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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which is pretty typical for me. I have that “I can do anything” attitude, and it often works at a disadvantage. All three dogs pretty much only listen to me. DH tried, and fails. He is way too laid back, and is always using that obnoxious baby voice on the dogs, and is surprised they don’t respond. Keep in mind, he was a cat person before me.

I will be going into surgery in 3 weeks to have a discectomy and fusion of C1-C7. 2 years ago, I was rear ended on the freeway. Traffic (including myself) was at a dead stop, and the person who rear ended me was on her phone and didn’t notice I was at a dead stop. She was going 60 when she hit me.

It caused a lot of problems. Nerve damage being one of them. I have little feeling on the right side of my body, from right above my elbow to my foot. It’s progressively gotten worse, and know I feel like I’m being shocked painfully over and over constantly. The numbness is now moving to the left side of my body, can mainly feel it from my feet to my ribs, and into my hand.

My cervical discs 1-7 are being fused to hopefully elevate some of that pain, as well as decrease the pain in my neck. I’m in a constant state of pain, and found spinal epidurals are the only way to get real relief, but it doesn’t last long, you can’t do them but 3 times a year, and they come with their own risks. I also take Gabapentin daily, as well as muscle relaxers and Xanax. I want to get completely away from the meds, and the pain specialist said the surgery is the best course of action to be able to stop all medications. If you’ve read some of my other posts, my family battles with addiction in one form or another, and I hate how many pills I take on a daily basis. I don’t want my body dependent on anything. I refuse to take narcotic pain meds.

Anyway, I’ll be laid up for awhile, and won’t be able to care for the dogs. DH assured me he would start practicing with them a month before surgery started. He still hasn’t. They won’t go into the crates for him, they ignore basic commands, and pretty much act like spoiled children where he is concerned. If it was just Lyka and Crios, I wouldn’t be fretting too much, but I’m really worried he’s going to ruin Seiran. She is a strong headed, confident dog, and hasn’t taken to DH. He gives command after command with no response, gets dejected, and stops trying. If she’s doing something naughty, and he verbally corrects her, she starts barking at him, and he lets that intimidate him, and he backs away from her and lets her continue whatever behavior she was displaying.

The recovery process is 4-6 weeks minimum. My surgeon does not want me physically handling the dogs at all for at least 3 months. And is concerned with the amount and sizes we have. If I trip on a dog and fall, it can lead to serious complications and the bone graft may fail, causing additional surgeries needed. He recommended leaving them with a family member for at least 3 months, but we all know what a laugh that is. They would probably poison them all to spite me.

I’m one of those annoying people that plan for the worse, and hope for the best, but I can’t seem to wrap my head around anything that will work. I’m spiraling into anxiety and depression over the whole situation. My dogs are my life. Even the one I’m not overly fond of. And I won’t stop stressing until I get a plan in place for the dogs. DH says he will handle it, but I have to admit I don’t trust him when it comes to the dogs. He’s great at playing with them and loving on them, but that is it. He also won’t be much, if any help with me, because of his weak stomach. I can deal with myself just fine, I went through chemo and a partial hysterectomy alone, so I know I can do this alone, except for the dogs. I only had Lyka during that time, and she’s easy. Crios and Seiran are not.

I’m looking for any tips, tricks, advice concerning the dog situation. I do not have family members that can take them while I’m recovering, DH’s parents are in a tiny apartment with no dogs allowed, and his sister recently had an amputation of her right arm because of a cancerous tumor. I don’t have friends, with the exception of one I’ve had since I was 14, but she won’t even come over unless the dogs are locked up outside because they scare her. I’m grumpy, exhausted, want to cry daily (and I do not cry), and am so stressed my surgeon said he will have to postpone my surgery if that continues.

I’ve been using the ostrich method of burying my head in the sand, and just leave with the kids and dogs at every available opportunity to try to take my mind off it and de-stress, but that hasn’t been working.

Now I’m just rambling, sorry. Any advice is appreciated, maybe the forums collective advice will bring things to light I may not have thought of concerning the dogs.
 

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Sounds like you need a trainer to come to the house. You leave and the trainer works with your hubby. You stay away so that the dreaded "I told you so" doesn't pop up and ruin things.
 

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Agree with Car2ner- hiring someone outside of the relationship dynamic really helps. Decide what you absolutely need your husband to be able to do with the dogs, and make sure he is able to make it happen, with the trainer's help.
 

