Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Not So Good News

~A deer crossing between our property and the neighbors~

This my friends, has been a really hard couple of weeks. I have not wanted to say that out loud because I am very well aware of others who are struggling and are having a much more difficult time with much more serious issues than I have. It makes me feel selfish to say anything. But the struggle over the last couple of weeks is real and has been difficult for me. It has left me feeling pretty defeated given that I'll admit to already struggling with being burned out.

I was however, feeling pretty good about where we were with our dogs. Having no foster dogs was a relief and a welcomed break. When Cooper was added, I was glad that we could welcome him, especially given that what prompted the move from his first foster home seemed to me that it would be easy to resolve, and by all reports, he was said to be a really nice dog. 

~We didn't know how Cooper would be with cats, turns out, he's fine!~

His previous foster home said Cooper was sleeping all day, and wide-awake at night and roaming the house. That problem was easily fixed because it was related to the medications that Cooper was taking. I knew by looking at the ones he came with, that one in particular had been labeled incorrectly, and the dose was wrong and another was one that dogs can develop an intolerance to. So, I took him off an anxiety medication, corrected the wrong dose for the one he was taking for pain, and we helped him to adjust to our routine. For the most part, I was happy with how Cooper was settling in even though he was starting to show signs of separation-anxiety when we'd leave him alone. I had allowed him to be free in the house for a couple of days while I went to work, because he seemed like he was okay and settling down after I would leave. 

While we were helping Cooper to adjust, I was also keeping track of how Shelby and Jack were adjusting to their new home. Things were going okay, but I had a nagging feeling all wasn't exactly as they were saying, but I stayed hopeful. But then things fell apart. Wendy and Denis (adoptive family) wanted to return both Jack and Shelby. They felt that Jack was too active, and Shelby wasn't active enough. There were a few other issues that I felt had no merit. Despite that, I tried to remain supportive of them, even as I was picking up Jack and Shelby and bringing them back to our house. 

As if having Shelby and Jack returned to the rescue and to us wasn't disappointing enough, when I came home with them, Cooper's separation-anxiety came to a head while I was gone. In about 2 hours Cooper pulled down curtains, broke one window and damaged 2 others. Added to that, there were several things that were knocked over, or knocked off a shelf and were broken. He had also gotten into the fireplace. Thankfully, no-one was injuredAnd I will also add that I don't have a lot of really nice things. At our age, we are trying to be minimalistic and so the things I have, I really love...  And of course I wasn't "mad" at Cooper, just very sad about what's gotten broken and disappointed that it happened. 

The feelings about it all consumed me since I was already on the proverbial edge about everything. At first I was so upset I couldn't talk about it with anyone. I let the rescue know that day but it was almost 2 days before I heard from anyone about it, and then it was only a couple of text messages offering a reimbursement for the broken window. But in all fairness, both coordinators that I work with had no way of knowing just how upset and discouraged I was about it all. I think they only found out when I had a melt-down at the vets office when I'd taken Cooper in for his ears to be rechecked on Monday. I'd asked the vet for her help with his separation-anxiety, only to be given the most trivial advice that even first time dog owners already know, and I pretty much said that to her. However, a call did come from one of the coordinators on Tuesday that was really helpful and went a long way. 

~Cooper at the vet on Monday~

We now have a plan going forward with Cooper that does involve his being crated and medicated. It makes me hopeful that we can work through all of this with him. Although I know it won't be easy for either of us. 

And as for Jack and Shelby, the search for their new forever home begins, again.  


And with that, I'll end this post, and promise, that there is some fun news, that I'll save for the next post that will come in a day or so. Below is Todd wearing his Easter-tie. 


40 comments:

  1. Oh, Kim,
    I' so sorry for Cooper's meltdown and the destruction he caused. I hope crating and changing his medication will make life better for Cooper and all in your household. It's a miracle that apparently none of the dogs or cats were injured on the glass and pottery shards but am sorry things you loved were broken.
    I've always been amazed at how you and the family just go with the flow, caring for these many and various dogs with their histories and problems, and doing so well at keeping all on an even keel. It's a wonder you haven't hit your limit many times already.
    Be at peace with yourself and your feelings.
    The photo of the deer crossing is lovely.

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Things do pretty much stay on an "even keel" at our house. But it was just one of those times, when I was already so tired and worn out, and well, you know..... But Cooper lasted 3 hours in the crate one day before he started to get upset, so I feel and so hope we can work through this.

