My Sophie’s Choice: TOLT

Today I’m Thinking Out Loud about rescues. I worked — well, dabbled, really — in cat rescue. I volunteered at the Humane Society when we lived in Austin. My friend had a very small cat rescue and I helped her with that, coming once a week to socialize all the cats/kittens, scooping, and helping out with fundraising things like garage sales.

I get it: rescue work can be very rewarding, but it can suck, too. And people working in rescue burn out, too, because there are a lot of crappy people out there when it comes to animals, folks.  So yeah, I get it.

Looks can be deceiving, folks

One person suggested we should just drop Bandit off at a shelter if we were going to crate him so much. He sleeps in his crate now, has since last Friday. To protect Lola and Gizmo (it’s really unfortunate that he’s taken to guarding his crate, too, but OTOH, at least that means he also kind of likes it).

And he doesn’t seem too upset, right?

And yes, he’s crated off and on throughout the day so I can spend some time with Gizmo and Lola and eat — but he’s probably with me more than he’s crated, more than either Lola or Gizmo get to be, even though I make a huge effort to be with all of them. I’m able to blog because he stays quietly in the office with me.

And if we dropped him off at a shelter? Most likely he’d be euthanized (I’m searching for no kill shelters, but I’m not sure that’s the answer either). And if he wasn’t, no doubt his issues would just worsen in that environment.

Another person suggested that we should just hire a trainer, that she didn’t give up on her own dog that quickly. Well, I’ve called two. And called again. I’m still waiting. And what most people seem to be missing is that while I may have made a commitment to Bandit when we decided to adopt him, the commitment I made with Lola and Gizmo trumps that.

It’s a Sophie’s Choice, people — obviously one his previous owner wouldn’t man up and make. In some ways, I’ve never felt more isolated. All the places that are supposed to help either can’t or won’t.

And after I wrote all that, and left a rather desperate plea with both trainers, one of them did call me back (she works full time, and just does the training on the side, but she also came to me with high recommendations). So we have an appointment on Monday.

Well, not all of this post will be quite this heavy, I promise.

What a difference a week makes
By the time I wrote last week’s TOLT, Bandit seemed to be settling in well and my life was almost back to normal. I guess I should have been waiting for that proverbial other shoe to drop, and boy, it dropped like a sledgehammer. Or is that a wrecking ball?

If you haven’t been following me, what happened last Thursday afternoon and its aftermath is pretty much all I’ve been writing about since, so you can catch up with my previous posts.

Thank goodness for turkey and brisket
Bandit was pretty good about being crated, but he made it clear he wasn’t real happy with it. Until I found we still had some leftover Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer. Now he eagerly goes into his crate, even though he still doesn’t particularly like staying in it.

We grilled Monday night, and I thought we had some pretty old steaks in the freezer, and I wanted to grill those because we were rapidly running out of that turkey.

We didn’t have any old steaks, but we did have a frozen, really old (like a couple of years old), really large brisket in there. I had Mr. Judy throw it on the grill. I swear he practically cried at the thought of just grilling that brisket, but it works as well as turkey and anyway it had been in there a long time already.

But there are benefits to an older dog adoption
Despite all the problems, so far, knock on wood, Bandit is accident free. And that has made a very stressful time just a little less stressful. He also rides great in a car, so much better than Lola ever will. He doesn’t chew (sort of a problem, we haven’t found anything he will work on it a crate yet) and he doesn’t get into things at all.

Which of course doesn’t mean that all older dogs are house trained, but they are far more likely to be. They are often more settled.

But obviously they come with their quirks, too. Usually they’re not that big a deal . .  .

And Thank God for Facebook messenger!
Because Mr. Judy and I have been using it a lot to communicate. Because Bandit’s separation anxiety revolves around me, rather than yelling down as I normally would (we have a raised ranch) , we message back and forth a lot so that we don’t have to make Bandit anxious by hearing my voice if he’s with Mr. Judy.

Darlene was the unwitting recipient of one of those messages, since I had just messaged her before trying to message Mr. Judy.

And Mr. Judy and I joked yesterday about handing her Bandit’s leash and running away, which wouldn’t work because:

  1. She reads the blog and knows what’s going on
  2. She runs faster than me

Are all dogs Houdinis?
I mean, I already know cats are. Have you ever gone looking for your cat, totally unable to find them, and suddenly turn around and there they are?

The same thing seems to happen when I let the dogs out into the backyard. One minute they’re there . . . and the next they’ve totally disappeared.

You can kind of understand it with Lola, she’s chocolate colored and she blends in well with the trees in the back. But Bandit is a light tan color, for crying out loud, and somehow he still disappears sometimes outside!


I’m getting busy in the kitchen
The first few days AB (after bite) I could barely eat. Where once I was a stress eater, now I tend to lose my appetite when extremely stressed. I’m still not super hungry a lot, but boy that craving for sweets sure kicked in.

So I crate Bandit early morning or midday and I’ve baked cookies, blueberry banana bread, and put together no bake granola bars yesterday. Don’t worry, all healthy stuff and all stuff I actually needed.

My weigh in today should be interesting, however. It’s hot again, I’ve been able to get my runs in but not my strength training, I’m stressed, not sleeping great, and I’m usually up if I do a lot of baking, even if it’s healthy stuff. It is what it is.

And I’m losing my mind again
I had a whole day where I couldn’t find my keys. I just knew they were in the house somewhere. Thankfully I did eventually find them.

I keep leaving my cell phone downstairs when I need it upstairs, or the treat bag upstairs when I need it downstairs.

I think my hair might even be turning whiter . . .

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Do you remember Sophie’s Choice?

