Thursday, September 26, 2013

Autumn Lessons

In a disposable world, we find that everything is "disposable".

People seem to think everything is disposable.  We throw away furniture that's well worn, electronics past their "top of the line" date, pets that they think are too much problem and even people.  Autumn was a 6 week old puppy with some severe medical problems.  Her original owners thought that this was a problem that was too deep, too expensive or too much trouble and so they were going to throw this little doggies life more victim of a disposable lifestyle.  Her last owner saw the gem in her and took her and her medical problems on.  Then Autumn got lost.

I had moments where I questioned the wisdom of a God that would saddle someone like me with a little dog, traumatized as she was and with a problem I knew instinctively was not her fault.  Especially on a "sticky poo" day.  Poor little thing her butt must have itched when the little pooplets didn't just fall off and so she decided to "paint" the carpet with her butt scooting.  That day I had to be proactive, and keep a close eye on her after several carpet scrubbings, all the while assuring little Autumn that it was ok, she wasn't in trouble.  And then washing her hind quarters as gently as I could.  By the end of the day, she didn't necessarily like the tooshy washes, but she was extremely patient and even wagged her tail while I took care of her.

During the 3 weeks she's been with me, we've only had 2 days of sticky poo, so that is definitely a good thing, and only one of those days was multiple times during the day.  The first such day was only a one time thing in the morning.

What I learned from Autumn is possibly more valuable than a lot of lessons I could learn elsewhere.  Autumn chose me, from the hundreds of people that were at the pool at the doggy dive that day.  She saw in me, perhaps a kindred spirit, someone that was battered, bruised and broken.  Perhaps she knew I'd been thrown away as something disposable too.  This little dog had the sweetest temperament of any dog I've known, aside from my little Aceroni, who's been gone now for about 10 years.  She is smart, ultra sensitive, patient, and just a loving little joy.

Granted the problems with her pooper might be a little trying, but everything else about her makes up for that little problem.  Maybe she saw the same thing in me, and that's why she chose to have me take her home and nurse her back to health.  Perhaps she knew that I'd instinctively know that her little pooplets were not her fault and rather than be scolded, I'd be patient with her and do my best to help her through it and calm her anxiety.

I'm glad to say, she seems fully recovered.  I'm also glad to report that her original owner has come forward, gotten things settled and was ready for her to come home.  Little Autumn is now Bubbles (bubbies) once more.  Fatcat and little kitty had never seen a dog before, but they kept the peace during the time she was here.  Perhaps, they too, instinctively knew this little lady had some healing to do, and little kitty had to be the most patient of all, giving up her rightful spot as mommy's hip attachment and making room for a little doggy.  I can say that Fatman(Loki) and little kitty(Ciara) seem fairly joyous to have their home back.  Fatman has been jaunting around the apartment playing as freely as before she arrived, and babykitty has reclaimed her position as mommy's hip attachment.

For my part, I will miss her, and the lessons that came with her.  Nothing is disposable, least of all people and pets.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn's (Bubbles') Story

I have been contacted by the 4 year owner of Autumn.

Her name was Bubbles, they were in the park playing when I gather that Bubbles suddenly ran off.  I'm not sure what the circumstance was surrounding her just taking off, but suffice it to say, she did so.  Her owner looked for her for several days, and then finally gave up.  She was apparently perusing Craig's list in the community pet section and came across my article and sent a response to it.

Since then, I've learned a few things about Autumn.  She was a puppy who had a problem with her tooshy.  She couldn't go and so needed what I gather was a costly surgery to correct it so that she could go poo.  The original owners either couldn't afford it, or saw this as a potential life long and costly affair.  They were prepared to destroy this 6 week old pup.  The last owner took her on, saw her through her surgery and knows about her dropping little pooplets.  This is apparently a side effect of having to correct her pooper so that the opening was large enough to pass her waste.

Her owner recently lost her job, and in her words, "doesn't deserve her any more".  I disagree with that.  Everyone falls on hard times as I very well know.  She's currently not sure if she can/will find another job and is facing possibly losing her home.  I sent her what I hope was an encouraging email telling her that we don't blame her for lilpup running off, nor do we think she was a bad pet owner just because she lost her job.  That perhaps this was God's way of telling her it's time to slow down and focus on the most important things in life, which are the ones you love and who love you back.  Perhaps she was getting that message already, and didn't listen so God forced the issue.  Who's to say.

Either way, I've told her that if she wants me to keep Autumn aka Bubbles for the time being until she sorts things out, I will.  I also said that it's apparent she loved this little dog.  She's got some great training already, and you don't devote time and money into something you don't love......well, at least you shouldn't.  I told her that when she gets back on her feet, if she's ready for Autumn to come home, then I'm more than happy to bring her to her.

