing suggested and bulid up from there,maybe even on your own street.

    Take a stick or umbrella just for your own peace of mind.

    I do not live far from you as you know and I would be willing to take one of mine and come walk with you if it would be of any help...feel free to pm me.
    Gus(blenhiem) Pippin(tri) DJ(ruby)

  6. #6
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    Claire, your anxiety is absolutely understandable after what you have been through.

    Many of us are all too aware of the dangers of unfriendly loose dogs. There are friendly loose dogs too, but it is out of our control what we'll meet up with from day to day. Being prepared with a big walking stick or umbrella, knowing your physical limitations, and having a plan for how to deal with situations might help take away some of your anxiety.

    If you think you might have PTSD, which is a normal reaction to a traumatic event - getting professional help will help you understand and overcome your anxiety.

    Here are two links with information about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more information (from the 2nd link) explaining how talking to a professional therapist helps people:
    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publi...ad/index.shtml

    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publi...sd/index.shtml

    How Talk Therapies Help People Overcome PTSD
    Talk therapies teach people helpful ways to react to frightening events that trigger their PTSD symptoms. Based on this general goal, different types of therapy may:

    • Teach about trauma and its effects.
    • Use relaxation and anger control skills.
    • Provide tips for better sleep, diet, and exercise habits.
    • Help people identify and deal with guilt, shame, and other feelings about the event.
    • Focus on changing how people react to their PTSD symptoms. For example, therapy helps people visit places and people that are reminders of the trauma.

    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies I had a big stick with me on both occasions but it was of no comfort to me. I think I will start by walking around our estate (it's a cul de sac) and see how that goes.

    I can rationalize what happened, in my head and I know that the odds of something like that happening to me again are very low BUT my brain turns into MUSH when I see a big dog.
    Claire
    Once owned by Rudeepoohs
    then rescued by CaraMia and Minnie Moo.
    Missing all my girls every day....

  8. #8
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    Hi Claire,

    I don't have any suggestions but just don't be too hard on yourself it is still very raw and it is understandable that you will feel like this! I only read today what happened to Minnie. The poor, poor little girl. Its so unfair and heart wrenching and should never, ever have happened. I can't imagine what those moments where like at the time and it will be no easier now if not harder to deal with. Such a darling, beautiful, little girl, she had such a lovely life with you and the youtube of her is just gorgeous. She looks so happy & full of life. I can't even comprehend how you are feeling now without your girl

  9. #9
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    Hi,

    Just wanted to say I was so sorry to read what happened to you and Minnie. It's no wonder you're traumatised and I'm sure it will take a long time to feel ok walking again.

    This may sound naive, but would spending time around a large dog with a good temperament help at all? Maybe there's a therapy-dog club where you live which could put you in contact with someone. Perhaps it would help you not to view all large dogs on your walks as threatening.

    Sorry - silly suggestion, but it was all I could think of that might help me besides the peace of mind of having a defence (e.g. pepper spray).
    Last edited by laram; 22nd February 2009 at 01:11 AM.
    Laura

    & Samwise (7 year old ruby male)

  10. #10
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    Claire, I am so sorry for what you are experiencing. I think time is going to be part of the healing equation, and there is no way to "fast track" that. Others had to good suggestions for gradually building up your walks, and even the training class might be good. Taking a walk with someone else, like Pippa offered would, I think, help me if I had been thru something like what you experienced.

    I'd suggest either in place of, or in addition to a stick, you should carry pepper spray. I have had the opportunity (or should I say scary task) of trying to stop an attacking dog before. None of my whacking did ANYTHING to stop the dog. It was only by physically bear hugging the dog and lifting it off the ground that I was able to stop it and give the other dog a chance to escape. fighting/attacking dogs just don't really feel the pain of hits and whacks, and even a big stick isn't enough unless you can scare away the dog BEFORE it attacks. On the other hand, the intense burning of the eyes, nose and mouth of pepper spray will stop it!

    Give yourself time and allow others to help you. A support group sounds like a good way to talk about it in a constructive setting. I think it is probably normal that you will carry this with you always and you will probably be affected by situations on some level that remind you of that terrible day.

    I will be thinking of you. Hugs

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