Daily Conversations With Anxiety: I Killed My Dog

Atreyu ran back and forth from my roommate to myself, whining. He jumped up on the teal leather couch beside me, only to jump off and skitter onto the couch where my roommate was typing. He tried to climb into her lap.

“He’s needy tonight,” I said. “I wonder what’s got him all riled up.”

I watched him frantically traipse about the house for about ten minutes, my stress growing. Did he need to use the doggy potty? Was there a rabbit outside that he wanted to kill? Was someone stalking around the bushes outside of our house, planning an attack? Then, I remembered a purchase at Wild By Nature, a local Whole Foods knock-off, that I acquired the day before: pet anti-anxiety drops. The directions read to give the pet four drops on a treat.

“Atreyu, come here!” I yelled, and he slid into my legs. He’s not very coordinated. I fed the doused treat to him. He spat it out on the ground, and then quickly ate it. So, I reasoned, I needed to give him some more. I had four more treats. I put a drop on each, and gave him the handful. He ate them eagerly, this time without spitting them on the ground.

Five minutes later, and he was still running and whining, whining and running. He wouldn’t lay still for longer than ten seconds. Was this a doggy panic attack? With each jump of his, my heart rate increased.

“I can’t handle this anymore,” I said to my roommate, and I walked and got Atreyu’s thundershirt. The thundershirt is a shirt that hugs your pet tightly, calming them down. I put on Atreyu’s and hoped that his drops would calm him down.

I sat on the couch and called Atreyu over to me. He lay at my side with his head in my lap. Still. Breathing deeply. Beginning to fall asleep.

Suddenly, I panicked: Did I OD my dog on these drops? Is he going to die? He’s too calm, too quickly. What would happen if Atreyu died tonight? What would l I do? I couldn’t handle his death. Oh shit, I killed my dog. I killed my dog.

I laughed, uneasy. “It looks like the shirt is working.” Heh heh. “I guess I can take it off now.”Heh heh. Shit, my dog was going to die. Was the vet’s office open that late? Should I have made him throw up the treats he just ate?

My roommate smiled and nodded. “He does seem a lot calmer,” she said, typing away.

I pulled at the velcro around Atreyu’s neck and body. The shirt came loose. And so did Atreyu.

He jumped up and continued to run around like the ball of energy he is. I took a deep breath, but went and fished the instructions out of the trash can anyway. I read the label: “Works for cats, dogs, hamsters, horses, or any other pet. This is not a sedative. Find the dosage that works for you and your animal.”

I breathed a sigh of relief, but watched Atreyu carefully the rest of the night. I hope I didn’t just kill my dog, I thought, as I fell asleep.

Photo on 2013-10-15 at 21.11
He lived, and went on to snuggle with a cat. A CAT. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD?!

8 thoughts on “Daily Conversations With Anxiety: I Killed My Dog

  1. I was so sad for the first couple of paragraphs and concerned by the title at first. But I’m glad your dog is okay. My golden-doodle has anxiety too but his thundershirt doesn’t work in the least.

  2. You really do capture the voice of anxiety very well. It reminds me of a time I thought I had poisoned myself with draino because there was a possibility that when I poured it in the sink a *drop had splattered on the spoon sitting by the sink which I then used an hour later to stir the coffee with.

  3. Whit,
    Why do I have the impulse to trigger more anxiety, when I should know better? I don’t like the hue and saturation of the picture. Your dog looks pale. Is he OK?
    Le Clown

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