I certainly hope that she finds another position that allows her to focus on the important things, while also being able to keep her home and pets.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Crazy Autumn

LOL yesterday was a fun day.

I woke up and got Autumn as usual.  She loves attention and gets so happy and excited to be let out of the kennel, so I like to spend time with her first thing in the morning.  Well, when I was brushing my teeth I noticed she had a little pooplet stuck to her tooshie.  So I was just about to grab some TP and get it when she started to put her butt on the floor to scoot it.  I said nooooooo (you know, that slomo movie kind while you're diving for the priceless vase).  Not too loud, but she still thought oh crap, I'm in big trouble, and darted out of sight.

I grabbed some TP and looked around for her, and don't you know, she ran into the kennel and was facing the wall like she was in trouble. >.< LOL.  I brought her out and reassured her you're not in trouble but let's get this off you, and then cleaned her up with some wipes.  Then of course I had to give her tons of affection since she was so wounded.

Later, I took her to pet smart and found her a little seatbelt harness.  I've taken her on a few car rides and keep adjusting it, because her name should possibly be Houdini.  She just wiggles herself out of that and I swear I don't know how since it feels snug enough to me, but I tighten it a bit more here and there and try again.

I also noticed some fleas on her, and not knowing when she's been treated, if ever, I went ahead and got some biospot to try that.  I haven't really seen too many on her since then so that's good.

The vet wasn't in when we were there, I got there just after they'd closed, but we did stop in where they do grooming so I could ask how much things like that would be.  She get's a little nervous around bigger animals, but all in all, I think she had a pretty good time.

I still laugh when I give her treats or food and she carries it around for a while until she decides to eat them.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Healing Autumn

Progress is always a wonderful thing.

When Autumn first came here just over a week ago, she did not bark.  She stuck to me like glue.  She would scream like death was coming for her if I had to kennel her to go to the store......she would of course wait until after I'd left and I'd hear this pitiful wailing when I was coming to my door to unlock it.  She wouldn't go poop or pee very often if something distracted her.

So far, I've gotten her to the point where, she might feel a little anxious when I'm in the bath, but the crying is now minimal, which is wonderful since I don't really like smelling bad........NO MATTER WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD TO THE CONTRARY!  Just kidding :P.  She will stand being kenneled overnight, though getting her in on her own is not happening.  She will, however, tolerate me placing her in, giving her a lot of praise, adjusting her blankies, giving her chewies and treats, and petting her before I tell her it's ninitime.  I'm not sure if she sleeps when she is in there, but I tend to get up during the night for the bathroom or whatever, and if she cries I get her out and let her lie with me for a while til I'm ready to get up get up.

I've begun taking her out without her asking me to take her out, and that seems to actually be helping with the bathroom anxiety.  She's going more consistently while I'm taking numerous trips out with her.  She doesn't ALWAYS go, but then, I wouldn't expect her to.  I'm seeing less pooplets, so I think this is possibly a good thing for her, so she knows she is not bothering me by asking to go out.  I can't confirm of course, but it seems some of this anxiety could stem from being lost, or even from having been left alone for long periods of time and then being reprimanded for going potty on the floor....or where ever she was kept.

Autumn has found her voice too, now I just have to help her learn how to use it a bit more quietly.  Since I can sometimes have insomnia, it's not a great thing for her to be barking at the trees, bushes, shadows etc at 2 am 4 am etc.

She still sticks primarily to me, but she's more free now.  She's getting down to play, drink and explore, though the periods are brief.  She's a little more curious about the kitties, but she tends to snap at fatman whereas the little kitty she's more tolerant of.  I'm not sure where that comes from, perhaps a feral cat was not nice to her when she was lost, and maybe it was a big one.  Neither fatman nor babykitty has ever seen a dog except through the window, so they tend to be a little careful around her though they won't run unless she charges at them.  The times she does this is typically if she's by my side, or if food is nearby.  I tend to spoil the animals, so they are all allowed some people food if I think it won't hurt them to have some.  I'm trying to give them some near each other and reassuring them all when they get it, so they know no one will go forgotten.

Fatman (Loki) is a big baby, so even though he's probably 5 times her size, he runs away if she shows any aggression towards him.  I'd really like them all to be friends, since it might be nice for her to have someone to play with besides me.  And they could keep one another warm.  Babykitty (Ciara) is a bit more adventurous and walks all over me even when lilpup is by my side.  I'm sure it vexes her that mommy has a new hip attachment, since that's always typically been her spot.  She's finding ways around it though, by sitting on the other side on the chair arm when she wants attention.  Autumn isn't as quick to snap at her, but usually they're both in arms reach and I can pet them both and subdue any inclination to want to snap more easily in these interactions.  That may be one reason, the other may be that babykitty is smaller than her, so perhaps she perceives her as less threat.  It could also be that since she's taken her place at my side, she may have more of that smell so it could be a more comforting or acceptable relationship.

