Monday, May 31, 2010


So, yesterday, Gibson got scared. And he still is. Don't know what to do :(

We were on our 'before dinner' walk around 4:00, yesterday, and were just about home. We came up to a house a few doors down across the street, and saw that their two yahoo dogs were out. I call them yahoos because their owners never walk them (they are a golden retriever and a husky), they just tie them up outside. Every time Gibson and I walk by when they are out, they go crazy and bark bark bark. It's annoying. Well, anyways, yesterday their owner was out with them and they were actually laying down and quiet when we first saw them... but then all of a sudden they jumped up and started barking as usual. Only problem is, that their storm doors to their basement were open..and when they jumped up, *POW* their leashes slammed it shut. Gibson jumped at that, but seemed ok... until the owner started screaming bloody murder at the dogs to get in the house. I thought it was a bit of an overreaction.. but then I saw why he was so upset. His 2 year old son was standing inside the doors when they slammed. I'm not sure if it hit him on the head or not, but he was crying :( (I later saw them out and he is ok, thankfully).

At this point, Gibson is dragging me as hard as he can to get home. I thought, ok, that freaked him out, but dinner will take his mind off of it. He would not even take his post walk charlie bears. Instead, he ran through the house trying to find a safe place. I poured his food and he left it there. He ran upstairs and sat in the corner of our guest room and sat their with his ear back. Eventually, I got him to eat his food, but then he ran back to find a safe place.

I tried to take his mind off of it, with yummy treats, but it didn't work. And then I thought I could take him out to show him that everything was ok. He was fine at first, but then our neighbor was outside and shut her door a little harder than he zoomed back into the house. I tried again to walk him around our yard, and he just wanted to go for a walk as far away from our house as possible. I didn't have a poop bag, so we went back.

He just got a new Kong Rocket toy (Kong's version of a Chuck-it), which he has been obsessing over, so I thought if we played this, he'd stop being scared (he's been allowed to be off leash in our yard while playing with this, because he has been so good lately). It worked for awhile, but then the yahoo dog owner walked by with his son in a stroller. Gibson saw him and started jumping all over the place and barking/growling. And then... He took off! He was just like, 'uh, see ya, mom!' and sped walked down the sidewalk in the other direction. I took off after him yelling at him to stay, but he just had his ears back and wanted nothing to do w/me. I decided then that I had to run (knowing that it would make him run too), but I thought, 'hey, I was a sprinter in high school, I can catch him'.. That didn't work too well, but i did get close enough to really scream, "Gibson STAY!!!" meanly enough that he knew i meant it. He stopped and curled around on his butt and I carried him 2 blocks home.

The rest of the night was more of the same. He'd seem fine for awhile, but was just 'off'. I thought, maybe if he'd just go to sleep, in the morning he'd be better. Well, he's not. He would not even pee this morning. I seriously just had to stand there in our yard with him for 10 minutes until he finally gave in and peed on my hostas.

We're about to go out for a walk now... Wish me luck.. I am so worried about him :(


The Bee Charmer said...

You might want to consider taking him to "puppy school". They teach him to get used to unexpected noises and movements and dealing with other dogs and show you how to deal. Finn got jumped by a big Boxer when he was about three months old and we went through this. Puppy school was a lifesaver for us. Smoochies to little Gibson.

Lois said...

Kelly, these dogs are very sensitive, perceptive, and certainly more so when they are closely bonded to their owners. I would stay away from that location, and never leave him loose in the yard again. I have a bolter too, and it stops your heart when you have to pursue them..You both had a scary time, but no long term trauma here, don't fret, you will BOTH get through it...

Kelly said...

Tonya - He's been in two obedience classes and is around other dogs and loud noises all the time.. He just usually acts more of a tough guy when he is scared than being so skittish. I am thinking it is the owner yelling that really frightened him and seeing the other dogs get in trouble. :(

Lois - Thanks.. I am sure he will get over it.. It is just so hard to see him not being his normal self :(

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Oh poor Gibson!

I have a runner too. She cannot be out in the front without her leash on or she is out of here! The one thing that stops her in her tracks is to say *Gingerbean wanna ride?* She will immediately stop and hope in the car!

corgis are such a funny odd lot.

I hope he is better today.

That corgi :) said...

poor Gibson. And they never forget anything so I think he is always going to have a problem walking past this house. Koda still won't go down the street he got attacked on over a year ago. I'd give him time to start feeling confident again and not push too much. lots of cuddling if he will let you and words of reassurance. If he is not better in a couple days, I'd call the vet and see what they recommend. poor little guy!


Dozer and Coop said...

Our Dozer had two big dogs run up to him and growl on a walk and it totally freaked him out. So I know of what you speak.

