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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bear's Debut

This morning I'm taking "Bear" and my own dog to an event to obtain some exposure both for the organization I'm with and of course, for him and German Shepherds.

He's as ready as he'll ever be, I guess, so I'm hoping it goes well!

We did have a little setback a couple weeks ago, all my fault:  I traumatized him completely by accident.

There was a "giggle ball" on the floor which I'd seen but had forgotten about, and as I walked towards the livingroom, my errant foot kicked the ball, which went flying into the hardest portion of the couch, made it's typical squeaky noise, right next to Bear who was standing there and not expecting a flying object.  He startled and fled upstairs in terror.

Feeling horrible, I went up after him with treats, hoping to entice him back down to what had suddenly become a chamber of horrors in his mind.

He at first refused, but finally came to me, got half of a treat, then laid down on his dog bed. Then he came to get the other half, took it away, and ate it...all while my other dog was happily crunching away at her own biscuit!

While he DID finally come downstairs that evening, he just wasn't himself.  In fact, that afternoon he'd fled out through my open garage door when I was putting something in the garbage and I had to run out and slowly  coax him back. I seriously thought he was going to run away from me!

At dinner time, the second he saw me with his food dish, he fled upstairs and wouldn't come down.

I kept an eye on him and although this had seemed to start with a behavioral problem (ie I scared him to death), in reality I was realizing he just seemed....sick.  He was behaving like a sick child, isolating in my room, coming down to "go outside" but otherwise wanting to be where he could see me but not where he could be petted.  He didn't want attention unless it was on his terms, which were very short.  It was the, "I don't feel good leave me alone but don't go away!" attitude common to sick children!

The next morning I called the coordinator to talk about taking him to the vet. Thankfully we were able to get in that afternoon, and found that, in fact, Bear wasn't so much traumatized but very ill:  he had an infection from his surgery. The incision had healed just fine, but still had somehow gotten infected. A shot of antibiotics and a 10 day supply to take home has fixed things right up and Bear has bounced back to his normal, everyday goofy happy self.

I'm so relieved!

Bear is as happy-go-lucky as they come, loves to spend time on walks pouncing on my dog and trying to entice her to play.  Unfortunately, my dog tends to be "all business" so the entire show seems like some kind of doggie romance comedy.  If I were using these dogs in a movie, my dog would be voiced over by Susan Sarandon or Glenn Close, and Bear would be Adam Sandler.  (Does that paint the picture for you?)

I expect that Bear will be a bit shy, but perhaps with a bit of encouragement and all the nice people who will want to pet him, he'll find someone who will also want to adopt him.  Such a sweet dog needs to go to his "forever home" so truly I'm hoping his "match" will come along!

So wish us luck this morning...and I'll be sure to provide an update later today.  :-)


Melody K said...

Glad Bear is better; you are perceptive to have figured out he wasn't just "acting out", but didn't feel well.
Yeah, I would love to see that Susan Sarandon/Adam Sandler voiceover movie!
Here's hoping the right person or family may see him today; I do think sometimes our guardian angels nudge us to be in the right place at the right time.

Adoro said...

At first I really did think it was behavioral as it was nearly a total regression to day 1.

But something about his attitude said "sick" not just "terrified", and some of that was his willingness to randomly come to me.

Actually even when I was told it was OK to take him to the vet I was still thinking, "I don't want a wasted trip to the vet if I'm the cause of all of this...then he's fine."

But co-workers and friends who also have dogs, in talking it over with them, helped me give form to my musings and thanks to them, I took him in ASAP to find out there was something serious going on.

I was very conflicted...they helped me get over the conflict and listen to my gut feeling!

I will miss him, but no doubt, he's bound for SOME family! (Or Monastery....hmm...I'd be willing to deliver him to Wisconsin....)