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Posts Tagged ‘animals’

For Part 1, click here.

After our Near Corgi Experience, I was so disappointed and emotionally exhausted that I just couldn’t even think about continuing to puppy shop. I probably shouldn’t have been that emotionally involved in the first place, but that’s kind of how I do everything. Lobsterface wasn’t ready to give up yet, though, so he took over for a while. He searched on Petfinder.com, he filled out applications, and finally, when someone actually called us back, he scheduled the appointment to go see Homer, who would later become known as Aloysious, or Wishy, for short.

At first, we didn’t even apply for Homer/Wishy, because his profile called for “experienced dog owners”, and we didn’t think that we’d get him. We shouldn’t have gotten him, actually, but we didn’t know that by “experienced dog owner” they meant “people who know how to deal with a creature that has both emotional issues and very sharp teeth”. Apply we did, however, and a few days later we were on our way to a town in the southern part of the state to visit the shelter where Homer/Wishy was living. When they brought him out of the maze of crates where the dogs live and walked him across the lawn to see us, I was just smitten. He was calm, a little bit shy, and completely sweet. He let us scratch him behind the ears and generally fawn over him for a while, and when it was time to go fill out the adoption paperwork, he trotted right along with us on his leash.

Growing up on a dairy farm in the country, we had a ton of dogs around all the time, but none of them were ever on leashes. The only time we put leashes on any of them was when it was time to go to the vet, and they were all just terrible leash walkers, so having a dog who knew what leashes were about and accepted them as part of his lot in life was a grand thing.

Anyway, we sat in the adoption room filling out paperwork, and Homer/Wishy just sort of hung out nearby. He wasn’t overly affectionate, but that was just fine with us. I sat next to him on the floor and patted his head while Lobsterface signed papers, copied our drivers’ licesnes, and helped the office staff fix their broken printer. The only hint I got from Homer/Wishy about his biting enthusiasm was when I tried to touch his front paws. He hadn’t been paying attention, but when I touched his paw, he whipped his head around and sort of scrunched up his face at me. I backed right off and attributed it to his nervousness around new people.

Lobsterface and I both know that sheltered and rescued dogs in particular can have long, sometimes difficult adjustment periods while they get used to a new home. That was part of the reason that we kept Wishy as long as we did, we were hoping that, as he got used to us, he’d become less in love with biting.

Not so much.

On the way home, we let him ride in the back seat of the car, rather than in the very back in his crate, because every time we put him in the crate, he freaked right out. He didn’t seem very comfortable in the back seat, either, so I reached back to pat his head in what I thought was a reassuring way. Wishy did not share my opinion, and tried to bite me. I got my hand away fast enough, but when Lobsterface tried the same thing, he wasn’t so lucky. Wishy bit him between his fingers, and held on, even when Lobsterface tried to pull his hand away. There was a lot of blood.

We hightailed it to the nearest Urgent Care (thanks, Droid) and had it stitched up there. What we didn’t know was that you are NEVER supposed to stitch an animal bite. Because their mouths are so full of bacteria, it’s best to just let it bleed if it’s gonna bleed. We also didn’t know that we should have gone straight to a hospital ER, not to an Urgent Care clinic, in the first place and gotten IV antibiotics to flush any unwelcome bacteria out of Lobsterface’s system. But, like I said, we were unaware. We decided to chalk Wishy’s behavior up to nerves and to take him home and try to get him used to us.

We were going to be great corgi parents.

The next morning I noticed that Lobster had some red marks on his arm that looked like he’d been scratching, and I started to feel a bit ill. Red streaks up one’s arm (or leg, or whatever got cut or bitten) usually means that one has a pretty bad infection. When he told me that he hadn’t, in fact, been scratching, we hopped back into the car and rushed to the ER. The hospital, mercifully, is only about a 5 minute drive for us, but that still felt too long. The whole time I was flooded with visions of Lobsterface developing a fever, then chills, then, finally, shuffling off this mortal coil and I wept over his fevered brow in a very operatic fashion.

I am not always the most realistic person.

Anyway, he did NOT die, but he did have to spend 2 days in the hospital because, apparently, Corgipox is a fairly resilient ailment. During those two days, I spent most of my non-working time at the hospital with him, but we still had a Wishy to care for (and two not-all-that-enthusiastic-about-their-new-brother cats to comfort). Wishy and I became grand friends during the two days that it was just us. He was well-trained, obliging, housebroken and, as I may have mentioned, FANTASTIC on a leash. So I started to think that maybe he was going to be ok.

I was incorrect.

Over the course of the next week, Wishy lunged angrily at both of us several times and he bit Lobster on the hand again. That time it was just a scrape because he was able to get his hand away fast enough, but a bite is a bite. That same day we took Wishy to the vet to get his shots, but she didn’t even get a chance to look at him because he was being so unpleasant. She told us that with a dog as old as Wishy, bad habits and personality problems are almost impossible to fix, especially if the dog’s owners are inexperienced. Which we were (and still are). We were starting to feel as though we were going to fail as Wishyparents.

That night, after the unsuccessful vet visit, Wishy took his animosity to another level. Up until that night, his bites had only been in response to unwanted attention or touching, but right before bed, Lobsterface was putting out his food when Wishy came charging in from another room, intent on removing a sizable chunk from Lobsterface’s leg. That was the last straw. We didn’t even feel safe in our own home. He had to go.

The next morning, armed with thick work gloves and leather coats (in May) we loaded Wishy back into his crate, put him in the car, and drove him three hours back to the shelter. When we were going over our experience with the shelter people, they told us that he’d been with another family for seven months, during which time he bit two people. They hadn’t breathed a WORD about that to us before we took him home. In fact, his adoption profile said that he’d spent his entire life with one family, and that they turned him in because they weren’t home enough to take proper care of him.

Wishy got most angry when we put him into a crate, so I’m pretty sure that “they weren’t home enough to take proper care of him” means that they stuck him in a crate for twelve hours a day and just left him all alone. That’s absolutely animal abuse and someone should have rescued Wishy way before he’d spent enough time with those people to become so emotionally damaged. We weren’t experienced enough to help him, but we hope that he finds a family who is. And if he doesn’t, he’s at a no-kill animal sanctuary, so we hope that he can at least be happy there.

Wishy

On a walk in the park.

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