Pet Parent Resources

Misfit Manor Diary..and then there was Rosie…

There is no such thing as a dull moment at Misfit Manor.  While so many of my days seem filled with routine…routine is pretty crucial to juggling a large family of dogs…nothing about life here is ever dull. 

Several weeks ago I took in a new Misfit. Her name is Rosie.  She has some issues that are yet medically unidentified.  Perhaps they will never be identified.

She cannot bark.  She struggles with swallowing her food.  When she first arrived she was walking very little.  The vets believe she has some sort of neuro-muscular disorder…but no hard diagnosis as of yet.    We recently had a muscle biopsy done…no results yet.  Initially I had to carry her everywhere in the house…she had no strength to get up and walk (despite being on steroids).

.., if I left the room without her she would pant and whine and I would go running back for her. She was making little to no effort to get and up walk on her own.

Feeding Rosie is a daily battle.  I quickly figured out that she needs to eat sitting up or she gags and chokes on her food.  I feed her in a little doggie booster seat I have…one small bit of food at a time. She also gets bored with eating…or perhaps just tired…and we have have to take a lot of breaks.   She is also incredibly fussy.  There are days where I  have to cook her 3 different breakfasts just to find something she wants to eat.  I will not give up finding the best solutions for her.

But things are also changing a lot in the last few weeks.  She has morphed from rarely getting up and walking on her own at all to walking on her own most of the day.  She still has moments where her legs just give out and she plops on her belly.  But she gets right back up and tries again.  She has gained quite a bit of weight as well.  The last two days I have taken her on very short walks.

She loves wagon riding!  Initially she would just lay down in the wagon the whole time.  Now she is stronger and she sits up or stands while she is in the stroller.  I’m guessing she has covered more ground in the last few weeks than she has in her whole life.

Rosie has blended perfectly in to our broader family of Misfits.  Her initial introductions went very smoothly and she continues to play nicely with her housemates.  I am always grateful (and frankly fairly amazed) at how well all my Misfits do together…there is an energy level in this house that I do not understand…but am eternally grateful for.   All of my Misfits come from difficult backgrounds…yet once they are here they are very gracious about welcoming new family and helping each other grow.

Rosie has been a lovely addition….Betty adores her (and so does Buster).  Betty continues to amaze me…she remains so strong and determined yet she is the gentlest creature I have ever met.   She shadows Rosie…wherever Rosie goes Betty follows.

Betty continues to do fabulously.  We have pulled out all the stops for her…acupuncture, laser treatment, plasma injections…it is working…she loves going to the park…she would wander in a field all day if I let her.  She struggles sometimes with getting up…but that is what mommy is for.   Once I lift her up…she is off!

The Manor is a busy place…I run two businesses to keep my fur family going and thank the gods both of my business are thriving.  We are currently working hard to save money to buy our own laser machine…old dogs with sore joints is the norm here and it would be so much more economical to have our own laser machine…hopefully soon!

While there are days it seems like a live in a very narrow tunnel…I don’t leave the Manor unless I absolutely have too…I’m not oblivious to the world either….I watched the elections…the coverage of the fires in CA…my heart aches for our broken world…there are always rays of hope though…I find solace in doing my part right here…taking care of my band of Misfits that had no where else to go…I wish for everyone that you may find your hearts calling…because when you do…nothing can jar you from your path.

The holiday selling season is a critical time for my online stores.  If you need a gift item for a dog mom/dog dad in your life please browse my Etsy shop.  I have a lot of really cute affordable items for dog lovers.

Rescue on!

Nancy

 

 

Confessions of an imperfect dog mom, Family Posts

Confessions of an imperfect dog mom: the essence of “dogness”

This photo was taken the 2nd time I did a training session with Buster. I did all the work for those first few sessions...I worked to earn his trust.
This photo was taken the 2nd time I did a training session with Buster. I did all the work for those first few sessions…I worked to earn his trust.

