For The Love of Henry

August 02, 2019

Meet Henry, or Hank or Hendry..... depends on the day and the moment, haha. Henry is a 3 year old pit bull terrier cross and he’s a rescue. When he was roughly 5 months old, he was hit by a car and, to add insult to injury, he was surrendered by his family at the same time. Now Imagine, being a puppy who has experienced a double trauma and now you’re surrounded by strangers, in pain and helpless.


The rescue was unsure if Henry would lose his leg or even survive the surgery, as his injuries were quite extensive. To everyone’s surprise he pulled thru his first surgery and proceeded to improve after every surgery, even getting to keep his leg! The life-long result of this was that his one leg would be a little shorter than the other, and he would probably experience muscle and joint pain throughout his life.


When Henry was 9 months old he was placed into a foster home to begin the transition for adoption. It was at this time that he underwent a behavioral test to find out what kind of home he would be best suited too. This test discovered that Henry had separation anxiety, PTSD and it was considered to be on the extreme end of the scale.


Fast forward 2 months later and I fall in love with this serious faced handsome boy. I also had a 2 year old Rottie at this time who needed a friend. Shortly after bringing Henry home it seemed his anxiety wasn’t as aggressive as we anticipated it to be. It wasn’t till time went on that signs of everything began presenting themselves. When I’d leave he would spend the day crying and trying to escape his kennel. If he got out, he would be stressed and destroy anything insight. He managed to eat thru the side bars on his kennel, bend the front gate, you name it and he could do it. One time he got out and chewed all the legs on the chairs of our dinning room suite. I had to go as far as to place the dining room table on his kennel. It was like we were both competing to one up each other.


When Henry was 2, we made the move from Calgary to Edmonton and become a family of 5 instead of 3. There was my partner and me and now 3 dogs. To most, this was probably crazy.


It was shortly after this that Henry’s “issues” began presenting themselves in a different way. I won’t go into too much detail, as we have touched on it above. I will point out the significant incidents that occurred.


My partner and I, like most people, worked full time jobs that took us out of the home for 7-9 hours a day. Henry was just a ticking time bomb. Our assumption of what was going thru his head whenever we left was “they’re not coming back!”, “they have left me”, “I need to get out, I need to find them”. The first incident, Henry chewed thru our drywall next to the patio door. I remember coming home and there was this huge hole staring me in the face. Cue anger. Now keep in mind, we couldn’t kennel him because he always got out and the other two dogs didn’t need kennels so that was unfair. Incident number 2, my partner comes home to find the door to the basement has been scratched and chewed and destroyed. Cue frustration. Incident number 3, I traveled for work at that time and was in Calgary when my partner woke up to a sound in the middle of the night. When she turned the lights on, there was Henry, eating a hole in the dry wall. Again! Cue defeat.


At this point we are both at a loss and very frustrated. I won’t lie to you, there were many discussions on whether we could continue on with the dogs and us and the chaos we had going on. I didn’t know what my options were, except that we would both never forgive ourselves if we became part of the statistics and gave up our dog or dogs. So I called our Vet and asked what I could do for him. It was then that we were given a prescription for anxiety medication. This wasn’t an easy choice for us, we both aren’t much for medication and the thought of “doping” him because of the strain his health was having on us, broke our hearts.


After lots of discussion and trying all the calming diffusers and collars and spray that were accessible to us, we bit the bullet.   Half a pill in the am and half a pill at night. Every day. We stopped coming home to any house damage or incidents. What we started coming home to was our lovable dog. Sleeping. Always sleeping. I don’t want to say the pills changed who he was, because they didn’t. They just put a haze on who he was. After some time we started to only give him half a pill in the morning to try and manage how much medication we were pumping into him. This went on for about 5 months I would say.


Fast forward to present time, about a month ago. Henry’s “issues” mentally weren’t always our only concern. When he would lay down or sit or after playing with his siblings you could tell his back leg was in pain. Really his whole body. He would make these ‘old man’ groans when he got up or moved. If we were all relaxing and we were getting up to let the dogs out, we would have to wait a few minutes for Henry because his pace to get up and get to the door was slow. Henry isn’t even 3 and if anyone didn’t know this you would think he was a senior dog. Heart break. The thing was, Henry would take on feeling this way because he loved to play. It’s his favorite. Running in the backyard, playing fetch and jumping. He can easily see over a six foot fence with jumping off flat ground. But, all this came with a consequence in the pain he felt or the way he had to favor the leg when he walked, when he sat.


That’s when we started him on CBD oil (Remedy Pet). Daily. We took CBD oil for ourselves and for the last year we gave it to our other rescue (Elena) from Mexico as she also didn’t have the best start in life and that definitely took a toll. But I’ll save our Mexican rescue story for another blog.


At this point Henry has been on CBD oil for about a month. He gets .50ml every day. He doesn’t always appreciate taking it but the benefits outweigh the 30 seconds it takes me to put it in his mouth. I would never go back to a time where our dogs weren’t on CBD oil. I couldn’t be so cruel to deny them this. The improvements in Henry alone are worth every dollar. We have not given Henry anxiety medication once while he has been on Remedy Pet. We leave the house and come home to dog happy to see us, and I mean happy! Haha!   When Henry was on his medication, he would wag his tail a little, go outside and come back in and nap or lay down. Now he’s happy to see us. It’s like he can think clearly, like before he was sitting at home panicking about if we were coming back home, and now he can feel something other than stress.


The other benefit gained from CBD oil being part of his routine is the groaning has completely stopped. Henry moves around when he’s sleeping on the couch like it’s no bother to him, he springs off the couch to go outside with his siblings and unlike before he can be outside running, jumping and playing like he isn’t experiencing pain. It’s honestly like he has a new lease on life and so do we. We don’t live in this bubble of constant worry and stress and he doesn’t live in a bubble of pain and stress.


I would recommend CBD oil to anyone who had a dog. Even if they are healthy with no issues. The benefits that we can see and not see for their overall health are worth it. The thing is, dogs can’t tell us what’s wrong. As people we don’t even tell someone else what’s wrong. Especially when what’s wrong is internal. But dogs aren’t that much different than us. They are emotional creatures who experience depression, anxiety, PTSD, fear, pain, moodiness. They deserve self care the same way we do. All three of our dogs take CBD for different reasons. But they all benefit in different ways and that is really what matters.


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