Recently, someone on a dog-behavior email list I’m on casually mentioned something called a “Thundershirt”. Being a curious googler I had to look it up. Turns out it is a dog sweater type thing that is supposed to help with anxiety. And if you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know I’m willing to try anything when it comes to Widget’s anxiety… so I ordered one.
Let me just say… OMG.
This is the second best invention, ever! (the first best being doggy daycare).
Day One: Widget met my mom for the first time. We let them meet first without the Thundershirt. Widget did her usual crazy routine and barked nonstop. On went the Thundershirt and off went the barking. No, it didn’t just turn down the volume, it changed Widget. She stood next to my mom and HAPPILY accepted ear scritches for 10 minutes. Yep.
Day Two: I brought the Thundershirt along when I picked up the dogs from daycare. I wanted our friends at Hearts and Paws to see this amazing creation in action. The timing couldn’t have been better either. I put the sweater on Widget as they brought her out from daycare. All the staff was there AND a stranger. Normally Widget would have barked like crazy at the stranger, and often even at some of the staff. Not today. She not only didn’t bark at anyone but she let the stranger pet her! Let me say that again: she let the stranger pet her.
Widget wore the sweater on/off for the rest of the week (while my mom was visiting). Today was housekeeper day. Widget has known Laura for over 2 years. And she’s barked at her almost every week during this time. Poor Laura LOVES dogs and I think her feelings have been hurt that Widget doesn’t love her back (Browser loves her, so that helps). Well, today I had Widget greet Laura with the Thundershirt on. There was no barking. None. And… Laura *almost* got kisses. It was so close. Widget touched her nose on Laura’s cheek a couple of times. You could tell she was thinking about giving kisses.
Next up on the Thundershirt Tour? I think Widget is ready for her society debut!