Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Kindness

John and I still miss Petey.  Yesterday as we were leaving the house after dark, I automatically reached to turn on a light so that Petey wouldn't be left in the dark.  I mentioned my memory lapse to John when it happened and he admitted that recently he'd thought he would put some meat broth over Petey's food.  Petey was with us for a long time, so we know it will take a while to stop having those thoughts almost as a reflex.  Most of the time we smile when we remember the little goof.

Then today's mail came:

It made me cry.  It was such a kind thing for the clinic to do.  They were the first to send us a sympathy card after having followed up with us the next day.  We both thought, that was more than required and expected nothing more.

I can most assuredly say that if we ever get another pet, we will chose the Berry Hill Animal Clinic to care for it.  We will recommend them to anyone in the Nashville area.  They took good care of Petey while he was alive and even remembered him from one visit to the next.  Now, they are taking good care of us.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmastime is Here!

We are looking forward to Christmas and enjoying this season of the year.  We are wondering though, about having to open our own gifts this year.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Recliner is Haunted!

The other night John remembered the times when he had a rare sleepless night in which he would get up and go to the recliner to see if he could rest there.  Whenever that happened, Petey would get up from wherever he was sleeping and go check on John.  He always had to keep tabs on his people.

Petey would arrive in the living room just about the time John would get relaxed.  Petey had to get in the recliner with John and squeeze himself between John and the arm of the recliner.  He'd work and work to make himself comfortable.  Usually about the time they both got settled again, Petey would remember that half of the bed was empty and make a beeline to the bedroom to get in John's spot.  Thus, disturbing John once again.

We had a nice chuckle at the memory of Petey's little quirks and went to sleep.  A couple of hours later John woke up.  He was wide awake and unable to settle down to get back to sleep so he went to the recliner.  He went to sleep there.  Petey still came and disturbed his rest.  John dreamed repeatedly about Petey. 

He has some pleasant dreams about him in his prime before his face turned so white with age.  He has some unpleasant dreams in which he was looking and looking for Petey but could not find him.  When he woke up he made a beeline back for the bed!

It looks like recliner sleeping just isn't going to happen for John.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Wee Bit Jealous

I've been noticing lots of dogs in our neighborhood lately out for walks or runs with their owners.  I'm sure that there are no more dogs out than there were about a month ago; I'm just noticing them more now.  I'm not crying when I see dogs so much any more.  I've moved on to the jealousy stage of grief.  (Is there one of those?)

I'm jealous of those owners who are so loved by their animals.   I knew that love once and now it is gone.  There is nothing quite like the love of a dog.  They are always glad to see their owners.  Unless like Petey, the suddenly remember that they've been left alone, then they pout for a while.

They are always forgiving and gentle.  Unless they are Petey and have just been given a snuggi or pet steps or a treat that wasn't a bacon treat.  We eventually got forgiveness and didn't do it again.

They like to snuggle, or is it take up the whole bed.  I never understood how a 12 lb dog could take up more room in a bed than two full grown humans!

OK.  So, it wasn't always a bed of roses with Petey.  But that is what made him so unique.  And I still miss him and his affection whenever and however he decided to dole it out.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When I Miss Petey the Most

We had to let Petey go three weeks ago yesterday.  I still miss him, and I know I'll miss him for a long time.  The memories aren't as piercing now.  His absence doesn't loom so large and the silence is no longer deafening.  Healing is happening.

As I was eating lunch today, I decided that I didn't really want the last couple of bites.  Three weeks ago, a little white dog would have been watching my every bite and I would have handed him nibbles all along.  I would have given him those last couple of bites as well.  It made me sad to toss it in the trash instead.  Nevermind that the odds were pretty good, I would have wound up doing that anyway because it was hard to know if Petey would take table scraps or not.

Little stuff like that pops up all of the time.  At least now, I don't cry about it, at least not every time, or as much.  There are two times that I miss Petey the most and it is going to take longer for me to get over.  Those two times are when I leave the house and when I come home.

Long time readers will remember Petey's very strict rules.  All Petey rules were very strict!  One of them was about leaving the house.  Simply put, don't do it.  If however it is unavoidable, do it only once per day.  Coming & going, particularly in rapid succession were just not tolerated well.  Heaven forbid, that we get to the car and realize we left something inside.  We'd actually discuss if we really, really needed it and if so, who had to go inside and get it.

Once I started working from home, I tried to limit myself to one trip per day still, trying to pile up all my errands in to one trip.  I'd sneak out while he was asleep and leave treats in the kitchen floor for him.  I hoped that would make up for the fact that he didn't find me when he woke up.  If I left while he was awake, I'd tell him how long I'd be gone and give him a treat.  Often he wouldn't take it because he knew what that meant.  I guess he hoped that if he didn't take the treat I wouldn't leave.

