Yesterday was the worst day ever.
I’d been manic for several months, but eleven days ago my good mood crashed and depression enveloped me.
I’d actually been doing pretty well, but yesterday was just one big struggle.
From morning until evening everything went wrong, and Nyx was having one of her wild crazy days too, which definitely wasn’t helping.
By the end of the day I was covered in scratches (from zoomie puppy colliding into me, from picking her up to calm her down and her flailing, and from her dropping her toy mid-play and nipping or clawing me).
I was exhausted and at the end of my tether, so when my partner got back from walking one of the other dogs and toileted Nyx, I made her a puzzle feeder and asked him to put Nyx in her crate so we could all get a break.
That went well…
If you’ve been following our crate training with Nyx, you will see she has been rocking it. She loves her crate, she sleeps in there with the door open, and she doesn’t make much noise at all when we close the door.
Yesterday she *screamed* (in bursts of about 5 minutes) for 90 minutes. She would scream and scream, rest a few minutes, then scream and scream. Over and over and over.
I’ve already said that puppies screaming in crates really gets to me…not just because it isn’t a nice noise, but because I worry about the neighbours, I feel like crate training is ruined, and start to freak out that the dog has separation anxiety and the history with Zoey is going to repeat itself 😦
Twenty minutes in I asked my partner to toilet Nyx in case it was that, and I made her more puzzle feeders as he took her out. It didn’t help at all.
By the end of the 90 minutes I was a real mess…so of course I decided (well, I didn’t decide, I was too far gone for making decisions) to make everything worse and I yelled at Nyx and banged on the crate.
I am not proud of this and I don’t feel good sharing this, but dog training isn’t always sunshine and happiness. I constantly feel like I am failing my dogs, and I absolutely despise myself for what I did yesterday.
My partner and I had a huge argument after letting Nyx out of her crate, and the entire time I was freaking out. I was extremely low, I was disgusted with myself, and I’d lost touch with reality.
When my partner toileted Nyx I swallowed as many pills as I could, so we had that to deal with…it wasn’t a huge overdose obviously, and I’m a prat for doing it, but I was scrabbling to make things better. I never said my brain worked well under pressure, in fact it always seems to make things worse 😉
I’m pretty annoyed because my last substantial OD was years ago, I’ve tried so hard every time I’ve been depressed, and now that record is ruined…ah well. Part of the OD was Valium though, so I got a lovely swimmy-head and calmed down a little.
My partner said we should go for a walk (walks can be great for me mentally), so out we went.
I was all fuzzy-headed and feeling sick, but it was a good walk. It cleared both our heads and Nyx got to calm down some for the most part. She saw cows for the first time (Nyx is terrified of horses, cows are the same) so we did a lot of counter conditioning.
She started off growling when she was 30ft from them, but after 20+ minutes she could be right up to the fence…still nervy but far better. I got the final stages on video so I’ll post that at some point.
We’ve taken crate training way back.
I still don’t know what made her act like she did yesterday, and I’m still freaking that she’s going to get SA (it’s one of my biggest fears for all my dogs these days) but we’re just taking things slowly.
We shut the door for ten minutes today as she ate her breakfast from a puzzle feeder. We reward her for settling in there. Last night whilst fuzzy I crawled in and lay in there for half an hour with the door shut, and Nyx chose to settle with me *immediately*. She slept the entire time, and even carried on when I left.
I don’t know why she freaked out in her crate yesterday, but my god did she get stressed, and obviously I did the absolute worst thing anybody could have done.
When I look back, I see so many things I could and should have done…let her out on one of her quiet breaks after giving it 15 minutes and knowing it wasn’t working. Or asked my partner to sort it whilst I went and sat outside, as puppy-screams really do affect me. Sat next to Nyx to see if it would calm her, and given her treats when she was quiet.
So many things I could have done, and instead I fell off the deep end. Yay Bipolar…
I don’t know how she’ll be in her crate from now on, we’ll just have to see. And now I’m gonna stop writing, because even thinking about that has made me panicky 😛