Valuable Lesson

Sunday evening, I found myself wide awake in the middle of the night. While I tried to get to sleep, I heard River make a noise every now and then. After a few times of hearing her, I turned on the light. She looked at me, as if nothing was wrong. So, I turned the light off.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e601

She repositioned herself. I started to pet her and she rolled over so I could rubbed her belly. She seemed perfectly content.

Not long after, the noise came back. Then, finally, she got up and acted like she was leaving the room. Finally, I decided to see if she had to go out.

Boy did she ever. As soon as she knew I was getting out of bed, she raced down the stairs and proceeded to do her morning ritual of running around the living room and throwing herself at the door. I was barely able to put on my shows, put on her leash and grab a flashlight, she was so excited.

As soon as we got outside, I knew why. She had to go. And it wasn’t normal – she had doggy diarrhea.

Poor pup.

I went into “Dog Watch” mode. All night, I kept an eye on her, only having to take her out one more time. In the morning, she seemed ok, but I worked a short day to be on the safe side.

For the first time since owning dogs, I fasted River for 24 hours since her last meal to help give her system time to settle down. Once that time was up, I started her on rice and chicken.

She seemed perfectly normal. No more problems.

Then, I made a huge mistake.

On Wednesday morning, I assumed she was fine. So I started to re-introduce her to her normal food. I did this and went off to work.

I came home to a mess. I’m sure most people would have just sold the house instead of cleaning it up. … OK, it wasn’t that bad, but there was a lot of diarrhea to clean up.

Much to her disappointment, I re-started the process – which meant a fast until 24 hours after her last meal. The next day, I worked from home so I could keep an eye on her and feed her small meals of chicken and rice throughout the day. She wasn’t thrilled with these small meals, but at least she seemed to be improving.

I learned a valuable lesson – never rush a dog recovering from GI issues. And never re-introduce normal food (even a little) and leave for the day.

This time around, she’ll be eating chicken and rice for at least a few days. (Thanfully, she isn’t complaining about the chicken.)

Scaring the neighbors

I never let River out alone – she runs off, even when I do watch her. It has been a whole two weeks since she did.

I let my guard down.

I was chatting with the neighbor kids, who had recently said good bye to their own dog Bo. I was distracted – River took advantage and slipped out of the fence as quickly as she could.

I ran after, not locking the fence behind. Usually, I catch up before she had gone too far.

This time, I couldn’t keep up and I started to worry about Bear trying to follow us.

River slipped into a yard and disappeared.

I couldn’t see the house anymore and decided to return to check on Bear and fetch a leash.

As I did so, I came across a Mom and kid walking their two small dogs. They heard the commotion and was scared. They asked me to walk with them.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e5dcNot sure what River would do, because I really don’t know, I asked them to come with me while I checked on Bear. And promised to walk them home.

Bear was safely on the deck. Confused. But safe.

I ran inside, grabbed a leash, locked Bear inside and took off in search of River. And tried to re-assure the Mom all was okay.

Halfway down the road, River greeted us.

She was easy to catch, but the Mom wasted no time continuing on her way home. As soon as I leashed River, I knelt down in relief to having her under control. I glanced around and saw the Mom and her pups scurry to their home. I’m still not sure into which house, they just wanted as far away from the loose dog as possible. I couldn’t blame them. I couldn’t re-assure them River was safe. And she just wanted to be out on a nice stroll with her dogs.

River has escaped enough times to scare me into something I don’t want – better fencing. Tomorrow’s task will be setting up a new barrier for her. We will see if it works.

Until then, I’m pretty sure a walk of penance is in order. If not for her, for me. The neighbors shouldn’t be scared of her. And I at least owe them an apology. If I can find them.

Bear’s Favorite Co-worker

Bear had settled in nicely while I was working. He found a spot on the floor and was napping. I was deep in a pile of work, focused – not paying attention to him.

It wasn’t long after lunch that I heard a co-worker exclaim, “Bear – where you going?”

I looked around. He was gone.

I had my suspicions. Evie must be around.

Sure enough, I found Bear. He had heard/smelled Evie and went wandering until he found her.

They get along great, and this time was no exception. They had a few minutes of play time before we broke them up so we could get back to work.

But that didn’t mean Bear didn’t go wandering a bit later until he found her. But this time, she was contained. And, fortunately, she is still too young to figure out how to leap over her barricade.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e61d

Six months

I almost didn’t notice.

But it has been six months.

Six months since Bear spent the weekend in the doggie ER.

Six months since he was at his worst and I didn’t know if I’d see him again.

Thankfully, he recovered. With flying colors.

And that weekend ended up being a turning point for him.

He started to walk again without wobbling.

He started to knuckle less.

He started to enjoy life again.

Every day, when I see him run in the backyard, I’m grateful.

Every day, when he bounds up the steps, I’m grateful.

Every day, when he greets me in the morning and cuddles up next to me, I’m grateful.

Every day, when he’s at the office and folks compliment his sweet disposition, I’m grateful.

Senior dogs deserve all the chances in the world.

Bear proves that.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e5a8

 

 

Center Court Lunch

When it was warm outside, Bear had no trouble joining me for lunch at our local Chipotle – they have outdoor seating. But once it got cold, we resorted to getting our food to go and eating it in “Center Court”.

What’s “Center Court”? At my company, it is this awesome place to just chill. Lots of tables and areas to socialize with co-workers.

To River – it is scary.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e4e1To Bear – it is a very empty place.

These days, he joins us as we eat lunch at one of the booths. And, sometimes, he sits quietly watching us, hoping we’ll toss him a scrap.

Other times, he is sniffing around all the other tables. Or saying hi to everyone else to see if they want to share their lunch.

Unlike River, these floors don’t scare him.

 

 

Shelter from the 70s

I realize it has been awhile since River has had the spotlight.

She realizes this too.

So, here is a “Where’s River?” picture:

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e4e0

More often than not, when I can’t find River, she is hiding in the “Junk Room”. Admit it – you have one too – the room where you just put stuff in until you can’t even walk in yourself.

River LOVES this room. She routinely finds shelter in it – usually behind the rocking chair straight out of the 70s.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_8269

Just to see

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e445Bear now accompanies me to work on random days. Always on his vet appointment days. And usually one other day of the week – typically Tuesday.

He likes it.

And my co-workers all seem to like it.

In fact, today, a co-worker, Leo, stopped by pretty early, just to say hi to Bear.

“I walk by everyday, just to see if he’s here,” he said.

Bear – bringing happiness to everyone.

Fridays = Puppy days

Last Friday was a bit rough for some co-workers. So, I brought Bear to help ease the pain of the day.

Then Evie showed up.

Let’s just say, fun was had by all.

(Seriously – I think senior Bear really likes this puppy).