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, 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.
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?