I saw this picture update in my Facebook timeline before I even got home last night.
Even if I hadn’t read the caption my husband wrote, I think I would have known who was to blame for my bedroom being ransacked.
No thief is responsible for trashing the place.
It was my dog.
A long time ago, just before our first wedding anniversary, my husband and I talked about getting a dog. We’d had our cat for nearly two years and felt like she was ready for a “sibling” and we weren’t living in an apartment so we could actually consider getting a dog.
After hours of internet research, we’d originally planned to adopt a Portuguese water dog. But for some reason, we decided to go to the Humane Society and see what kind of dog we might find there.
What we found was this beautiful puppy, recently fixed, well taken care of, but abandoned at the shelter by his owners for reasons not entirely clear to anyone there. “Might be his energy,” the volunteer suggested.
Didn’t matter. We were smitten. We endured all the usual puppy trials and tribulations: chewed up remotes, shredded packs of gum and tissues, emptied trash cans. He cried and barked and carried on when we left for work or if anyone not vetted by him came within 100 feet of the house. We made modifications to our behavior and his environment and moved on, a little wiser as dog parents than we were before.
All these years later, he’s less likely to eat remotes, we’re smart enough to hide the trash can where he can’t get it, but he still loves to eat tissues and gum – these days from my mother’s purse when she comes to hang out with my son.
The anxiety though? It’s worse than ever. As the years have passed, his eyesight has grown dim, his hearing dampened – abs surely those losses have heightened his fears of being left alone. But instead of just crying and barking, he has taken to attempting to escape.
One time, he made a bloody but dedicated escape from a heavy duty metal kennel while we were gone for dinner. Another time he furiously shredded our curtains in an attempt to go out our bedroom windows – or at least to get our attention. (It got our attention.) Lately escape attempts have focused on the bedroom door and the carpet. We came home one day recently to find that he’d dug at the carpet so violently that he’d bloodied his paws.
Two appointments with the vet in the last month or so have led to new medications -not all for this problem- but this was the scene on Friday.
I feel like I’m living out Marley and Me lately. Except none of the funny parts.
I love this dog the same as I did the day I brought him home and it hurts my heart to see him in this state. Even more so than it hurts to see what a mess he’s made.
We stopped at the store to get one more non prescription option to try and I’ll give it a little while to see if it works. If not, it’s back to the vet for another try with a different medication.
Maybe we’ll get lucky. It doesn’t feel like it on days like this, but I know we were lucky to get such a gentle and loyal pet.