That Pinnacle Moment

We all have those pinnacle adult moments in our lives.

Albeit our first bill, first car bought, or first big decision (not just what delivery food to order), we all have the moments beginning to define our self-sought destinies. These moments can also be horribly frightening: untimely deaths, realizing your child will live in a scarier world than you, or finding out you have some horrid disease that will forever change you.

The truth for all these pinnacle moments, good and bad, is you have the choice to become a better or worse person every single time. We get to choose how these moments define us.

Let me tell you about why my dog was prescribed Pup-Xanex (an anxiety reliever for dogs).

Husband and I got a dog a year before we were married. To keep the dog’s identity safe, we will call him Tinkle. He was the cutest, tiny puppy, basically a “tube sock filled with bones,” and he immediately became our pride and joy.

Asset 29

We spent so much time with him.

We spent too much time with him.

Way too much time with him.

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By the time Husband graduated, we were engaged. Husband moved 250 miles away with Tinkle while I finished school out (read about that disaster here).

Husband started his first real-deal job and had to work long hours. For Tinkle’s own safety, he stayed in his kennel when Husband was gone. Although Husband worked in walking distance of home, he could only let Tinkle out for tinkle-and-attention time during lunch. 

Now, if you’re someone who believes kenneling your dog is bad, I see where you are coming from but when we tried not crating him, he got into the carpet and shit rope for a week. We are not sailors, so we did not need the generously produced fecal rope. Back to the story…

Asset 35So, Tinkle stayed in his kennel with his toys and I’m sure he began to accentuate his anxiety in those moments. After three months, Husband began slowly immersing Tinkle into a little freedom.

Being 250 miles away, I always enjoyed the developmental updates of our pup.

Husband let Tinkle into the bathroom (no carpet to chew) for a day. To further ensure no chewing, Husband flipped the shower curtain over the rod so it was 7ft off the ground.

It was great! Tinkle was a good boy and was rewarded with treats and love.

Day 2 came around.

I received a picture on my cell phone in the middle of my afternoon class.

What was in the picture?

Let me tell you:

Asset 36Apparently, Tinkle had jumped seven feet, torn down and eaten half the shower curtain. As if that wasn’t enough, he spitefully took a shit in the bathtub and pissed on the pile of remaining shower curtain as if to say, “Fuck you, let me roam the apartment you bastard owners! This is MY party mansion!”

He was crated every day for four more months before we tried again. Being a smart dog, of course he was better behaved than the previous time. He earned his roaming rights very quickly and we were so pleased he no longer needed to be locked away for his own protection. 

Fast forward a year later. I graduated hell and moved across the 250-mile distance to be with Husband while we finished planning the wedding.

As he was moving out of his apartment, we noticed a giant bald spot on the carpet.

Apparently, Tinkle had been gradually eating the carpet underneath the couch the whole time. Clearly, he only ate a little at a time to avoid “rope poop,” otherwise the crime would have been found out and Tinkle would have been caught by the rope coming out of his pooter. One could say he was a seasoned veteran of carpet chomping at this point. Husband definitely didn’t receive his security deposit back. 

Fast forward another year.

After much training and progress, Tinkle now only chews his own toys and—for whatever reason—licks the shit out of any dog’s ear. He is quite OCD to be honest.

He is quiet and decent for the most part, only barking at ghosts and other dogs, and we thought he had grown out of his anxious habits.

But oh, no.

He has somehow suddenly developed a massive disdain for nail clipping. He almost hates it more than I hated tights. It makes no sense to us because we regularly take him to the vet/groomer and, until now, was fine.

But oh, my.

Asset 37

It was time for his regular clipping. He had been okay with the vet’s office before, but suddenly he hated everything about its strip mall storefront. Carrying him inside (he wouldn’t walk), I realized he was more anxious than usual. I was really nervous for him, hoping there were no equally anxious dogs in reception—God forbid he begin resonating with another dog’s anxiety. Luckily, the reception was empty. After sitting for a while, he calmed down and my confidence was restored.

Then the vet came out and looked directly at Tinkle.

