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It’s a dog’s life for Dutchie the Prozac-popping pooch!

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Doggone it, mother’s little helper is now a pitiful pooch’s best friend!

At least according to Bay Ridge newlyweds Amanda Levin and Michael Nadelberg, who give their pet mutt 40 milligrams of Prozac a day to muffle his growls and bring out his inner wag-nificence.

The four-legged patient in question is Dutchie — a six-year-old, 100-pound German shepherd mix with a dash of husky and Akita tossed in for extra hunk — who his owners say hasn’t been the same since suffering an injury a couple of years ago at the dog run on 86th Street and 10th Avenue.

“They were doing repairs to the fence and he cut himself on one of the exposed wire metal pieces; he needed about a dozen stitches,” says Levin, a 27-year-old kindergarten teacher, adding that Dutchie’s trauma only escalated despite help from a canine behavioral therapist.

After barking up the wrong tree for months, Levin and Nadelberg felt they had no choice but to lock up their howling hound in a separate room when company came — plus barricade themselves with chairs when Dutchie, who sleeps on their bed, got devilish.

After enduring Dutchie’s demons — he bit both Levin and Nadelberg’s dear old dads — and after being snarled at one too many times in his own home, Nadelberg, a 30-year-old podiatrist, finally stepped in with a pill-of-an-idea: If Prozac was good enough for man, then why not for his best friend?

Their vet needed a bit of persuading, said Levin, but after listening to Dutchie’s laundry list of symptoms — including his hot-headedness towards strangers and loved ones — she wrote out a prescription for fluoxetine, which is marketed as Prozac. A month’s supply at the local pharmacy costs the couple $20.

“I just open up his mouth, shove the little red-striped white pill in and close his throat until he swallows it!” said Levin. “I see a difference already, he’s less aggressive!”

Six months down the road, all’s well and good, and Dutchie’s even passing all his physicals with flying colors, she bragged.

Even though her “Dutchella” is a bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde, Levin says that he’s a honey bear at heart, who loves her madly: “When I wake up in the morning, his tail starts flopping and he gives me kisses for five minutes straight. He’s just happy to see me awake!”

When he’s not barking up a storm, Levin says Dutchie is a bit of a TV junkie who can’t seem to get enough of Cesar Millan’s “Dog Whisperer” show. The couple has even considered getting in touch with the celebrity dog tamer if and when he films in New York City.

But who needs him when you have Prozac?

Updated 12:22 am, May 19, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

Janet from Park Slope says:
It's much better to just give dogs a reefer. They calm down more quickly then.
May 18, 2010, 7:28 am
NB from Sheepshead Bay says:
This is ridiculous. Perhaps the owners need cyanide.
May 18, 2010, 2:21 pm
Winston Smith from Poop Slope says:
How much do replacement dogs cost
May 18, 2010, 3:20 pm
Norm from Canada says:
I think that what Levin and Nadelberg are doing, i.e. feeding their dog Prozac is cruel and inhumane. The vet who approved this should have his/her licence taken away.
What naive thinking it is that medications that work on humans must also work on canines!
The couple should truly consider giving up Dutchie to someone who will really appreciate and love him and not just themselves.
May 19, 2010, 1:07 pm
trace from Park slope says:
the trouble with prozac is the down side - this dog will snap, after being on this drug for a while..the chimp who bit the ladies face off in connecticut was being given xanax..All these psychiatric drugs result in opposite reaction, over time. I recommend talk therapy for the dog, unless you want a doggie suicide one day, and dogs commit suicide by attacking others.
May 19, 2010, 5:06 pm
Humphry Calahan from Bay Ridge says:
@Trace - how is that suicide, isn't attacking others just a form of assault? Whether it's done by dogs or people.
Hurting yourself is often an attempt to send a message to, or actually to hurt other people - but it doesn't work the other way around. Hurting others is not "suicide for dogs".
May 21, 2010, 7:42 am
trace from Park Slope says:
@Humphry, attacking others certainly is suicide for dogs. If he snaps, and harms someone, he will be 'put down.' The psychology is not the same as the suicide-by-cop that people do,but the effect is the same, and xanax or psychiatric drugs could be the cause..
I was being a little loose, analytically..but the point is how stupid our whole over-reliance on medicine is, and how it has the opposite effect, over time..this dog needs LOTS of excercize..and lots of love..and a job that suits his personality - guarding? chasing..? Not drugs..neither does our water system need any more drugs flushed down it..
May 24, 2010, 11:26 am
anony from BKNY says:
Maybe blowing reefer smoke in the dog's face for a few years wasn't such a great idea.
May 29, 2010, 1:28 am

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