The first day of the new year started out with a visit to Ellie's house and it is always a delight to see her lovable face looking up expectantly at me while I search for her leash. However, this morning's visit was not one of my favorites because Ellie worked herself into a frenzy while trying to take off her mesh muzzle. The result of taking off the muzzle was horrifying; drops of Ellie's blood were spattered throughout the kitchen floor, some of Ellie's paws were blood stained, and sections of the radiator were bloodied and scattered all around her.
In my opinion, Ellie has a severe case of separation anxiety and although I suggested Ellie be given alternative chewing "toys" such as bones, squeaky toys, Kongs filled with peanut butter, etc, my advice didn't seem to fall on listening ears. I even suggested crating her but apparently Ellie does not approve of crates but personally I would rather have her in a confined crate where I feel she would be less susceptible to injuries.
From what I've read about muzzling dogs, I learned that muzzles are only to be worn while supervised and they should not to be worn for long periods of time.
In Ellie's case, she wore her mesh muzzle (as seen above) throughout New Year's Eve and into the morning and I shudder to think of the frustration that she went through for so long!
I am not a renowned pet sitter or dog trainer but I feel it is cruel to punish a dog for their destructive behavior with the use of a muzzle. In my opinion, muzzling only works as a band aid and does not help calm a dog who has anxiety issues.
Because I have been dealing with the results of Ellie's behavior training and because her situation has stayed the same and apparently won't change I gave my notice this morning. Hopefully, my absence will produce positive results for Ellie's sake.
I appreciate that you took the time to read this post because this situation has weighed heavily on my mind for months. I am anxious to know what your thoughts are about muzzling. Do you think there's a time and a place for it? If you have positive or negative or indifferent thoughts I'd love to read your comments. ANY advice is welcome!