Tuesday, September 21, 2010


As you know, I rescued Sadie several years ago. (More on that here.) But I still don't know her history. In the years that I've been with Sadie, I've certainly seen some classic abused dog behaviors though. I have no idea if she was abused as a pup. I honestly would rather not know what really happened to her, because I am sure it would upset me. But Sadie certainly has some history that I'm sure she wishes she could forget. I really think she suffers from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and it kills me every time something sets her off.

We experienced one of these episodes this morning. Any time Sadie hears some kind of beeping noise, such as the smoke detector (whether it's going off or the battery needs to be changed), Sadie FREAKS out. I've mentioned this briefly before here. This morning before I got ready for work, the battery alarm on the carbon monoxide detector started chirping. Sadie went running. I found her shaking in a corner with her ears back and her eyes wide. Her heart was racing. It didn't help that the cat decided to smack her as she walked by either lol.

I picked up Sadie and put her in the bathroom and quickly tried to replace the battery. (It took me awhile to figure out it was actually the carbon monoxide detector and not the smoke detector, too.) After I replaced the battery, I went back to check on Sadie. She hadn't moved. She looked petrified. I tried to calm her down as much as possible, but when she gets like this, it takes a long time for her to calm down. Every sound seems to get amplified for her, and she is just on edge for awhile. Her heart had stopped racing by the time I finished my shower, but I still had to carry her into my room, as she wouldn't leave the bathroom (even with the promise of treats!).

When this happens, it breaks my heart. I had to leave her, too, to go to work, which was even worse. She had calmed down by that time, but still looked a bit shaken. This is how she looked before I left:

You can see how scared she is in her face. And her ears stay that like for awhile after it happens. Every sound freaks her out. (And yes, I gave her that bear and her favorite blanket before I left in hopes that it would help her lol.) The best way I've discovered to calm her down is to just talk to her in a soothing tone and cuddle with her. I was rubbing her face and just being close to her for awhile. Something else that helps is Rescue Remedy, which has a version made especially for pets. It's a natural remedy (and they have a human version as well) and it definitely works. I've used the human version on myself. And the pet version definitely seems to calm Sadie down. I don't use it every time; only when it's really bad and she can't stop shaking in the corner.

Do your pets have similar reactions to certain sounds or sights? What do you do to calm them down? It's so sad seeing Sadie like this.


  1. Aww poor Sadie :(

    Gibson gets that way too when the smoke detector is chirping! It is like it is piercing his brain or something! He also does this when I am taking him on a car trip and I have actually thought of getting him rescue remedy, but wasn't sure if it really worked. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

  2. Yes, that's a good way to describe their reaction! She freaks even if there is a beeping sound on TV. Horrible. The Rescue Remedy is great. I just put a few drops on my finger and have her lick them off. Because she usually won't drink water when she's freaked out, so putting it in there doesn't work lol.

  3. Oh Gibson too! Like, a whistle during a football game or a Top Chef quickfire! lol

  4. Hahahaha Top Chef Quickfire! Yessss lol.

  5. Herman got so freaked out by the beeping on my new air conditioner it took me weeks to get him to be ok inside again. I finally brought over his buddy Feo to show him she was ok with the beeping.

  6. Awww... :( That makes me want to give her a hug, so give her a hug for me!!! Yea, I don't think id want to know what happened either. Poor thing! yes, we have one sample pill (that we got from Bark in the Park this weekend) of that herbal remedy stuff - let me know if sadie needs an extra pill, we'd be happy to mail it to you!

  7. Cooper, our Cocker Spaniel, was beaten in a previous home. He had his jaw broken and the people never even took him to a vet so it healed but was not aligned. We had to have one of his teeth pulled so it did not go into his palate when he chewed.

    Whenever I would swing a leg over him, he would literally scream. If a shadow went across him, he would cry. He spent most of his time shaking and in fear.

    Fast forward four years - he psychologically abuses his brother and loves to be picked up and placed on the bed where he surfs around while his back is rubbed. He runs like a puppy when he has had my undivided attention. He climbs into laps and falls asleep, content in knowing no harm will come to him.

    It has taken years to get him over his previous abuse, but he has blossomed. You can see how happy he is now when you walk in the house.

    If I ever find or meet the people who beat Cooper, I will personally make them wish they had never laid a hand on Coop. There is a special place in Hell for people who abuse animals and children.


  8. poor Sadie!! must be so scary for her when events like this happen :( I hope by now she is all calmed down and sleeping very comfortably close to you. Koda doesn't like fireworks or loud noises. He usually cowers into son's room or under one of the coffee tables. I usually just try to tell him it is okay and pet him for a bit.


  9. Lesley, awwww poor Herman! Sadie would be the same way. I'm glad he got over his fear though!

    Karen, thanks! Sadie appreciates hugs :) Thanks about the pill, that's sweet. You don't have to send it though!

    Nancy, oh poor Coop! :( It makes me sick when I hear stories of abuse like that. I don't understand how anyone could do such a thing. It's disgusting. I am glad Coop is much better now though and that he found you! Even if he does torment his brother haha. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Betty, yeah I feel so badly for her when she gets like this. It's sad! She calmed down for the most part last night and was cuddling, but was on edge again this morning for some reason. Poor thing.

  10. poor sadie :(

    we has a resued dog, Lucky....he's pretty much a jerk to new people and dogs.

    the boys herd him because they know if they let lucky get behind them they will get bit. i dont think i would ever resue another abused dog because lucky is such a jerk!!!

    at least sadies more scared instead of mean :(

  11. Karen, awww I feel so bad for pups like that. It's so sad. I don't know how anyone could ever abuse an animal. But I am sure it is hard to handle those issues. I love rescuing pets though!


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