Coming home is harder still than leaving.  When Petey was in his prime, we'd be greeted with the Petey Dance.  He was just so glad to see us that he couldn't keep still.  He'd have been waiting on the back of the couch where he could see out the front window.  He'd race to the kitchen door the minute he saw the car and prance around excitedly until we came in.  It felt good to be so loved and welcomed.  As he got older, he didn't greet us at the door so much and his hips didn't allow for much dancing, but he always was obviously glad we were home.  

On the drive home from wherever, even a quick trip to the store, my mind would always be casting ahead to what Petey would need when I got home, or what he might have done in the house, or maybe he was still asleep and didn't know I'd gone.  My first thoughts were always of him.  

For 12+ years, my mind headed that way.  It will take a while to retrain my thinking.  That's OK.  I like remembering Petey.  In time, I'll smile more at the memories rather than cry.

Friday, October 4, 2013

What Happened on Monday

This post is for me.  I want to get the memories down while they are still fresh.  I've waited until now because it hurt too much to relive the experience.  I want to document the final chapter in Petey's life, even if I never read it again.

John came home from work about 12:30.  He wanted to spend some time with Pete before the vet was schedule to arrive at 4:00.  I was anticipating a gut wrenching afternoon.  It was.  We told Petey again and again that the doctor was coming and she would help him out of all his pain.  It gave us time to discuss what of Petey's we wanted to keep as mementos of his life and what we wanted to donate.  Even though we agreed to get rid of his beds, I left them right where they were until he was buried.  I didn't want to risk him seeing his beds gone and get upset like he always did when I decided it was time to wash them.

It was clear that the medication for his back legs wasn't getting the job done anymore.  I'd already doubled the vet's dosage, no longer fearing kidney failure or liver damage.  Even with that, it took several tries for him to stand and walking was an iffy proposition.  He had little control over those back legs so he wasn't steering so well.  John was convinced that he was deaf.  I admited that his hearing had diminished, but I still contended he had selective hearing.  In the last few weeks, he'd become night blind.  We were having to leave lights on in the house at night so he could see to get to his water bowl.  Between the night blindness and the bad back legs he was a hazard to himself at night in the dark.  We were up with him a good bit, much like parents of a newborn.

As we would tell Petey that this was for his own good, we were trying to convince ourselves as well as him.  Petey was calm and took the news well.  He licked my face as I cried.  Maybe to comfort me, maybe the salt water tasted good.  He was happy those last few hours.  He had his two favorite people with him with 100% of our attention.  It was what he loved the most.

We gave him all the bacon treats he could hold.  He seemed to enjoy them again.  (In recent weeks, he'd take or leave a treat when offered.)  As I was eating a dark chocolate peanut butter granola thin, and holding Pete, he acted very interested in it, so I gave him a taste.  He liked it and clearly wanted more.  So, I fed him a whole one.  Then I got another and gave it to John to feed him.  Petey ate with gusto we hadn't seen in ages.  It did the three of us good.

The vet's office called just before 4:00 and offered cremation services which we declined. The vet arrived promptly at 4:00 and I just lost it.  We were all outside enjoying the lovely afternoon and I knew when I saw the car that this was it.  John was holding Petey and Petey began to bark like he hadn't barked in ages.  (At our yard sale just a few weeks ago, he was quite docile and let strangers touch him.)  The Petey that prompted the start of this blog was back.  The vet was kind and compassionate and hugged me.

We all went in to the house.  I held Petey like a baby up on my shoulder while John signed the necessary paperwork.  John sat by me on the couch and the vet knelt in front of us and administered the first dose of medicine.  This was just to help him relax and go to sleep.  In typical Petey fashion, he fought it.  He tried to keep those eyes open.  I handed him to John.

John held him up on his chest like a baby too.  He had his left hand on Petey and his right arm around me.  I rested my head on John's chest with my face next to Pete's.  I had my right hand on Petey and my left under John.  I cried unashamedly, as Petey closed his eyes for the last time.  The vet went in to the other room to give us time alone.

When she came back into the room to give him the lethal dose, Petey's eyes eased back open.  I think he was already gone then.  I think his little body was so fragile, that the sedative took him.  At the time, however, I thought he wasn't quite asleep and asked the vet to wait for him to close his eyes again.  She told me that it was OK, that he was relaxed.  She gave him the last injection and within just a few seconds checked his heart and it was no longer beating.

