Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Waiting

"The Waiting is the hardest part." - Tom Petty

Some of us hate waiting. I have come to grips with it for the most part. My dad used to say "she has to come out sometime" in reference to waiting for my mom to come out of a store when we were waiting in the car for her. I use that one a lot. A friend recently said that she is always waiting for something. I have done some weighty waiting in the last several weeks. Here is my recent story.

I will be forever waiting for a 15lb. hole in my heart to heal. Three weeks ago I had to put down a dog we rescued year ago. He was our biggest challenge. He came to the rescue from a hoarder situation where he had to fend for himself for the first two years of his life. He was at the rescue with 30 other dogs from the hoarder. He was one of two that found forever homes. The rest are un-adoptable for various behavioral and physical reasons. He had a defense mechanism where if you touched him while he was sleeping (or even just sleepy) he would snap at you like an alligator. I said "we'll wait and see what happens next". I wasn't too optimistic about him working though this at first.

After about 9 months with us he had stopped biting me and the wife and was doing way better with the kids and anyone else. We just had to warn folks about his temperament. When I got home from work he would get on my chest when I was in my recliner and look me in the face. He would not kiss (lick) me like our other dog does. I would say ‘give me a hug’ and he would turn his head sideways and bury it in my chest.

His name was Roscoe. He was a Dachshund / Mini Pinscher mix. When he was on top of me I called him Crusher (his wrestler name). My wife won him over with fresh cooked chicken and he gained almost 4 pounds in a year with us. He truly loved being an ‘inside dog’ for the first time in his life. He had gone home with two other families before we got him. They brought him back because of the biting. They were not into"waiting".

Our other dog Tucker was very annoyed with him at first but became a great big brother for him and was looking for him for the last three weeks all over the house. Roscoe had two seizures in January and the vet said he was probably epileptic. We have had that before with two other dogs and knew we could deal with it. The other thing the blood tests showed was a high liver count. The liver problem could be causing the seizures too. We went home with the appropriate meds and the knowledge that it could a minor thing or become a larger issue. Two seizes a month and seemed to be controlled with meds.

Three weeks ago my wife was out of town all week for job training, just me and my furry boys at home. Roscoe seized every two hours and then every hour and then he couldn’t put his head down without seizing. It started at 730 at night and went on until 430 in the morning. I gave him enough pills to put a human out. They no longer worked on him. It was heartbreaking to watch and hold him. At this point I couldn't "wait" any longer.

At 430 am we went to the all night emergency vet clinic and I held him while they gave him the shots. I was devastated. There was nothing anyone could do for him. I could not ‘fix’ him. Now I have had 5 dogs since I’ve been out on my own. Four of them I made the last trip to the vet with. This guy was a baby, not an old dog at the end of his life. This was just not fair. I felt like I had let him down somehow.

I was mad at God for a week. I waited for a sign that I was going to be OK. I started a fundraiser to buy fleece blankets for the dogs at the 2 local rescues. Roscoe had one when he came to us and it was his only possession, he loved it. I have raised over $500 for this effort. I’m not mad anymore.

I then waited to start looking for another rescue dog to care for. There is no set time frame. You just feel it. Who is out there that needs me now?

A week ago I looked at PetFinder online. Sixty miles away in Pasadena was a Dachshund / Beagle mix named ‘Roscoe’. Same coloring, same size, a year and a half old. Go figure. What are the chances? We went to meet him Saturday and brought him home that afternoon. Tucker punked him all day, but settled down by Sunday. He was found at a truckstop in San Bernardino where people dump dogs. He has no biting issues and is the sweetest dog that is not Tucker or the original Roscoe.

He is not a replacement for my other little friend. He is the continuation of caring for another little guy that deserves to be an ‘inside dog’. We discovered that this guy had only been ‘Roscoe’ for two weeks so we have changed his name to Tex which is short for Roscoe, Texas Ranger. A Ricky Bobby movie reference. The hole in my heart is still there and I know it always will be to some extent. The part without the hole has grown three sizes this week, just like the Grinch. I'm not waiting, I'm doing.

Roscoe & Tucker

Tex

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