This post will probably only be interesting to you if you are a "dog person".
Well, this has little to do with our adoption, but it's on my mind all the same.
We have a 3 year old male German Shepherd Dog named Hunter. We adopted him at 4 months from an animal shelter. He has the softest temperment of any German Shepherd I've ever worked with & is a real sweetie. He does not require strong correction. He is very obedient & trainable. He passed his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification & earned his Therapy Dog International (TDI) license before he turned two. He is very sensitive & snuggly...and he is sick.
It started over a year ago when he became startled when he met a pony. He jumped back & barked frantically. I got him calmed down & then we hung out around the pony for awhile so he could relax in it's presence. Then he decided one day that a paper bag on the floor was something dangerous/highly suspicious. Very random. Later on, he decided he didn't feel safe in small enclosed areas like a hallway. He could not tolerate anyone besides family leaning over the baby gate to talk to him & would ever so slightly growl. That is NOT my sweet Hunter! I would immediately verbally correct him and he would snap out of it but then it would be a problem again the next time. Now, just this week, he has been choosing random areas on our floor & deciding they are scary. He'll stare at them, walk careful around them etc.
We have been to our vet (who I really respect) several times & have tried canine anti-anxiety meds. with no helpful results. We are obviously well past the point where he can work as a therapy dog & I am concerned we are continuing to move in a direction I do NOT want to go! My vet says Hunter basically is suffering from mental illness.
Anyone out there have any experience with this? I've been searching for more info. & have been finding very little. Hunter is a sweet boy & a part of our family. This is a big concern. Thanks!