// June 6th, 2010 // 2 Comments » // Animals
5 months I met Dodger and after just a few hours with him, I knew that I wanted very much to keep him. From the time Phillip sent me his picture I thought he was cute little dog, but after he arrived I fell in love with him. After being with him for a few hours I knew I wanted very much to keep him. Later that week when I met with Phillip again to get some extra food for him, I told Phillip I wanted to keep him. I had no idea how saying I want to keep him would change my life.
Dodger and I bonded pretty fast and since then our bond has gotten so much stronger. When I first got him he went with me every where. At the time I had a car, so this was easy for me to do, but when the car broke down Dodger sometimes needed to stay at home alone. He didn’t like the change too much and he started using the bathroom on the apartment. I reached out to Phillip and he asked the trainer what I should do and soon I had some suggestions.
Many people told me to place him in a kennel why I was away, but I just could not bring myself to put him one. Since my bathroom is a good size, I would pull everything out when I needed to be gone and I would place him in there. After about two weeks of doing this and giving him some positive reinforcement and praise when he used the bathroom outside, he was back on schedule and I no longer have to put him in the bathroom. Well not as much. He sometimes has his moments where he forgets.
I know I love Dodger with all my heart, he makes me laugh and he is just such a sweet dog and he always seems to know when I am not feeling well or when I have had a rough day. When my Sickle Cell causes me to stay in bed, Dodger is right there next to me doing what he can to make me feel better. I don’t know how and I am sure people will think I am being silly, but Dodger seems to know what I am not feeling well and in these times is when he does silly little things to make me laugh or he will lay right next to me when I am in bed. He likes my face and when I open my eyes he’s looking right at me as if he is saying “It will be alright”
When I left for Washington DC I had no clue I would cry the way I did. My best friend picked him up and he was all packed and ready to go. He jumped into the truck and I closed the door. He turned and saw I was not getting in and went to the other side to try to get out. He began to bark at me through the window that sounded like “don’t leave me” My heart broke and I went upstairs so I would be ready when my ride got there. As soon as I closed me door the tears stated falling and then I let out this loud moan and I said “I miss you Dodger”
For the first time since getting him my apartment was empty and that just didn’t feel good. Even though I knew this was only for a few days, seeing him that way in the truck and then not having him greet me when I walked in the door was a bit much for me. In this moment I knew just how much Dodger means to me. Now I have had dogs before, but there is just something different about Dodger. I many ways he is like me when I was homeless and now like me he has a home. Like me he has awesome people in his life who love him so much. So I guess you can say that we are both formerly homeless.
Everyone tell me that I take such great care of him and in many ways I’ve spoiled him so much because I love him so much. I let him do his own thing and he has free run of the house. When people come over then need to adjust to him because this is his home and they are the guests. People need to know that he has places he likes to sit and they need to deal with that. If they cant, then don’t come over.
When we go to PETCO I let him pick his own toys, but putting them on the ground and if he plays with them a time then those are the ones he gets. He loves ducks and bears. He also has a few other toys, but the ducks and bears are the ones he likes to play with the most.
Two days ago I noticed a change in his poop. It started looking and feeling hard and last night it was very dry. Today after our morning walk I noticed that he didn’t even make a poop and then again in the afternoon he didn’t make a poop, but the late after noon walk he made a poop, but this time it was like hard rocks and when I pressed it between my fingers it was like balls of dry dirt.
Now Dodger has been drinking water and there have been no changed to his food. He also wasn’t acting like anything was wrong, but I knew his poop should not be like balls of dry dust. I called my friend Jacque and she asked me if he was drinking water and I said yes. She asked if I had changed his food and I said no, but after I hung up from her I remember that he did eat the dog food at my nieces house and that first night he got into the trash and ate some bones.
When we finished our walk I took off her harness just like I always do, but this time I wanted to check to see if I pulled the skin on the back on his neck if it would bounce right back into shape. If it didn’t this would be a sign of dehydration. Well the skin didn’t bounce right back, so this told me that needed to get him to drink more water. I could also get him some wet dog food, pour some fat free and no salt chicken broth over his dry food or even get him some non-flavored pedialyte.
Since today was Sunday and many times he gets a treat for dinner I went to the store and got him a can of wet dog food and some chicken broth for his dry dog food. Dodger was so happy to get wet dog food and I was happy to see him gobble it all down. I was able to get him to drink some water out of my hand instead of his bowl.
I took him out for his last walk at 10:30PM and I was so happy to see that his poop was starting to look better. It is still dry, but there was a shine to it and right before we got back home he went again and it was getting back to normal. I am sure by tomorrow his poop will be back to normal.
Right now my little man is sleeping in his favorite place. He was next to me until I moved the laptop in front of me. He always looks at peace when he is sleeping and he really loves to kick it on the back of the sofa.