What I did was first calm myself down because dogs do pick up on our emotions and you don't want to transfer your anxiety to Gibson.

The first few times after the incident, I used my chipper voice telling Dozer what fun we would have and how going to the park would a fun adventure.

Once we left the house, I kept a quick clip until we were past where the scare took place. I mean we moved, no running but very fast walking. The entire time I talked to Dozer telling him what we could see ("Oh look a yellow house!", "Look at that tulips are growing over there!) Not in a loud voice but loud enough and I interspersed his name generously through the walk. If he seemed to get jittery or looked as though he wanted to bolt to home, I tightened up the leash, (he wears a vest) and literally, if required, raised him up a bit and moved forward.

The first time took some determination but after that he slowly got it through his head that nothing bad was going to happen. (I also started carrying my field hockey stick in case those dogs came back to us).

Gibson looks to you to set the pace, the tone and the walk. If you walk out confidently and take charge, he will come around. DO NOT put him on your lap and tell him he musn't be scared, etc. If you do that each time he is scared he will start to equate that behavior with receiving love and will create a habit.

Dozer is still a little leery at times of enormous dogs but he will run up to the big dogs at the dog park and run after them.

Deep breath, you're in charge, Gibson is a brave boy, and march out that door with a firm step!

Love, Dozer's Mum

JuLo said...

Poor Gibson!!!

Dogs definitely do pick up on your emotions, so try and act like nothing is wrong. If you go about acting normally, that might help Gibson get back to normal. Obviously when he takes off down the street, that's different, but I mean at home. He'll look to you to tell him how to act and if you coo over him being afraid, then he'll think he's right to be afraid.

Other than'll just take some time, probably. Thankfully he's not a small puppy going through a fear period, so he should forget about it, eventually.

That's interesting that he responded so strongly to the owner yelling. He's so compassionate for those two poor dogs. What a softie. :)

The Bee Charmer said...

I agree with Lois. Maybe you should just stay away from those people. I have had two velcro puppies all day because it's stormy and they are both afraid of thunder. It breaks you heart when they're scared.

ClassyChassy said...

Poor Gibson! He probably got all the pee scared out of him for a while! I hope he gets over this after while....

Kelly said...

Just an update: He's doing much better today.. I don't think he is going to be scared for life :) My parents and Coal came and he had a great time.. I think they snapped him out of it.

Bailey's Adventures said...

poor Gibson...glad to hear he is better though. Hopefully he will be 100% back to normal soon. Keep it positive whenever you guys go by the house or see that neighbor. Keep us updated

Bri said...

Oh man Gibson, you are not alone. Sammy is a little scardey cat, too. How do you think he got his name Samantha! Haha. He is quite terrified of cats and if they come toward him he seeks refuge in someone's lap. Literally he puts his ears down walks over to someone (usually me, or less frequently Erik) and jumps up with his paws on my lap and looks up to say, "Momma, help me, I'm scared."
But....cats are not all of it. He is still terrified of hard rain and will hide behind the couch to aviod going out, but also we have a new noisy neighbor. We can hear him screaming awful things at his ex-wife through the wall and it freaks Sammy out pretty bad. He will pace and pace, growl and wimper towards the wall. He will seek help on our laps and all we can do is drown out the noise with our radio or tv. One day it was bad enough, we had to watch tv in the bedroom to get him away from it. He HATES when people argue. He paces when we play bicker even. He will jump up on our leg and whine or whimper. He just can't handle it.
I know I'm leaving you alot, but last week our apartment mowers accidentally mowed over his rope outside. And it's one of those wire centered ropes on the stake so if made a just awful noise. It was loud and Sammy was at the window protecting the apartment so he heard and saw the whole thing. The rope went flying in all directions in many peices, even hitting the sliding glass door window. Sammy bolted into the corner of our bedroom, into a ball, and was shaking when I found him. I brought him back out to the living room because I happened to be cooking at the time, and when the mower came back for another sweep, he bolted back. I had to carry him out and hold him on my lap til they left because he was shaking and scared! He is better, but not much. When the mower came this week, he went around the wall and peeked from around the corner. I have a feeling it will take quite some time before he is completely over it.
Our little corgis sure act big and tough, but mostly for our benefit....I think. They just don't like things to go wrong. Loud noises, unhappy people, it just messes up their world. They make us so happy I don't think they really know anything else, and sure don't like it! Just let Gibson know, there is another chicken in Nebraska and it's ok! Good thing he's got you! :)

Sam and Finley said...

awwwww poor Gibson!!! I am sure he will be okay, but I would be upset and confused about what to do if I was you, too! Poor little guy... all that shouting and crying and big dogs going berserk was probably too much discord to process at one time. Especially since they are herders and like to be in control! lots of corgi kisses from Finn and me!!

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