He flipped and headed for the door, frantically pawing at it as if the room was flooding and he was trapped, doomed to drown. I picked him up and handed him to the vet.

We shared a look of uncertainty.

After thirty minutes of sitting in the lobby and listening to Tinkle’s screaming-bark-whines, the vet returned with a troubled look on her face.

Asset 38My heart dropped.

Maybe there was something wrong with him. What if Tinkle had a sudden illness we didn’t pick up on? 

The vet spoke;

“So, we were clipping his nails. He has very high emotional responses to stressful events. We had to take breaks because his glands kept releasing.”

She translated it to simpleton English;

“He pooped and peed on all of us because he was too stressed and fought so hard to not have his nails clipped or ears cleaned.”

Asset 39

She held up a vial of pills;

“This is a sedative for him. Give it to him an hour-and-a-half before any stressful event.”

I laughed, “Stressful event…” then the embarrassment sunk in, “Thank you and I am so sorry. I do not know why he is this anxious. I don’t know how he got like this.”

Asset 30The truth is, he has always been anxious. We just didn’t realize it when he was a puppy, because puppies are always anxious when they’re new to a family. On top of natural anxiety, he was the runt of his litter, starving and covered in poop when we adopted him. Husband and I are both huge suckers for him, so we always bought into his anxiety puppy antics without knowing. 

So, Tinkle was basically prescribed Pup-Xanex. We are officially the “whitest” couple in the world. I guess it’s time to fucking move to the suburbs and get a damn golf cart.


64 thoughts on “That Pinnacle Moment

  1. Hahaha this is great. I have a dog who has become more anxious as he has become older but no stories like that. But I have plenty of good stories about my son on my blog haha.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. If it make you feel better, we just graduated to all day day care. For our dog. Which costs the same as day care for a human child of the same age. 🤔
    And we have a dog behavioralist who comes to the house to meet with the dog. Which also costs the same as a person behavioralist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my goodness! The same cost?! We have looked into doggie daycares before and they, where we are located at least, were super overpriced so I can believe that for sure…Also, I cannot help but think of a dog in a tiny graduation cap getting their diploma…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The absolute insane part is we actually feel that ‘the socialization is worth it’. It’s like we are homeschool parents (and I work at home) who feel we need that little extra out of the house away from the dog time. Granted, she only goes two days a week but still…. I didn’t actually figure it out until I was in a homebuyers education class and most of the participants were mom’s with kids who were complaining about the cost of day care for their kids.
        The doggy behaviorist is working with us on things that are 100% worth it (basically keeping us on track…) but it does seem a little silly when I realize that it’s the same cost as a human behaviorist.

        I guess this is one of the reasons we don’t have kids? Besides all the other more pressing/relevant reasons of course.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. LOL !!! That makes total sense. Dogs are wonderful. I prefer them to humans most times. Every time a dog walks by, I drop everything to pet them (with permission of course). I am glad you pup has lots of help and support. 🙂 You are such a loving parent!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to have to crate my dog as well. One Valentine’s day I made a beautiful bone-in ribeye steak and gave the bone to my dog(didn’t know you are not supposed to give 🐕 cooked bones) next day when I got home from work, the smell hit me as I came through the front door. As I walked to the back of the apartment to my bedroom it got worse. Dog in crate, popped all over crate, all over fur. Doggie diarrhea 🤢 lesson 1: never give 🐕 cooked bones

