Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Little By Little

We're making progress little by little in reaching goals. When you have little spare time, problems get solved slowly. My husband repaired the leaking water tank hose in the horse trailer for me yesterday. That's one less thing I have to worry about. Dumping the water out of that trash can I was using to catch it was getting to be a daily job for me. Also, my husband and son figured out a plan on how to get the car to the mechanic in the city for repairs without me having to take more time off from work. Huge help.

Bombay healed himself and Mr. and Mrs. Mom helped me figure out Gabbrielle's health issues and what the next step would be in her healing. She has an old injury in the right shoulder and needs an equine chiropractor and some joint supplements. I was able to perform a little test that verified that her pain is in the right shoulder.

I've also slowly been making progress on my Corgi's problem of suddenly being the only dog in the house. It is clear that she is lonely without other dogs around. I've been doing my best keeping her busy with walks and playtime, but she still spends a huge chunk of her day just lying around feeling sad while I am at my desk working.

I've been searching the sites that the local animal shelters use to display their adoptable pets, looking for an older, smaller, short-haired dog to keep Midge company. I know some of you feel I should get a large, intimidating guard dog to chase off the trespassing neighbors, but the whole reason why I have to work from home is because my two dogs who have passed on, Monty and Simba, used to bark all day long if we left them at home outside while we went to work, and the neighbors' complained. One next-door neighbor has been trying to run a sort-of bed and breakfast out of her guesthouse, and my dogs were annoying her guests, so she was losing business. Right now we've got some new neighbors who have a pack of dogs who bark all day while they are at work, and with me trying to work from home, the barking can become like a Chinese water torture. I totally understand. I do not want to bring another barker into the neighborhood. I also don't want a dog that is so big that I can't get around my house without tripping over him.

I also would really like to have a lap dog. Nothing relaxes me more at the end of a hard day than a warm, little creature sitting in my lap. I can't own cats, rabbits or guinea pigs, because I'm allergic. My Corgi Midge will sit in my lap for a minute or two, and then she's bounding off for her next adventure. She only sits in my lap to humor me, but she'd much rather be in her Daddy's lap. He's always been number one with her.

In my Internet searches I found a Dachshund mix that was an older dog who is fully trained. I know Dachshunds like to play, so I thought this little guy might be a good match for Midge and a lap dog for me. I inquired about him and found out he wasn't at the shelter, but was in foster care after having a bladder stone removed. The foster parents wanted to adopt him, but were willing to let me take him home.

I visited him yesterday and found that he was perfect. I took him for a little walk in the mountains. He was really quiet. I didn't hear a single yap out of him. He also sat in my lap without struggling or trying to get away. The animal control officer said that he wasn't his usual self. Normally, he had much more energy, so she thought he was depressed from being returned to the shelter. I had the full intention to take him home with me that day.

Then I asked the question of whether he still had stitches that needed to be removed from his surgery. The animal control officer wasn't sure. She said, "Let's turn him over and see."

We found that he was all red and swollen at the incision site, which made us realize that he was sick and in pain, not depressed. She immediately scheduled a vet appointment for him that afternoon. I haven't found out the results of that yet, but I said that since I work 60 hours a week, I have no spare time to be taking him to the vet to sort this out. I asked if the animal shelter could deal with it, and I would be back in a week to adopt him if he's on the mend and back to his usual self.

Of course, I realize that in adopting a pet I should be all charitable and handle whatever the dog needs, but I'm trying to solve some of my own problems here. It would defeat the purpose if I brought another problem into my life. I just lost thousands of dollars over the course of two days thanks to a number of unexpected problems, and having to pay unexpected vet bills would push me over the edge. I also had to take a week off from work just to be able to set up some personal appointments such as seeing a doctor, an insurance agent, and a financial adviser. I obviously don't have the time to be making trips to a vet. My other big worry is that if the dog is really sick, I'd bring him home and then have him die, and poor Midge would just have to go through another period of grieving.

I bought my horse Gabbrielle knowing she had a respiratory tract infection. I felt pressured to buy her that day, because someone else wanted to buy her and was coming by to see her the following day. I ended up investing so much money and time into nursing her back to health. I had to pull her out of a horse show in which her entry fee was pre-paid, because she was obviously too sick to perform at halter. Though I have no regrets in buying her, I do wish I hadn't put all that pressure on myself when I was already so busy.

If I keep taking care of sick animals, I'm going to get sick myself from all the stress. I'm hoping that the foster parents won't say, "You didn't adopt the dog right away, so we're doing it."

But if that happens, so be it. I'm trying to just trust that things will work out while I try to protect myself from added stresses. Oh yeah, and you know how I mentioned that I had a hard time hiking that mile up the hill with Lostine on Sunday? It turned out I was coming down with something. I was sick on Monday. Fortunately, it was a short-lived virus. I pumped myself with vitamins and O.J. and was fine by Tuesday.


KatyM said...

For what it's worth, I think you're going about the adoption process the right way. There's nothing wrong - and there's a lot that 's right - about not adopting an animal that doesn't fit your needs and your family's needs. I wish more of us had your sense of responsibility.

Mrs Mom said...

Wow- that little Doxie cross sounds perfect!! My MIL has a long hair Doxie, and she is a riot. We all adore her. Sure hope the little fellow is OK, and that he can come and cuddle with you full time! :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Doxie fits your needs as long as he is healthy. Good thing you asked about the stitches! Poor guy - and the foster home didn't catch it first? Anyway, I think it is unrealistic to expect someone to adopt an animal that hasn't recovered from a procedure.

Glad Gabbrielle's issue has been diagnosed.

I've learned to be happy to make pregress where I can and let it go at that. Some days I complete a major project, some days I take one baby step on several different projects. It's all I can do - I'm not SuperWoman and I'm so glad I finally realized it!

Anonymous said...

GAH - what the heck is pregress? I know, it when i skip the hard stuff on today's list and do an easy one from tomorrow's list. Still counts!

JennyB said...

Everyone has different criteria in selecting a pet and it's very important to find one that's the right match. What good would it do anyone if you took in a dog that you ended up unhappy with?

Anonymous said...

my friend found two little dogs on craigs list and they are in good health, house trained and just perfect for her. the owners only wanted to find them a good home.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oooh! A little doxie mix. I love doxies now. Great lapdogs and lots of energy for the fun stuff, too. But they are happy just being wherever you are most of all.
I sure hope he works out. For what's it worth, I'd procedd with the same opinions and ideas on the adoption. You have no ties to this dog yet and therefore no obligations, financially, medically or emotionally.

It's better to wait until everything is ready and start the dog/owner relationship on a good foot. You're not a foster family or an adoption donator, so don't get suckered into believing that that you need to foot the bill for this dog's care before you've even signed the adoption papers.

I'm glad that Gabbrielle is doing better and you've now got a plan of action to help her heal and become stronger.
And I hope you are feeling better soon, too.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh! And I forgot to say that my Dobbie girl wasn't available for adoption from the Animal Shelter until her spaying incision site was completely healed. As soon as it was, then I was able to bring her year ago...tomorrow! :D