Friday, February 11, 2011

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde

Pictured is CUBAROO. I won't even attempt to guess at his breed. He's just an easy to love beautiful "mutt". To me he has this chill persona. He's very "cool" on the outside but inside he's scared. He has a quiet nervousness about him. He'll strut but don;t let the strut fool ya..his paws are a sweatin'. He's not a needy boy but he will solicit attention, and when he puts his paws on you he has a cat like agility and gentleness that makes it like he's hardly touching you. He's of course on a sensitive stomach diet the poor little stress ball.

I first got to know CUBAROO as the sick easygoing youngin' who got a good F Off from my 13lb Rat Terrier when he was getting a little to familiar for her liking. He kept wanting to play with her and going in to play bows and lunging trying to get her to engage. Finally he relented yes with a little verbal help from me even though did keep walking past her looking at her as she was lying under the counter. I would lay on the big dog bed and if my dog was on it he wouldn't some lie down with me but as soon as she was off he would join me. He was a sweet gentle sickie.

After a couple weeks CUBAROO got back from foster & of course got adopted by a family with some younger kids right away. Hell he was sweet and gentle and just had a quietness about him! Who wouldn't line up for him? Not too soon before getting neutered and heading home CUBAROO showed himself to be a monster with other dogs. So bad in fact, that the family was called and told he would not be good with younger kids. Hmm maybe it was just that dog. Maybe that dog had attitude and deserved it. So a staffer who has a larger sweet older dog who gets along with pretty much everybody felt he'd be a good one to see how easily and often Mr. Hyde likes to come out and "play". Seemingly everything was fine and they were playing and then CUBAROO attacked the other dog from outta nowhere and pulled some hair out. No indication given. I was not witness to it. I HAVE witnessed his barking at and lunging towards other dogs and the whining to get at them but never the opportunity to see him actually interacting with dogs other than the few he met while on foster with me. My dog put him in his place and he did not retaliate and he also sniffed a big yellow lab and moved along without incident.

Then My little man came up to the front office with me. I figured he needed some good people time and a chance to chill out with us. We gave him a rawhide which he hadn't had in a LONG time since he had the sensitive belly. Well didn't little stinker growl at a staffer over it and then bit another while she was petting him while the bone was between his legs. Great now we add resource guarding to dog aggression. Not good. I could feel him get ten steps closer to the green mile! I was scared for him as I know where this leads to and quickly.

A staffer took him home for the weekend to see how he would do in the home again. Maybe it was just the shelter and he would decompress and be ok. As I hear it it, she couldn't even get CUBAROO off the couch with out him whipping around to bite with out even a growl for warning. She brought him back since she had to even have him sleep in the hall.

Time goes by and dogs deteriorate, it's just a fact. Call it the nature of the beast. You're isolated, few or no friends, very little social time and little rest because of all the activity happening all day. I suppose we are lucky more don't don't go crazy faster. I said my goodbyes to my sweet boy yesterday and hope he goes down easy. I love you CUBAROO RIP

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When do you say when

When does one come upon the decision that enough is enough? What is it the others see in a dog that makes them say she is now "suffering" and no longer has quality of life? Where is that line that gets crossed from just plain stressed to now suffering? How can you tell the difference and when do you say when? Is it ones own internal breaking point of sadness and sense of despair? An idea that death is better than these temporary moments of pain or struggle? Or is it the loss of hope that someone will still come rescue our ball of love soon?

Pictured was our 6yr old kissy, butt wiggling, arthritis riddled, dog aggressive, suggles lovin', people pleasing Boxer mix named LOLITA. Unfortunately for me I had not lost that hope yet but I was one of the few who hadn't. LOLITA was with us for about 6 months and didn't exactly start out great. She was relinquished to us by her owner and would vomit up the gallon of water she would drink from stress and refuse to eat in or walk back to her kennel. Eventually we were able to get volunteers to foster her overnight and she would spend all of her day in the front office just hunkered down on her cushy bed and sleep. We put her on some pain meds for the arthritis and a sensitive stomach diet for her queasy belly. LOLITA seemed to finally be settling in.She would run and play in the yards and when she was in her kennel she would playfully hop up and down with her front legs at the front of it with a plush toy in her mouth in a way that asked "are you gonna take me outta here? C'mon c'mon c'mon take me outta here!" She was one of the main favorites of many of the volunteers and got lots of walks and lovins. I had even started getting her not to bark at the dogs coming through the front office by constantly jingling my keys and then showing her it wasn't a dog. She did however start barking at a few people who walked through the front office and that was not a common behavior with her.

LOLITA was still eating her food even while she was in her kennel and I never saw her show any other signs of now "suffering" and being "miserable" while in there, other than her vomiting up some foam on Saturday on our way down to her play yard. Two days later when I got back from my weekend I was asked if I would help put her down because the powers that be felt she was "miserable" since she was vomiting again after being so good for so long. I can't say what happened exactly in those two days that sent her to the green mile.

Let me tell you what I know about suffering. I lived my life for 20yrs in deep suffering. 20+ yrs of hating life, where I was and who I felt I was. I asked for death almost everyday and even tempted it once...needless to say It didn't take. I can't tell enough people now how blessed and happy I am that I made it through all that suffering to wind up where I am now. I am highly blessed and love my life and my situation and that I made it through all that to be able to experience my life now. I survived my "miserable" existence to wind up where I always believe our dogs will be....with people who love you and take care of you.

I guess I believe if I can make it through years of a miserable Present it's ok for our babies to go through some stress and anxiety to wind up in the same ending to their story as I a place of gratitude and happiness. I would have missed out on so much beauty had I not made it though those painful times and if my loved ones gave up hope. I too refuse to give up hope. Unfortunately my hope is not always enough to keep one alive.
RIP my Sweet LOLITA. You will be greatly missed..I'm sorry you didn't get to hang in there longer. I love you