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Can you reach out to the rescue groups you have fostered for or contact fosters that you know to see if they can take one or two in temporarily. I know it is a highly unusual request but I would think that there may be some “ professional courtesy” that maybe could be extended due to your circumstances?

It’s just the first suggestion I thought of while reading your post.

I can’t imagine your stress level right now considering what you left behind and what is now in front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, needless to say, I’ve been rather not myself lately. The trainer is a great idea, I can use the trainer I used for Lyka! Just need to sit DH down and break the news for him. He doesn’t like to “work” after his workday.

The foster network is also a great idea, I’ll reach out to the shelter and see who is on the available list, and see if it’s a few of them I know. If so, Seiran at the very least can go. Lyka is iffy, but doesn’t need much besides watching her diet. I wouldn’t put her in a foster situation though, she’s too unpredictable in her behavior right now. And Crios would love to go meet new people, just need to make sure they don’t have any unspayed females in heat since he is not neutered.
 

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I doubt you will find any fosters to step up, as in my exp. you need to sign over for liability reasons.
However if you have the means, then boarding with a reputable company would work.
If the dogs listen to you, then have hubby do the chore while you command them


I hope the surgery goes favourably. Sounds awful.:surprise:
Consider nutritional supplementation, like bone stock (can find in powder mixes now for ease at this time), B12 (methylcobalamin form ) for remyelination (repair of the myelin sheath that covers nerves. Breaks in the protective sheath that leads to break down and nerve pain)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17531860 (re: MS)


Bone stock for glutathione, type 1 and II collagens, most bio available source of glucosamine and especially chondroitin as well as other micro minerals.
Curcumin as anti-inflamm (works well with Boswellia)
Calcium, vit D and especially Magnesium (for smooth muscle contraction along with so much more) - Bisglycinate form (no mixes), use aside from a cal/D blend


This should help get you off drugs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I doubt you will find any fosters to step up, as in my exp. you need to sign over for liability reasons.
However if you have the means, then boarding with a reputable company would work.
If the dogs listen to you, then have hubby do the chore while you command them


I hope the surgery goes favourably. Sounds awful./forum/images/Germanshepherds_2016/smilies/tango_face_surprise.png
Consider nutritional supplementation, like bone stock (can find in powder mixes now for ease at this time), B12 (methylcobalamin form ) for remyelination (repair of the myelin sheath that covers nerves. Breaks in the protective sheath that leads to break down and nerve pain)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17531860 (re: MS)


Bone stock for glutathione, type 1 and II collagens, most bio available source of glucosamine and especially chondroitin as well as other micro minerals.
Curcumin as anti-inflamm (works well with Boswellia)
Calcium, vit D and especially Magnesium (for smooth muscle contraction along with so much more) - Bisglycinate form (no mixes), use aside from a cal/D blend


This should help get you off drugs.
It wouldn’t be an actual fostering situation, more a dog sitter. There are a few of us that watch each other’s dogs when last minute, or planned trips are in the works. Just for our personal pets, not any animals that are being fostered. And it would just be Seiran. Crios and Lyka can fend for themselves, DH would just need to feed and water them. And one of my fellow fosters has been asking to use my agility course for her Shep, so maybe we can work out a deal where she runs Crios either before or after her dog so he gets some exercise.

And thank you, I will look into the supplements you listed. I am most certainly looking forward to being pill free. I managed just fine on Advil after 4 c-sections, so I’m hoping I can power through with nothing after surgery. You can’t take any NSAIDS after the surgery, so I’ll just have to white knuckle it as much as possible without doing any harm to the healing process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got ahold of my trainer, and he is very excited to come meet the new additions, and to see Lyka again. DH wasn’t too fond of the idea, but when I told him that he promised to start working with them a month prior to surgery, and he still hasn’t stepped up, and how worried and stressed I was about it, he said he’ll work with the trainer.

My biggest concern is Seiran not being fully trained, and 3 months in a puppy makes a huge difference in their adult lives as well.

I’m also concerned he’s going to get lazy and just let all the dogs out back and close the doggie door. No supervision. Seiran has had two injuries already. One in which Lyka snapped at her, causing some damage to her muzzle. Crios and Lyka play rough outside, and again, I’m worried about no supervision during these times. Especially if he’s letting Seiran out with the big dogs too.

My trainer told me to send him an email with all my concerns, and he will address them with DH coming from a trainers stand point, and not mention they are my fears.

DH is great at making promises, but not great at following through with them, so I am very much hoping he follows through with the things the trainer teaches him. He will be here 3-4 times a week for the next 3 weeks, and then twice a week for 2 weeks, until he is down to once a week.

