Second Chances

I got a dog. Her name is Willow. I got her for companionship and maybe if amenable, train her to fetch things I’ve dropped, or my phone if needed when I’m having an episode; having been told she was a great retriever and very smart and easy the train.

Willow is an older Cocker Spaniel, Poodle cross. More Spaniel than poodle (thankfully); Overweight, bad teeth, and apparently a bad attitude! Seems like Mr X from Craigslist wasn’t entirely honest about why he was re-homing his dog. Quelle Surprise!

I knew something wasn’t right before we met from the replies to some of my questions – ‘Buddy’ didn’t have a vet for her, and said she’d had no need to see one as had no issues. Then when we met up, it was immediately apparent how much pain she was in. And she looked so sad and miserable, clearly couldn’t stand the sight of the guy; there was no way I could leave her there, so here I am with an elderly Cockerpoo, with bad breath, trust issues, and a lousy attitude.

Except she doesn’t! She has a great attitude, it’s just some asshole didn’t bother to pay attention or respect her boundaries or treat her right, so she learned to bite first, ask questions later.

I kinda know how she feels: Life can do that to you, and so can a bad relationship!

Plus, it turns out she was riddled with fleas, worms, ear infections, periodontal disease, and obvious pain with her hind legs.

RestQ Animals Sanctuary, and the wonderful Dr Elisabeth Jahren tomare helping me with getting Willow all fixed up, or at least that’s the plan. The trouble is she’s a biter!

Most dogs use biting as a last defence. Not this girl! She learned to do that as a way of survival, so I can’t blame her for it, but it’s hard to deal with when you’re not sure what the triggers are, and there’s no advance notice.

She’s gone for me a few times now, but only drawn blood once! Saturday she went for my face, which wasn’t cool, and I wasn’t sure I could have a dog like that in my home, especially with my seizure episodes. Professional Recommendation was euthanasia.

I relate to Willow though, being a bit on the gimpy side, having a few eccentricities and being quick to react myself. It’s the PTSD.

Looks like we both have it….Had to laugh, the other day; Willow and I were hanging out on the rug in front of the woodstove. I was doing some gentle Hatha poses to ease my fibro’ pain and Willow often tries to copy what I’m doing, which is very endearing.

So, it’s feeling all warm, and gentle and harmonious, and then from nowhere there was a big bang, from somewhere close-by, and we both lept out of our skins, and then looked at each other and kind of grinned, sheepishly, acknowledging our embarrassment at our shared jumpiness…It was pretty hilarious!

Anyways, I’m giving her a second chance. Actually, I think it’s her fifth or sixth chance by now, but things are improving a little at a time. Baby steps. Some days are better than others, but she’s trusting me more, and I her.

I bought her a muzzle, and we practice with that a couple of times a day, with lots of treats etc, but she hates it, and I feel like a monster for putting it on her, although I do feel slightly safer.

Realistically, there have only been half a dozen incidents in total in just over a month, and after the last one on Saturday, the look of anguish on her face when she realized what she’d done. Well, lets just say, I’m praying that I’m not just being anthropomorphic and she really did get it because she’s got a cushy life here, and ultimately, I’m all she’s got….

And vice versa!