The opposite of visceral: Pragmatic


Pragmatic: of or relating to a practical point of view or practical considerations

The  Wednesday Words have really been on a roll for me lately. I consider myself to be an optimist, but I am also very pragmatic (or as I like to say, a realist). Oddly enough, while Mr. Judy tends towards pessimism in most things, when it comes to animals, he can sometimes be in denial.This is going to be a longer post; I hope it’s worth it to you.

Bandit has been highly managed — basically allowed almost no interaction with Gizmo and Lola. And so we have had almost no incidents, outside of some guarding (growling) while in his crate.

Mr. Judy was wondering why we needed to continue to keep them separate, because it’s difficult and tiring maneuvering them all the time. I was insistent that we had to — for everyone’s safety.

We met with the trainer Monday, and she did say that until/if we got Bandit trained to a muzzle, we needed to keep his space very small and continue to separate them. That he is still a danger to them, as we don’t know what his triggers are. In fact, she cautioned against even walking him, saying he could be a danger to the public.

That is one area where I am, again, pragmatic: not only does he love his walks, he needs them. I am very careful to be alert while walking him, I always have treats with me, and the fact that he is a small dog (17 lbs) means that even when he gets excited about something (and he occasionally does), he’s not dragging me anywhere.

I won’t, on the other hand, take him a park; that would be far too much stimulation for him, and small dogs are just magnets for little kids, who don’t always think to ask if they can pet the “puppy”. I am not only being pragmatic here, I am being cautious.

What the trainer said
Pretty much she said the same as the other trainer, the other 2 vets, and the behaviorist: that he could bite again, given the right circumstances (and we don’t know what that is). That he will almost certainly have to be highly managed for the rest of his life.

On the other hand, she pointed us towards a different behaviorist, she told us about a person that does board problem dogs (who actually boards her own dogs), and most importantly — she shared her findings with someone on yet another rescue, and they are at least willing to meet and evaluate him.

I have already contacted them and while I didn’t agree with some of her generalities (little dogs just tend to be nippy, it’s just that strangers can be scary, etc. etc.), at least she has given us a small amount of hope that maybe this could end happily for everyone.

In an odd twist of fate, we had actually already met the trainer. I kind of thought we had, but I wasn’t sure, until she came in, met Lola and recognized her — whom she remembered — yes, she was the trainer doing the agility in the park.

How I’m pragmatic with running
Am I pragmatic or am I cautious? Blurred lines, people, blurred lines.

I am pragmatic about my finish times — I know what to expect, for the most part, give or take a few minutes, in shorter races. Longer races just have too many variables — sometimes I’m right on the money, sometimes things go sideways and I’m way off the mark.

I’m pragmatic about how many miles I can run each week, or again, maybe cautious. Always keeping a close eye on my weekly mileage, careful not to increase it too much. Or not have enough mileage!

I’m pragmatic about how many halfs I can run each year. Yes, I’d love to wrap up my 50 states quest before I’m too old to run halfs, but I know they’re also hard on my body. And we don’t have unlimited vacation time. And I want each half to be an experience, an exploration of a new area — I don’t just want to cross states off my list, I want to experience them.

And speaking of visceral
Remember visceral was last week’s Wednesday Word? I have been having visceral feelings about Bandit: that we are not meant to be his forever home, but that there is one out there for him.

After the last few weeks, I have to admit I was beginning to be rather pragmatic (and rather hopeless) that we wouldn’t find it. That I couldn’t continue to go on like this. That I need to be with my mother when she has surgery next month, that this isn’t fair to Gizmo and Lola.

In fact, after spending two hours with the trainer, I went to get Gizmo in from his outdoor kennel. It was past the time he usually gets dinner, and usually he’s almost more than willing to come in.

He didn’t want to. When I finally got him moving, he was moving oddly. He finally came in and just immediately laid down in Bandit’s bed, which he has never done before. He wasn’t purring when I petted him. I had to mostly carry him upstairs, and he wouldn’t even look at his food, or eat any of the brisket.

Gizmo is 15. He’d been fine that morning, fine when I checked on him midday. There are a lot of senior cat diseases that can come on that quickly — ones that can be life or death. I took him to the emergency vet. He didn’t struggle when I put him in the carrier; definitely not a good sign.