I reached out to my fellow foster who wanted to use my course, and she was beyond okay exercising Crios and Seiran while she is here. That will only be twice a week, so DH is either going to have to work with Crios after work, or deal with the fallout of the destruction he will leave in his wake when not properly exercised. For me, I’d rather work him than clean up after him, let’s hope DH sees the wisdom in this as well.

The trainer will be by tomorrow for a meet and greet with DH. He wants me there as well to approve or adjust the plan accordingly, and wants me there during the first training session, but after that, it will be just him and DH. But he wants DH to see the levels of training each dog has with him, then with me, then with DH. I think he may be doing this to check up on me and make sure I’ve followed through on the proper methods with Crios and Seiran that he taught me with Lyka. Lol

So I have a pseudo plan in place, which has alleviated some of the stress, and hopefully all the stress will leave when I see DH working them for the next three weeks without the trainer present.
 

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Why don't you send the puppy back to the breeder and pay for boarding/training?

As far as no NSAIDS after the surgery, that's not correct. I had one of the best neuro's in NYS. I took ibuprofen by prescription. I had gabapentin and muscle relaxers. The muscle relaxers helped more than the narcotics they will give you. The narc's just knock you out. The muscle relaxer will stop all the pulling from tight muscles that happen. The anti-inflammatory from the NSAIDS is super important.

You will not be "pill free" in my experience. You will have days, due to weather changes, that you will want to take something stronger than advil. You've essentially take a part of your body that is built to expand and contract and made it a solid piece. It will feel like someone is crushing your spine some days and the nerve pain will come back to some extent. If you are having C1-C7, ALL of your cervical vertebra's fused as you stated above, then yours will be much worse than mine and you will have virtually no range of motion.
 

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Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith and let our loved-ones help out and take on some added responsibility from time to time. Sounds like you have a good plan. Your husband sounds a lot like mine. Mine doesn't have much dog-sense either (I don't think he'd object to me saying that), but he can keep the dogs fed and alive when he has to. I think with the help of the trainer, your husband will manage and the dogs will adjust for a few months while you recover. I assume, you'll be home after a few days to supervise and tell him what to do?--my hubs likes me to give him dog/pet instructions, I think. It's nice that your friend is willing to help with exercising. Hopefully, the trainer coming will alleviate some of the stress so you can focus on yourself and getting well. keep us updated. Are your kids too young to help?

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Why don't you send the puppy back to the breeder and pay for boarding/training?

As far as no NSAIDS after the surgery, that's not correct. I had one of the best neuro's in NYS. I took ibuprofen by prescription. I had gabapentin and muscle relaxers. The muscle relaxers helped more than the narcotics they will give you. The narc's just knock you out. The muscle relaxer will stop all the pulling from tight muscles that happen. The anti-inflammatory from the NSAIDS is super important.

You will not be "pill free" in my experience. You will have days, due to weather changes, that you will want to take something stronger than advil. You've essentially take a part of your body that is built to expand and contract and made it a solid piece. It will feel like someone is crushing your spine some days and the nerve pain will come back to some extent. If you are having C1-C7, ALL of your cervical vertebra's fused as you stated above, then yours will be much worse than mine and you will have virtually no range of motion.
I was told specifically by the surgeon that NSAID’s were not allowed because it could cause an issue with the bone graph. All 7 will not be fused all together, but two separate fuses. 1-4 will be fused, 5-7 will be fused, with a bone graph between 4 and 5. I’m aware I will have limited motion in my neck, I have it now, but with intense pain, and any movements that are too quick send shock waves down both arms. And if muscle relaxers or pain meds are needed occasionally, I’m okay with that, it’s the daily meds and doses I take now that I have an issue with. My body goes into withdrawal when I stop taking them, which means I’m dependent on them at this point. That’s what I want to get away from.

I’m sure the breeder would be happy to take Seiran in, but the breeder is in Washington, so we would have to worry about her being shipped back to the breeder, then back to us in AZ later. And while we do okay financially, with all the costs of the surgery, time off for DH, and a sitter that can transport the kids to and from school while I am on no drive orders, it would put us in a pinch that I would rather avoid. The lawsuit does not end until all medical procedures are complete, or a dr can reasonably say that so and so will need to be managed on this basis for x amount of time, we cannot settle until then. So I’m not working, and we are relying on DH’s salary only.

