This is the oath of all social workers, therapists, and a bunch of other people. There are times when one can't help, but at the very least one must not harm. This was ringing in my ears on the way home from our failed attempt of going to the dog park today. I decided that we would give the dog park another try and I brought out the leash and Alvin readily accepted it - good sign. He did not want to get into the car but I hoped that if we took a bunch of car rides that ended up at the dog park he would start to get over his recent car trauma. I had to stop off at the bank, which is on the way to the dog park for a very quick errand. I came to realize that the only thing worse for Alvin than being in a car is to be in a car alone. I couldn't have been gone for more than two minutes but I returned to find Alvin quivering and panting more than ever before. I drove quickly to the dog park only to discover that apparently Tuesday is the day the dog park is closed. I went into damage control trying to figure out how to make this clearly traumatic car ride worth it to him. I couldn't think of a darn thing that would make the situation better so I drove home, took everyone out of the car and walked them around the neighborhood, which isn't much of a treat and if Alvin has any analytical skills he quickly realized that there was no need to drive in the car to walk around the neighborhood. I am going to give the dog park another try tomorrow but who knows if Alvin will have any part of the car tomorrow.
When preparing to go to the dog park I decided not to put the Adopt Me bandanna on him because his eyes make him look freaky and ill. Cathy at Camp Cocker repeatedly told me that the surgery would temporarily remove the pigment on his eyelids and that he would look weird. She repeated this warning several times and because Cathy isn't a woman to repeat things I knew at the time that chances were good that he was going to look odd. It was only today that the pigment really changed and I woke up to a dog with goopy, running eyes, and pink eyelids. He looks a bit odd but more than anything it makes him look ill as though he has some rare tropical disease. I decided this might not be the look we want to sport while trying to find an adoptive home for him. I am just going to try to dodge any steely stares I might get from fellow dog owners that think I have brought my sick dog to socialize with their healthy dogs. I would just wait it out but apparently the pigment will not come back for a few months. So now I am going to have to try to find a home for a dog that needs double knee surgery, pink eyelids, and circles grooves into the floor. Luckily I like challenges. Alvin actually has a perfect person who would devote her whole life to him but she lives in a rent-controlled apartment and the landlord won't allow dogs. It isn't an issue of just moving when she has a place where rent is significantly lower than in the rest of terribly expensive California so I am trying to figure out how we can disguise Alvin as a kid, a statue, a stuffed animal, or anything else that gets around that no dog policy. It certainly makes me appreciate my landlord who told me when I moved in that they love animals and were very supportive of allowing me to have pets in their home. What I appreciate even more is that they remodeled the house and knowing that I was the one moving in and that I was an animal lover, chose to put down tile through most of the house instead of carpet......I sing their praises every time Alvin gets a bit mixed up and goes to the bathroom just a foot from the wrong side of the door. Apparently what side of the door to be on can be a very confusing ordeal. Speaking of that issue, I have been so pleased with how well Alvin has done with house training. In his last foster home he went potty in the house all the time for the first month and in preparation for that I closed the one carpeted bedroom door and didn't let him into the only other room with carpet but he has really been exceptional and the only accidents has been on the tile and for the most part he remembers which side of the door to go on. I have been able to keep the door shut sometimes when it's been particularly cold and I have learned that when Alvin does a particular loop, which looks a bit frantic that he needs to go potty.
Now if I could only remember to look at the schedule for the dog park and not terrorize him with a car ride only to end up walking him around his own neighborhood. Clearly Alvin could benefit from his own blog writing about incompetent foster parents and the patience required to deal with their issues and failures. Now that would be a blog worth reading!