Saturday, the roommates and I went to a Christmas party at a friend's house. They came home afterwards and I stayed over. I returned home the next day, a little after lunch time.
As I was unloading the car, Skeletor darted out the garage door and across the street. I chased him until he had to stop and take a pee. (that's usually how I'm able to catch him)
I dragged the bad doggie back home, trying not to cause him to throw up (which leading him by the collar usually does)
After I finished unloading the car, the roommates told me that he had been acting weird. Reminiscent of the old days, he was acting very scared of the living room. They told me that when they let him into the back yard, he would just stay there too afraid to come back in. Despite the fact that he was shivering in the cold, he was too petrified to enter the house.
Apparently they dragged him in forcefully so he didn't freeze. Skeletor ran into James' room to hide out and seemed interested in the window. James opened his blinds and Skeletor tried to jump out the closed window, knocking over his dvd case.
I let the terrified Skeletor into my bedroom (which seldom happens) and sat with him on the bed. He seemed to be feeling better immediately.
He had some dry food in his bowl that he was apparently not eating. I went into the kitchen and made him a big bowl of wet and dry food mixed together. I called him and called him... he wouldn't leave my bedroom. I tried biscuits, treats, raw hyde, you name it. Skelly wouldn't budge.
I was worried that his sheepishness may mean that he was getting sick again. He had been doing so well lately! A relapse at this point (about a week before he is supposed to begin heartworm treatment injections) would be terrible!
I went and got the food tray and set it down in my bathroom. Skeletor devoured the food like he had not eaten in a week. I left him to finish his food and came back a while later to check on him. The food dish was completely clean!
When he's sick, he normally loses his appetite. Hmmm...
I figured that he may need to use the restroom after that big meal, so I tried to get him to follow me to the back door. No such luck. I went and got the raw hide and biscuits... he did not want to leave my bedroom. Eventually I was able to get him to follow me down the hall, into the living room, and out the back door. I closed all the bedroom doors so he had nowhere to go and be reclusive.
Normally Skelly uses the bathroom and is ready to come back inside after 10 seconds. Ten minutes had passed and there was no sign of him. I looked outside and he was just laying there in the cold grass. I called him and told him to come inside. He walked up to the door, but wouldn't come inside.
I didn't want to force him inside, which wouldn't do much for his nervous state... so I coaxed him inside with a biscuit. Finally, once inside I sat down with him in the living room. His whole body was shivering! I moved his bed in front of the fireplace and covered him with a blanket while I made a fire.
I sat there petting him and waited for the shivers to stop. He was finally beginning to settle down. After a while, I moved over to the couch and Skelly followed. A while later, he was snoring.
When it was time for bed, Skelly walked into his cage like normal and went to sleep. He seemed to be ok again.
This morning, he has been his normal chipper self. He ate all his breakfast without my having to add anything fancy. I let him out to use the bathroom. He was running around the yard having a great time. He took a leak and then wanted to come back inside. I opened the door and he rushed in without hesitation. He's now chomping happily on the floor next to my chair enjoying the leftover raw hyde from last night.
It seems like everything's fine. I was worried about the little punk! Skeletor's sunny disposition, smarts, and vigor make it easy to forget what he's been through. Underneath his healthy, happy puppy exterior lurk the memories of being a starved, neglected, and very sick little doggie.
Being unable to fully understand what goes on in his head, I would imagine that it doesn't take much to jar those awful memories.
Hang in there, Skelly!