Posted in Blogging

Good Bye Abby

When I was a child, we had a dog.  I remember going with my dad to get the puppy that we’d be bringing home.  It was a German Shepard Lab probably mixed in with a few other dogs.  Not that it matters: it was a dog!  It was cold, probably winter; my dad had his leather jacket on.  I remember him putting the tiny dog inside his coat to keep him warm and I remember that the puppy had actually peed on him while in his jacket.  I don’t know how much of this flash of memory is accurate.  I was young: 4 or 5 years old because we were living in the townhouse at the time.  But that is how I remember it.

A few years later, we had to get rid of the dog.  I’m hazy on the details, but from what I’ve gathered he was crazy.  From puppy, he had grown into a rather large and strong dog that had been untrained.  He’d eaten through walls and broken down fences by that time and one day, I came home to no dog.  My dad explained that he’d had to bring him back.

From that day on, each time I asked for a pet my father’s answer would invariably be the same: “No.  No dog, no cat, no bird, no hamster, no lizard…no pets”.  I remember always feeling as though my dad was being unfair.  I mean, didn’t he understand that I wanted a pet even if only to replace the fact that the dog wasn’t there anymore.  Didn’t he?

Of course he did.  He understood even more than I did at that time how hard it was to not have the dog anymore.  He was the one who had picked him out of the litter as a puppy after all.  And he was also the one who’d had to get rid of him.  And he was hurting badly.  Or, I suspect.  On Saturday, I understood this.  It took me 18 years, but I now understand why he was so adamant about not having any pets in the house.

You see, on Saturday, a volunteer from the wonderful shelter we had started the adoption process for Abby came to our house to take her and place her in another family.  After having her in our house for nearly a month, we realized as a couple that it wasn’t the right time for us to have a dog.  It’s not because she was aggressive or dangerous (she definitely was not).  It’s not because she is not fully house trained and had a few accidents inside the house.  It’s not because of needing to get up at 4:30 am to bring her outside so that she could relieve her bladder.  It’s not because of the fact that her curiosity knew no bounds and that we were regularly having to distract her away from an unauthorized activity (like trying to get to the food sitting on the kitchen counter).  It’s mostly because my partner and weren’t on the same page with regards to the lengths we’d go through to ensure her well-being.  This was made especially clear after I came back from the vet with a 500$ hole in our bank account.  We decided that for the sake of our relationship, it was better that she be placed in a family in which every member was ready to have a dog.

Sad doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt when Lindsay from Nali Animal Orphanage came to get her.  I was not even able to see her off.  I couldn’t bring myself to watch the car pull away.  It’s crazy how quickly I became attached to the happy-go-lucky puppy in just under a month.  But in that instant, I understood why my dad seemed to have such a hard shell with regards to pets after having to let our dog go so many years ago.

I don’t blame my partner for the fact that Abby is no longer with us.  Nor do I resent him.  This experience was a positive one and we all (Charles included) grew from it.  My partner now knows what it’s like to have a dog (he never had any pets growing up) and he knows that he wants a dog in the future.  And I am willing to wait for him to be completely ready to have one.  Now that he knows what it’s like, I know the next time will work out.  I just have to wait for him to be ready.  My son learned to not be afraid of dogs.  Now, when I go to my parents’ house, I can set him down on the floor and he’ll play with their dog nearby.  Whereas my son used to cling to me for dear life when he saw a dog, he had come a long way and now will reach out to try to pet the dog if it is calm.

Good bye Abby.  May you find an awesome permanent family to take care of you.  I will miss you, you Silly Goose.

P1030978

Posted in Blogging

Emergency Vet Visit

Sooooooo our little Abby fell rather ill the other day.  Friday, to be exact.

On Thursday, she hadn’t really been eating but I wasn’t too worried because she was still drinking and was rather energetic.  Then, on Friday, things took a turn for the worst.  She didn’t touch her food at all and hardly drank.  The day began with loose stools and as the day progressed she became more and more listless even refusing to go outside for a walk.  She was thirsty but couldn’t keep anything down and she was just plain miserable.  I was starting to worry a bit, but really went into panic mode when…well…details aside, lets just say that I call the emergency vet clinic and was told to bring her in right away.

I put her crate in the car and got her inside to drive the 30 minutes to the clinic.  While she was in the car, she did not whine at all, a very odd behaviour given that it usually takes her quite a while to calm down in the car.  She perked up a bit when we arrived at the clinic because of all of the new smells and she sniffed around as I registered her (she is part Beagle after all, her nose is at the center of her life lol).

Because of the rapid progression of the symptoms, she was quarantined and a Parvo test was issued.  I sat in the room with her, hoping that she hadn’t contracted the very infectious (to dogs) virus as she lay down on the floor and trembled while she tried to sleep.  Luckily, when the vet came in after about a 90 minute wait, she announced that the test had come back negative.  We discussed treatment options and possible causes (that raged from swallowing a large object to gastroenteritis) and I opted for treating the symptoms at home instead of an (200$) x-ray (an overnight stay – as was recommended – would have cost me 2000$!).

She was given some fluids and was injected with an antibiotic, anti nausea medication and antacid and I was sent home with the same medication in pill form plus some mushy easily digestible food to give her.  I got home a little before midnight and Abby didn’t protest when I put her in her crate for the night, nor did she wake at her usual 4:30 am to go outside.  The next morning, I was only just able to give her her meds (hidden inside two small meatballs of special food), however, by midday, she was already feeling much better.

She is now back to her usual playful, curious self and I am relieved.  It seems as though it was a stomach bug after all.

I also learned that I should have become a vet; it is a very lucrative business.  Our little visit cost us a nice half-grand…

All better!
All better!
Posted in Blogging

12+1 Ways My Son and Dog are Similar

This last week has been a blur.

Our new dog has helped us finish babyproofing our home and has shown us that we are really going to need the help of a dog trainer.  Considering that neither of us has ever cared for puppies and considering that we know nothing of her first five months of life, it is a necessity.

Anyways, because of the craziness of having a 8 month old (almost!) baby and a new 5 month old dog, I haven’t had the time to take much pictures thus explaining the absence of the Friday Photo Recap.

I DO have something to write about though.

You see, I’ve noticed many similarities between my son and dog and I thought I would share them with you.

Both my son and dog…

1.  …sleep in a cage (or sorts).

2.  …like to chase spiders and ants.

3.  …love to look at birds.

4.  …have chew teething toys.

5.  …seem to NEED to play with things they aren’t supposed to.

6.  …are stubborn as heck!

7.  …are usually getting into some mischief if they are out of sight and I can’t hear them (remember when my son discovered the kleenex box?).

8.  …wake up at an insanely early hour.

9.  …love to go outside.

10.  …do not like to go to bed at night.

11.  …have the potential to drive me nuts.

12.  …require that I clean up after them when they poop! 😉 😛

AND

13.  I love them both to death!