      Delete
  2. I know it won't help but maybe it'll make you feel less alone in the problem. When Tsar was young he had separation anxiety. BAD separation anxiety. He started by finding things I had recently touched and destroying them, clothes,knick knacks etc. Then he started chewing on the sofa. When he completely destroyed the sofa he started on the loveseat, the walls and the carpet. The big hole he chewed in the carpet was in the exact center of the room. He couldn't be crated because he nearly killed himself the one time he was crated. He wound up with torn nails, burst capillaries in his eyes and a broken tooth needing a $600 root canal. I was at the point where I told Rob we'd have to get rid of him because I couldn't handle the stress of him destroying everything. But, I couldn't give up on him and with some help from our vet, we managed to work thru it and Tsar became totally reliable and could be left home alone without concern. It was hard work for him and for me and I shed more than a few tears. If you ever want to chat you have my email address. You're not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awwwww Kim! *very gentle hugs* I'm so sorry this has happened with Cooper. Lordy day!! With you working, Cooper must be able to be left alone during the day and that fact isn't an option. *sigh* What a pickle for both you & him. Both of you are in a state of confusion over it all, I'm sure. A crate is the only answer I know to give too but will he tolerate being crated everyday, all day while you're at work? I'd suggest perhaps it's time for you to retire anyway but... you surely don't want to be forced into it this way. *sigh* I will pray for a perfect adoptive home to be found for Cooper and soon. The poor old guy needs another old person to pal around with. I sooooooo understand the devastation and depression that comes with rescue. I almost took my own life over a Chow we needed to find a home for & couldn't. I was so distraught over it all that I didn't know how I was going to exist another day. People who don't rescue don't understand. I wish I lived next door to you... I'd watch Cooper during the day. Please be assured of my prayers, my friend. I'm here if you need someone to talk to. ~Andrea xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  4. HUGS! A burden shared makes it less, I hope.
    God give you strength, Kim. And God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so sorry to hear about all the trouble with Cooper and having Jack and Shelby returned. Compassion fatigue is a real thing that happens to shelter workers and volunteers like yourself. It's especially difficult when things get stacked upon each other and it seems like you can't get a break. I'm glad you have a plan for working with Cooper that seems to be working now. Millie & Walter will keep their paws crossed that it continues to work and you can find a forever home for Jack & Shelby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right! Years ago, a dog-behaviorist talked about dogs who were reactive and how you can only "stack" so much on them before they react. I think the same thing happens for people too. Of course I wasn't angry at Cooper for a single-moment, I felt badly for him that he felt so panicked while I was gone, and didn't feel "safe and secure."

      Delete
  6. Hugs dear friend ....
    We all seem to be at the end of our tethers right about now, although I must admit Cooper's destruction would have sent me over the edge :(
    I'm happy that a plan is in place, and also those beautiful souls will one day soon find their forever home.
    Sweet boy Todd, looking mighty handsome in his Easter tie :)
    Hugs friend,
    Jo
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you! I know you have some beautiful and treasured things, like your teapots, and I shudder to think if something happened to them, it would be nothing short of heartbreaking because they are a part of you, your history, and your story. ❤

      Delete
  7. So discouraging, but things will get better, I hope. Sometimes people are very impulsive about adopting animals and then the fosters for the rescues have to pick up the pieces as the returners go merrily along with little sense of their recklessness. Sorry to be sour but I saw it so often when I was active in rescue. I'm not talking about those with legit reasons, but the flakey types. The silver lining is that they did return them, and not dump them as some fiends do. I hope you feel better soon. A rescue lab pulled down a very high shelf and destroyed the contents I had displayed, the three toys of a very hard childhood and my late brother's baby shoes. I wept so hard but then recovered, as they were only things...but I still think of them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I cannot find words to help, but hope you do know I think of you every day, the love and hope you give to EVERY rescue who comes to stay, a short while or forever. Cooper, I really hope he does cope better in the coming weeks, I guess taking him with you isn't even a tiny option. Caring is hard, either for the doggies, cats or people. I can so understand a melt-down, and sometimes others just plain do not understand. Heaps of love and so many caring wishes for days to run smoothly.XXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you for cheering us on! I wish taking Cooper to work was an option, but it isn't. I have at times brought dogs to my office, but that is no longer an option. Unfortunately. I just have to hope "our plan" works.

      Delete
  9. When you first got Todd, I said I was happy because I thought he would provide a good balance for the many difficulties and sometimes sadness that would come with taking in so many old dogs. Looking at his picture at the end of this difficult post, I have a feeling he does just that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Todd really does! I have a post I need to make about him, so stay tuned!

