Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Stress and drama

When I read all the comments on my last post, I felt bad about the sarcastic remark I made about the lack of comments about my dog troubles post. When I wrote the post about the dogs, I was feeling stressed out and was hoping for some support and feedback. I'm sure you know how it is to put something out there in hopes of getting a response and hearing nothing back. I think I felt that either no one was reading what I'd written or that no one cared.

Anyway, the sarcasm was petty and immature of me, as I am certain that anyone who takes the time to read my drivel has their own things going on, some of which are probably harder and more stressful than my dog drama. I meant it to be funny, but I think it came across snarky instead. It's nice to know that people are still reading, so I thank you for commenting.

Tension between the dogs continues. Over the past few days, I have come to the realization that my presence is a source of much of this tension. My friend CP is still staying with us, and she tells me that during the day when I am at work, the boys generally ignore one another and sleep in different parts of the common areas. Yesterday afternoon she saw the dogs play-wrestling on the grass in the backyard, which is the first positive interaction they have had since their first fight early last Friday morning. She doesn't notice them "mad dogging" each other when she is at our house alone with them. (Though I notice it in the evenings when I'm home.)

We have an appointment on Friday afternoon at 3:00 with a dog trainer/behaviorist (recommended by our vet) who is coming to do an in-home consultation. He suggested that we do what it takes to prevent more fights, up to and including keeping them separated. We have put away all toys and chew bones, and we have always fed them separately, so the only remaining point of contention seems to be me. I am being careful not to pet either of the dogs where the other can see me petting and am generally showing much less attention to their activities.

Hunter seems to be trying to make up with Sebastian. There have been a few times that he has gone up to him and nuzzled his neck and licked his face. Sebastian has not been receptive, though; he turns his head away and ignores Hunter when Hunter approaches him. (The trainer says that Sebastian is "correcting" Hunter by this response.)

On a positive note, Hunter seems to be doing very well physically. He doesn't seem to be in pain, and he is eating well. (In addition to his usual dry food, I am supplementing his feedings with a high protein canned food--yes, I am giving Sebastian some, too--and giving both dogs daily multivitamin supplements with extra calcium.) He is a little anxious, but that seems to be more due to the conflict with Sebastian than anything else. Hunter even wags his tail a little--just the end, like a pendulum, as he will not lift it--and I don't think he'd do that if it hurt him.

I really hope that the "dog whisperer" can help us resolve this situation. Although he said he couldn't really give me a full opinion before meeting the dogs, he sounded optimistic on the phone and has dealt with similar situations many times. It is stressful watching the boys all the time, waiting for something else to happen, and I hate not being able to pet them. I don't want to get rid of Hunter for several reasons. . . . not the least of which is that I don't want to send the message to Sebastian that he can drive someone out of our home with aggression. Letting Sebastian think that would not bode well for the future possibility of children.

The bruise on my right forearm is becoming quite colorful. After going to urgent care to have it examined on Monday afternoon, I have been taking prescription-strength ibuprofen and applying warm compresses to the area. (Apparently I have a large hematoma beneath the bruising also.) It hurts a little but seems to be generally improving. I really should post some photos of my arm because it is by far the worst bruise I've ever had and one of the worst I've ever seen, except perhaps in people who have suffered blunt force trauma through a motor vehicle accident or bludgeoning. I am very fortunate that despite causing a huge bruise, the bite did not break my skin. I haven't been going to the gym because my arm hurts quite a bit by the end of the day--what with typing, etc., all day at work--but plan to get back into that soon as well. I have a massage tonight and a work commitment tomorrow evening, but perhaps I will go back starting on Friday evening, depending on how my arm feels then.

Other than the dog drama, life is pretty much status quo. I'm still eating like crap (though I plan to get back on track over the weekend or on Monday at the latest). Work is busy but not too crazy. I have been staying up later in the evenings with CP visiting, and between that and the stress with the dogs and with a trial starting next one for my supervising partner--not to mention the effects of less exercise and poor eating--I've been exhausted.

I also have a weird skin issue going on which started a day or two before the dog fight/bite and has progressed since then. I was told on Monday at the urgent care clinic that it is pityriasis rosea. No one knows exactly what causes it, and it is not contagious. There is no treatment for it, but I am told that it will clear up on its own within a few weeks. Meanwhile, it is annoying because some of the patches are itchy. It is also unsightly: MM is totally grossed out by the patches, though he was relieved to learn that it's not contagious. Luckily, most of the patches are on my torso and upper arms and legs, so only a few are visible when I am clothed.


Anonymous said...

I may not always comment, but I always read :)

E said...

sorry to hear about all of the dog issues-- i've had my fair share of house damage with our puppy (he's five now, but a 100% lab so i think he'll always be a puppy) because he gets separation anxiety and in the past he's chewed things like woodwork, floorboards, books, etc. hopefully your "dog whisperer" can help you guys sort things out. it is so hard with dogs that have been abused in the past because you're trying to work with a host of unresolved issues in addition to dealing with the stress they're under just from adjusting to a new environment, which makes for so many reactions to things you can't even anticipate. i hope things settle down soon, and the boys learn to get along. i also hope your poor arm and skin heal soon! you've been dealing with so much lately-- hang in there and keep us posted on how things go. and i apologize for being lame- i read, but don't comment enough! :(

TUWABVB said...

Want a dog issue that will make you laugh? Before I adopted Murphy, Riley used to get herself locked in random rooms if we left her alone at home. When I first moved to Texas and lived by myself, I literally thought someone was coming into my apartment and locking her up! She did it a few times (like literally once or twice) in the ten years we had Murphy, and he was always on the other side of the door (proably thinking she was a totally idiot). Well, now that Murphy is gone, she's going it AGAIN! She's driving us nuts because she'll lock herself in a room and then freak out. Today, she ruined the blinds - in the apartment we are moving from in TWO days. Nothing like adding on $$$ to the move!