She kindly stayed with us a while.  When she left she gave us a burial bag for him.  We took him to an undisclosed location and buried him. I was strangely emotion free by then.  I was hollow.   We buried him with what remained of his beloved green ring and a bacon treat.  We marked the spot, even though I knew I'd never come back to that spot of ground to talk to Petey.  It is not my style.  I don't want to think of Petey there.

I think of Petey every morning when I get up and his yellow blanket isn't beside the bed.  I think of him all day long as I work and he isn't on the discarded mattress pad, or isn't following me from room to room as I move about the house.  I think of Petey when I walk in the front room, where he used to go pout when the baby arrived.  I think of Petey when we are watching TV and night and he's not on his pillow in the floor supervising us, or angling to go out once it gets dark, or herding us off to bed.  I think of him when we actually turn off the lights at bedtime rather than turning them on.  I think of him when I come home and he's not there to greet us and I don't have to look for pee in the floor.  (Petey did pee in the floor right in front of John and me one last time Monday afternoon!)

Petey's old worn out little body will return to the earth, but his memories will live in our hearts forever.  In time, the memories will make us smile and laugh rather than prick our hearts.  We had a good run with Petey.  I have no doubt we made his life better when he came to live with us.  But, Petey made our lives much richer and fuller.  I think we got the better end of the bargain.

RIP, Pete.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Post I Never Wanted to Write

When I started this blog, I knew it would not last forever.  I knew that one day I would have to share the news that Petey was no longer with us.  I really thought the day would come sooner than it has, so I am thankful for that.  I've known since the end of July that the end was nearer than it ever had been before.  Now, I know that Petey is in his last hours as I type.  By the time this is read, he may already have crossed the rainbow bridge.

I've called the vet and scheduled his final appointment.  They will come to the house this afternoon and administer the medication required to end his pain.  Petey had a hard weekend.  His back legs just aren't getting the job done any more.  He'll try to stand only to fall repeatedly.  Once he finally gets up, he has little to no control over his steps.  He walks into stuff, big stuff like walls and furniture.  John and I have resorted to carrying him.  He lets us.  The young Petey would not have allowed such an indignity.  Now, he's content to be carried.  As hard as it is and will be for us, it is time to end his misery.

We have many fun and many frustrating memories of the little goof.  Our life took a dramatic turn that we never anticipated when we took him in.  In spite of his many little quirks or maybe because of them, he wormed his way into our hearts as well as our lives.  Memories of Petey will surround us for a long time, even longer than it will take to get rid of the last bit of his fur on the furniture.  We'll hold those memories near as we miss his presence with us.

I'll leave this blog up and welcome comments of any memories of Pete.  I may post my own memories from time to time.  I will miss him, more than I care to admit.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Petey the Babysitter

Petey's not too keen on the baby coming over.  He's getting accustomed to it though.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Petey's Beds

Petey loves a good place to burrow down and nap.  That is nothing new.  I've blogged before about all of the beds he has all over the house.  He has a bed or presence in every room in the house with the only exception being the hall bathroom.  (The only place he'll drink water is from a bowl in the back bathroom, not in the kitchen next to his food bowl!)  Never mind that the humans only have one bed and they share it!  Of course, there is the bed in the guest room, but still; Petey has more beds.

He has a bed in the bedroom:
Here he is making good use of it.

He has a bed in the guest bedroom:

His beloved yellow blanket.

He has a bed in the living room:
A pillow and a couple of blankets where he can rest while we watch TV.

However, even with this many beds, it isn't quite enough.  Not for Petey.  Yesterday, he took his bed obsession to a whole new level.

It started first thing in the morning, when he wasn't in the bedroom bed.  This is odd, since his first rule is that no one sleeps alone in the house.  Even though his back legs prevent him from actually sleeping with the humans, he stays in the same room if at all possible.  I looked in all of his typical spots and a few that weren't and couldn't find him.  I was just about to call John at work to see if he's left him out when he went to work.  Before I made the call, I remembered one last spot in the guest bedroom.  

I found him in a corner behind a rocking chair on some pillows.  We'd pulled the pillows out from under the bed to make room for a mattress.  We had not yet found a new home for the pillows, but Petey made good use of them in the meantime.  (Sorry, I didn't think to take a picture.)

A little later in the morning, the baby came over.  To say Petey is jealous would be a understatement.  He is, but he has not been aggressive towards her at all.  He would just rather not have my attention divided.  Nor John's, for that matter.  

The baby has a nice floor play mat:

She spends hours and hours rolling around on the floor on or nearby this.  Yesterday was no exception.  The first time she rolled off of the mat itself and was on the floor playing, Petey eased himself on to the mat and acted as if it was right where he belonged.  The baby really was happy to share and reached over to express her joy by grabbing his tail.  Petey cut his eyes around at her, but never even moved his head or make a sound.  She patted his back leg and he let out a heavy sigh, but never moved a muscle.