The vet did bloodwork and a urinalysis, both of which showed him to be a very healthy 15 year old cat. We needed that bloodwork, though, it’s been too long, but after everything we went through with Chester, and how difficult it is to wrangle him to a vet (usually), I’d just been putting it off.

In the end, the vet gave him sub-q fluids and I took him home. He seemed perkier, and was purring. I left him some treats, and went to bed, as it was midnight and I’d spend about 4 hours at the vet.

He actually ate some of his leftover food cold the next morning, has been taking treats, and seems okay. The vet though perhaps he’d been stung or bitten by some insect, but I guess we’ll never know. Two days later and he’s acting completely normal again.

As an actress, the joy of being able to play the three sides of any woman, which are the glamour, the pragmatic and the one not to be messed with, is pretty glorious.
–Victoria Smurfit

Victoria, I have no idea who you are, but I agree — women are many sided. It’s how I can be pragmatic and still allow myself to have visceral reactions, too.

Deb Runs

Tell me in the comments:

How are you pragmatic?

Have your animals ever had a mysterious episode like that?

How are you pragmatic when it comes to running?

33 thoughts on “The opposite of visceral: Pragmatic

  1. You’ve got a lot going on with your animals! Glad Gizmo is ok.

    I’m struggling a bit with Cocoa–she’s definitely showing some “nippy” tendencies. I reached out to a puppy/dog training facility and I’m going to sign her up. I’ve been walking her and trying to socialize her. She’s making slow progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Puppies are nippy — it’s their job, but I’m glad you’re taking it seriously. Chester was VERY nippy as a puppy, but not as an adult. Lola can still get a bit mouthy when she’s excited.

      The odd thing about Bandit is he’s not at all nippy, he takes treats extremely gently.

      Nippy is not biting.

      I do think every puppy should go to puppy training!

      And I think it’s so sad that had Bandit’s previous owner taken the time to train him, and hadn’t ignored the warning signs — she actually told me that he would lift his lips & snarl at her other animals but “it didn’t mean anything” — um, heck yeah, it meant something & if she’d realized that, we would have had a GREAT little dog.

      He’s such a great dog on so many levels.


    1. It was very, very scary with Gizmo. It just happened so suddenly, and of course it cost hundreds of dollars, but it was the right thing to do & at least now we know his kidneys & everything else is ok!


  2. Better safe than sorry with Gizmo! Glad he’s doing okay!

    Are you going to try to muzzle train Bandit? If he loves his walks, he just can’t miss out on those. When I’m out running and I see a dog being walked, I keep a very wide berth. I don’t know the dog, and it’s wrong to assume that every dog out there is friendly, but I do believe even the not-so-friendly dogs deserve their outside time and their walks.

    Here, a funny story: my grandmother used to have this little chihuahua who loved its pillow. The dog was a little high strung, but nothing major. However, you get near his pillow, and this dog would go ballistic. It was the funniest thing. Guess what… people learned super quick you didn’t mess with his pillow. He communicated his feelings well in the only way he knew how. There were never any other incidents other than when messing with his pillow, and I’m sure I got my fair share of bites, but he never out-and-out attacked me, just warning nips, never breaking the skin, and you know chihuahuas when they get upset, they look so vicious. Still, a super sweet dog otherwise.

    I admire all you’re doing for Bandit. Not many people would go the length you have to try and save him.


    1. As I always say, better a vet than a regret.

      Yes, we’re going to muzzle train him. At least try. Unfortunately not until next week. So Gizmo needs to keep going in the laundry room. 😞

      I’m not actually super worried about him on his walks but we can’t walk them together until he’s muzzled & Giz can’t be free in the house until he can wear a muzzle, either- not that he’ll always have to be muzzled.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you can find some kind of resolution with Bandit you are happy with soon. It is a big change for Lola and Gizmo.
    I have had cats get very ill and have a fever over the years. Each time only one got sick, they never passed it. The vet said the same probably a spider bite infection…I took my Old Peachy in one time and he was limp, I was scared..he had fluids and antibiotic shot and shot for pain. Came home with amoxicillin and cheered up in a few days.
    I am glad Gizmo perked up!
    I am very pragmatic about my running, I try to stick to three days only, I am not saying I love it, but it seems to be what is allowed.
    I think if you are going to visit a new place, long enough to experience it is a great idea 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gizmo has never been sick a day in his life, but I’ve had enough sick cats to know when something is really wrong and also know him well enough to know when something is really wrong. I was really scared.

