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  #1  
Old 04-20-2012, 08:27 AM
chi god/godess
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Name: Ashley
Location: NC, USA
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Default Ashley and Max's Journey

Hello,

As some of you may know, I recently decided to take my parents' 6 year old Chihuahua to law school in North Carolina with me. Toby, the 6 month old puppy that was originally going with me, is staying in Florida with my parents and sister. He absolutely adores them and my parents' older dog, Lilly. Since Toby and Lilly are getting along so well, we don't want to separate them. Plus, Max has serious issues with other dogs and several behavioral problems since he was attacked by the neighbors dog.

Some history about Max:

He turned six years old this month. My parents got him from a pet store before they knew better. He is most definitely a puppy mill dog. At 12 pounds, he is unusually large for a Chi and has some health and socialization issues. Luxating patellas, allergies, anxiety, social issues, and a few other things. He hates other dogs. He has never been super overly friendly with dogs, but last year he was attacked by our neighbors 100 lb dog (see my post history for more info). Since then, his social issues have gotten way worse. He has been attacking Lilly, who is an old lady and terrified of him and the new puppy. He bit our neighbor (though she did antagonize him- that's not an excuse, just a fact that she admits). He freaks out when he sees other dogs (I swear he has PTSD and has flashbacks!). He's really a sweet boy though, and I know that with some work and individual attention, he will be a great dog in my single dog household with strict regulation and training. He is fiercely loyal and protective. I'm planning on seeing a behavioralist and doing some advanced training on top of the basic skills he knows to work up his confidence and reliability.

A little history about me:

I am 22 years old and finally leaving Florida to start law school at Wake Forest University in August. I am so excited! I've never lived more than 5 hours from home, so it will be weird being 12 hours away. Plus, it's frightening because we are not allowed to work during our first year of law school, so I will be taking out like $40k in loans this year. This is normal for law students but super scary. I am also kind of intimidated by the workload. I've heard that the first year will almost kill you, so I am glad to have a dog with me. I plan on doing most of my studying at home so I can be with Max. He is perfectly happy sleeping for 5 hours when I am at school during the day, going on a few nice walks and playing a bit, and sleeping all night. Low energy and a great fit for a student. We will be living alone in a 1 bedroom. It's the first time I've ever been on my own without my family or roommates. SO EXCITING!

I thought I would start this blog to keep everyone up to date on our progress since you all have been so supportive and kind.

Before I go, here are some pictures for you guys!







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  #2  
Old 04-20-2012, 10:37 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Name: Shannon-Louise Sumbler (or Shan or Shanman as known by ma mates :) )
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awwwhhhhhh so cute!!!!!!! x
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2012, 07:59 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Name: Ashley
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Aw thanks!

Just a quick update, since I am currently up with insomnia at 3:56 EST. Toby has completely fallen head over heels in love with my sister and mom. He wants nothing to do with me, which I think is for the best. They are taking excellent care of him and love him to bits. Today was the first day that I could look at him and pet him without crying which is a huge improvement.

Max's adjustment has been harder because he has been my mom's dog for four years now. He has always loved me, though, so it hasn't been too bad. Until I went away to college, he spent ALL of his time with me and I think he is realizing that I won't leave him again. I've been taking him on long walks and car rides to re-bond. He cries at my mom's bedroom door sometimes and loves when she gives him some attention, but overall he is adjusting very well. He also loves all the new stuff I bought him

About the pictures: the first one was from when he was a puppy. The second one was from when I went away to college, and the last two were more recent. He hasn't changed much, although I no longer have green posters hanging on my walls or pink polka dots on the door to my bathroom lol.
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2012, 02:49 PM
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Name: Pam
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He's a cutie. I love the black and tans. I wish you the best of luck in law shool, how exciting. I was trained as a paralegal way back in the day, I love law. Have you decided which branch of law you will be specialize in? I loved wills and trust, corporation law, entertainment law, and adoption law when I went through paralegal school.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:25 PM
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Today, the weather was beautifully cool for Florida this time of year so Max and I went on a wonderful walk to my Aunt's house and back (about 2 miles round trip). Max got a thorn in his paw! I got it out easily and he didn't bleed or anything but he limped for a few minutes before he realized that he wasn't hurt anymore. Now he has passed out, didn't even want to move for a treat, which is NOT like him. He is exhausted between the walk there, frolicking in my aunt's yard, and walking back.

