Fear Breeds More Fear

“That doesn’t mean that I can’t be afraid or sad or vulnerable, it simply means that reacting to tragedy by living in fear doesn’t create empathy, it breeds more fear. ” – Brene Brown

In Confident Canine class today one of my handlers told me, “I’m learning to just relax and let [my dog] be who she is, just let it be okay.”

Another said, “He feels less anxious and I feel less anxious.”

Lesson learned: fear breeds more fear. Be brave and let it be okay!

light, love and martin luther king, jr. – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

 

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Finally! Some Words for Calvin’s First Weeks Home

Calvin is 14 weeks old and has had quite the exciting 5 weeks since coming home. I’ve had a hard time putting those weeks into words, they have been a journey to say the least. He’s such an interesting boy, I’ve had a hard time putting him into words too.

14 weeks old

Late thursday night after we taught classes his Auntie Nikki sat watching us as I snuggled him. I’d just brought him out of his crate where he’d slept through me teaching Tricks class and us closing up the store, he was still all floppy and sleepy, and she said, “Calvin is just so. . . amazing.”

We sat there quiet for a second watching him and I said, “I know isn’t he just the most. . . interesting puppy?” We both just sat there while he nibbled away at my face, saying hello. I told her I have the hardest time even describing how fascinating he is. He is truly such a unique pup. She says he’s like an old soul who is out for his last hurrah. That’s quite an astute observation and the best words I really have to describe him. He is a thinker. He has to sit back and watch new things, but then he just dives in with gusto! It’s very, very fascinating to watch him think and Mary Bethhad it right when she told me, “I think you’ll be fascinated with his brain.”

11 Weeks

Last week he discovered there was a world above his head. We were sitting under some trees and he sat watching the leaves wave in the breeze. He looked up, then he looked at the shadows they were making on the gravel, then he looked up again, looked down again, watching those shadows. I have no idea what he was learning but he was learning something. After watching, up and down, up and down, suddenly he just pounced and off went gamboling into play like, “Well that was interesting, back to play!”

He constantly makes me laugh and always amazes me. You can see him learning. We have a low profile bed, we got it when Meeka was sick so she could still get on the bed with us. One morning I watched him running around it from one side to other, around and around. He really wanted to get up on that bed! He never did figure it out that morning, but Ry’s been on puppy duty on Monday nights while I’m at work and that night I got this text on my way home, “Are you coming home? I can’t control this monster!” Turns out Calvin had got on the bed and of course peed. Ry said, “I didn’t even know he could get on the bed!” I didn’t either but apparently he’d figured it out that morning.

The whole ordeal with Magnus is really part of the reason I have a hard time putting Calvin’s journey into words. For those of you who don’t know, Magnus has Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia. On September 6, after 4 days of doing all we could do to save him we came home with little hope he would survive. The vet gave him 24-48 hours and the next 12 hours were 12 of the most agonizing hours I’ve ever lived. He had a major GI bleed and had started bleeding into his lungs. Everyone was praying for a medical miracle, but my positivity failed me and I set out to make his last hours as peaceful as possible. Then Friday afternoon, against all odds, he turned it around. He came out of it, the bleeding stopped and he survived.

And this is where I stop having words, some day I’ll put that drama all together, but as of now I’m still processing the whole thing. I’ll just say he is staying stable. He’s on a slew of meds, the worst of which is 20 MG of Prednisone. It makes him miserably ravenous and has totally changed his drive. Thankfully he will be able to be off of it eventually.

So with all of that happening and a few Real Life days I never counted on, Calvin’s first weeks home haven’t looked at all like I thought they would. But they have been amazing.

Each puppy is different. One of the biggest difference with Calvin is me. I’m in this great place where I don’t worry about training. With Maizey I was terrified of messing it up and knew instinctively there was something wrong with her, we did a lot of very structured training sessions. Practice, practice practice. Looking back I can see it didn’t really make her more reliable and was way too much pressure on her.

“I love my sisser!”

With Magnus I was no where near that intense and he was just easier anyways, but I had a lot of goals and expectations. Harldly any of which turned out to be important to me. They affected the training I did with him as a puppy, it changed my focus from puppy fun to preparing him and worrying about not messing anything up.

With Calvin all of that is different. I have just reveled in these weeks. We’ve done tons of training but hardly any structured sessions. We train as part of daily life. Sure some things are falling behind, we still don’t have down on cue. (Which I admit is a bit embarrassing, but he has his whole life to learn boring ol’ downs.) What we do have so far is an unbelievable connection. He’s got great focus, a pretty good little puppy recall, an adorable mat work, just to name a few things. I’m just not worried about it. I’m enjoying him. We all are. He’s fit in wonderfully.

Even Maizey likes him! It didn’t take near as long as it did with Magnus for her to buddy up with him. That was the only side benefit of Magnus getting sick. Because the internal bleeding was so dangerous he couldn’t be with Calvin at all. Calvin bumping him could have caused further bleeding, so they took a weeks vacation from being together. So my Stupendous Man set out to win over his sister, and win he did! They are good buddies now.

I don’t often share pictures of me, but this one is special to me. (Plus it finally shows the 40 pounds I’ve lost in the last two years!) It was taken on the day we found out Magnus was sick. Before we knew he was sick we took a trip to the canyon to celebrate our 14 year anniversary. It was a beautiful, happy day. Calvin has filled a place in our hearts and I just can’t wait to watch his fascinating brain grow!

