Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Problem I Need Help For

Hi there friends of Pug & Bugg, I have a problem with Sophie and I need some advice.

First you need to remember about Sophie that although she comes off really tough and conceited here, she is still from a very bad puppy mill and gets scared/nervous very easily. When we have people over, or when she's scared, she is like velcro to me. She will sometimes scream and cry if one of us leaves while she and Dixe are left with the other (either Brian or myself), and she always follows us from room to room.

I think it is the thunderstorms we've been having at night lately, but Sophie will wake us up in the middle of the night scratching incessantly on the grate or side of their crate, which is in the living room. This is the kind of crate they have:

Not keeping them in the crate isn't a foreseeable option. We've tried keeping the girls anywhere but a crate at night (in their room, or in our kitchen), but unless they are with us, they cry and scratch because they know we are home. We also tried having them sleep with us, but they would wake up and fight, or jump off the bed and cry to get back on. The crate worked amazing, as they felt secure. The first few nights they cried and barely scratched for about 5-10 minutes, then would sleep through the night. Now they go in with no problem. During the day, they hang out in their room with no problem.

Just this past few weeks, the night scratching has begun and has been bad. Today we think we figured out that it is correlated with disturbances like thunderstorms (like the ones last night, and Friday night). Sophie started at a little past 5:30am today and continued until we got up at 10 past 6. Worse, when we got them out, Sophie's paw was bleeding! The two middle nails were bloody, but I think it was the skin around them that was bleeding, since the nails looked fine, and she had no problem walking on that paw.

Any advice as to what to do? Do we have to get a new crate? Has anyone had this problem? If you know anyone who might have an answer (someone who works with rescues a lot??) I would appreciate the input. It is so hard for me to see my little Sophie girl do this to herself!!!!!

Thanks for listening and I would love any help I can get.



Melissa & Emmitt said...

hi kelly
please hug both girls for me. your crate idea is great one. it keeps them safe and secure. i wish i had the answer, but i know someone out there will. i know you are right and sophie is sensitive to the storms.
lots of hugs
m & e

Maggie & Mitch said...

Hi Kelly,
Poor, Sophie! We feel so badly for her and we know there's someone out there that's had experience with this, but it's not us. Our paws are crossed that Sophie gets the answer that she needs!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Ruby Bleu said...

Poor Sophie...have you tried Rescue Remedy? I haven't used it but a number of blogging pups talk about it and it seems to calm them. I may give it a shot w/ Ruby...poor thing HATES fireworks.


Murphy Dogg said...

Hi Kelly,
Murphy's Mama here. Here are a couple things that helped us with our new rescue babies. Try keeping the crate in your bedroom at night so they feel like they're "with" you. You could also leave some classical music playing softly at night.

Hope things work out, your girls are adorable!

Colleen (Murphy Dogg's mama)

Petra said...

Oh, poor Sophie! We have a stool-like thing by our bed so Petra can get on and off by herself during the night. It looks ridiculous in our room, but it works for her.

Storms can be scary. Maybe Ruby's idea will work?


TwoPugs said...

How about keeping them in your bedroom in their crates at night? When we first had just Pearl we kept her in a separate room in her crate. Then we moved houses and with room sizes it made sense to keep her in our bedroom.

Then I read a dog book (I think the Monks of New Skete) and they suggested that you keep your dogs in your bedroom but not on the bed. It helps to make the dogs secure and make them feel part of the pack. They said it was actually quite important for the dogs to be near us at night.

Now we have both Pearl and Daisy in their crates in our room. They NEVER make noise unless there's something really unusual going on (like the night we had a wind storm) and I like it because if there is something wrong, I can hear them if they need me.

Good luck!

Ike said...

Sounds crazy, but ask the vet for a little Xanax for stormy nights - it's in the same family as Valium and very safe to use in dogs.
Ike's mom

Nevis said...

I can only offer hugs because I have no idea. I'm sorry!

Salinger The Pug said...

OHHHHHH NOOOOOO! My poor little Puggy Muffin!!!! I'm scared of storms too, but when I hear thunder at night, I just snuggle up to mommy or daddy. Mommy says she's sorry that she's not more helpful with a crate idea, but they got me some cool stairs for the big cloud bed and for brother's bed. That way I can get up and bark at the thunder and then come back to bed when I'm done and I won't stand there and cry. I also like throwing my stuffed Pug off the bed and this way I can go get her myself without crying to get back up.

I think your mommy and daddy need to do what they feel is best for THEM (whether it be crate or bed).

Maybe playing a thunderstorm CD to kind of "desensitize" you to the scary noise might work?

Now, if you were with me, you could curl up against me and I'd protect you from those loud storms!

I hope your paw is ok! I'll kiss it for you on Saturday!


Punchbugpug said...

Seems there are several different things going on. First the whole anxiety thing...that's tough. Marty has been with us for 1 1/2 years and still cries like a baby when I leave. He used to cry bad when I just went upstairs too so I always look at him and say "I'll be right back"....for some reason he believes me and it works! LOL

The nighttime crate thing....well, first off all four of ours sleep in our bed. The girls were allowed there at around 2 months old each. When we got Marty we tried to crate him downstairs and again...cry, cry, cry...LOUD...so I bought a porta-crib and put it in my room. I put him in it and he went right to sleep. He just needed to know he was with us....about 2 weeks of this and he literally jumped from the porta-crib to the bed and hasn't left since! I would not recommend sleeping with four Pugs, but that's how it is at our house.

I would ditto that you need to do what's right for you guys. These rescues come with "baggage" they can't tell us about.

Lex said...

The poor thing, Indy was a crier too, we had her in the kitchen and kept our door open (short hallway). By the time we got Gus, Indy had free rein of the house, she usually slept in a little bed beside ours. In the old pace we could babygate them in the livingroom/kitchen together, now we just close the bedroom doors and they have run of the rest (it's not that much bigger then before).
I'm sorry, I may have missed it, but are they sleeping together in the crate? If not, that might help too.
Good luck!