Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Feel Like I Gave Birth

to a colicky baby who won't stop crying.  Alvin is just devastated by having to wear a cone.  He is absolutely miserable and stands and cries continuously during all waking hours.  He gets himself upset to the point that he won't sleep when he needs to.  I have been giving him prescribed sedatives but he really hit the wall this afternoon.  I also hit the wall because of sleep deprivation and it is sad and unnerving to hear him cry all the time.  But here's the shocker - Alvin only stops crying if I scratch his chest. I can't tell you how many hours I have spent scratching his chest. After finally taking a break in an effort to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome and not rub him raw, I all of a sudden realized that Alvin is soothed by physical touch, to the point that when I stop he immediately starts crying again.  It's like pressing the play button on a stereo off and on.  But let me say it one more time to make sure you all caught it, Alvin not only tolerates touch but it is a significant comfort to him.  I don't know that any of us could have predicated that one.  With that said, he has to be upset with me for putting him through all of this I am anticipating that once this is over he is going to make a formal request to Camp Cocker for a new foster mom but he is stuck with me until his adoptive home is found.  I almost expect to find posters up in the neighborhood with little paw prints and an urgent request for an adoptive home.

Due to his complete melt down at having to wear a cone, I am either taking him to the vet tomorrow or going to wrap his legs myself so he can't get to his stitches and won't have to wear the cone.  With his last surgery he was sent home with wrapped legs and didn't wear a cone and his former foster mom didn't hear him cry once.  I have never seen a dog react to a cone like he has.  It makes him off balance as though he has a ten pound weight around his neck and he staggers and wobbles around.  If he even slightly brushes against anything he thinks he's stuck and just stands there crying.  I took the cone off him for a bit tonight just to make sure it is the cone causing him so much distress before I went out and bought surgical wraps and supplies,  and he nearly immediately laid down and went to sleep for three hours.

When he woke up this evening I let him out of his pen to go potty and he trotted around the house just so happy.  I let him do a couple of his loops to get it out of his system and I realized how important his little routine is to him.  He looked so happy and relieved, with his little tail wagging.  More than ever before I am seeing that Alvin truly seems to be autistic.  His little ritualized routine doesn't resemble anything of a "normal" dog and it looks very much like the behavior in autistic humans. I guess that would be a turn off to most people but I find it fascinating.  How many people own an autistic dog? I would think it would add to his adoptive value but apparently not.  Their loss.

I ended up putting him in bed with me last night because he was so upset.  I covered the mattress in potty pads and have a plastic mattress protector on.  Later, I noticed he was shivering.  By the way they shaved him he looks like he doesn't have pants on and he gets cold easily and so I wrapped him in my down comforter and he looked like a little cone-wearing angel.  All was so peaceful and I was getting some good sleep until the gardener showed up this morning.  The sight and sound of the gardener sends Timmie into epic barking fits, which then woke up and agitated Alvin.  With Timmie barking, with what can only be described as an ear piercing, glass shattering, soul crushing bark, and then Alvin crying his eyes out, I couldn't take it.  In response, Timmie got sent next door for a stay at grandma's, which he loves because word on the street is that there are all kinds of treats at grandma's house, comprised of turkey, bacon, beef, cheese, and so on.  I am never certain as to what has been given because when I try to intervene as the concerned mom, my mom tells me to never mind and that it is between Timmie and his grandma.  She successfully convinces me that at grandma's house, the grand kids (or dogs) are allowed to be spoiled.  If Timmie catches on that a barking fit results in him getting a trip to grandma's, I am never going to get him to stop. 

Meanwhile Stevie is back to sleeping at Alvin's pen door for periods of time.  My mom suggested I try to put Stevie in with Alvin to see if it would comfort him but by the way he knocks into everything like a drunken sailor, I fear that Stevie would be the first dog beat up by a plastic cone.  Plus, once the treats are gone Stevie will want to get moving.  Alvin does seem a bit comforted by the presence of the dogs at his pen door.  Both the dogs have been very good and gentle with Alvin, especially Timmie.  He is curious as to what is wrong with Alvin and sniffs his back and looks at his head, while remaining very close to Alvin when he goes out to go potty. 

Just as I wrote the above paragraph, Alvin laid back down and appears to be going to sleep.  The only problem is that with the cone he becomes hyper vigilant and pops up at any movement or noise.  This results in me doing everything short of a belly crawl to try to get around undetected.  I have had the phone on silent and when I was reading last night I ended up contorting myself into ridiculous positions in an effort to get in comfortable positions without waking up Sir Whines A Lot. 

There is much more to report but I will close for now in an effort to get some sleep.  This consists of me trying to get Alvin in my bed without getting him all jacked up and crying again.  I don't want to leave him in the x-pen in the living room alone and so I run the risk of starting another cone-wearing, crying fit.  I do not know how new mothers handle the fatigue and agitation of having colicky babies.  One Alvin is enough for me.  And as if on cue, Alvin literally just popped back up and has started crying.  Did I mention what a lovely dog Alvin is and how he would be a wonderful addition to nearly any home?  He is available for adoption immediately but don't all of you start flooding me with demands to be the one special adopter of Alvin.  No really, don't everyone jump up at once.  Alvin's ready to pack him bones, while leaving his cone behind and come to your house immediately, because he thinks I'm kind of a jerk right about now. 

I do hope you all are sleeping well because somebody needs to.  I hope you are all having a whimper free slumber.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Janet !

    You deserve a medal for all you have done - you have truly elevated your karma . I was worried about Alvin when I heard he was going to have surgery - I can only imagine what kind of pain he is in .

    My specialty is /was pediatrics and Alvin sounds just like a child in the hospital .regression to earlier behaviors are commonplace and expected ! I think he will return to his new and improved Alvin as he starts to feel better - and back to normal .

    Your writing is everything I knew it would be .Congrats for that and keep it up . I still think you could have a book in there about all the animals . Animal/ dog books are popular .

    If I lived closer I would come over and relieve you :(