Summer Petsitting and Other Projects

ImageI’ve really neglected this blog for a while. I think a winter of health incidents culminating in my doggy soulmate’s decline into congestive heart failure left me a little depressed in the pet world. Yuuki’s on the mend, as much as a 2-year tops life prognosis can be considered ‘mended’– maybe ‘stabilized is a better way to describe it– and our summer B&B doors have opened for the pets of all our friends. I actually really love petsitting because it gives me a chance to imagine what it would be like to have this or that in my life. Sugar gliders– interesting to watch, but glad I never allowed myself to get them. And I always love to host our big doofy husky friend pictured above, though I would never have a husky myself (neither would they, for the record, but their big old hearts couldn’t let him keep house-jumping). Right now, I’m learning the ropes of Box Turtle care, who I think is actually a little depressed his people are gone…is that possible?? 

Our newest summer project is a rescue chihuahua that’s entered our lives via a friend of a friend. I remind myself that Cesar Milan tells people, ‘You don’t get the dog you want, you get the dog you need,’ and I suppose this little guy is really going to push us to find our inner calm and help him out of his tormented shell- it’s dog rehab ‘intermediate’ level. He’s the worst little demon chihuahua (like the kind you see on the Dog Whisperer) I’ve ever seen in real life. He screams and thrashes if you try to pick him up, we have a leash permanently attached because otherwise we can’t get anything hooked to his collar because of his ferocious biting at the leash and alligator death-rolls (and to drag him around everywhere we go so he can’t hole up in a corner somewhere), he won’t take food from anyone’s hand, and just when you think he’s finally comfortable enough to receive petting, he snaps! He’s a mess– truly a mess. Dumped off on me at 9 years old because it was inconvenient for his owners to arrange for his move with them. I think that might be reasonable to say if your dog weighed 200 lbs, but not for 11 lbs of dog. Not for one you’ve had since he was a puppy. Oh, and I haven’t yet mentioned the crying. All dogs get depressed, in my experience, when their owners leave them with me for a little bit. For some, it’s a day or two, for others a week or two. It’s not always expressed in the same way. Some mope, some seem constantly looking for something. This one, he cries. He cries and cries and cries. Inconsolable puppy-like whimpering and mourning. They had no idea they would rip out his tiny soul and stomp all over it by leaving him here– not that we won’t be good to him. I don’t know how long it will last, but so far, two days of off-and-on sobbing. He knows they’re gone. They left him in a crate to watch while their friends and family came through to say goodbye. He’s not stupid. He is timid, insecure, uncertain of the world, and lacking self-esteem in a way I’ve never seen before. So he’ll be our summer project– our project for most likely the next few years. Who would take a broken soul like this one? He’ll just have to stay here for a while…


The new dog, Blitz(en)–because “blitz” sounds violent– wet from our walk in the rain