Today in My History
2000: Beans in My Ears
IN MY OPINION
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2 November 2008
The fur on Nicki's head was wet. It was wet because I was crying and the tears rolled down my cheeks and onto her head, snuggled up under my chin(s).
We had a good night last night, after the initial problems with Goblin (whom, I learned, someone had already named "Cotton," also a good name for the puppy...but I'll keep calling him Goblin, because I probably won't see him again anyway).
I worked with the puppies, keeping Nicki close to me, petting her and letting Goblin sniff her, picking her up when she seemed to be feeling threatened. After about half an hour, something seemed to snap in Nicki's head and she leaped at Goblin in a playful way. The two of them chased each other around the house, rolling over and over like normal puppies, for about half an hour.
When they stopped playing, they could just as easily be "calm" with each other. Goblin lay down and pretty soon Nicki was there licking him, and then he her.
I didn't know how the night was going to go. I set up a second cage so each of them would have his/her own place to sleep. I knew Nicki would be fine, since she always sleeps in the cage, but wasn't sure about Goblin. He fussed a little, but settled down before I actually went to sleep. He woke up crying at 3:30 a.m., but I ignored him and he went back to sleep and slept until nearly 7. In fact, he might have slept longer but apparently I forgot to lock Nicki's cage and she was walking around, looking a bit dazed at being alone in a dark house.
The morning went well, except for some spectacular pooping on the part of both dogs, which, since they were also playing a lot, got spread around. Oh how I love that part.
Around 10 or so, two girls showed up to get the dogs. They were going to their first obedience class and then Goblin was going to UCD for a few days, to be neutered and then remain for observation by the vet students.
While the dogs were gone, I had the chance to steam clean the Pergo so I don't stick to the floor any more. I'm discovering that one unpleasant offshoot of my vision problem is that I have a hard time differentiating between a brown leaf, a darker speck in the Pergo, and a bit of puppy poop. Of course that's not the case with Goblin's, which are unmistakable. But I apparently don't always get all of the stuff when I wipe it up with a cloth and some Pergo cleaner.
Around 11:30, one of the girls returned Nicki. The dog trainer agrees with my assessment that her problem is related to vision--not seeing well, though the ophthalmologist says she can see. There are no charts for dogs to read so we know how close to 20/20 their vision is. She said that Nicki seems to rely on touch rather than her other senses, which I'd already observed. Perhaps, she thinks, a problem with her occipital lobe. Her hearing isn't acute, her sense of smell seems to be non-existent and her vision isn't the best. We'll see what the neurologist thinks is the cause. In the meantime we're going to treat her as if she's blind, even though we know she isn't actually blind.
I took Nicki out of the girl's arms and felt her trembling, just like she was the last time Ashley tried having her at placement, when she freaked out and had to be sent home. I sat in the chair and cuddled her and she trembled for a good 15 minutes, her head buried in my chest, gradually getting calmer and eventually falling asleep. As I soothed her I was crying. I hate sending her off on these jaunts. I know it's necessary. She has to learn how to live in the world and as much as I've come to love her, I can't adopt her. So this has to happen, but I hate it when she comes home so stressed out.
She slept for a very long time after returning home, as she did after her Farmers Market day. She seems to "turn off" after one of these days and it takes awhile for her to come back to her normal self again.
This poor little baby. I know there is the perfect someone out there for her and that when that person is found, she will start a very happy life. But in the meantime, I die a thousand deaths when I have to send her off when I know she's going to come home so scared.
MILES TO NOWHERE: 82 miles