Recently Max has been sporting a new shirt.
It’s called a Thundershirt. I am curious if any of you have ever heard of them. Before I go any further I will tell you that the whole premise is ridiculous! Any sound minded individual would agree. But, I first noticed the ad in the Readers Digest (and anything you find in the Readers Digest is true, right? Kind of like, anything you read on the internet is the God’s honest truth, right?). I laughed it off and thought anyone who would pay $36 for that was a sucker.
But Max has been having a lot of trouble lately. It started with the snowplow and the UPS truck. He could hear them coming for miles it seemed. He would run from window to window, door to door, barking and shaking. He would continue his “fit” long after they were gone. Over time he started reacting this way to pick up trucks, then vans, then cars. Now he begins his ritual in response to nothing. It seems like he wants to stop but can’t. He cries as he is running but you can’t catch him to console him. He barks until he gets hoarse. All in response to nothing.
I know you can medicate dogs for anxiety but I really didn’t want to do that…and giving Max medicine is kind of what you’d imagine giving a cat a bubble bath would be like.
So, the Thundershirt was starting to sound like maybe it might be worth a try. They offer a 100% guarantee and as you can see below, they also offer two of the absolute cheesiest commercials ever!
I kind of understand the theory that it works in the same way positive pressure works on autistic kids and swaddling works on newborns. Other than that, it all seems like hocus pocus bogus to me.
The things is, for Max it works!!! When we start to see him “winding up” we put it on him and almost instantly he relaxes. His body tension releases and his barking stops. He stops running his race track pattern from window to window, door to door, and lies down on the couch with a rawhide or toy and you can just tell he is so much happier.
In a situation that we know might be stressful, we put it on ahead of time and while Max notices the noise or distraction, it doesn’t make him a half-crazed, neurotic canine.
Bottom line…he is happier, we are happier. Even if it sounds ridiculous and I have no idea why or how it works. If you have similar problems, let us be your testimonial! Try it out.
By the way, thanks Tina for helping me figure out how to add videos. It’s much easier than I was trying to make it!