      Delete
  10. I have two rescue pups, but thankfully their issues are not anything like your Cooper's. Yikes. So frustrating that Shelby and Jack were given up on. Sheesh. Some peeps think I should give up on our Dalton, but after almost 4 years, that would just not be right.

    Hugs to you as you deal with all these things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right! I'd really hoped they would change their minds because Jack and Shelby had settled in so nicely, and it was easy for me to see that they liked/loved the couple. My heart just broke that Jack and Shelby now need to make another change.

      Delete
  11. Not sure how you hold it all together . . . somehow, you seem to.
    Hoping for calm and adjustment and some tranquil days ahead would help too!
    Caring about you and all the “roller coaster revolving in golden pines!”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you Lynne! You are right about dreaming and looking ahead and working towards those better days! ❤

      Delete
  12. Oh, dear, Kim. Not much I can add, but more hugs. The destruction was twofold - one the physical side of it, but more importantly the challenges it exemplified, which are so difficult to overcome. My son's Goldie's problems are simplicity itself by comparison. She literally eats the house if left alone, but is perfectly happy to be at our place, so spends most days here, especially if no-one is going to be home at lunchtime to let her out. Oh that your problem could be as easily solved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad your Son's Golden problem has been solved! It is a tough issue to deal with, that's for sure! My brother that lives with us has been off work on the days that we've had to leave Cooper, so he stays with him, but his days off change, so it's a temporary fix, and a good one while we work through this.

      Delete
  13. Hello,
    Wow, I am so sorry to hear about the destruction done by Cooper and the return of Shelby and Jack. I hope you find a solution that works for you all. Love the photos, sending hugs and good wishes. Have a happy day and week ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you Eileen! I hope you're having a good week too!!

      Delete
  14. Great Scot and Cathouse Thursday Kim!
    that's me swearing. you are entitled to a meltdown.
    not from the beautiful dogs in your care... but the actions of the humans. I'm working on not judging. so I'll say no more.
    but your tolerance and patience are amazing. take care of yourself dear heart. there is only one Kim! and we love you.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you Tammy! You always say the kindest things, and I so appreciate your always cheering us on, and always giving me a lift with your words! At first I felt "guilty" for the meltdown at the vet's office. But it all came from the frustration of knowing what Cooper needed, (medication) and their not being willing to give me a workable solution. I do now remain hopeful. Paws crossed!

      Delete
  15. Like everyone else, I'm so very sorry to hear how things have turned out for Shelby, Jack and Cooper.
    Maybe it's understandable that Jack was found to be over active, and perhaps difficult to deal with, but Shelby, being under active, surely couldn't be much of a problem. I do hope that you are able to find them both another forever home soon.
    Poor Cooper, he really has had some issues, and given you a bad time, and it's distressing that he has destroyed some treasured items. Hopefully crating and medication will solve his problems, and he'll settle into a routine where you know he can be safely left.
    Todd looks so suave in his bow tie, and it's good that he is there to lift your spirits, when you're feeing low.
    Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you! I don't understand how the couple didn't realize how active Jack was. Our first visit, the husband tossed the ball to Jack for nearly an hour. And as for Shelby, she's very overweight, and looks a bit like a coffee table. The wife was "upset" that she weighed 4 pounds more than she had when she came into the shelter - The difference of a scale? - But Shelby needs help getting around, and needs to be encouraged.... as does anyone who needs to lose a few pounds. I was very disappointed that this was an issue.

      Delete
  16. You are a very strong person, Kim, but we all have a breaking point. You have had such a difficult few months and things just seem like they are piling on. I hope for Cooper to find peace and a new, loving home for Shelby and Jack are found quickly . Most of all, though, I hope, that you can find some calm in this storm and get a break.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you! We'll see how Cooper does when he's left on Weds.

      Delete
  17. Aw, I can see how that week was not good especially since you were already on the edge. But thank goodness that Shelby and Jack are back with you. You can help them try again when everyone is ready. As for Cooper, I understand why your vet infuriated you. Sometimes, I think that vets forget which client they are talking to. I'm glad that you have a plan going forward. I know from our experiences with Hachi just how upsetting things like anxiety can be. Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KB, I totally agree with you! I have to confess, that when the vet first came in, I thought she was the vet tech/assistant, because she was so young. She barely looked old enough to drive! ūüėä But I also know that young vets know all the latest care, but this time she was way off base - It sounded like a bit of a lecture when she started telling me to give Cooper treats when putting him in the crate, and not to make a "big deal" when I leave and come home .... Who knew? ... I am sure my eye roll was obvious, especially when I told her for the 3rd time, that I'd been fostering for 20 years, and felt that we were way past the chance of any of that working for Cooper. Hopefully the medication (trazadone) will work, for now. I worry that he may have developed an intolerance to it.

