Last night, the air was cold, so for the first time in a long time, I closed the back door, which is normally left open so the dogs can get out during the night, since I have blocked off the dog door, to keep Polly in. But Shiloh's cage is right by the door and I thought maybe the cool breeze was uncomfortable for him, so I decided to try a night with the door closed.
I went to sleep on the couch in the living room. Polly jumped up and settled herself in on my back, like always, but she was trembling like a tree in a hurricane. She eventually got down and went somewhere else.
At the same time, Shiloh started whining and yapping and I realized I wasn't going to get any sleep in the living room, so I got up and moved to the recliner, taking Shiloh out of the cage and letting him sleep in my lap.
Polly stayed in the living room, which was kind of unusual for her.
Now to backtrack a bit, there was an "incident" in the evening. I am not 100% of which big dog was involved, but based on Polly's reaction today, I've decided it was probably Lizzie. It only lasted the briefest of seconds, a mere eyeblink. On the other side of Walt's chair, where I couldn't see what was happening, there was a very loud growl-bark from the big dog and a very loud yelp-bark from Polly. Nothing more happened and the evening progressed uneventfully.
After we all went to sleep, I was awakened by the sound of Polly kind of yelping and whining at the same time. She was on the dog bed in the family room. Shiloh was in my lap and the big dogs were asleep in the living room. I called her over and she came, slowly, but wouldn't jump up on the chair, so I picked her up. She settled in under my armpit, like always, but was still trembling. Over time, the trembling slowed and then stopped and we all went to sleep.
When I woke up, Polly was not in my lap. She wasn't on the dog bed. She wasn't in Walt's chair (the 3 places where she was most likely to be). When I got up and started moving around, the big dogs came in from the living room, but there was no Polly.
I went all around the house calling her, but no answer. On any other night, I would have suspected she was outside somewhere, but with the door closed, there was no way for her to get out of the house, so she had to be here. I began to have visions of her lying dead somewhere, because I couldn't even hear her whining. I began to panic.
I got a flashlight and went back over all the spaces I'd looked before--in my office, in the closet in the family room, behind the treadmill, in the bathroom and laundry room (whose doors were slightly ajar--maybe she got in and couldn't get out?). But no Polly.
I finally found her, curled up in a ball on a small dog bed that matched her fur color (which was why it was difficult to see her in the dark) behind the couch. She was trembling and didn't get up when I talked to her, but I picked her up and brought her into the family room and put her on my lap. She seemed OK. No signs of anything bad, just the trembling.
I talked to Ashley, who thought maybe she had been hurt on her brief encounter with Lizzie and said she'd check back with me later to see how she was doing.
After awhile the trembling stopped, periodically, but she'd start again for no rhyme or reason. She would eat and occasionally would get up and go outside, but she seemed very subdued. She didn't take off gleefully down the hall chasing the big dogs when they went to attack something outside the window.
I conferred with Ashley in the late morning and she said that Polly might have bruising from whatever happened between her and Lizzie and suggested I give her a bit of Shiloh's pain medicine, which I did.
She seems better, but still...odd. She won't come toward me if Lizzie is in the room, and will just stand far away from me and keep looking at Lizzie. If Lizzie's not here, she will come close, but not jump up. I have to pick her up.
At one point during the morning I thought maybe I'd discovered a new way of toning muscles. Relax in a recliner and put one trembling dog on each leg--the SPCA version of the old vibrating belt.
Polly gets so freaked so easily, an un-freaked so un-easily that I'm wondering how long it's going to take her to get back to where she was before whatever happened yesterday set her off again.