Reub's journey

20 March 2014

Reub and the laying-on of hands


Reub is the main reason most people end up at Ed & Reub. I wish it were otherwise. I wish he were a low-maintenance, stress-free, untroubled dog who could live his life out in happy oblivion. Instead, his ups-and-downs are followed by the 15,000 people who have googled their way into his life by typing something like "dog on Prozac" into their iPhones, tablets, or computers. And I have promised them that every once in awhile I'll bring his story up to date.



He has made progress. Taken this morning, this pic shows him putting some weight on the injured hind leg.
 Reub's notable lack of impulse-control is a big reason for his troubles, and we've worked to improve this with various training methods and the use of fluoxetine. But last month there was no stopping him when out of the corner of his eye he spotted-or imagined-a squirrel at the edge of the yard. He made an epic lurch and managed a 100% rupture in his hind left cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus.

Reub's vet informs us that the only fix for the meniscus is expensive surgery, but that we can attempt rehab for the ACL. So rehab it is, and we're doing it at home because Reub is not a dog who will easily tolerate a stranger handling him in a clinical setting.



The rehab involves frequent, short walks, range-of-motion exercises, and massage. The massage is just what it sounds like, plus a kind of laying-on of hands. Of course Reub was cautious at first.




This morning's session (oddly) caused Reub to have an uncontrollably itchy ear which he scratched while simultaneously kissing my hand.



Poor boy. We're all sympathetic to his pain. Eddy has given over his bed to Reuben, who can no longer manage the hop onto a couch.



The cats are acutely aware of pain and discord. After this morning's itchy-ear-session, Tuck came over to examine the offending ear...


...and gave the painful leg a look-see, too.



Ah Reuben, Reuben, Reuben. If you had it to do over again, would you still bolt after the shadow of a squirrel? Never mind. I know the answer to that.


42 comments:

  1. Of course he would.

    What beautiful, soulful pictures. As you know, I understand. I really do. Love to your household, much love.

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    1. Thank you Reya. With Jake, you preceded me in much of this adventure.

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  2. oh, dear. sadly, this is such a common type of injury! dogs, dogs, silly dogs...

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    1. twg, it is a common injury, and a bad one at that.

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  3. Animals are so smart and sensitive when their owners are smart and sensitive.

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    1. Well wow, thanks. But I think that often they are smarter & more sensitive than I am.

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  4. I've been following your blog for a while and did not know about Reuben's behavior issues. We had a golden retriever who was on prozac and sent to training boot camp. All utterly useless. Still, he was a sweet, big goob, though hard to handle at times. Even into his senior years he never lost that puppy state of mind. At 110 pounds we called him The Beast. Anyway, I feel for your situation. It's so sweet to see the other animals caring for him and so concerned. Hope the home rehab does wonders for him.

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    1. 110 pounds! Good grief. That's a lotta puppy. Most of what I wrote about Reub is from 3 years ago; those are the posts that get googled into 100s of times per week. Sounds like you had a dog on prozac before I did!

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  5. An engaging group of photos. I met a dog earlier this week (Trainride of The Enigmas) that sensitized me to the great bond we have with intelligent animals. I'm moved by how your other animals are concerned for Reub.

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    1. Thanks Geo. I'm going to go over to Trainride & check it out.

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  6. Awww poor, sweet Reub. And your other babies sharing the love. So sweet. I fear Benny will end up in big trouble one day because of his own lack of impulse control. I feel for you and dear Reub.

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    1. Hilary, if the truth be told many of us humans can blame our own huge problems on lack of impulse control. But maybe it's not always a life-or-death thing as it is for animals. May Benny live a long and wonderful life.

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  7. I love that last picture of Reuben, Mom.

    Poor honey.

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    1. Me too. Can you tell that he's falling asleep in that picture?

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  8. What a good heart Eddy has in giving up his bed for Reub. It sounds like Reub was doing what comes naturally but it's sad he hurt his leg so badly in the process. I hope he feels better soon.

