Saturday, February 11, 2012
Petey, the Wonder Dog
You'd think an old ten pound boy, deaf and blind and with rotten teeth, whose front end was so matted it was hardly distinguishable from his back when he arrived, would just want to crawl into a corner and get away from the world when exposed to the traumas and tribulations of surgery. Although not as many teeth had to be removed as expected, there's no doubt those that were removed had been causing him a lot of pain before Broken Promises took him in and started him on antibiotics and Metacam. Then, just as he feels secure and loved, he is whisked off before dawn by someone he has only met once, taken to a place that smells funny and where strangers poke and prod him, and involuntarily goes to sleep only to awaken with stitches in his mouth and high on morphine.
Did this get our boy down? No. Other than singing the Morphine Chorus all the way home yesterday (dogs on morphine tend to vocalize a lot, even though not in pain), as soon as his little feet hit the grass of the back yard he stopped singing and had a pee. And as soon as he was in the house, he headed straight for his bed for a nice long snooze. I swear I could hear him sigh "Ahhhhh, NOW I know where I am!".
He did refuse any food last night, and didn't care for my shoving his antibiotics down his wee little throat, but this morning all was forgiven and he trotted from back door to kitchen to sit on the mat where he waits for his breakfast. It was eaten with gusto (ummmm....Petey.....the vet says you are getting, ahem, pudgy and I am to quit feeding you quite so much! Oops!) and, after another brief trip outside, he followed me around for a bit before deciding to go back to bed. Other than sleeping a bit more than usual, today is no different than any other in Petey's world - eat, sleep, go outside, cuddle, putter around, find a bed, nap, find another bed, nap some more.
It is quite possible he may not need more surgery or will only need one more - the jury is still out on exactly what might need to be done for one of his eyes. In part, it is a wait-and-see approach to see how the extraction of some back teeth with long roots might effect the eye. But he is well on the road to recovery.
Petey is going to be such a great companion for some lucky individual who wants a sweet warm body to snuggle. He is such an easy dog to have around now that he has settled in. Despite being deaf and blind, he manages to find me no matter where I am - I can put him down by the back door in the mud room, move around the house doing chores, and in no time at all he has found me and is following me around from room to room.
He took about three weeks to adjust, but now that he is comfortable with his environment, he no longer demands to be picked up. He likes to be in the same room with me, but has also become comfortable tottering off to find a favourite bed in another room for a nice quiet private nap. When he needs to go outside or is hungry, he vocalizes with little sing-song mutterings, gaining in volume to a few sharp barks if his servant ignores him. Only occasionally does he barks if he cannot find me - usually our intrepid adventurer simply heads off through the dark silent jungle until his sense of smell tells him he has tracked down his prey.
I no longer crate or x-pen him when I go out. He hated both, and barked incessantly from the moment I left until the moment I returned. So now he is free to roam in the back half of the house where Eddie and Sadie are also confined during my absence - office, bedroom, mudroom, bathroom. (A certain two not-blind dogs, if left with access to the front of the house when I'm out, will bark at any person or dog or bird who dares trespass on our street in view of the living room windows).
Petey is a very clean dog, and after a few accidents early in his stay here, he has never had another accident again. I can go out for up to three hours (the longest I can leave Sadie) and come home to find him sleeping soundly - sometimes in a different room from the one he was in when I left, showing he can wake, walk around, and go back to sleep without incident when I'm away.
And he is a social boy. The other day a couple of friends were over, people he had not met before. They had come into the house, greeted Sadie and Eddie and we were just heading to the kitchen when suddenly.....a little grey furball trots up behind Fran and s..t..r..e..t..c..h..e..s up as tall as he can on her leg. His message was quite clear: "Yoo hoo, say hello to me, pick me up, I'm SOMEBODY!" He's never tried to climb up my leg - or anyone else's - but obviously something struck a chord with him when Fran walked nearby.
Petey loves to snuggle in bed with me at night (and getting him to sleep by himself has been impossible - he will happily sleep on the dog beds during the day, but dare, just dare to leave him there when I go to bed and he almost immediately senses a change in the environment, wakes up, comes into the bedroom and stands beside the bed barking. "Pick me up, darn you, I do NOT sleep on the floor at night!" But he's a good bed mate - sleeping still and quietly (usually...sometimes he talks in his sleep), and he doesn't take up much space. Most of the time.
Except for the other night. I awoke to a little paw tapping me, pushing at me, poking me from his side of the bed. Petey. I slipped out of bed to go to the bathroom and when I returned, there was Petey - smack dab in the middle of the bed, stretched out in all directions. Even a ten pound furball can be a bedhog.
I see Petey being the perfect companion for a homebody, perhaps a retiree or someone who might be housebound but who is still mobile enough to take him outside for a pee (or who has a caregiver who can do this). Mostly, he wants someone who is home, who likes a small lap dog to cuddle, and who sees only his abilities, not his disabilities.
He's Petey the Wonder Dog, and he'll wrap his little paws around your heart (or maybe your leg) and won't let go.