I will be home for most of the recovery, so I would be able to supervise to some extent if I’m able to get down the stairs, which is a little tricky, I’ll be in a collar for awhile. My girls would only be useful in picking up poop and letting them out for the bathroom. Seiran goes out front, big dogs go out back, and both are supervised. I don’t want to depend on a 7 year old and 9 year old to properly handle the situation if the big dogs start going at each other. And two cute kids and a cute puppy alone out front? Not a great idea. Lol.

My older boys live in FL, both in college with jobs, so they can’t fly down to help.

I honestly have no idea what to expect pain and mobility wise immediately after the surgery. I could be fine 5 days after to do the supervision, and at that point, the girls could help with Seiran, but still don’t want to put them in that situation with the big dogs. DH is just going to have to man up and handle it while I’m down and out. And I’m going to have to release my control freak tendencies and trust that what he is doing is okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
NSAIDs are out, smoking is out, strict limits on weight carried, I rented a hospital bed for 3 months, raise it up to easily get in and out. Pepper would sleep between my legs, lol.
Luckily for me, DH has sleep apnea and snores like he’s trying to call down thunder, so we have fully adjustable beds. It’s supposedly a California king, but has two separate frames, 2 separated mattresses, and we can each control our side of the bed, so we won’t need to get a hospital bed. The no smoking is going to be hard, but I quit for my 4 pregnancies, so I’m sure I can quit for this. I’ve switched to ecigs, and lower the nicotine amount daily.

I gained about 60lbs after the accident. I couldn’t keep up with my previously active lifestyle, and with the pain, I am often in bed. I did all the chiro appts, all the PT appts, and none helped, it just caused so much additional pain it would cause me to vomit. So I’ve been way too sedentary because everything I do causes pain. The dr has me on a strict diet now, but the weight sticks around. I’ve never been a big eater, or a big person, and I’m sure it was because I was always biking, jogging, hiking, etc. Biking is about the only activity that doesn’t kill me, but it’s 115 out, so that’s a no go. We also have a pool, which I will take full advantage of after the surgery, but they tend to give me migraines, so it will have to be super early morning, and after the sun goes down.

I’m not expecting a miracle that will lead to a pain free life, I’d just like to get some semblance of control back over myself.
 

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I think since your DH has agreed to work with the trainer, if you have a lot of trust in the trainer, let this be Dh’s project alone. Excuse yourself after the initial intro to the trainer and the initial chit chat about the general goals. Something like I see you two have this I’m heading out to do thus and thus.....let you Dh really take the reins with your blessing.

It’s the leap of faith that Sebrench spoke of.

In my own experience between Dh and myself when we are both playing with my boy, I have learned to put metaphorical blinders on so that I don’t see the out of the norm methods that Dh uses and it allows me to really enjoy the interaction that goes on between him and our boy. I had to do this or end up ruining all the fun for both of them. And in the end, our boy is just a smart family companion, not a competitor except in nose work. he has figured out what we both want from him even though some of our cues don’t quite match. It may have confused him a little at the beginning, but he is no worse for it and he really loves when Dh starts his command routines. Dh command for the heel position is the sound Phst, phst. And he gets a better heel from my boy. Lol Dh and I laugh about it now.

Perhaps in the midst of a lousy very trying set of circumstances, it is bringing about the potential for some new beginnings and I think you have set the stage for success between the trainer and the friend.

In any case, I think so far you have a good base plan and wishing you well with it.
 

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Yes, I think maybe you have to keep the list very short and simple!
Everything is good if:
- all 3 dogs healthy and uninjured
- house (mostly) in one piece
- humans OK, healing / working / going to school
That is, think of it as "treading water" rather than progressing...

Don't fret, and try to relax and heal!

Keep your standards as low as possible. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My concerns are:

Being lazy and letting all 3 dogs out together with no supervision.
Seiran being harmed by the big dogs.
Crios trashing everything because he isn’t being worked enough.
DH will not follow through with making the dogs listen to him.

That’s pretty much it. Seiran is already pretty far into her training, and has all basic commands down. I don’t expect him to have her in tip top competing state, I just want to make sure she doesn’t back slide. And I wouldn’t be concerned with that if she wasn’t so young.

DH doesn’t often see what I do with the dogs because he’s at work, or in bed when I’m working them. So I think he doesn’t realize just how much Crios needs to not turn into a demon spawn tearing up everything in sight.

Honestly, it’s stress and worry I don’t need. I can’t change what needs to happen. If I had known surgery was going to be this year, I would have waited on getting a pup. Myself and my specialist were thinking more along the lines of 2-4 years, which would give me time to have 2 solid dogs fully trained. God has a funny way of seeing you plan out every little thing, and then smacking you down with realities. Lol. So I’m just going to have to let go, and know even if he completely screws up Seiran’s training, I can get her back on track once I’ve recovered. And if Crios eats all the furniture in the house, it’s just furniture, we can get new things.