I moved her because I didn't want to push Petey too far.  We were going to get the camera to take a picture of Petey on the mat, but he followed us.  So, I put the play mat on a bigger blanket in the floor.  I put the baby on the play mat and Petey got on the blanket next to the mat and all was well.

Finally, during the night last night, the blanket we have on my side of the bed fell in to the floor.  I did not know it happened, but Petey did.  His bed is on John's side of our bed, but still he realized that the blanket was in the floor.  He repositioned himself on top of that blanket, after scratching around on it some to make it more comfortable!

I'd like to conclude by saying that we learned a valuable lesson about Petey and his bed needs yesterday, but I can't.  I don't think we can fully comprehend just how many beds a dog needs, nor where they need to be.  At least he got a long a little better with the baby.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Petey's Pills

Old man Petey takes three doses of medicine each day.  He has half an arthritis pill in the morning and the other half in the evening.  At bedtime he has a quarter of a calming medication so that we can all sleep all night long.  Most of the time he takes the arthritis medicine straight from our hands.  Most of the time he'll take the beddy-bye pill with a little peanut butter.  We think it might have a bitter taste once it is quartered.  It is a good thing that the old dog is so good at taking his meds, or else we'd all be upset a lot of the time.

Some days, however, Petey exercises his right to be contrary and doesn't take his pill when it is offered.  Most of the time when this happens, we just stop trying for a while.  On the second or third try he'll generally give up and take the pill.  There are those times when he just won't take it, no way, no how.  Those are the times, when he starts trying to be sneaky.

This morning, it appeared like we might be in for one of those times with his morning medicine.  He came in from outside and I handed his pill to him.  He turned his head.  I tried again telling him that he liked this pill, so he yawned real big right over my hand, but did not take the pill.  I think I was supposed to believe that he took it when he opened his mouth.  But I was on to him, since the pill was still in my hand.

I told him that I didn't fall for it and tried one more time to get him to take the pill.  This time he lapped it up from my hand much like he was getting a drink, then he spit it right back out, in to my hand.  He's a clever little thing.  If he could just figure out how to spit the pill back out with out it going in to my hand, he might be on to something.

Knowing that he was in a defiant mood, I let it go.  I kept the pill with me waiting for an opportunity to spring it on him when his resistance was down. I tried again in a while. but once again he tried the fake take and the pill wound up right back in my hand.  I wish I had a video of the process, because he really thought he'd fooled me as he trotted off.

This time, I let him think so.  I went on about my business as he settled in to his ring bed to supervise.  After about 30 minutes had passed.  I left the room and he did too.  He has this rule about following me around.  I handed him the pill while his mind was on where I was going.  He swallowed it and is now resting once again in his ring bed.

Matching wits with a dog.  It is how I spend entirely too much of my time!  The good news is, I almost always win.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Vet Called

We take Petey to the Berry Hill Animal Hospital.  We have been pleased with everyone there from the veterinarians to the assistants, to the receptionist.  Yes, even the receptionist knows Petey!  One of the doctors in particular, however, seems to have a special affinity for Petey.  John and I try to request her whenever we need an appointment.  Her name is Dr. Amanda Gansberger.

John called her after the episode several weeks ago.  After some discussion, they agreed to try Petey on a calming medication at night to help him rest.  (OK, to help us all rest.)  John and I felt like this was Petey's last real chance at normalcy.  And that if this didn't work, we'd have to make the hard decision that we'd been delaying for so long.

On August 1, we gave Petey the first dose of the medicine and we all slept all night.  It was amazing how much better all of us felt the next day.  With the exception of one night, when Petey refused to take his medication, he has taken it every night and is much like his old self.  And I do mean OLD as in old age.

I still had a little doubt in my mind as to how much pain Petey was in.  He seemed so much better that I pacified myself with that thought.

Then, one day last week, out of the blue, Dr. Gansberger called.  She was calling simply to check on Petey.  She wanted to make sure that the medication was working as she had anticipated and had other ideas if this didn't seem to be working.  I was so touched by her kindness that I cried as I told her that I thought Petey was better, but I still had some concern about his back legs/hips.

She explained to me that Petey is 95 years old and is not going to be chasing squirrels no matter what.  She and I discussed his daily activities, and she said they were very typical of a dog of his age and breed.  John and I had already decided that his jumping days were over.  We aren't letting him on the couch or the bed.  He can't be trusted to let one of us help him down when he decides it is time.  He has nice beds in the floor all around the house.  He's been OK with that for the most part.

