Last week was a challenge. That’s the most ladylike way I can describe it. Awful. My dogs have adjusted to one another and as far as they went, there were no issues. I’d been pretty wrapped up in helping our youngest wade through geometry (which he is horribly struggling with). The dogs were fine.
Well, that all changed on Thursday. After lunch, I trimmed both their nails. Obviously, Butter’s are significantly easier than Buster’s. We do his first. After doing hers, we set her down and Buster went over to her. He began licking her ear. Halfheartedly, I told him to stop. He didn’t. In fact, within a few minutes, she was soaked in Buster spittle. Gross.
We dried her off, separated them, and he went right back to it. He just wouldn’t stop. It was relentless. She growled. She nipped at him (without making contact). She ate. He wouldn’t. He was simply obsessed with her! My husband came home from work and Buster completely ignored him. That never happens. 3 PM is always the most chaotic time of day. They go NUTS when Dad gets home. He is their whole world for at least an hour. Not that day. He was non-existent to Buster.
We tried his favorite toys. He didn’t care. He went all day without eating. He didn’t beg at dinner. He just kept licking her and following her, not allowing anyone to get near her. By 5, I was frantic. My big boy hadn’t eaten at all. Not lunch, not dinner, no snacks. He was panting and pacing. I had to fill their self-filling water dish twice! The Chiweenie was soaked. We put a sweater on her to help. He pulled it off.
This was bad. Now, I have decades of dog experience. I’ve worked rescue and have seen it all- including somethings I wish I could un-see. This was a new one. Licking, yeah, I’ve seen it. But, she wasn’t hurt or sick. Neither was he. I examined them with precision. Repeatedly. I checked their ears, paws, you name it. The house was at a stand still. Nothing was getting done. No one could relax. I tried to take charge of the situation and told the fam that maybe he was just having an issue. We’d see in the morning.
Boy, was I wrong. Friday dawned and it was worse than before. He wouldn’t give her enough personal space to even potty. They had to go separately. I prayed so hard. For guidance, for peace, for him to STOP licking her. I called the vet. I went on-line. I begged for help from everyone I knew. I love my babies. I’d give them a kidney if they needed it. But, I was losing my cool.
We increased his exercise thinking it was testosterone. Nope. He should have been exhausted. He still didn’t eat. Panting and licking. I checked them again and again. No injuries. No sign of illness. No apparent cause. Friday was awful! My husband was ready to go to a hotel! It was stressful. I just kept praying. Lord, please, I can’t fix this. Butter couldn’t nap, play, or snuggle. She needs those things. She had a tragic first 2 years of life. I promised these dogs that they’d have a great life. I felt helpless. I felt like a failure. In prayer, the Lord kept urging me to trust Him. That He had this.
I kept praying, Lord, he isn’t eating. The Lord told me to go look at Buster. He’s a big boy. In all honesty, he could use a little less food-love. The Lord continued to lead me to trust. I cried myself to sleep Friday night. My husband was beside himself. My son went to Grandma’s for the weekend (who could blame him?!) We woke up Saturday with a sense of purpose. These are my ‘kids’. I trust my human children to God’s plan. He knows how much they mean to me. He knows how much I LOVE my dogs. I left the dogs with my husband and went to shower.
I heard I sound I hadn’t heard in days. Buster barked. Then, I heard him run down the hallway. Several times. I finished my shower and peeked out the door. Buster was playing with his favorite rubber chicken. Butter had her plush hedgehogs. They were separate. I gave them breakfast. Buster walked away. I took a breath and thought ‘Trust. Ok, Lord, You got this.’ My husband offered to make us breakfast, too. The smells of bacon filled the kitchen. Buster’s head went up. He wandered in and stood by the stove. Then, miraculously, he walked over and emptied his bowl! It was the same old Buster. Then, he went to the door, signaling a potty need. When he finished, he walked in the house, took his place in his favorite chair, and NAPPED. Butter took the hint and napped, too.
I was cautiously optimistic as we ate. As the day progressed, there were ear licks here and there, but, she was pretty much left alone until dinner time. Then, she brought a toy to Buster, and…..they played!!! Hallelujah! Now, here it is Monday. They are currently at my feet, each with a separate toy, enjoying their day. They’ve played in the snow, together, they ate, and everyone is happy.
What happened? I have no idea. Something emotional? Probably. She was never in danger, just annoyed. But, I learned a lot about me and my frantic nature. I also feel grateful that Jesus was so patient with me. He gave me a serious lesson on trust. I am so grateful to have my babies back to normal. Exhausted, but grateful.