Friday, December 9, 2011

Misc. Updates 12/9/11

It's been a rough week for Team Stupid.

Both the mutts came down with giardia last weekend, probably from the dog park. So they've been pooping up a storm, especially since I let it go on for a couple days figuring it was just indigestion. This wasn't a particularly good period for my sanity, insofar as two monsters with troubled bowels + spousal unit who unreasonably refuses to bolt out of bed and down three flights of stairs into the freezing cold every time an ominous squeak echoes from the living room = me making A LOT of potty runs at all hours of the night. And I mean all hours, as in making at least one run per hour for three nights on end. It's a wonder I didn't break my neck running bleary-eyed and half-asleep down all those stairs with a wailing dog in tow.

By the third night, which was by far the worst one because (a) Stella kept pooping and peeing in her crate with no warning and getting it all over herself; and (b) I had to be in court first thing the next morning to argue a first-degree murder case, I was pretty much out of Sanity points. 3:15 a.m. found me typing a surrender email to Karen, the rescue coordinator, after mopping up yet another puddle of liquid poo in Stella's crate. I'm not proud to admit it, but it's true: I was on the brink of giving up. As awesome a dog as Stella is, I just didn't know how much more I could take.

Luckily Karen talked me off the ledge. She asked me to hang onto the dog just until the end of the week, and if I was still insane on Monday, Stella could have a berth in a no-kill adoption center. It wouldn't be a home, but it'd be a place where she could sit until she got a real one.

That glimmer of hope on the horizon, coupled with the relief of having some support if I just couldn't hack it on my own, got me through the rest of the week. (It helped that opposing counsel no-showed on that murder case, too, because it would not have been pretty if I had litigated that in my state of total delirium.) And by the end of the day, after a vet visit and a couple of powder packets emptied into the dogs' porridge, things were back under control.

So I missed a day and a half from work, which sucked, and I came perilously near screwing up in court, which really sucked, but crisis was narrowly averted, thanks to Dr. Greiner at Queen Village and rescue coordinator Karen's intercession and the ever-reliable laziness of opposing counsel in this city. <3 u guys.

Anyway, the monsters now appear to be constipated, which is not great but is a hell of a lot better than the way things were before. They can't go to the dog park until their treatment is done (and I'm not sure it's a brilliant idea to take them back afterward, either, since getting the giardia diagnosed and treated cost several hundred dollars and I'm not eager to just get them re-infected again), so now it is the Crazy Bumfight Show in my house constantly.

CONSTANTLY. Our coffee table, it is doomed.

Meanwhile: Pongu missed his freestyle class this week because of the giardia, but I sent in our registration for the World Canine Freestyle Organization, so hopefully soon we will be registered dorkbutts and can then work on achieving our dorkbutt titles.

It's just as well though since this whole week has been spent working on the exercises recommended at our consultation with Leslie McDevitt on Saturday, so we wouldn't have had time to practice any new freestyle moves anyway. At Leslie's suggestion, Pongu's Prozac dosage has been upped to 30 mg/day, and every day we work through Karen Overall's relaxation protocol and practice breathing exercises, like so:

We're on Day 6 and so far Pongu is acing the relaxation protocol (although he's just doing it in the living room, since we've just started) but is mightily confused about the breathing thing. I haven't worked with him on capturing behaviors before -- we've only done shaping and luring in the past -- so this is totally new and it hasn't quite come together in his head. But he's smart, he'll get it soon. And none too soon, since his fearfulness is beginning to shade into fear-based aggression. He's discovered that ferocious barking and lunging makes people go away... a lesson I need to counteract swiftly, before it turns into biting.

For her part, Stella is (or was, before the diarrhea interlude interrupted training) working on Stay. She has a pretty good Stay indoors; we'll take it on the road soon so I can make a more impressive clip to show prospective adopters.

And that's where we are for now. On Sunday Stella has an adoption event with WAGS Rescue & Referral (who took her brother, Jackson f/k/a Hugo) where hopefully she will charm her way into a permanent home. If not, we'll continue her education in being a properly civilized mutt monster.

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