She gave me a lot of comfort that Petey was acting just like Petey should act.  I think he'll be with us for a while to come.  Maybe he'll make it to 100, which is probably just February!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pete's NDE

Petey is a drama dog.  I had never ever realized there was such a thing until Petey came along.  Some of my long time readers may remember that years ago I thought Petey was dying but he was far from it.  That isn't the only time Petey has been unwell somehow but we thought it was more extreme than it really was.  Of course now, with his advanced age, we know that Petey's days ahead with us are fewer than the days he's already had with us.  We've had sad conversations about his end of life and when would we know it was time to let him go.

Until the wee hours of the morning Sunday morning, Petey's biggest problem was arthritis in his back hips.  That seems to be managed well by medication.  Of course, some days he's perkier than others, but isn't that true for all of us.  We've largely gotten over the peeing in the house phase.  Turns out it wasn't a medical/physical condition at all.  Just a Petey condition.  So, we really have not made any concrete decisions about the end of Petey's life.

In the wee hours of the morning Sunday morning, we thought our decision had been made.  It started at about 1:30 am.  Petey got John up to go out, which is typical except it is more like 5:00 am when he wants out.  Petey took longer than he generally does outside, wandering through the back yard for a while.  John stayed on the porch watching but didn't really see every where he went or every thing he did.  They came back inside.  John went back to bed but Petey didn't.

Petey was very restless.  He would walk in to the bathroom and get a big drink of water.  Then he'd come scratch around on his yellow blanket.  Back to the bathroom, then on the bed, then the blanket.  Around and around up and down he went until we were all exasperated.  At about 2:30 I let him out.  He went out for a quick run and when he came back I gave him 1/2 of one of his doggie downers.  (These are the same pills, I gave him before our lake trip.) We had to get some rest.  All three of us.

Petey settled on his yellow blanket and we were dozing off when I heard some noise coming from the yellow blanket.  I got up to find Petey, in a state.  I wondered if he was having a stroke or maybe a seizure.  His posture was strange and his eyes weren't right.  He had his lips back in a snarl with his remaining teeth bared.  I was a little hesitant to touch him, afraid I'd be bitten, but I couldn't let him lie there in such distress.

I picked him up and that calmed him some.  He was rather limp; his breathing eased but his eyes still weren't right.  I woke John up and told him I thought Petey was dying.  We put him on the bed between us and he seemed to go to sleep. In just a few minutes though, he began almost panting; taking very short, shallow breaths with his tongue hanging out only he was on his side with his eyes closed.

John and I both thought the end was very near.  We cuddled him and told him 'bye' yet he kept on breathing and his heart was beating. We all settled again for another 15-20 minutes and then he began to thrash around.  He managed to get to his belly and proceeded to puke all over the bed.  We both thought this was indeed the end, yet he kept on breathing and his heart kept beating.

We cleaned up the mess and laid there on the bed until morning and then we had to decide what to do.  I had nursery duty at church and John had a class to teach.  Since he was in no obvious distress, we decided that one of us would stay home from church so that he would not be alone when he died.  We didn't think a visit to the vet ER for the 'big shot' was needed.  He wasn't going to last that much longer.  He didn't open his eyes when we touched him.

I went to church and dismissed John's class, explaining about Petey.  Everyone was kind and understanding, even offering to stay in the nursery for me.  I opted to stay, however.  I wasn't sure if I really wanted to be at home when Petey stopped breathing and his heard stopped beating.  On the way home, I wondered if John would wait for me to bury him.  I thought about how to dispose of his things.  I wondered if we could donate his medicine to the shelter.

While I was gone John shared that Petey had roused.  He thought maybe Petey needed to go out, so he lifted him off of the bed to carry him outside.  On the way to the back door, Petey had another episode and lost control of his bladder.  John gently laid him on the back porch thinking that it would just be a matter of minutes now.  Petey roused and wanted to go back in but couldn't walk.  John was fearful of carrying him, thinking that him picking the poor animal up, was what caused the latest episode.  He quickly fashioned a stretcher for Petey and brought him back inside.

I came home to find them both on the front bedroom bed.  Petey more alert than he'd been since I found him on the blanket in the night.  As the day wore on, Petey gradually came back to us.  His eyes got clearer and he was able to move around more.  By bedtime, Sunday night, other than a slight limp which he has off & on, there was no way to tell anything had happened.

Petey is the dog who cried death, much like the boy who cried wolf.  John wondered had this happened during the week, would we have taken him to the vet rather than letting him peacefully die at home.  If so, we could have let Petey go before his time.   There was no way he was faking, but still we believed the situation to be far more dire than it was.