    Liked by 4 people

  4. One puppy ate a towel without my knowledge and I found myself having to pull it out of his ass. Another shredded a love seat. And another chewed and ripped up the kitchen’s vinyl floor covering so badly that it had to be replaced. As far as clipping nails, if one of you holds up Tinkle with his back against you and his paws out the other can clip the nails using regular dry dog food as a treat for each paw. It can be done at home, a safe place, with and by people who love him. Talking in a sing-song tone of voice (like you would use for a child) while doing it will calm him, too. I trained my dogs for tornadoes, teaching them that when I said, “Come on, babies,” in a sing-song voice they knew to run to the bathroom (safe room).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh dear! A whole towel?! Those are great ideas! We have since tried to do so but the problem with Tinkle is he doesn’t even like treats. He has a particularly picky diet and preference as to when he eats. And way to go, teaching them to respond to music! How awesome! I feel as though we will eventually find a way to clip his nails. He did not used to be so nervous about it. We had taken him several times before and he was fine. I think maybe he was nicked in the quick the last time and it traumatized him. I spend about two hours trying to clip one nail currently and, believe it or not, that’s progress.Thank you, however, for the insight! ❤ Insight is always appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dogs reach an emotional maturity level of a 4 year old. So speaking and treating them as though they were toddlers causes them to be responsive. Start out clipping just a tiny bit of each nail so there is no possibility of pain. That will help Tinkle get over his fear. The more often they are clipped the more the quick will recede. Eventually the fear will also recede, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I just finished reading “Marley and Me” to my reading group at a long term care home…and we laughed through every page of the dog’s antics. You have a book here, too!! Thank you for the follow. I am definitely following you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. If I could count the number of things my dog has eaten.
    He eventually stopped and grew out of it but I now think that maybe because of something else.

    He hates the vet and his response is similar to yours but he doesn’t shit or pee. I guess he is stressed out too but a little less than before

    Great photos and I love the illustrations!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I had two dogs so far. They particularly enjoyed chewing on wood. So one of them destroyed completely a closed shoe wrack and all the shoes in it, and continuously nibbled on the stairs (it would be quite a meal to go through all of it at once),chair legs… Later we also found out that he had a hereditary disease that made his kidneys almost redundant, which meant that if we overslept for the morning walk the pee was all over the place or sometimes he would just look one of us into the eyes while he was in the process of peeing himself (it was hard to tell when it was too late, sometimes 5 am was already after the party). When we adopted him, he used to be pretty much petrified of everything: vacuum cleaners, brooms, people making any sudden movements, but then he grew out of it. As much as I know it is hard to manage the daily surprises, I’m afraid that putting a dog in very small spaces might not be helping his anxiety. Maybe try a leash. Making it a tad longer every day. Also smearing something spicy or bitter on potential victims might discourage him from consumption. Best of luck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this advice! I’m am glad to hear you pup has gotten lots better. And We have actually “graduated” Tinkle to being in his crate with the grate open; he enjoys being in there. I think it has become a safe place for him. We made a point never to put him in there for punishment. In fact, this morning he wouldn’t come out for his walk! I waited until 7:45am until he came downstairs, to which I exclaimed, “The prince has awoken!” Thank you for the well wishes. I reciprocate them fully!


  8. I was given an Akita puppy once because the girl didn’t know how to handle it. I thought he was the neatest little furball. Then he showed me what puppies like him can do. He chewed pairs of shoes (no biggie), two wooden chairs lost a leg from gnawing, and I kid you not he ripped up (and tried to eat) the linoleum floor in the kitchen. I watched as a quarter of the kitchen floor vanished in a week. About the same time the chairs died their horrible deaths. He also picked out a spot in front of the living room window to poop; wouldn’t go poop outside, but waited for me to take him in – and then proceed to poop. Try stopping a pup in mid-potty while racing down a flight of steps (over ten steps as I remember).

    Although he was cuddly and snuggled my head when in bed, I had to give him back after two weeks. I found out later how big Akita dogs get. Put that in a three room upstairs apartment.

    I should write a blog post about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I got so teary eyed at the beginning. I get how you feel. These little critters really cause us a rollercoaster of emotions. Love how you ended it too! “Officially the whitest couple” hahaha genius! Looking forward to more stories about Tinkle.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You’re story had breadth. I could relate … Now, I totally understand about dogs that have anxiety. I had an experience about this and at that time no vet thought about anxious dogs. When I took Goo for a walk he acted crazy and psycho like he had ADHD. I did not like how it ended.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that your dog’s name is Goo. I am glad you enjoyed the story and thank you for the kind words. I hope Goo’s anxiety calms down as I know what it’s like to try walking a dog that thinks about everything but walking!! Not Tinkle, but another dog named Bird I had growing up. She was a hoot and a half.


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