      Delete
  18. As I read your post tonight I felt so bad for all of you. You, the caretaker and the poor dogs who have to go thru all that. Never understanding why. While it is so hard on you they just have no way of knowing how fortunate they are and the heartbreak they can cause with behavior they can't control.

    Your post also gives me a "place" to feel some feelings that I have myself. I'm 72 with MS and mobility that gets a little less each day. I also have 8 rescues that I dearly love but sometimes.... Six of my babies are 14 plus. Most I've had for many years so finding them a home is not something I can do. I just move ahead because I know I won't have them long and even though I've never in my life spent a night without my critters I know that soon enough I most likely will.

    I just lost my groomer of many years who is having her own issues as she is going blind and hurt one of my girls. Then she yelled at me for too long about why the H** I have so many dogs anyway!!! She was only too glad to groom 6 of them for years. I just hung up. What could I say?

    My guys all needed a place to go so I said ok and I'm not sorry that I did but each day it gets a little harder. I never allow myself to get upset but I'm beginning to feel a lot of anxiety. On one hand I feel so priviledged to have them and they mean the world to me but then sometimes I feel quite scared. Money? If my time comes? I've tried to make plans so they won't suffer. But still.

    I'm sorry to write all this but I don't really have anyone to speak to about how I feel because too many people I know just don't understand why I don't just "dump" them. Can you imagine?? NO way. Most days I feel like the Lord will take care of me long enough to see them thru. I hope so. I just keep trying not to worry too much.

    I hope this post doesn't bring you down more. I know what it feels like. Jan, Mom to Molly, Buddy, Mia, Missy, Dollbaby, Rocket, Clancy and Huey


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jan, thank-you for sharing your feelings and your thoughts with me, and the readers of this blog too. I do hope it helped, and helps to know that you are among "cyber-friends" here, who like me, are cheering you on for you to have continued strength, and to continue to provide the care for your 4-legged family members, who I know are loved, treasured, and adored, and well cared for, despite what your groomer says, because their ages reflect your devotion to them! ❤❤

      I wanted to tell you that I how you felt in that moment to hear those words from someone who you respected and trusted. I have had the exact same thing happen to me. Those nearly same words came to me from someone I admired, loved, and considered a good friend. She was the person who years ago, sparked my love for senior dogs and what she said, pierced my heart and my soul.... And it changed our friendship. But looking back on it, I know those words came from HER frustration of things in her own life, and she was reacting to that, I was simply the one that was there at that moment. I think what happened between you and your groomer, was the same thing, it was "her" reaction, to the things in her life that she perhaps has no control over. YOU KNOW the care that you give your dogs is the best, and they are where they belong, and are with who loves them the most at this time in their lives. I know you will have the strength and any needed "courage" as you go ahead, and I know that prayers will be answered and everything will be as it should be because of your faith, and mine too as I cheer YOU ON from my corner in Virginia!

      Jan, please feel free to comment/contact me anytime and let me know how it's going. Your comment in no way brought me down. Because I know now I'm not alone, and neither are you! Take care, okay? All my best to your crew, Molly, Buddy, Mia, Missy, Dollbaby, Rocket, Clancy and Huey!! ❤

      Delete
  19. So sorry that you are struggling. Poor Jack and Shelby ...at least they came back to you. Hope you feel better soon:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES, you are right! I did worry about the two somehow being split up, and I would have been so sad that they would not be together. Jack really needs Shelby.

      Delete
  20. Todd looks very dapper. We are very sorry that Jack and Shelby were returned, it must be so upsetting for them. We hope they find their forever home soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you, I hope they do too! They truly need a home of their own!

      Delete
  21. I hope you find some help for all of your situations, these are the times when I wish I was someone's neighbor or lived close so I could relieve you for a bit to make things better for you.
    Sounds like you are getting around some things for now. Take time to nap with the dogs. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. You do good work, but we can imagine what a heart break it can be at times. We took in a little old cocker spaniel many years ago when the kids were still school-age. Unfortunately, his previous home had been with an elderly couple, and he could not handle the kids running around and even bit someone. Fortunately we were able to find him a nice new home with no kids. Good luck with your latest fosters!

    ReplyDelete
  23. You are brave and good to care so much and do so much for Cooper.

    ReplyDelete

Speak--I really enjoy your comments! Thanks for stopping by today!!