      I agree with the experience thing, but sometimes it’s hard!


  4. If you only knew what Bandit’s trigger was… I had a Boston Terrier that HATED everybody other than family members. We would put her up when people came over. We just chalked it up to her being over protective of us. Thank goodness he is a smaller dog that you can control when out walking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, we choose small dogs for many reasons!

      We travel, though, and we board our dogs, and sometimes we travel with our dogs — so that will be very difficult (unless I ever hear back from the recommended pet sitter).

      Not knowing Bandit’s triggers is kind of scary. Also not knowing what could trigger him around Gizmo & Lola, either.

      And he’s just discovered the pleasures of ball chasing.

      It’s hard having to keep him & Lola separate all the time — poor Lola is confused, and doesn’t understand she should give him his space (she’s just not used to that).


    1. Patient? Sometimes. Sometimes not. It’s been very stressful, and I’m really tired, and juggling getting each dog out when they need to and giving affection to them all has been really difficult!


  5. You are definitely a Heaven sent Angel for Bandit, giving him some good days. As many others above have already stated, you have gone way above the expected. I hope that your gut feeling is right and there is the right home for him. In the meantime, you are easing the way for that eventuality.

    I know that scariness with a sudden onset of dire illness in cats. It happened to us with our Reine, just as you described, without the happy ending. I wrote a long story about it. Renal failure. Fine one day, over the rainbow bridge the next. I was traumatized. She was fourteen. I’m so happy for you that Gizmo is okay. You don’t need that pain right now. Bless you for all you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, yes, Bandit did come to the right place: CRJ’s haven for wayward animals.

      I have had 2 cats with kidney disease, 2 with lymphoma, so I’m well aware of what can happen (thankfully mine were not gone in a day, and one managed 5 years with kidney disease — she was a ton of work, too).

      Giz is absolutely back to normal — he was a bit off the next day, but still clearly better — and it’s nice to know his kidneys are better, at least for now.


  6. So glad to hear the news about Gizmo — they are so dear and it’s horrible when a kitty is sick (young or old). And Bandit sure did hit the dog lottery when he found you! I am confident that you will get to a good resolution for your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope everything works out. The real reason we’re working so hard is that he doesn’t deserve this and the only other alternative so far was euthanasia.

      As I said to another friend, yes, Bandit it made it to CRJ’s home for wayward animals! I don’t get the easy ones!


  7. Hang in there. I know how frustrating it must be. We haven’t had too many difficulties with our cats. They are always dominant over me, sleeping on my pillow, walking on my alarm clock, waking me up. Both of our cats have done that. Neither did that with my husband. Go figure.
    But I am pragmatic about it. When it gets on my nerves I leave the cat in the kitchen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even Simba, who was our alpha over all 4 animals, was not alpha over me!

      He could be a PITA, but I could always put him in his place, too.

      Gizmo is a super sweet cat & extremely obedient (much more so than a normal cat).

      One way I definitely knew he wasn’t right — everyone at the emergency vet was oohing & aahing over him — how he didn’t look 15, how sweet he was.

      Well, he is sweet — except at the vets, generally, because he’s terrified.


  8. I loved your take on our Wednesday Word, and yes, it was worth the longer read. 🙂

    I’m glad Gizmo is okay. I immediately wondered if he was dehydrated from being outside longer than usual in the heat. Whatever it was, it’s good that he snapped out of it.

    Thanks for linking up, Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gizmo is used to the heat (and actually loves it — most cats do) — he was born & spent his first 8 years in TX. He has access to the indoors and water. And it wasn’t our first hot day either.

      I don’t know what happened & we’ll never know what happened, but the trainer is coming again today and I’m going to try to make sure he’s inside before she gets here, although it means he’ll have to stay in the laundry room until we’re done, but I definitely don’t want a repeat!


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