in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a boy and his dog

john wouldn't leave the house today without giving buddy a hug.
then he had to go back for a kiss.

we've been struggling with the destructive habits of a member of our family lately - and it's not the two-year-old.

i can't remember how much of buddy's story i've told on here, so i'm going to start from scratch. buddy is a roughly four-year-old lab mutt. we think he might have some newfoundland in him, and there are days when he looks a little pitbull-ish, but all we know for sure is he is 75% or more lab. he weighs about 90 lbs and is the sweetest fellow you'll ever meet.

but. BUT. big ol' but. he has obviously been mistreated in his life. we have no idea what his back story is - he was found wandering down a highway with cars going in both directions around him. he is from a part of the country where dog fighting is very common, and the rescue agency we got him from surmised that he may have been in training to be a bait dog. but, instead of getting aggressive, he got very submissive and fearful. he has clearly been hit, particularly by men, and is extremely afraid of change, new people, and ... thunderstorms.

you may have noticed that we live in south louisiana. we get a lot of thunderstorms. so far in his brief year with us, buddy has broken out of not one, not two, but THREE crates. we no longer crate him at all. although he was fine in his crate most of the time, if there was a thunderstorm, all hell would break loose. so for the past 3-4 months, we haven't been crating him.

and then. (isn't there always an and then?) last week during a storm, he freaked out. in a complete panic, he trashed two doors to our house (the one to the garage and the one to the side courtyard). when i say trashed, i mean, TRASHED. he cut himself minorly - there were blood smears everywhere. and shreds of wood from the door anywhere. and he got caught in a leash hanging from a row of coat hooks, and yanked it down off the wall, tearing the sheet rock up. thank goodness he wasn't hurt, but this obviously escalated our thunderstorm concerns. who knew how bad the next one could be.

so we talked to the vet. our WONDERFUL vet - he is awesome. and he did lots of research on our options for handling thunderstorm phobia, because the short-acting drug that is their first recommendation has to be given about 30 minutes before a storm, and we're not always able to get there in time for that. 

so our options wound up being 1) a hugely expensive titanium unbreakable crate. while this would prevent him from damaging the house, he would probably be more likely to hurt himself trying to break out of the unbreakable crate. or 2) a hugely expensive consultation with a behaviorist out of new orleans. we were leaning that way, but hadn't pulled the trigger.

and then, buddy discovered the laundry room. does that sound like a bad thing? it's actually AWESOME. he began to lock himself into the laundry room. that doesn't sound like as much of a feat as it is, considering there is a door on either side of the laundry room, and he's closed them both to shut himself in.

so now, we're encouraging the laundry-room-as-safe-space plan. we put his bed in there when we're not home. every day i walk in there with him and tell him if he's scared, he should hide there. and so far, it's helped.

today will be a good test. we are supposed to have afternoon thunder showers today, and neither my husband nor i can get home to check on buddy. so wish me luck and wish buddy luck - hopefully all will be well when we get back home.

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