Tasni’ (Hello in Cree First Nations)
Here is my scruffy, adorable and mischievous dog Maskwa (bear in cree). He is a little over 1 year old and is half Chihuahua and half Pekingese. He is the light of my life and keeps me busy with cuddles and play time.
I would like to share a bit about myself. I am half Cree First Nations and grew up in foster care homes and volatile and dysfunctional family members. There was heavy physical, emotional, sexual and mental abuse for many years. There was also the sad stereotype that my First Nations family were heavy and destructive alcoholics. There was no stability and no love growing up.
Which makes sense that at 14 years I had my first major depressive break in reality and had a suicide attempt and later turning into a year chaotic mania. Back then we didn’t know I had bipolar disorder and continued to treat it as depression. Which led me to a young life starting at 16 years old of addiction, instability, chaos, abusive relationships, and poverty (after I left home at 16).
Over the years I’ve learned to pull myself out of that chaotic life and away from addiction and abusive relationships. But the battle of bipolar is real and the destruction that major depressive states that occur are terrifying. I get so low that I cannot see the light of life and lose all will to live. I have attempted suicide since a youth, 5 times in my life. Some worse than others, but all life-damaging and destructive.
I do manage most of my bipolar states with medication and therapy, which help a times, but so far, when a major deep deep depression begins, there is no way of stopping it.
Which brings me to why I’m reaching out for support.
You see, during one of these major bipolar depressive states, my psychiatrist suggested I get a pet to care for and to help with the depression.
I didn’t grow up with pets so it was a new concept to relish the idea of getting a pet, like a dog.
So I found this adorable puppy that pretty much walked into my life and took over everything!!! I had to learn how to potty train, and help him when teething, and managing his shenanigans all the time. He brought so much love into my life!
I was so focused on him that I was astounded when I hadn’t had the bone and soul crushing depression for most of the year. I was amazed. And so thankful.
But I wish I did things a little differently while I was raising Maskwa. Especially at the beginning. Sure I was distracted with Maskwa, but it didn’t take away a lot of the residual issues I had that came with even low levels of depression. I still had a lot of anxiety and aversion to going outside a lot. I mostly stayed indoors and played with Maskwa and was too shy to interact with other dog owners when he was young.
Then about 6 months in, he started barking at everyone and everything. It got to the point that he is walked early early morning or very late at night so to avoid other people and dogs, which he will just lose his mind over and bark until they are away from us. He also started to show great levels of separation anxiety as well.
And this makes me so sad for him. I feel he is missing out on interacting with other dogs and having a much more freeing and outgoing life in general. He is a cuddle bug indoors, but once he’s outside, he is a wild, out of control dog.
I don’t work right now and am trying to go back to school. My husband manages our bills and rent and we are stretched thin, so extensive training for Maskwa isn’t even on the horizon for us.
But I came across a website and a dog training boarding school with a successful business in retraining the most difficult of dogs. This makes me hopeful that he could learn to behave so he can interact with other dogs and have a fun, exploratory, playful life around other dogs and other people. The boarding school is about 5 – 8 week duration and stay and the cost is CAD $3500 -$5600. It depends on the severity of the issues.
There he will work through:
-Severe human and dog aggression,
-Intense leash reactivity,
-Extreme anxiety and fearfulness,
-High level of separation anxiety and confinement phobia,
-Serious hyper-ness and complete lack of impulse control,
-Incessant barking, constant jumping, massive pulling, non-stop whining, destructiveness
I know I messed up with his younger years of training, but I hope there is a way for support for him to help get retrained so he can enter into doggy society as a good boi, that I know that he is.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
And if anyone is able to help, I am most appreciative and thankful for everyone helping us out. Here is my Paypal.me information.
All my relations (a respectful term in cree)