Monday, July 10, 2006

Cohabitation - Part II

Casey is used to being spoiled. I'll admit it. She's spoiled. She was an adorable puppy, and she's turning into a beautiful dog. My FIRST puppy. How could I not spoil her? Have you SEEN her sleeping baby picture? No?? Well here it is...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

However, now she's living with another dog and seems to feel like she has to compete for mom's attention. There has been some acting out (to put it mildly.) And since everything makes my puppy sick (she was the runt, and that makes her "special" as Alisa puts it), she is ill yet again. Dealing with living with Tyson, getting in trouble more often than usual (due to acting out) and the new changes in routine have stressed Casey out. Not a lot, just enough to give her a cough and sore throat. So she went to the vet.


And Again. (the first round of antibiotics didn't work)

That dog has cost me more in 7 months than my cat has in 6 years. She's special. She was put on antibiotics and steroid medication (anti-inflammatory). When the medication started, I noticed that she looked and acted weird, so I called the vet. No problem, he says the steroids "contribute to an overall feeling of well-being."

Its official. My puppy is stoned.

Her pupils are HUGE. She walks around looking at everything like its fascinating, and barking at NOTHING. She'll stare out the window and bark. I look - there's nothing there. She'll stand facing the corner and bark. Nothing there. It's starting to freak me out. What do I know? Maybe she sees dead people.

The warning on the steroids mentions that I may notice increased drinking by my pet, and also an increased need to urinate. Um, yeah. When I let Casey out of her crate, I have to immediately take her outside. This is a lesson I learned through trial and error during the first couple of days of medication. Before I understood that she literally couldn't hold it, and she peed inside, I would yell at her. She would literally jump, look at me with her freaky dilated pupils, and seem to be thinking "Whoa man...No need to yell. When you gotta go, you gotta go, man, you know? It's all good." She's so high. This is funny now (when the peeing thing is under control). Before, it wasn't quite so funny. The only lingering issue is that she seems to have forgotten where the front door is. Sometimes I'll see her standing at the window, looking at me. When I don't react, she pees inside. I now understand that in her altered state, ANYTHING could be the front door. If she's standing in front of it, looking at me, that means she has to go.

When she's, ummm...less high :-) and she doesn't get her way, she's pretty demanding. This is obviously my fault and comes from the spoiling. She gets frustrated easily and barks if you're not doing what she wants. Loosely translated, I believe her barking means, "Hey, idiot! I couldn't be any more clear about what I want. Why on earth are you ignoring me?" This is where Tyson has her beat. He's as dumb as a box of rocks, but he will wait patiently until he gets what he wants. Unfortunately for him, when it becomes clear that Casey will NOT be getting what she wants, she will literally turn, look at Tyson (as though realizing that he's STILL there) and take all of her frustration out on him.

Poor, patient, stupid Tyson, who is twice the size of Casey, is not the alpha dog of the apartment. He clearly defers to the puppy. When she launches herself at Tyson and chews on his ears, legs, tail, neck, etc. his efforts to extricate himself are always comical. There have been times that he will limp towards the boyfriend with Casey's jaws firmly attached to his rear leg, while she follows along behind. If he's got a toy that Casey wants, she will march right up to him and literally take the toy out of his mouth. He'll just turn and look at the boyfriend and I as though saying, "Why me?"

Twice now we have seen him turn and bark at her when his patience is finally gone. Both of those times, Casey will jump as though she's been electrocuted, and scurry to the other side of the room, leaving Tyson to contentedly chew on the bone/toy/biscuit that she was originally trying to take. Fifteen minutes later, she's harassing him again. When he's not around, she'll try to play with Laney. More than once, she's come up to me from another room with a cat claw sticking out of her nose. Doesn't seem to bother her much. I think she thinks it's a sign of love from the little funny looking dog she lives with.

When I'm alone with Casey, this is where the acting out comes into play. There is no more understanding of the words "come" "sit" or "down." It's like I've begun speaking a foreign language to my dog. Like she's angry that I changed her entire life, so she's going to make me pay. I used to be able to let her outside off leash, and she would stay right by me. If she did wander off, a simple "Casey" would bring her back. No longer. Now, she seems intent on embarrassing the HELL out of me in public. She will act completely normal and angelic, and then take off towards strangers and launch herself onto them. (This happened twice before the leash came back out.) I mean, seriously, how horrible is this? What do YOU think people are thinking when they see a 40lb pit bull running full speed towards them? My cries of "She's friendly!" "She's just a puppy!" and "Casey get back here!!" rarely make a difference. Luckily, the two people she jumped on and licked were dog lovers and completely understanding. She's now confined to a leash at all times - we had to upgrade to a pinch collar to keep her under control.

(I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to my mother for my "acting out" during my teenage years. I'm sure it was more frustrating than what I'm going through, and she couldn't use a pinch collar, nor could she put me in a 4'x6' crate when I was being a pain.)

The boyfriend doesn't play favorites (like I do) and he loves Casey as much as I do. But he also loves Tyson. I can't say that. I' up to Tyson. It's the constant whining that I can't take. Tyson will be part III of the cohabitation story, and by FAR the worst part.

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