My Dog Needs a Therapist

I think my dog needs a therapist.

I am fairly certain that my chocolate lab, Roxy, has some issues that need therapeutic resolution. I have given her a diagnosis myself, but I would rather turn to a professional opinion. If anyone out there wants to psychoanalyse my dog, please let me know.

First of all, Roxy is having a gender identity crisis. She thinks she is a male dog. For one thing, when “doing her business” she lifts her leg up like a male dog marking his territory. Even worse, my husband and I must constantly stop her from humping our other female dog, Bam. Roxy just mounts up and does what she feels she must do. Bam doesn’t usually seem to mind much. The whole scene is rather embarrassing when it happens while company is visiting.

Roxy’s second diagnosis is obsessive compulsive doggie disorder, or OCDD. Roxy will only enter her kennel after Bam enters hers. If I tell her to go downstairs, she will only go if she can circle around my legs and go between the door and me by turning to her left, even if there is a clear pathway to the stairs. She will literally stand at the top of the stairway and wait for me to make room for her to pass between.

Roxy is afraid of the dark. She will not go up or down a stairwell unless the lights are on. If the lights are off, she will cry and shake until the lights are turned on. I have tried to explain to her that there is no such thug as the boogieman, but she is rather irrational at times.

Lastly, all of these issues have led to Roxy’s drinking problem. Yes, my dog has a drinking problem. If a bucket of water is left out for her to drink, she dunks her entire head into the bucket, submerging herself completely up to her collar. Imagine bobbing for apples, only this is what she does to get a drink of water.

For now, we will continue with in-home therapy, but if anyone knows of a good canine psychiatrist, please advise.

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