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One Little Word: Positivity and Peace

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One Little Word: Positivity & Perspective

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June’s One Little Word and a 30 Day Challenge – Day 2: Empty

My One Little Word of 2012 is positivity. Last month I focused on looking forward. This month I hope to learn to sit more comfortably in whatever moment I’m in. My goal is to “emphasize what is good or laudable; constructive” in each moment I find myself.

I also finally found a photo a day challenge that peaked my interest enough to commit. Debbie’s photo’s are always so beautiful they inspired me to join Chantelle at Fatmumslim’s Photo A Day list. Chantelle says, “Looking back on the photos I can remember each day and how I felt, or what I was going through. It makes me realise that this is just like keeping a journal. We’re capturing snapshots of each day, and they trigger memories.” That was enough inspiration to get me to give it a try. I hope it’s okay with her if I don’t post each day, that part might not be possible with all that’s going on. I’m going to take the photo’s for me and do my best to share them with you.

Today’s prompt is:

EMPTY

In the photo above the field is empty, just the way Maizey likes it.

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It’s Never a Good Idea to Gorge Yourself on Gummy Bears and Cat Food

This week started in the ER on Monday night and proved itself complete tonight when I came home to gummy bear Cavalier ears.

I always feel as if I should present myself here as the perfect dog mom. Of course then I remember that anyone who’s read for any time at all would know the truth, I’m just a dog mom with Real Life on my hands too.

My dad ended up in the ER on Monday night. It was a very scary situation, the scariest my mom said she’d ever been in. After being awake with them all night in the ICU, I was exhausted when I finally got home on Tuesday afternoon. He’s stable now, though still in the hospital. Having family in the hospital tends to trump all else so other than work not much got done this week.

I’m always so grateful my dogs are so patient and can go without walks and training without going too crazy. Still the neglect showed itself in the typical way. Boredom struck them hard and they struck back. Of course it’s always the crazy weeks when things get neglected and this week was no different.

On Wednesday night the brand new bag of cat food got left on the bottom shelf. (The guilty party shall remain nameless, although in my defense I’ll say it wasn’t me. . . This time.) I can only imagine the glee Magnus felt when he pulled it down and gorged himself. To his utter delight, he ate about a third of the bag. At 4:00 AM he threw up and of course ate it before I could get awake enough to stop him. I’m pretty sure I dreamed telling him to leave it and he thoroughly laughed in my face. After he puked he started coughing. It sounded awful. Everything sounds awful at 4:00 AM, but this really sounded bad. The neighbor dog has a cough and I was sure he must have kennel cough on top of it all.

When I was in ICU on Monday night my dad was such a trooper until about 4:00 AM when the night started to seem as if it would never end. After absolutely no sleep we all started getting discouraged by then and the nurse said, “Just make it till morning. Everyone feels the worst this time of night. If you can just make it till morning I promise it will seem better.”

Those words came back to me at 4:00 AM on Thursday morning while I was laying on the floor next to Magnus, waiting for him to throw up again. Things look truly bleak at that time of morning and I certainly wasn’t amused. I finally decided I couldn’t let him be sick and eat it again and I couldn’t stand laying on the floor all night, so I did what any insane dog person would. I put a towel down and put him in bed next to me.

I’m sure in a google search of “What to do when your dog throws up in the middle of the night” One of the top answers would not be, “Take him to bed with you!” Yup, it’s official, I’ve totally lost it!

I must mention at this point that Mehusbandy is one of the most tolerant men alive to let the sick dog come to bed with us. (Let it also serve as a warning for anyone that leaves the cat food on the bottom shelf- you reap what you sow in the form of sick dog next to you in bed at 4:00 AM.)

So there I am with a sick boy puppy sleeping in the crook of my arm. Pretty soon he starts groooaaannning. There are not enough letters in the word groaning to describe the sound he was making. Need I mention I still wasn’t laughing? So I’m trying to sleep, even though I know it will be with one ear open, and Magnus is moaning and groaning. As my partner in crime at work later described it, “It’s that sound you make when you’ve eaten way to much ice-cream and ice-cream doesn’t agree with your body. And you’re thinking, “WHY? Oh WHY did I eat all that ice-cream?” I’ll never have a sick belly again without thinking of Magnus laying there, grooooaaaannning.

As if all of that wasn’t enough to prove to you I’m a normal, imperfect, although insane dog mom, today I was the guilty one. About three o’clock this afternoon I realized I left a package of red cinnamon gummy bears out on the side table. (Apparently this is the post where all my foibles are revealed. The more tired I am the more caffeine and sugar I consume. Isn’t that what all insane dog moms do when they’re stressed out and exhausted?) Well it didn’t do me any good to remember my bonehead move at three in the afternoon while I was at work. My dogs are good at not getting into things, but apparently gummy bears and cat food can not be resisted. Sure enough I got this text message on my way home from work tonight, “Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Maizy had 2 gummy bears stuck in her ear hairs. Ughh.” I was not amused at the thought.

Thus my week finished off with me bathing two sticky Cavaliers at 10:30 PM after a long day of work. They were not amused either.

The 4legged lesson in all of this? Perspective makes all the difference. Things often do seem bleak with not a funny side in sight, but later on you realize it’s laugh or cry. I choose laugh. It must be all my new found positivity that makes both of these things seem funny to me now. I wish I had video of Magnus diving head first into the cat food bag, I bet he was so happy. I just keep hearing him grroooaaaning and it makes me chuckle too. Of course maybe you had to be there. . .

The other 4legged lesson? You reap what you sow wether its with a bad case of indigestion or a really long bath- it never pays off to gorge yourself on cat food and gummy bears.

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One Little Word: Positivity Vs. Resignation

Do you have one One Little Word? The beginning of the story’s here.

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