It’s really wet, there are daffodils everywhere, and I have an overwhelming urge to change things. I wish I had the overwhelming urge to clean things but, unfortunately, I just want to spend money. I find that if I don’t find a way to channel this, I just buy something online that is ridiculous and expensive on a late Sunday night and regret it later. I tried to be thoughtful and focus on doing something I’ve been putting off, such as framing some pictures I’ve had for a good long while and updating my emergency bags. I also picked up a few things on sale that I’ve been needing and tried the trick of leaving it in the basket for a day or two before pulling the trigger and buying it. That actually did work. I went back and removed some things from the basket that seemed cool at the time but I just had to admit to myself that I had no place for them in the house.
More on these small tweaks when they get hung/placed/used.
We have a new foster! This is Joey. Joey boy has bounced (been adopted and returned) three times. The adoption group asked if I could foster him because I’m “patient.” OK, we’ll go along with that. Joey was supposedly a nervous, anxious boy who whined all the time and had nightmares. I’ve had spooky dogs and nervous dogs and we are a pretty chill house so I thought we might be a good place for him.
As usual, I’m given this near-perfect boy who has some minor fears (like the slippery floors, but who isn’t afraid of that?) and is actually a loving and sweet big boy. He whines a little but he does it when things aren’t up to his standards (such as getting kibble for dinner instead of hot dogs). He likes a routine and doesn’t like change so he lets me know when his bed isn’t available and when he would like pets and kisses. He’s persnickety. That’s all.
I’ve lived with persnickety dogs before and they aren’t a lot of work. In fact, I find it pretty helpful if one of the dogs is telling me I’m late with dinner or if a blanket has gotten mussed up. It saves me thinking about it and realizing at 9pm that I forgot to feed the dogs. (man is that a terrible feeling!) The persnickety ones help keep the house running. Frankie didn’t like change either. I moved his bed from one side of the room to the other once and he stood at the spot where it used to be and whined and whined. He finally lay down on the floor where his bed USED to be instead of just walking 7 feet over to the new spot. He got over that tragedy though when he realized the bed wasn’t coming back.
I’ve actually gotten Joey’s whining down to almost nothing by simply ignoring it and rewarding good quiet boys. When they know they are being heard, they don’t have to keep doing it. I generally acknowledge him, make sure it isn’t something bad, and then either help him with his trouble (let me move that nasty old blanket for you) or ignore it and he has learned that if I ignore it, he might as well also. It hasn’t even been 48 hours yet and he has this figured out. He’s kind of awesome actually.
I haven’t seen any nightmares yet but Frankie used to bolt up and out of the room when he was sleeping too. You don’t have to do anything. They wake up and realize where they are and that they are safe and they just go back to bed.
Someone told me recently that a veterinarian was warning someone about working with rescue groups and saying that if a dog was returned there was a good reason. I kind of flipped out. My experience, 100% of the time has been the problem was with the adopter, not the dog. It doesn’t make the adopter a bad person. If someone is going to get stressed out when a dog is whining, they shouldn’t live with a dog like Joey and it is better for both parties to find a better match. Joey’s adopters brought him back to us which gives us the chance to find a better match for him. But never be afraid to work with an adoption group. Especially one that has a foster system like this because you get a really good profile of the dog before you bring it into your home. I’ve even been able to tell new families if their dog would be better to free-feed or have mealtimes.
I couldn’t live with a high energy dog that would be happier running every day. But I can handle the dog that has high standards and a little trouble with change.
Of course, I cannot stop singing this song to him. I’m always a little surprised I don’t sound this good when I sing.