And we are starting to settle into our new normal. It hasn’t been easy (but no one said it would be). She has become increasingly needy and affectionate in the evenings – demanding to be pet nonstop for hours on end. Also demands to be on the couch. When she doesn’t get her way, she starts to huff/puff and pant. She’s starting to learn that I don’t respond to that. So she will take to the bathroom in a pouting manner. I let her go and figure, like a child, she will work it out on her own. She does have to potty more at night (or again, she might be trying to get more walks).
She had two accidents in the house this week which were upsetting for the both of us. She never messes in the house so I know that was hard on her. For me – I am not used to picking up after a dog in the house as she was trained when I rescued her. I try and be more aware when we walk and make sure she has ample time to do her business. I am also transitioning her off ‘human’ foods so hopefully she will have less digestive issues.
I have to step back and remind myself (as my friends on this website like to remind me) that my dog is truly amazing. All she’s been through in 7 months, three major surgeries, chemo, a blood transfusion … that she’s eating/sleeping normally is really amazing. And I think the more I question our “new” normal, the more upsetting it is for her. She can read my emotions like no other dog ever has – she is in my head 24/7 and she knows when I am happy or sad without my even knowing it. It’s freaky how connected we are.
But this week we had some more glimmers of “old” Shelby. She is able to shake her paw now (which was hard since she shakes w/her right and it was her left hind leg that was amputated so she can’t balance like she used to). But she’s done it a couple of times – on her own. She also prances like she used to for attention, walks, etc (I can tell she “wants” to jump like she used but knows that she cannot). She will snuggle and lets me kiss on her as much as I want.
She still sleeps in the bathroom at night but I know she checks on me since I hear her moving around. I also caught her keeping guard this am. on my floor. I think it’s harder for her to get up and down on 3 legs so I’ll ask her vet about that. Thus the reason she probably just stands around. As I type this, she is curled up in her bed, amp side up (but it was the other way earlier). I can hear the peaceful sounds of her snoring and it’s music to my ears.
I really struggle with grieving for what we don’t have anymore – the long walks, the hikes, the playtime with tossing her toys around. I know she isn’t in pain and she’s just happy to see me but I hate when I see other dogs out and about that can run/jump/play, it makes me sad for Shelby. That is a human emotion as this site has taught me so much that dogs don’t know what they can’t do – only that they are loved and pain-free. Oh the life of a dog…. it’s simple and best!