New Dog stress and guilt

05 Jun

We picked up New Dog on Friday. The drive there took a little over an hour, then we only had to wait about 10 minutes for the group who was bringing her from out-of-state. We were the first ones there, so they brought New Dog out of the trailer right away. She’s sweet, but a little skittish, and at the time kind of hyper. She’d been cooped up for several hours on the drive. I was a little taken aback at how thin she was!

But here’s the thing. I leaned over to say hello to her and she jumped up and somehow got caught in the necklace I wear around my neck. I’ve had that necklace since I was a teenager…we’re talking about going on 27 or 28 years. And to top that, the necklace popped and I reached up to catch it, but I saw something gold and shiny flip away. I knew immediately one of the five charms I wear on the necklace had gotten away…I almost couldn’t speak because I knew which one it was. I knew right away without looking, but I looked anyway. And sure enough, it was the initial that hub had bought for me after SP died. I wanted it to keep her memory close, so he bought it for me and I’ve had it on the necklace for over 18 months. We crawled around on the stupid grass for at least 10 minutes–all four of us, one with a magnifying glass–but couldn’t find it. I told them not to worry, we would just replace it, and I tried to let it go. But it hurt me so much. I felt like it was a terrible sign from SP that she was not approving of what we’ve done, or that it was a bad idea. That it was some kind of negative message.

That charm has brought me comfort more times than I can say. I’ll be thinking of SP or feeling down, and incidentally look in the mirror, and SP’s charm will be peeking out of the grouping. Either it will be caught up higher on my neck all alone, or sometimes it’s turned sideways, and sometimes it’s just pushed to the front of the group even though there’s no reason for it. Sometimes the other charms will be around the back from me sleeping but her charm will be right up front for me to see. It makes me feel like she’s talking to me, that she’s with me. And now it’s gone, and it happened because of New Dog. 28 years without breaking that necklace and two minutes with New Dog and it’s broken and SP’s charm is gone.

As soon as we got in the car, hub said to me, “Don’t take it to mean anything. It was just an accident.”

*Sigh* I can’t help it because we’ve been through so many dogs–ours and others–and kids and swimming and playing and physical therapy and on and on, and never has that necklace broken. And never have I lost a charm.

Hub already ordered me a new one, but I’m going to have to get the necklace fixed before I can wear any of it again. I’m not sure what I want to do. And I feel guilty for blaming New Dog, but it didn’t start us off on a great paw.

Meanwhile, Le Moo isn’t really thrilled with the new arrival. We’re kind of concerned because she’s never had an issue with any dogs before. It’s not that she’s being aggressive–and truthfully New Dog has been pretty well behaved–but she’s not happy. She isn’t interacting with us and has chosen to leave the room or not enter the room where we and New Dog are. I still hope she’ll get over it, because I think she is a social dog (with other dogs) and will be happy to have another dog in the house. But in the meantime, it’s very hard. She’s our first priority in the house and we don’t want her to be unhappy. Hub and I keep telling each other it will get better…almost hourly. Plus, he and I are exhausted from the early mornings and the keeping track and the multiple trips outside…in the heat. It’s waaaay stressful.

New Dog has been not too bad. She peed in the house the first night (after she’d JUST been out and JUST peed), so I had to go find carpet cleaner and clean up at 10pm at night. Which was annoying…Le Moo never peed in the house once. Never had a house-breaking incident with her, so this was kind of frustrating. I have an issue with peeing or puking on the carpet…getting it clean is like a whole thing for me. Normally I’d clean it with a spray solution, then go retrieve the carpet cleaner and use carpet cleaning solution, then just water to clean up the carpet cleaner. But at 10pm at night and after an exhausting and stressful day, I just used the spray cleaner and left the rest for another time. Tonight I used an enzyme clearer (Nature’s Miracle) that I read about that takes away the residual pee smell that makes dogs re-mark where they (or another dog) has already marked in the house. I still want to use the carpet cleaner, but I’m just too tired to deal with it at this point in time. She hasn’t peed in the house again, but we have been watching her like a hawk, and basically have her contained in a tiled area overnight. At least then if she peed cleaning it up is easier. But this morning at 5:45am, she cried (which barely woke me) and when I opened my eyes I saw her hop straight up and over the baby-gate we had setup. So I’m not really sure if we’ll be able to contain her in that area again tonight or if she’ll just jump out because she figured out how. She wasn’t unhappy in there (never let out a peep or a cry either night), though it did take some bribing to get her in both nights. But having her in there is good for her, it sets boundaries…and it’s good for us because we can sleep without worrying she’s peeing somewhere, or destroying something, or bugging Le Moo when we can’t keep track. Also, dogs like dens. And this was a pretty nice size “den” in comparison to crating a dog. Plus it had a gigantic bed that took up half the space, which she clearly enjoyed because she slept on it quite easily both nights.

I’m still afraid this won’t work out. I know everyone is telling us how sweet New Dog is, but they don’t have to deal with the stress of her in their homes 24/7. They don’t have to deal with Le Moo and her distress. They don’t have to deal with how to feed them at the same time but separately. How to make sure New Dog isn’t cutting off Le Moo on the steps or going in the door from outside. They don’t have to deal with following New Dog around to make sure she’s not peeing in the house, or swiping things off the table (she’s so tall she can–and has!–rest her head on our kitchen table!), or off the counters. They don’t have to worry about whether there will be an argument over food or treats. It’s a logistical pain in the ass.

I know, I know, I did it to myself. And I hope that in a month I’ll be laughing at how much of a whiner I was being. Beyond Le Moo, we still have to get New Dog introduced to Cray-cray Lab. We’re hoping to let New Dog settle in a little more before introducing them. If New Dog is too skittish, I don’t think the introduction will go too well, and we need it to go well.

Well, we’ll see how it goes tonight with getting New Dog contained in her “den”. And then tomorrow, I’m all alone with both dogs all day. It’s going to be exhausting and stressful. I hope I can handle it.

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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in anxiety, dogs, fear, guilt, stress


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