Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sometimes a girl just needs the open road


So after dropping K the elder off at work this morning (and stopping to shop for new patio chairs), I took to the road. Heading up to Pakenham, through countryside, farms and bush always makes me feel alive so off I turned. My foot found the accelerator and dropped….and lifted, looking quickly for the brake. Without any warning, a car filled to brim with Opas and Omas (ok, only 2 of each actually but you know what I mean) cut in front of me – no signals, no warning. Now, the old me would’ve found a way around them, waving my fist high as I passed – probably imploring them to get a clue. Um, yeah…about that – this is why being a Type A country girl DOES NOT WORK. Reconfigure if you move, like I did, to HeeHaw County. Reconsider your attitude before you pack that moving truck. The ‘new’ me just changed velocity to match and kept on going, right behind them. The driver was so out of touch that he failed to see the rollers approach a toute vitesse and he didn’t pull over the way the rest of us in line did to let the Popo pass. Yup, this must have been the first time he’d been behind the wheel in years – and I knew how he felt

With so much work on my plate and Jack’s new found craziness, I haven’t been able to leave the house except when I absolutely need to – like yesterday, for a major waste of time, uh I mean basic (yes, you heard me correctly – basic!!! WTF!!!) First Aid training, for a bunch of freakin’ first responders! At least update our skills with the standard training or even take it up a notch further so that we can actually do more when disaster strikes. I sat through story after story about the facilitator and tried to pay attention. When it came time to move bodies and put people in the recovery position, I had asked to be left out. I mean, I know my stuff from years of patrol skiing and 1st response training so… I tried to explain that if I damage my arms (which aren’t working too well right now anyways, in this ‘season of flare-ups, as I affectionately call our hot sticky summers), I won’t be able to drive or work. Give me a friggin’ break already. So who do you think was first called upon to move a body? Or to be the body? Yeah… I know – stupid knows no boundaries. Like I need someone dragging me by my freakin’ “I will be screaming as I tear your face off because you’ve hurt my arms and I will feel no remorse as I do it” arms. Have you never dealt with physically-challenged clients, you mentally-slow-a-tortoise teacher?!? My body may not work too well but keep it up and I may risk the pain to boot your sorry butt around the parking lot.

Where was I??? Oh yeah, getting out of the house. I cut myself a little slack and drove up to Upper Dwyer Hill and turned around to head back, blasting Frank Black and Kim Deal (ok, Joey Santiago was probably there, and that Dave dude but Kim Deal! Frank Black!). I sang along to all of my favorites and let my energy out. P, if you felt your ears burning, it was me serenading you all of a 4 day drive away, taking liberty with “havalina” to sing out “Pav-a-lina”. Hey, it was out of missing you so it can’t be all bad, eh? I gave myself permission not to worry about how Jack was destroying his kennel or breaking his teeth trying to escape. I needed an ‘out’. On Friday with the approaching storm, I ended up medicating him pretty heavily – 2 valiums (yes, you have read this correctly – 2) and he still exploded around the house, trying to scratch through walls, doors and anything else that got in (what he perceived to be) his way.

