Friday, April 17, 2009

Wookie the Westless

Change is difficult for all species.

Bringing a foster dog into one's house is not a decision to be entered in to lightly. It is not something that should be done in reaction to a heart wrenching story, or on impulse.

When I agreed to take in Wookie, I knew it was going to be work. A lot of hard work.

However, since I was the one who stopped to pick him up, like the old Chinese proverb, I'm now responsible for his life. I knew that, and still choose to stop and catch him. Now I am paying the price for that decision….

Let me tell you about last night, as I prop my eyelids open to type….

All was well during the evening. Wookie was introduced to the others and got along well. He ate his din-din with the girls, and there was no food guarding or aggression. In fact, he won't eat unless I'm standing right there, cheering him on (weird!). He played well with a toy, voided in the garden, had his nighttime treaty-treat before bed. We all went into my bedroom and BAM!


11PM to 12AM: I had brought his crate into my room, right next to my bed. It has a soft pillow inside and is comfortable. He did NOT want to sleep in it. Well, I made him. It's night time and considering he is a stranger, I was not about to have him wandering freely in my room while I sleep. There's too much potential for trouble in all kinds of ways (chewing shoes, fighting with another dog, peeing/pooing in the corner, etc.)

He panted loudly and anxiously for an hour. Did I mention LOUDLY. PANTING.

12AM to 2AM: Free at last! I couldn't take the loud panting and occasional whining anymore and freed him. He decided he would join the other 3 dogs on my bed. Instead of finding a small corner of the bed to curl up on, he walked all over us, knocking some dogs off the bed, and found a spot nearly on top of me. Then he would lie there for 5 minutes, get up, turn around in circles, step on me, find another spot, pant, lie down, and repeat. At one point, all 50 pounds of him were lying on top of me, belly to belly, with his hot stinky breath panting in my face. Hannah, who is on a good day as highly strung as my laundry line, was pushed over the top by this behavior, and felt the need to also lie on top of me to be consoled. Ok, enough. I can't take it anymore.

2AM: Prepare Benadryl in a teaspoon of peanut butter. Give to Wookie. Wish I had something stronger, like chloroform. Put in ear plugs. Put C-PAP back on (yes, amidst this tangled mess of dogs and human, there is a loud machine with a full face mask and wires and tubing everywhere!) Receive paw to the gut, elbow to the neck. Wookie finally settles for 5 minutes laying across my legs, trapping me. Any time I move, sigh, scratch my nose, Wookie leaps up at attention and the "finding the perfect spot" routine starts anew. I lie, stiff as a board, afraid to move an inch or make the slightest sound, until 3:45 AM. Pressure myself to fall asleep this way, worry about being tired all day tomorrow.

3:45AM: Get up, take Wookie outside to pee. Give him water and a snack. Take him to the basement crate. Call work to let them know I might be late. Turn off alarm. Put in earplugs, turn on fan, ignore incessant muffled barking rising through floor boards from the basement. Feel like "evil foster mother" as I finally fall asleep.

7:AM: Internal clock wakes me up an hour earlier than necessary. What kind of internal clock does that??? Take care of four dogs and their individual needs. Make it to work 10 minutes early.

Rinse. Repeat.

(5 points for whoever can remind me why I do this stuff???)

Wookie really likes his toy. He acts like he's never had a toy before, but he sure knows how to play! I can't help but feel for the young feller. He's been going through some changes. I wonder what his previous home was like.... was he loved? He sure knows how to cuddle. He's pretty clean. But no tags, no microchip... I've posted ads everywhere. If he's missed surely someone will look. I've also scoured all the "lost dog" ads with no luck. I try to imgaine having one home and then suddenly being on your own, then in another home.... how difficult and nerve racking that must be. Not unlike what our adoptive children go through.

Here is Boo. She is exhausted from lack of sleep. As are we all...


4evamom said...

You've got a lot of patience. At least he was cute.

Angela said...

Wookie is a cutie!! I know about the high maintenance pet. My bichon frise Pierre is one for sure. You've describe my night every night. I've thought several times let one of you guys post him for a new home.

Michelle J said...

You do it because you have a heart that's far bigger than the average creature calling itself human and because,once the animal in need has been spotted, your guilt would gnaw on you for ages if you didn't at least try to do something.
Putting Wookie in the basement wasn't evil, it was smart. You need sleep and he needs to learn manners and to trust that he safe and you WILL come back.
Hang in there mama. A human baby will disrupt your sleep even more. Oh yes. Yes she will. ;-)

Adopting1Soon said...

Aww you are so sweet, I'm definitely giving you 5 points for that answer!

And you are right.... the dog I passed that day when Wookie was in the back of my car and I had no room? I'm still thinking about him and wondering if I should go back to that area... Of course he'll be long gone. But maybe tomorrow I'll go see. It's something to DO rather than perseverate over him. And feel guilty I passed him by. PLease pray that some one else picked him up and took good care of him... He was cute :-(

And I suspect I'm going to be a cranky zombie for awhile. Thank goodness for maternity leave...