Tuesday, February 1, 2011

There's Something about Yaffee

At first glance, one would say that Yaffee is a sweet, mellow dog.   Sweet  is definitely a word to describe Yaffee; mellow, well he can be depending on the circumstances.  You see, Yaffee is afflicted with a severe case of Separation Anxiety.
People often throw the term separation anxiety around to describe their dog’s behavior.  They may say, “My dog barks when I put him in a crate.”  Or, “My dog gets anxious when I get ready to leave the house.”  I ask them, does he destroy the crate he is in?  Does he destroy your home while you’re away?  Has he ever chewed through a door to find you?  Have you ever needed to bring him to the emergency clinic because he severely injured himself?  Because those are just a few of the things dogs with real Separation Anxiety will do if they are not treated for this horrible condition.
                 Snuggle time                             
Are you coming back?
Yaffee’s previous family did speak with their vet and started him on a medication that will hopefully help his situation; but, by the time they spoke with their vet, they were already frustrated to the point where they felt they could no longer keep him.  He is now back at the Animal Refuge League.  Because of the love he had for his family, he panicked when alone and became very destructive, including seriously injuring himself by breaking through a window to find them.

Since being at the shelter, we have continued the medication, which takes several weeks to take effect.   About five days ago, we rushed Yaffee to the vet to have a piece of metal fencing removed from the roof of his mouth.   This is an example of the panic he goes into when alone…he tried to chew through the kennel door.  It was a terrifying experience for me to have to try to remove this metal with a pair of pliers…it wouldn’t budge and all I could think about was that he was going to bleed to death.  That’s when my coworker picked up the 78lb dog and carried him to her van.  Her adrenalin must have been pumping!
Since that day, Yaffee spends his days in the office so we can keep him safe.  At night, we give him medication to help settle him, as well as, a homeopathic remedy used for fear.  It is our hope that his medication will kick in, then we can make him available for adoption (as a special needs dog) in a home where they will work at desensitizing him to being alone.  This will indeed be a long journey for someone, but we think Yaffee is well worth the effort.

Will you rub my tummy?
This is a strange looking human.
What Yaffee needs right now is a guardian Angel who would like to take him home at night and bring him to the shelter during the day.  Mind you, he shows absolutely no destructive tendencies when people are around.  He could hang out with them in the evening and snuggle on a dog bed next to their bed at night.  So please, please pass the word along if you know of someone that may be up to the task to be Yaffee’s special Guardian Angel.  FMI:  contact Teri at 854-9771.


  1. Is he ok with cats, dogs, kids? We posted him on the SOME Pit! page, but it might be helpful if folks know who he can share a home with at night. I hope he finds a foster and forever home soon!

  2. Yaffee cannot live with cats. Dogs are a little questionable...he doesn't like young, rambunctious dogs, but we have seen him remain calm with older, mellow dogs. Children are fine. Thanks for spreading the word.

  3. Good news...I checked more into Yaffee's history and he has never lived with cats, so we did a "cat test." He did really well! He sniffed the cat through a gate at first and just backed away. Then we tried without the gate from about two feet away and just ignored her, even when she leapt up to her tree house right in front of him. Yay, Yaffee.

  4. An update on our handsome boy: Yaffee has been spending his nights with an ARL staff member and her four cats. His days are spent working at a children's daycare. He takes his job seriously and makes sure he is attentive if the children need some love and enjoys the companionship of the resident dog. On his time off, he is enjoying romps on the beach with several other dogs.

    His foster mom reports that he is a dream when riding in the car and they've been practicing leaving him alone in the home for very short durations and he's done well. Keep up the good work Yaffee boy.