I recently rescued a shorkie (Shih Tzu plus Yorkie), who I call Pookie. Well, actually, it’s not been so recent now. We adopted/rescued him on September 29th of last year.
There has never been a more beloved dog. When he feels safe enough to come near, he is showered in hugs and kisses. The only way I can get him to come to me freely, is when I first come in the house from being gone, or when I lure him with a treat. When he finally comes, I tell him (even though all he understands is my reassuring tone), “Pookie, Mamusha (Polish for Mom) would never hurt you. I love you so much.”
I don’t know if you can tell by this picture, but the dog, besides cowering, has one paw lifted. Pookie does the same thing, only when he raises his paw it’s more in a sitting position, and his paw goes forward, sort of covering his mouth and submitting at the same time.
This upsets me so much. I don’t know what to do. If I go to pick him up, he runs behind the chair, and then behind the couch, where he’s virtually unreasonable. I started crying yesterday, telling him I didn’t know what to do, and he jumped up next to me, licking my tears away.
Lately, like when I go to put his leash on, I approach him very slowly, and he stands still instead of running around the room until he’s out of energy. Also recently, I have told him when I’m with him, “You can go anywhere you want. You can go in Pookie’s bed, or Pookie’s chair, or “Pookie’s” couch .” And if he’s cuddling next to me, I always tell him he can leave whenever he wants, or stay just as long as he wants. “You can go whenever you want to. You don’t have to stay. You’re a good boy.”
Me? As for me, I feel like the world’s worst dog owner. Any hints? At this point, I’m starting to believe he would be better off away from me, in another home. Yeah, as hard as it would be, I’ve seriously been contemplating it.
It took me a while to get to the place where I could even write today. I had to remind myself of my main destressor: knitting. After I’d knitted for a a good hour and still felt unequivocal and persistent self-pity, I searched the Kindle for something in my Daily Reads category that might kick me out of this gloom and doom.
While this is not a book review, I do want to note Amy Spencer’s Bright Side Up: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now, since I’ll be drawing from that for the rest of this post. When I read the chapter “At least you’re not . . .” that’s when light dawned, and a better, healthier perspective appeared before me.
Last night, I found myself screaming over a passed-out, drunken nephew on my sofa. Not my proudest moment. Also wrenched my back trying to help him “wake up” and get in the car so I could take him home with his mother.
This afternoon, after Aleve, a hot soak in the tub, some time knitting, and a shot in the arm from Amy, I wish there were do-overs. But there aren’t. He’s home now, sober. I’m here, feeling better.
At least I’m not living with zombies, after having been abducted. I heard one was sited in our neighborhood the other night. At least I’m not so poor I can’t even pay attention (sometimes). At least I’m not boring or unlovable. At least I’m not shoveling snow off the driveway. At least I’m not dog-less, without my Lucy.
And, with Amy, I had to recognize how blessed I really am. Sure, I hurt my back. But today, my head doesn’t hurt, my hands and feet are both functioning perfectly fine, my legs get me around without any trouble. And the Aleve really helped.
Maybe there aren’t do-overs in life. But I can always learn from what happens in my life and do better next time. Next time I can stop and take three deep breaths. I can walk away. Pray the Serenity prayer. Count to 100. Smile. It’s hard to scream when you’re smiling. 😉
Oh, life is a good thing. 🙂
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