Got an amusing furkid story for me — I could use it!?

What would you do if you didn’t have your current job?

There I go, being random again

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

18 thoughts on “My Sophie’s Choice: TOLT

  1. I really hope all goes well with the trainer. I feel bad for everyone. But you do what’s right for you and your family, don’t listen to other people. You’re doing everything you possibly can to make it work, so find peace in that, which is a lot more than his previous person did. (I’m still angry with her, lol) Funny fur kid story… Meep has been yelling at me nonstop since I got back from Montana. He’s not happy I left at all. And Sheba is so upset about it that she wakes me up 5 times a night just for cuddles and pettings (she paws at my face until I wake up). Okay, not too funny, but still… maybe kinda. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, your story DID help; it made me smile.

      Giz is always super clingy even if I’m just gone for the day!

      I can’t say I’m particularly thrilled with his previous owner either. She’s between a rock and a hard place, but you know what? If someone had mentioned euthanizing one of my animals for anything other than sickness, I think I’d be showing up on their doorstep, not ignoring them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry that you are struggling.
    We had had a cat for almost 15 years and he was getting really old. We thought getting another cat – kitten – would add more life and give him energy. We were wrong. The kitten wanted to play with the cat who had no energy. He would bother the cat all day, jump on his back, and our older cat just didn’t last as long as we had hoped. We started off with a good intention and it didn’t go the way we planned. At the same time, those things happen in life and we can not control everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, I’ve been there, done that, too. We adopted Gizmo & Simba when Puss was 16. She’d lived with Cleo almost all her life but was not amused by Cleo.

      I’d hoped she might feel maternal to kittens, but we adopted them for us. Puss was in kidney failure & we figured she didn’t have that long to live.

      So she hated the boys until the day she died, but because there were 2 of them they learned to leave her alone.

      Puss had a little bed in my office & the boys actually pretty much stayed out of there & left that room to her.

      It’s exactly why I didn’t get a kitten when Simba died; Giz was so much happier being an only cat. I would’ve loved getting a kitten!


  3. Yes, I remember “Sophie’s Choice,” the book and the film. A mother’s worst nightmare, whether that mother’s choice involved human children or animal ones. No one, NO ONE, has the right to judge you. I don’t understand folks putting in their two cents when they don’t know or understand the entire story. I’m so sorry you are going through this.

    Funny animal story to make you smile: My son David and his girlfriend Rhiannon have four animals between them (in the same house), a dog (Echo) and three (until recently four, one passed on) cats, Tookie, Matsi, and Tash. We were there for dinner last night, and just before dessert Dave gives his pets a treat. He goes to the sink, takes down the jars, and asks, “Anyone want a treat?” Echo, Tookie, and Matsi run right over, Tookie limping over because he is three-legged. Tash wanders up a bit later. Dave is standing at the sink, looks them over and says, “Someone needs to be sitting.” Echo, up on her feet, immediately sits along with the other three. Treats are then dispensed. So cute. Echo is one of the best behaved dogs I’ve ever know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the smile, Connie. We often had the 4 of them sitting for treats & Bandit has actually learned to sit . . . almost. She said he knew it, but he didn’t really know it on command. I’ve worked hard with him on it, and it’s definitely gotten better.

      For some reason he knew shake. So many other things should have been trained!


  4. Better be careful not to Mr. Judy any spicy messages!! They may end up on Darlene’s phone lol
    I am sorry you are consumed with such a mess to sort out. Trust me I know about messes! I hate life stressors like this. You struggle because you care deeply…and that is a good quality, a wonderful quality, but it also making you stressed 😦
    If I didn’t have my current job I’d be poor! but happy as heck!! and hiking mountains all day.

    Last week I came downstairs after I woke up and three of my cats were lined on the sofa together. The TV was on and they looked at me like where’s breakfast?!
    I guess one of them hit the TV remote button but it was funny, I wondered if i should put a camera in the house to see what goes on all day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, no “spicy” messages. I’m too old for that. 🙂

      You hit the nail on the head, Karen.

      Once the boys erased our greeting on our answering machine (remember them?).

      On BOTH lines. We had 2 lines because I worked from home!

      Oh, and Mr. Judy actually bought a webcam thingie for the house a while back. We could never really decide where to put it, and I actually found it kind of creepy to know I could be watched, but right now? It’s trained on Bandit’s crate.

      So I texted Mr. Judy when I went out today to see how Bandit did, because he has separation anxiety issues.


    1. The problem with the keys is I knew I had them in my skirt pocket, and I knew I used them to get in the house, so I knew they were in the house.

      I had a memory of taking them out of the pocket in our bedroom, but despite looking several times (and clearing a little of the clutter), I couldn’t find it.

      I kept thinking I must’ve put it someplace really weird — that happens sometimes when I’m really tired.

      No, they were on the dresses, they were just over on Mr. Judy’s side.


  5. WOW Judy! I had to catch up and read thru the last couple of posts. I am so sorry this new dog is not working out so well. I hope you hear from the trainer. I adopted a dog from the shelter once and it was a nightmare. After the dog backed me into a corner and scared me to death I found a new family (outside farm environment) for the dog to move to. Big hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bandit hasn’t been overly aggressive to us. Nothing to Mr. Judy since that first day. Nothing ever to me, at least not yet.

      That’s part of the problem — he isn’t a mean dog, but he is a fearful dog — not the kind that cowers, but the kind that will bite given the right situation, obviously. Add in those guarding issues . . .

      I am working hard to try to rehome him, but it’s hard. I have shared with friends who live out in the boonies, in the hopes they might know someone who would be a good match.

      I’ve shared with a lot of people . . .

      Thanks, MB!


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