This was his first long distance walk. My mom has a bad back and my sister has cerebral palsy, so he has never really been walked more than a block or two. He loved it and we will be doing it at least 4x a week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svdreamer View Post
He's a cutie. I love the black and tans. I wish you the best of luck in law shool, how exciting. I was trained as a paralegal way back in the day, I love law. Have you decided which branch of law you will be specialize in? I loved wills and trust, corporation law, entertainment law, and adoption law when I went through paralegal school.
Thanks! I have no idea what kind of law but I tend to lean towards working at a large firm in Atlanta, Charlotte, or DC doing corporate law and mergers and acquisitions. But if I can't swing that (those jobs are hard to get these days unless you go to Yale or Harvard) I wouldn't mind getting into a mid sized firm specializing in family law or boutique corporate law. I think only time will tell.
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  #6  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:39 PM
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An update for those following my blog. Max and I have been In Jacksonville for about a week visiting my grandmother. It's been great! Max had a catastrophe though. He locked himself inside of a running car. The air was on and AAA came in 15 minutes, but it was terrifying. I was a wreck.

Other than that unwelcome excitement we've had a great trip.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:12 PM
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He is so cute! That is great that you are taking him with you. He will most definitely be your closest companion. I'm currently going through schooling, and the best decision I made was to get my Chi & my Bulldog-Mix. They are my everything and take so much stress away. Your pup is such a cutie!
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2012, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proudpeyotemama View Post
He is so cute! That is great that you are taking him with you. He will most definitely be your closest companion. I'm currently going through schooling, and the best decision I made was to get my Chi & my Bulldog-Mix. They are my everything and take so much stress away. Your pup is such a cutie!
Thanks, you are so sweet. I totally agree. Yours are adorable too

Another update: For those of you who saw my other thread regarding the decision the take Max due to his serious behavioral issues, well another lovely thing happened. I was in Jacksonville and my grandma's Shih Tzu (who Max was raised with- we gave him to my grandma when they were three) was hanging out with us. Max attacked him. I stupidly got in the way, and I got bit. It wasn't serious, but it scared the crap out of me. After, he felt terrible. He was crying and climbing all over me, licking me. He was shaking. Then, today, he went after my grandma's dog again twice and drew a little blood with a scratch. My grandma was next to hysterical. She basically told me that I needed to put Max to sleep because he is "unfixable." At that point, I was crying and upset. I left her house to come home.

My mom called the vet for me since I was driving and they said that they will not demand that a dog get put to sleep unless they are aggressive toward humans, which Max is not. I was so relieved- I thought they were going to tell me he was a dangerous dog and force me to do something I didn't want to do. They comforted us and told us that there are plenty of wonderful dogs that just don't get along with other dogs, especially after almost dying in a dog attack like Max did. He said that as an only dog, he should be okay.

So, we devised a game plan with the vet. He is going to be separated from the other two dogs. He'll be upstairs and the other two will be downstairs. When he is downstairs, he will be on a leash. He will be on anti-anxiety medication to temporarily calm him. In three months, we will be moving and he will be an only dog with me. We found an animal behavioralist in North Carolina since there are none where we live. Once we move, I am going to take him to him and see if there is anything he can do. Hopefully, we will be able to get him off the medication and get him to a point where he can at least tolerate my parents dogs on holidays and such. I'm also going to do some advanced training with him to help him gain his confidence and increase his obedience.

I just hope we can make it through the next few months until we are moved and settled alone.

Wish us luck.
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