Today, was a typical day for Petey.  He moved a little slower, but it was a rainy morning which often creates a little more creakiness in his bones.  And we all know his penchant for drama!!  Petey is here for a while longer.  As to how long?  Who knows?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Puking Pete

***WARNING!*** This post is disgusting! Anyone with a weak stomach should just keep going.  On the other hand, 12 year old boys might think this is cool.  Read on at your own risk.

Last night John, Petey and I were enjoying some TV courtesy of Netflix.  It was getting close to the end when John yelled out something along the lines of "Gross Petey!"  I looked over in time to see Petey puking in his ring bed.  John immediately got up and got something to clean up the mess.  Before he could get back with the paper towels Petey was eating the puke.  Again, John yelled out something like "That's disgusting!"  I was not saying anything because I was trying not to toss my cookies!  John starts talking about how that is in the Bible like that will make me not hurl.  I managed to squeak out that I didn't think Petey read the Bible.

We finished the show.  Petey got in the bed and I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth.  When I came out, I saw Petey licking his paws.  Nothing unusual there.  Not until, I got closer and saw that he was once again eating upchuck.  I ran screaming from the room, calmly called for John, managed not to puke and summoned John to the room.

We decided the best thing to do would be just remove the comforter where Petey happened to be when the deed was done, and wash it in the  morning.  I realized I would be too chilly without a little extra cover, so we got the single size comforter from the middle bedroom.  

I snuggled down to read a bit while John rinsed out the cloth he'd used to wipe off the comforter.  Before John was finished, Petey once again returned his stomach contents.  This time, I really did gag, and covered my head while John forcibly kept Petey from reingesting the foul matter yet again!!

We were able to clean up enough to get to bed at a decent hour, and Petey did not puke any more, since his stomach was empty.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

As Promised: The Last Night of the Trip

John and I generally start packing the night before coming home when on a trip.  It saves time and panic in the morning to have the non-essentials ready to go.  So, as per our usual pattern we began putting away things that we were not going to need in the morning.  It seemed very normal to us, but not to Petey.

Pete got more and more agitated as the evening progressed.  The more things we packed the more he paced.  He was circling the cabin like a little white streak in no time at all.  We wondered if he was upset and didn't want to leave since he was having such a good time, not counting the boat part.  We also wondered if he was afraid that we were abandoning him.  We decided on the former.  Surely, the dog knew we were taking him home.  

I decided the thing to do would be to give him 1/2 pill of his doggie dope.  He's pretty good at taking pills now.  Most of the time, I just hold it in front of him and he eats it.  When that doesn't work I get out the peanut butter or just poke it in his mouth where some of his teeth used to be.  Lacking peanut butter on this trip, my only option was the poke it in method.  Only it didn't work.  Petey learned to spit somewhere along the line.

It took no less than five tries to cram that pill down his throat.  The thing with Pete is, we have to remain calm.  If John or I gets upset with him he freaks out all the more.  So, I am trying to use a soothing voice when I tell him that he's going to take this pill or else.  I'm gently stroking him as I try to pry his clenched jaws open.  I finally prevail.  Petey swallowed the pill.  I'm hoping that he'll be mellow by bed time and sleep through the night.  My hopes were dashed.

At bed time, Petey was as keyed up as ever.  Actually, we decided to go to bed early since he was so freaked out, hoping that would calm him.  Perhaps, if we'd waited another 30 or 45 minutes to go to bed he would have been calmer, but I doubt it.

The bed was pushed against the wall on one side.  I tried to keep Petey between me and the wall, but he would have none of it.  If he couldn't pace the cabin, he'd pace the bed.  Over and over we used our soothing voices to try and calm him.  It didn't work.  We tried to calm him by petting him gently but he would jerk away from our hands.

Finally, he jerked away from a soothing pat and fell off the bed.  Somehow, he managed to fall in such a way that his left legs were between the bed rail and the mattress and his right legs were on the other side of the bed rail.  He was straddling the bed rail and he was hurt.  It had to have hurt.  He hit his underside on the narrow edge of the bed rail.  He set up a wail the likes of which I'd never heard from him.

Of course John and I were right there to rescue him in mere moments.  But Petey always panics first.  John managed to ease him out rather quickly and held him in his lap to feel the damage and try and calm him.  Petey had no apparent injuries, but that did not matter to Petey.  He had to shudder and carry on, while John snuggled him.  Then he peed in John's lap.

Yes, Petey peed all over John and the sheets our last night of the trip.  Cleaning up pee was not the way we intended to spend our last night of vacation.  (Truth be told, we thought that we'd be cleaning it up all week!)

We finally all settled down to sleep.  Petey was curled up against John and would not move.  John didn't sleep so well because whenever he moved Petey was sure to be next to him.  It was like they were attached.  At least no one fell out of the bed any more that night.