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    1. Yeah, chasing a squirrel isn't out of the realm of normalcy; if only that was the worst decision Reub has ever made...
      The recovery process will take about 3 months, but his leg will remain unstable and very arthritic. :(

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  9. Sorry about the ACL I am sure Reub will get over it soon with a never say die attitude and once he is fully rehabilitated he will once gain attempt another epic lurch this time I hope at a real squirrel :)

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    1. Oh god, not another squirrel, pleeeeease. We will have to watch out for that forever more.

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  10. Bless Reub's little pea pickin' heart! At least he knows you are trying ot help him as best you can. My Slim would never tolerate the vet administering to her rehab. She is not happy there at all, even for annual vaccinations.

    We have a vagrant dog loose in our area that has killed chickens and day before yesterday killed three neighbor dogs on their own property! One of the dogs was on a chain in the yard. I am very worried about leaving Slim out to protect the chickens, which is her job, for fear of this dog getting her.

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    1. A vicious dog on the loose? Oh that's awful. Your property isn't fenced is it? Somebody is going to have to stop that dog. May Slim stay safe!

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  11. Poor fellow! Sending some healing thoughts.

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    1. Thanks Laoch, we'll happily accept all healing thoughts.

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  12. I had no idea that Reub requires special meds and sometimes lacks control. He seems so docile there on Ed's bed. He also looks great bathed in sunlight!

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    1. Barb, he's a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde sorta guy. Three years ago he was exhibiting mounting fears and aggressive behavior towards certain (harmless) people and dogs. But thanks to the training and meds he's better now. This post from 3 years ago is the one everybody googles into:
      http://eddyandreuben.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-dog-on-prozac.html
      There are lots of dogs like Reub, it turns out, & all of their owners are desperate.

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  13. Still being fairly new here, I didn't know about Reub. From the one photo, I am not sure that Eddy really likes giving up his bed. :)

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    1. This morning Reub made it to the couch & Eddy was immediately back in his bed. :-)

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  14. poor Reub. Hard for anything to overcome it's nature.

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    1. Yeah. He will never be completely controllable, that's for sure.

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  15. That's sad, that he got hurt, and especially so since there might not have even been a squirrel.

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    1. Right? If he'd gotten the damn squirrel this may have been worth the pain.

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  16. Cute post. Sorry your dog is suffering.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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    1. Hi Andrew. Sometimes I cannot discern the difference between serenity and suffering in this animal. He can often be quiet without suffering. But now every time I notice his stillness I wonder.

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  17. Ah, poor Reuben. Praying he heals quickly...and learns to control those impulses!

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  18. yes, I found your blog when I googled dogs and Prozac... sometimes its as though what you write could come directly from my computer, oddly curiously interesting. Hope Reuben repairs quickly.

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    1. Thanks BF. How cool. Reub is gradually improving & I hope your dog is doing the same.

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  19. Poor baby. I feel so bad for him. I wish so much that they could understand us and we could understand them.
    I hope he gets well soon!

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    1. Yeah, I wonder what he's thinking, or even IF he's thinking. He is very slowly recovering, but had a setback yesterday when an aggressive dog faced off with him from the other side of the backyard fence. ouch.

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  20. We always love the troublesome best.
    Poor Reub. His own worst enemy.

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    1. The troublesome are the most interesting.

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  21. Kerry, thank you for your post about Reub. I too Googled "dog on Prozac" and found your blog. We have a 3 yo lab/pointer mix who is such a love, but gets overstimulated often (people she doesn't know, her ball, a squirrel or cat in a walk) and when this happens, there's no reasoning with her. She just started Prozac 4 days ago and have seen a diminished appetite & she doesn't want to eat in her crate now (which she's been doing happily for 3 years). I'm not sure why....hoping it will get better and it's just a passing side effect that will ease over time.

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    1. Stick with it. I think the side effects will gradually go away, but it may take a few weeks or more. I hate these side effects, so glad they vanished with Reub!

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