A few days ago I was out walking with Turnip…I had a very sweet “ah ha” moment when I realized that Turnip was walking like a normal dog and has been for a long time…I think I have taken his progress for granted…relaxed…tail up…sniffing…no fear.  He has changed so much, albeit gradually, that when I paused to think about it…the change in him….seems like magic…it makes me smile.   It got me thinking about how much both Buster and Turnip have changed since we met them last year.

Bret and I have always had a soft heart for the creatures that have some challenges…maybe we can both relate.   Turnip was challenged by pretty much everything…door ways…stairs…men…blowing leaves…noises…when I started walking him I had to lure him with ham while he slithered on his belly a bit further down the driveway each day.   We used to have leave the room to get him to go in and out the door for potty breaks.   There was a time when he would not let anyone but me near him…now he will take food from the hands of strangers and a select few can pet him.

Pet Rescue Photo Art

Buster loves the girls...and they love him.
Buster loves the girls…and they love him.

Buster was a different type of special…he was bred to work…to guard…he just needed to find his rhythm (and some boundaries) for a successful family life.  He found them.   But in hindsight he has changed dramatically…Buster lived at a kennel when I first started working with him..I was uncomfortable letting him near my own dogs.  Now he is a ladies man…all of our fosters fall in love with him and any human that visits is his new best friend.  Don’t get me wrong…Buster is not a dog to trifle with…but he figured out where he fits here and he does everything with enthusiasm.

Watching Buster and Turnip change has been rewarding…Bret and I are deeply invested in both of them…we work hard with our dogs that need extra help…these two have taken an extraordinary amount of our time.  Our investment in them seems so much larger since we took in the girls this year (Lucy, Luna & Maddie).  The girls are so laid back and well adjusted…they were an immediate and effortless fit here.  The contrast between the boys and the girls made me think more about investing time in relationships general…do I afford people the same “space and grace” that I am more than happy to give the dogs?   Do any of us?  Do I work as hard at relationships with difficult humans as I did with Buster and Turnip?  I had a wicked determination with Buster…giving up was not an option.  What if I had that same determination with people?

Best Day Ever...the day we adopted Turnip.
Best Day Ever…the day we adopted Turnip.

Buster has such a big personality...
Buster has such a big personality…

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile…my conclusion is that I need to re-frame how I choose to interact with humans.  If I could get away with it I would interact with people very little…its not that I don’t “like” people…I’m just an introvert…I prefer to be a lone…I have fun when I am alone…if I don’t get enough time alone than I am not myself.  If I have been around a lot of people for an extended amount of time (even though I enjoy it) I will be exhausted.   I am comfortable with being an introvert and I make sure to protect the boundaries I need to stay spiritually and emotionally healthy.  But its possible I have been using my introversion as an excuse to not extend more grace to people in general.  I think about the most basic things I afforded to Buster and Turnip while they figured things out…it was space (to figure things out at their own pace) and grace (remaining consistently caring no matter what kind of shenanigans were going on).  I suppose those are the same two things most would say they would afford their children.  But do we afford them to adults?  Buster and Turnip had tremendous baggage…they were not young puppies to shape and socialize…they were emotionally banged up…as most adult humans are…as I am.  If you looked at either of these dogs on the outside…they looked like handsome, healthy adult dogs…not so on the inside….as is the case with most adults…myself included.   What would happen if I worked harder at seeing Buster and Turnip in everyone?

FB_IMG_1450344878989There is a dog person saying, you’ve heard it….”the more people I get to know the more I like dogs”…its kind of a funny saying…and often it can be true.  But it also flies in the face of the essence of “dogness”…the very glory of a dog is its unconditional love and tolerance for humans.  If there is no human for them to love…than there is no “dogness”.  The intrinsic nature of a dog is rooted in its relationship to us.  We rob dogs of their wonder if we don’t afford humans the same space, grace and effort that the dog’s give us.  Perhaps the main reason dogs are here for us to reflect them…to reflect their “dogness” in to our own relationships…I want more “dogness” in my own essence…

Rescue On!

Nancy