I gave Petey the other half of the pill in the morning, and we made it home without incident.  We're not sure if Petey will travel with us in the future.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Petey Takes a Road Trip

John and I had resigned ourselves to not taking a vacation this year.  There were several very good reasons for this, not the least of which being Petey.  He is just too much to be left with anyone.  He is beyond high maintenance now.  We could not leave him with anyone knowing the damage he would likely cause.  We also knew that boarding him would be a death sentence for him.  He would not endure such as that. 

A couple of weeks ago, however, John ran across a pet friendly lake resort.  The prices, even with the pet fee, were very reasonable.  It was a gamble on a lot of levels to take Petey to an unknown place.  Just going to a place sight unseen is a gamble in and of itself.  Adding Petey is a whole new dimension.  We knew already that he is bad in the car.  We knew already that he does not like water.  Yet we forged ahead.

We (I) gave Petey 1 1/2 of his doggie Valium before heading out the morning of our trip.  He fights it so much, that I started about 2 hours before time to leave, giving him small doses at a time.  I was hoping the effect would sneak up on him and he'd be asleep by time to leave.  That didn't happen.  He was pretty mellow for most of the ride.  The trip was just over 2 hours driving time, and he finally conked out just before arriving.  John was fearful that I'd overdosed the dog and kept asking if he was still breathing.  He was.

We got to the lake and found a sweet little family run area that was much like taking a step back in time.  No cell phones, no wifi, but there were pay phones, more than one.  The cabins were built in the early 1950's.
On the inside the rooms made a circle, which Petey loved.  Or at least he walked it constantly.

We were quite surprised how much of the Petey we once knew returned on this trip.  He was feisty and fun, except for the part when we were actually on the lake.
That is him in the boat trying to hide.  Otherwise, he did seem to enjoy himself until the last night of the trip.  That is a post for another day.  In the meantime, here are a couple of shots of the lake and Petey from our week.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Petey and Miss A

I have a niece I'll call Miss A.  I love her very much.  She lives in another state so we don't get to see very much.  Usually two or three times per year is all we get to see her, but we text or email almost every day.  I love hearing from her.  She always asks about Petey.

Sometimes I go to her house and sometimes she comes to mine.  Petey only sees her when she is at my house.  He doesn't like to travel.  He never has.  We've tried to take him places but it just doesn't work out.

When Miss A comes to our house she always gives Petey treats.  He likes that.  He doesn't like most people, but he likes her.  Maybe it is because of the treats or maybe it is because she always asks about him.

It could be that he likes her Mom.  Petey jumped in her lap the first time he met her; one of about 3 people he's taken to right away.  (The other two are not me and John.)  He bit my other sister the first time he met her.  She may be the only person he's actually bitten.  Most of the time he just growls and barks.

Anyway, Miss A is coming to my house in a couple of months.  I have already told Petey so he can look forward to seeing her too.  We can't wait!  We will have a lot of fun when she is here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Reenactment

Apparently, Petey got hot during the night.  When we got up the yellow blanket had been dragged away from the radiator and the fan had been knocked over.  Petey was laying on the yellow blanket with the fan blowing on him.  Of course he got up before I could get a picture.

He was kind enough to pose for a bit of a reenactment though.
He was closer to the fan and asleep this morning.  When this picture was taken, I think he was mad that I was messing with his stuff.  He gets territorial sometimes.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Petey's Latest Cozy Place

Yes, that is a radiator with a fan blowing the warm air on to Petey as he rests on his yellow blanket.  I know, I know...we indulge the dog.  Believe me, everyone is happier when Petey is happy.  It is a small price to pay.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Nap

It is a long established habit on my (Lori) part to take a Sunday afternoon nap.  Petey accompanies me due to a very strict rule on his part that no one naps alone.  A typical Sunday is for us to come home from church and I nap fairly quickly after that.  Often we find Petey asleep when we get home but due to his aforementioned very strict rule he still naps with me.

Today, however, was slightly different.  I had a little project that I needed to move along.  So, I worked on it rather than heading straight for the bed.  I knew I would only be 20 or 30 minutes later getting to snooze-town and would get a full nap in.  But, I forgot to tell Petey.

Petey did not like this arrangement.  Petey was ready for a nap and didn't care who knew.  He was quite persistent in coming to get me and then going to the bed.  He did this several times and each time I explained that I would be there a little later.  He could not wait.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Still at It

Petey is still waking us me up  multiple times per night to go out or get in the bed with us.  John has tried talking to him.  As silly as it sounds, sometimes that seems to help.  Or at least it has helped enough times that we think it is worth a try.  It didn't work this time.  Then I remembered that in the Bible it says that man should have dominion over the animals, so I read that to him.  Still didn't work.  So, now I continue to be sleep deprived because this dog is becoming nocturnal and wants company.