We’ve have really woken up to this new reality – he will never be whole. I feel like I haven’t done enough but my Vet reassures me every time I speak with the office that she’s never known any other family to do so much to help a sick dog out. Most people get ‘rid’ (huh??? Can someone explain this concept cuz I’m at a loss) of dogs that aren’t even as damaged. She commends us with every reassurance but it just adds to my feelings of loss and of guilt. If 2 valium don’t do the trick, we’re toast. I’ve tried every behaviour modification in the book (and tapped into a lot of ‘dog-people’ knowledge, begging for a clue in how to fix this).I’ve dragged him to every type of training session, changing my own behaviours to suit the message of the session. Now the chemical modification that I resisted for so long (almost 7 years), the one thing that we could keep as a last resort has failed. We looked at each other today and decided that at the moment, with the way things stand it is only a matter of when. Our Vet is the most humane person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and when she told us of our options, it was the first one out onto the table. I was in disbelief because I always thought I could repair him. Now, I am without that beacon of light. Repair is out of the question. We’ve modified everything in our lives and in his – to watch the 2 boys, it’s hard to believe that they live in the same universe. Nash is Capitaine Décontracté, with his Zen outlook of calm and Jack is Manic Man, flailing around and tearing at the fence to get to the walkers who like to stroll down our hill. BECAUSE OLD PEOPLE ARE SOOOO THREATENING. My 2 dogs are a study in contrasts. I know that I tend to go at length about Jack and his ‘issues’ but where else can I discuss this openly. Right now, I can assure you that there probably even readers out there thinking that I haven’t done enough. No one has given up more for a dog – no visits from people who might frighten him, only people whom he already knows and doesn’t mind too much. No long stays away from him so that he doesn’t break out and go looking for me like he when I was stationed on the other side of the country for weeks at a time. No parties at the house. K the younger’s friends have had to stay away as much as possible, except for the calmer ones like Silent B (what a good kid). No nothing. I am a dog person. I have built a dog-loving family. We would go without anything for their well-being. K the younger will even forgo sleeping in if I need to go out on the weekend, during the day so that Jack has someone with him. He has broken out through a 6” cat door – how he fit, I have no clue. He has thrown himself through closed windows and shattered glass all over my dining room. We were so lucky not to have had him cut himself too badly that day. He has eaten doors and clawed through an 8” oak door, all in attempts to free himself. The sad thing is that he has no clue why he does this and once he escapes, we find him quivering on the side steps, trying to get back in again. He is lost.

I can accept but I do not like my new reality.

13 comments:

Lauren said...

Oh, how I feel for you, Tara! We had one of those and tried all we could but, with much hand wringing and endless sobbing, ended up doing the inevitable. I wish you luck and guidance.

Bumbershootska said...

Thank you for that kind thought - I never thought that I would have this responsability... But he is my friend and I own him some peace, even if it is at such an expense.

Bumbershootska said...

I meant to say "owe" (freakin' tears!)

Sara said...

I have no words to try to ease some of your pain. I know it is a very difficult decision to make. (if it wasn't a difficult decision, then you wouldn't be much of a person!).
Remember that your true friends will support you in your decision, and the rest of the people aren't worth knowing.
I'm not much of a hugger, but you deserve a big one. HUG!

Bumbershootska said...

Thanks, Friend :)
It is a true sign of being a 'grup' I suppose... having to make sucky decisions.
I liken the experience to having a schizophrenic child - everything's fine and then kaboom...the world's on its ear. One minute, he's my sweet old dude; the next he's flying around the house trying to get past me (or on top of me) or jump through a closed window. All it takes is small noise - a bike, a skateboard, another dog...the phone ringing

Taz said...

Oh hon words fail me but know that my heart is reaching out to you all. No decision like this is ever easy but I know that you have done everything possible to help your boy. Everything. (((hugs)))

SusannahS said...

Oh, your poor doggie and poor you I don't know what I would do if either of my kitties developped a problem.
((hugs))

Bumbershootska said...

Thank you, Friends - I appreciate these thoughts as we get closer to 'the day'...it's all about courage right now (too bad I'm a ginormous chicken at the moment)

I was watching him outside, pacing and barking at nothing. His eyes look so odd, like someone turned the light out but someone's still walking around in the house, bumping into things

divarita said...

Hi, Tara- we talked about this yesterday - I hadn't seen your blog entry at that point - and I just want you to know that Frankie and I completely know what you're going through. No matter what you decide, we are here for you- Your poor guy is hurting, and he trusts that you will do the right thing for him. I'll be praying for all of you. You have tremendous courage. All our love, Frankie and Rita

Bumbershootska said...

Thanks so much for all of the kindness
It's times like these when I wish that I was a kid and someone else was 'fixing' this...
I keep finding ways to stall the inevitable

stitch-dom said...

Oh Tara - what a tough spot to be in. Its the most heart-wrenching of decisions but take some solace in knowing that any decision you make is out of love. Take care of you too okay?

Bumbershootska said...

Thank you for that - I have been telling myself that all day... I appreciate that logic
I'm gonna need a BIG drink (or 8)after all is said & done

Taz said...

We'll be right here drinking with you sweetheart, here with a comfy shoulder to lean on and a big arms to hug.