I don't know what the relationship was with the previous owners.  I've had no response from anyone claiming her.  It is obvious that someone played with her at some time since she will fetch and play tug to some extent.

I have been leaving her out of the kennel when I'm only gone for short periods, and she seems to be doing well.  I'm not sure what they all do while I'm gone, but nothing seems to be disturbed when I get back.  She will sit and stay when I go to the door to leave, so she has been taught some of the fundamental things a lil dog needs to know.  Either that, or she's just one smart lil lady, and knows what I want her to do.

She loves car rides, so I may take her with me to Pet Smart to look at car seats, and stop by the vet to ask if she may have a chip in her.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Autumn's Trauma

I guess I should explain a few things leading into this post.

For some odd reason, small children and animals have some kind of kinship with me.  I'm not sure what it is, but it's there.  I've had children in supermarkets attempt to get out of shopping carts for me to hold them or when pushing around friend's infants in stores etc. I've had them just rolling with laughter when I ask what they're smiling halo or my horns.  These are children too young for words, yet they find the joke hilarious.

I have yet to figure out why these little treasures have such an affinity for me, and it's MOST, not ALL of course.  I can't say I mind it all too much since I like them too.

Recently, at an event my sister organizes every year called the annual Doggie Dive, there was a little toy poodle that had been lost/abandoned or otherwise in the pool area for several days.  No one could catch her until the day of the doggie dive when she dove into the pool and I believe it was my sister who fished her out again.

I got there and found her holding this little bundle wrapped in a towel and asked, "wait, what's this.......did you get a new baby?"  My sister told me no, then proceeded to tell me how she'd finally been caught.  I approached the little lady and told her you poor baby, are you lost?  And she decided she liked me and licked me, then of course I had to hold her either in my arms or on my lap all that day.  We found a leash from one of the booths there, and some food, which I had to hand feed her while she was on my lap since she didn't yet feel confident enough to be far from me.

As the day wore on, and there were fewer dogs, I let her down to go and drink water, which she did as long as I was in her view, and then she'd run back and hop on my leg to be picked up.  She allowed my sister to hold her as well, but every time she heard my voice she would cry to come back to me.  That day I let go of the leash and she would never stray far from me, I wanted to test her reaction to having some freedom in relative safety.

Her photo was posted on several sites including the one for the doggie dive asking her rightful owners to  come and claim her.  The day passed and no one came.  The various shelters that were there could not take her as it was the weekend, and she had bonded with me, so I took her home.  I don't need a dog, I didn't want a dog, and yet I have one.  It's not a breed I would have chosen for myself, but she's apparently decided I'm a breed she would choose for herself.

We have a lot of healing to do, she throws a fit if I must leave, and even cries when I'm in the tub because we're separated by a barrier.  I'm also trying to kennel train her so that she knows "gone from sight" does not mean "gone forever".  We have made some progress, she doesn't like the kennel, but she will tolerate it as long as a shirt I've worn is placed in there with her.

I don't know how long she was lost, or what trials she faced while she was gone, but for whatever reason, I am having a hard time getting her to use the bathroom.  She will cry to go out, but if something distracts her, she will not go.  It took me half the day from the time we woke up until a little while ago to get her to go pee today.  For some reason she's got the idea that going pee/poop isn't a good idea or allowed, and so when she does I give her a lot of praise.  I can not imagine how uncomfortable it must be for such a little dog to hold that for days at a time.  Since she won't go for long periods of times, and she's trying so hard to hold it, she might drop little "pooplets" when she gets excited, but since it's not on purpose and is stemming from the trauma she's not corrected for it.  It's a side effect of her feeling like she has to hold it, and we're trying to work through that too.  If anyone knows about these things, feel free to share.

We have discovered that I can leave the room without too much fuss if she's interested in chasing the laser light that the kitties love so much.  She will chase that thing all over and nothing else exists for her in that perfect moment of play.  She carries around treats and food, but she's getting braver, and jumping down on her own sometimes to get some and bringing it back to eat near me, instead of me having to take her and feeding her by hand.

She had no collar and so I don't know her "old" name, and so since she looks like fall colors I'm calling her Autumn.....whenever she's not being called good girl or pretty girl.  I've also added a post to craig's list since I'm not sure where her owners might think to look, but no matter what, no one can have her if that bond is not there, or if she shows any kind of hesitance or fear.  I will not risk having this little lady go through any more trauma at the hands of another human.