Thanks everyone, for both the advice and support!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Color me impressed! DH generally sleeps until noon on the weekends, and during the week he gets up at 7:30 for work. Our trainer wanted to meet at 5am to work all the dogs and not put them into heat distress. And to see how they respond to with me, and with DH. DH actually woke me up this morning at 4:00 because he was excited and wanted to ask a zillion questions on what to expect. Kinda sucked because I was up at 2, so I had just fallen back to sleep, but it did my heart good to see DH not only taking it seriously, but being excited about it as well!

Have I mentioned yet how much I love my trainer? He’s amazing. I asked him to just walk in so he didn’t wake the kids (Lyka barks her head off if she hears a knock or doorbell) and in he came. Lyka let out one bark, and then threw herself on him and couldn’t stop butt wiggling and licking and smiling. My senior girl was acting like a puppy again. Crios was wary (probably felt the down to business of the trainers personality) and stayed away. Seiran did her puppy thing. Yes, all three loose together, but I made DH understand that it was for the trainers benefit to see their interactions, and it’s the only time it was okay.

Jake had me run all three through the basic commands (sit, down, up, stay, release, place, heel, and crate). Two did amazingly, Crios was being a stubborn butthead and tried staring down the trainer the whole time. I got him refocused on me, and he did his drills well, but with that stank eye attitude the whole time.

Next up, DH! Not surprisingly, commands and behaviors were all over the place. Jake walked DH through them all, teaching him inflection, stance, and attitude. Lyka listened to him, she’s a good dog. Crios ignored him completely, even with redirects with treats, and Seiran just tried playing with him. So pretty much what I expected, but I kept my mouth shut and chuckled in my head.

Then we watched the master at work. Jake had all 3 in a line and walked them through their paces. It’s like watching a beautiful ballet when he’s working them.

We kept it short and sweet. About a minute each with each dog, with each person. He was very impressed with Seiran, and echoed my feelings that the breeder did a top notch job on placing the right pup with me.

He said Lyka’s doing awesome, and could tell I kept up on her fear aggressive behaviors.

Crios was Crios. He said he saw it in his eyes the second he walked in. That dog is just pure stubbornness. We agreed to keep DH’s interactions with him to the typical play he normally does, and to have me give the commands while I’m in bed. He won’t go near his crate for DH. Then he had me run Crios on the agility course. Jake actually dropped his jaw in surprise. That was a good feeling! He didn’t think Crios would be so biddable on anything with the crappy attitude he was displaying inside. My boy flew through the course twice, did awesome with a mid course recall, and flowed back into the course when released. He said he’d never seen a more graceful dog, and he understood the attitude inside now that he saw what he can really do. We both agreed not to let DH near the agility course with Crios, at least not for the first week or two until he saw Crios responding well to DH. So he’s going to have him work on scent work with DH, and DH is going to have to work his physical energy out via ball play, their silly man rough play, and walks.

He pointed out things I was doing wrong too, so I ate my share of crow pie.

We then took a short walk around the neighborhood with DH handling Crios and Lyka, and me walking Seiran. My sweet Lyka did me proud! Jake showed DH the proper way to use the prong on Crios (which I’ve said to him over and over again, but it was me, so he didn’t listen ?) and the walk was smooth as butter after that.

So everything went well, and Jake will be back tomorrow to just work with DH. He stressed the importance of the crate and rotate I do to keep Seiran separated from the big dogs unless very closely supervised, and not with both big dogs at the same time. So that helped ease a lot of my stress. He’s going to show DH how to read their body language to see if play time needs to stop with Seiran, and what to watch for on walks. DH will do a short walk with Lyka and Seiran (Lyka can’t handle a full walk, we keep it short and sweet for her), and then a longer walk with Crios and Seiran while Lyka gets some love time from me.

I’m crossing fingers, toes, and praying to the man above that DH doesn’t get too excited or go overboard in the beginning and burn himself out, but that’s out of my hands, so for the next few months, I’m the one that gets to love on and play with the dogs while DH does all the work!
 

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He could very well become addicted and turn out to be the best GSD owner ever.
There is nothing more satisfying than training and having a well-trained GSD, because these dogs are unlike any other breed and have a finely tuned weak-o-meter.

My heart goes out to you. Here’s to a successful surgery and a super outcome.
 
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