Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Alvin's brush with death

Alvin almost died today and it was all so very unexpected.  If someone were to ask me what would I least expect from Alvin it would have been without a doubt what actually transpired this evening.  My mom and I were watching TV when I heard my mom say in a shocked hush, "look at Alvin."  Her tone was that mother tone I have come to know is signaling that something is very wrong.  I looked over at Alvin and he was proceeding to try to hump Timmie.  No one humps Timmie and lives to tell about it.  I was literally shocked stiff and felt as though I had lost my ability to move and I asked my mom in a breathy whisper, "why would he do that?"  I kept thinking that if I didn't move it might go away and nobody would lose a limb.  In my head I immediately started calculating how I was going to break it to Cathy (the founder of Camp Cocker) that my dog had murdered Alvin and I immediately went to trying to dodge responsibility by reminding myself that Timmie was once a Camp Cocker dog and so I would simply report to her that one of "her" Camp Cocker dogs murdered another Camp Cocker dog.  I figured I would go for broke and attempt to even sound a bit indignant in hopes that that would really throw her off.  But then a miracle occurred that rivalled the parting of the Red Sea because Timmie simply moved away and did nothing.  After being pretty sure that there had just been an incident of divine intervention in my own living room and whispering, God? while looking at the ceiling, I then began to process it all and all I could think was, what in the world was Alvin thinking?  I was thrilled that possibly he actually had a little something in him that wanted to be assertive but after pondering it more I have had to conclude that the only possible way that Alvin would do such a thing was if there was food on Timmie's back.  Alvin will risk life and limb for food but otherwise he is neither insane nor that brave. 

Speaking of brave, Alvin has started to sleep in the bedroom with all of us.  He has been too afraid to let his guard down and sleep too close to us and also I think he is comforted by being in the most open part of the house, which is near the exit to the yard.  I put a bed near my bedroom doorway hoping that would help his need for escape and it worked!  He has started to get in his little bed after everyone else goes to sleep and the lights are out.  Before that Alvin and I are doing our floor work every night and every single night there is progress.  The autistic part of him cannot associate petting with any other room in the house but for now I think we will stick with what seems to be working.  He is able to allow me to scratch more of his body and for longer periods of time.  I found the spot that he simply cannot resist and I think I have nearly scratched it raw but he hasn't complained.

We went to the vet today because Alvin's eyes have been draining and it turns out that he had a yeast infection on his face due to the moisture from his eyes.  He has the condition where his eye lashes are rubbing on his eyes and so he is going to have to have the laser surgery at an eye doctor.  I guess we can add that to his existing fundraising needs of double knee surgery that he also needs.  His knees don't seem to be a source of pain for him so that will wait until we can get the money but his eye surgery is going to have to be done sooner because it is probably irritating to him.  The vet checked out his mouth and everything seems to be in working order but he continues to have a hard time negotiating a lot of different foods and has his tongue out of his mouth a lot and so who knows?  Alvin shook like a little leaf on the examining table because it terrifies him to be up on things and to make it even worse the vet and I had our hands all over him.  While he was shaking I was thinking about how vulnerable this little guys is.  He doesn't bark, he doesn't fight, he doesn't have anything inside of him other than fear, worry, and kindness.  I have never encountered a dog that needs a protector and an advocate more than Alvin.  His vulnerability makes me teary at times because there is something so raw and pure about it.  With that said, I was hoping for a little insight by my vet as to what Alvin's deal is and my vet was fascinated and even came out into the lobby and got on the floor with Alvin.  He tried to give Alvin a little biscuit and he was able to see that Alvin could not break it apart and kept spitting it out and then trying again.  I was waiting for the big insight because I think my vet is particularly insightful about animals and all I got was, "he really is such an odd little guy," in a kind of hushed, amazed tone of voice.  So, Alvin and I decided to take our ball of oddness back home where some of it is starting to make sense to me, although it is so very clear that Alvin finds me to be a bit stupid and often incompetent.  Whatever!

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