So, we've added Trazodone onto our current medical regime. I'm fairly certain I want to dump the Paxil and try Prozac instead after our 12/28 CPE trial. I'm seeing extremes at both ends with Paxil, and I've read better results with Prozac.
In keeping with celebrating the positive moments (which I have a tendency not to do), we went for a run in Game Farm Park a couple of weeks ago. I pulled him off for an approaching dog at a distance of about 50 feet. He LAID DOWN and WAGGED. Holy shiznitz. Wow. In the same run, he went apeshit at a distance of 30 feet.
Don't ever let anyone trick you into thinking your dog will be much better or easily managed. It is a lifelong commitment with minimal improvement.
Having said that, I've entered Sagan in the ZAP NADAC Thanksgiving trial and the RAT CPE 12/28-12/29 trial. I've remarked, ironically, to people that most get nervous in the ring. It is a blessing that my nervous moments are before we run, waiting, in the queue. When I get in the ring, I can finally relax, because Sagan gets right to work. Seriously, I have no ring nerves. I have moments of anxiousness about what might happen, but no real nerves.
I have a few acquaintances struggling with reactive dogs. I'm struggling to remain positive. After owning 3 like this, I really don't feel that reactive dogs can be rehabilitated that much. After 20-30% improvement with management seems to be the norm. The examples I've heard of much more are few and far between. I also remember the adage "do one thing everyday that scares you." My heart palpitates bringing Sagan into Argus Ranch. Part of me wonders why I do it (why would I put other dogs in danger?) and part of me hopes statistics is in my favor. Part of me thinks I'll find the wonder combination of drugs (which is really ALL I have left).
In absence of that, all I can hope is that aging mellows his reactivity and we manage to not have encounters at trials.
Here is hoping there is a drug combo that gives Sagan the opportunity to make good decisions. Here is hoping that all of the training, desensitization, counter conditioning, and BAT finally take hold as he matures. Here is hoping I run into very few people who don't at least empathize with where I'm coming from. People can be harsh and insensitive at best, and rude and completely critical at worst.
Wish us luck as Sagan turns 3 in December.