The other night Petey was trying to wake John up.  He was on John's side of the bed scratching.  Or at least I'm guessing that is what was happening.  Being unsuccessful at waking John up the typical way he flung himself in to the side of the bed, shaking the whole bed.  It is amazing what a little 12 pound dog can do.  The jolt woke me right up.  BUT, since he was not trying to wake me up, I didn't move.  I was glad John had finally rotated to the top of the order and would once again be on nighttime duty.

As a lay there as still and quiet as possible, I heard Petey go in to the bathroom and get a drink.  The bathroom floor is tile and he does not try to be quiet with his walking or drinking.  After he finished drinking, I heard him clicking around on the tile and then the very distinct sound of water running.  Since Petey does not have thumbs, I was pretty sure he hadn't turned the water on, but was peeing in the bathroom floor.

I stayed put a while longer but then the guilt overcame me and I decided to clean up the pee.  I had this idea that John would get up in the night and step in it causing a much worse ruckus than me just simply cleaning it up right then.  I got the flashlight and crept in to the bathroom to do my penance.  Only there was no pee.  I couldn't find it anywhere.

Of course, me getting out of bed signaled to Petey that I was up for his benefit.  I let him out doubting that he really needed to pee but was unsure since I didn't find any in the house.  Often when he goes out at night and does not need to pee, he stays out a long time just milling around.  He peed, so it was a quick trip.

Once I returned to the bedroom I looked for pee but still didn't find any.  I got back in the bed alone since Petey had opted to stay in the living room.  Just about the time I got settled, he realized that we were in the bed all warm and cozy and he was not.  He decided to join us.  So, I got up again and put him in the bed again.

The next morning, I warned John about the mystery pee but he didn't find any either.  As I was getting dressed I began to wonder if I'd hallucinated the whole thing.  I sat down to put my shoes on when I saw the puddle.  It was at the foot of the bed, right in John's path around the bed.  I don't know how he missed it.

Now, the bedroom is carpeted so it wasn't so much a puddle as it was a dark area.  Petey must have come out of the bathroom but I didn't realize it.  Neither John nor I peed at the foot of the bed in the floor.  I cleaned it up and Petey walked in just as I was finishing.  I explained to him that he should have peed in the bathroom not on the carpet.  He looked right at me and peed. Right there, right then, he peed!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Old Dogs and New Tricks

Whoever said that old dogs can't learn new tricks never met Petey.  He may resist change that he doesn't like but he is quite adaptable in those situations that he likes.  For instance, he adapted quite well when I (Lori) started working from home.  More company=good thing for Pete.  So, he can be a very quick study when he likes the change.

The latest example happened with my mother stayed with us.  She'd been hospitalized and needed to recover here for a few weeks.  The first night she was here, we put Petey in the bed with us so that he would not bother her.  He wasn't so sure about her.  He wasn't aggressive towards her, but she was in his place on the couch.  This required him to pace around the house. We weren't sure how he'd react when she stayed all night.  Let me state now, that closing doors is not an option with Pete.  That is like an engraved invitation to enter.  He will not rest until the door is opened. 

We thought Petey would sleep with us and all would be well.  Petey did sleep with us for a few hours.  Then he got up.  He needed to patrol the house.  He spent the rest of the night, while he wasn't patrolling on a blanket beside the bed.  Mama said he came in an looked at her a time or two but never bothered her, of course we weren't aware of this until the next day.

In the wee hours of the morning he got a very bad itch.  He had to scratch and gnaw repeatedly at the offending area.  I was concerned that he'd wake up the entire household, so I got up and put him back in the bed with us.  That calmed his itch and everyone went back to sleep.

The next night, Petey was happy that the three of us were all in the bed together once again.  And in the wee morning hours when the bad itch started, I put him back in the bed.  That was all it took.  Ever since that time Petey has started the night with us and finished it with us.  Never mind that my mother has gone home.

In fact, Petey pretty much comes and goes as he pleases during the night.  He isn't a bad sleeping companion once he gets settled.  There are two issues associated with this new trick Petey has learned:

  • First Petey can't get in the bed by himself.  He has decided that I am the person to get up and put him in the bed.  He's figured out how to get down most of the time without my help.  I often don't even wake up.  This wouldn't be so bad if it was at bedtime and very early in the morning, but it has morphed in to three or four times a night.

  • Second, and much worse, I've become night time potty patrol!  I guess he figures since he wakes me up to put him in the bed; he should wake me for bathroom time too.

This has got to stop. I need my rest.  I'll have to teach Petey yet another trick.  Sleeping alone, in the floor.