How Do You Distract A Fixated Dog?


I have a dilemma. 

Charlie somehow spotted a black speck in the corner of the kitchen ceiling by the patio door, literally a small spot, and has decided it's something alive.


I don't know how on earth he spotted it to start with. I never would have. But he's relentless. He sits and practically vibrates while whining and crying.

I try to redirect his attention, but it doesn't work.

So, though my ankle is hurting from doing so much the last few days, I went ahead and got the stepladder (wicked thing that it is) and took a small screwdriver and reached up to try and brush it away. 
 
Helped a little, but I guess it really needs some paint. And I'm NOT getting on the stepladder again to paint it. He will just have to sit and vibrate.

Now he will at least leave it alone for a time. But then he remembers it and goes back to scratching the wall and crying. As if that's going to help matters.

As for my ankle, if it is still going to hurt when I'm up doing things, I might as well buy some decaf coffee and at least have that small morning pleasure back.

I thought no caffeine was helping with the inflammation, but that proved to be a short-lived event.

Think I'll use my regular coffee maker though, because I feel like the Keurig makes coffee a bit too strong for me.)  

I'll get there with the Christmas stuff. Just having to limit myself.

 
Charlie has never been the kind of dog that plays with toys or chews bones. So I can't distract him with that.

Now, with only two teeth, he couldn't chew a bone if he wanted to.

Well, surely he'll forget about it soon. 

I saw a cat on the tiny front porch, and even led him over to the door to show him, excitedly saying "Charlie, cat, cat!" but he apparently couldn't see it behind the bushes just a few feet from the storm door.

So how on earth does he see a speck in the corner of the ceiling, I ask you?

I'm perplexed.


17 comments

  1. I have never heard of such a fixation - truly it's bizarre. Any chance it's not the speck but something living in the eaves that he hears, above the spec? If you lived near me I would get up on the ladder and hit it with paint for you, must be very frustrating for you and your dog.

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  2. Well, if you have a yardstick or back scratcher or some other stick, even a broom handle, then put a dab of white toothpaste on the end of the stick. Then point the stick up to the ceiling and dab the spot with the white toothpaste to cover up the black mark. This is assuming your ceilings are eight feet high -- you should be able to reach the spot with a stick that is two to three feet long. I suggest toothpaste because it won't splatter like paint, and you won't have to mess with opening the paint can and getting out the brush and so on. I hope you can figure out some way to cover the spot so you and Charlie can relax.

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  3. Crazy. We once had a cat that was fixated on a spot in a bathroom and would jump up on the counter and just stare at a certain spot. The sad thing is --WE couldn't see ANYTHING there. lol I blamed it on a 'ghost'.

    Hope he moves along with his obsession soon. Have a great week, Brenda. xo Diana

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  4. You might want to call the vet. My cat sometimes get transference anxiety (she sees something outside and then takes it out on her sister). There's a drug called Gabapentin that comes in a capsule. I crack the capsule open and sprinkle a VERY LITTLE BIT on her food. (Way less than the vet says to use) She calms down and gets sleepy. I give that to her for a few days, keep her away from the windows and then she's fine. We've all got our quirks...That's Charlie's. It's inexpensive and effective.

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  5. Hey that toothpaste trick sounds like a good one! I was going to say to tape a small foam paintbrush to a broom handle and just dab a little paint on the spot. What a crackpot Charlie is, I thought it was just Abi who had those bizarre personality traits!! They should meet Miss Molly, she's definitely a little crackpot!! We adore her, in spite of....or perhaps because of...all her weird ways!

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  6. It's so funny, he's like a kid that gets fixated on something for awhile. Hopefully, like my mom used to say, this too shall pass. Good luck!!

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  7. How weird Brenda. I wonder if he is hearing something in the ceiling. If his eye sight is not as great then they say their other senses get stronger so maybe he is hearing something up there. Dabbing the paint on the end of a broom handle might work. If he lets go then you know it was the spot if not then I bet he is hearing something. These doggies all have their personality quirks about things. That is why we love them so much.
    Kris

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  8. Funny Charlie. They can get fixated on the little things! I hope Miss Abi is feeling good.

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  9. Hope there is not a mouse or a squirrel habitating in the ceiling! I used to hear mice in our ceiling a couple of winters ago after we had had a few bales of straw delivered to put over the grass seed in the backyard. My husband put out traps so no more mice, but that's a possibility that he is hearing something rather than seeing something.

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  10. For me, less sugar and caffeine helps with my pain level. I think sweets are more the culprit than anything.
    I hope Charlie settles down for you!

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  11. Several years ago, out of the blue, Fuzzy started standing at the entrance to a room that is an addition onto our home barking. He would stare and stare and cock his head and then he started barking at the ceiling. I stood and listened and looked and heard and saw nothing. Finally I got him to shush up about it. He continued with that for a few days. A week or two later one of the 2 foot by 4 foot suspended ceiling tiles fell out of the ceiling. It brought a giant bunch of sticks, leaves, vines and three Squirrels down with it. It was a giant squirrel nest. They had chewed in through the fascia board and were nesting in the ceiling.

    I was just arriving home from the store when I saw my son , who was home on leave at the time, at the front door with a broom in his hand. That's very strange, I thought. As I got closer to the house I heard yelling, barking and a bunch of commotion and then my son at the door again. I couldn't imagine what was going on. My son was at the front door two separate times herding two different squirrels out the front door and my husband herded the other squirrel out of the back door. The squirrels that came out the front door had first tried to get out through the closed window glass in the dining room, destroying several of my glass pretties and dishes, they took a run across the back of the couch and all around with my son after them with the broom. My husband thought they had the squirrels out after the first two, but there was a third one that ran out from under something and that was the one who messed up my dining room window stuff. He was running up and down all of the window curtains.

    My little Fuzzy Pomeranian could have told me "I told you so!", but he is a good little guy. He didn't even act smug about it. I pay attention now when he thinks he is seeing, hearing, or smelling something.

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  12. in his heart he's a ferocious spider hunter.
    and he's protecting you!!! :) XO♥
    and those pictures of him are adorable!

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  13. I was thinking a yardstick or branch with a q-tip taped on...dab it with some paint. He's a good little hunter, isn't he? Thinking he's guarding the house...

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  14. poor little boy, I hope one of these suggestions works for you (and for him).

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  15. I don't mean to make light of a really annoying situation but I just had to laugh out loud when I read about Charlie's fixation with the black dot! It actually reminds me of a post about Abi being fixated on something a while back--can't remember what the thing was, though. Maybe it's genetic! Do you think if you could hold Charlie up close to the spot he could see that it was not a bug or anything harmful he would forget about it? I don't want to suggest that you get on the step ladder again, though. Let's hope he fixates on something else not as upsetting to him and forgets about that darn spot! Are there any squirrels around or have they all retired for the winter? Our pets and their quirks!

    Gosh, I hope your ankle calms down soon. Does the weather seem to have anything to do with the pain being better or worse? They say the barometric pressure will affect joints and cause them to hurt if you have arthritis and I think my arthritic hands are more painful on rainy, dark days. Don't know if that squares with the weather you've been having there. Anyway, I hope it feels much better soon. Take care.

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  16. When you get some time, read up about coffee and osteoporosis in women. Chronic pain in your ankle is terrible and life changing enough without further compromising bone quality.
    If your ceiling isn’t it too high, you can get extension handles for painting tools. You just screw the roller handle onto the extension handle and paint those high areas while standing on the floor. I use a shorter , light weight roller too . Works great.

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  17. I wonder if he isn't seeing something from a dimension higher than us lol

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