Sunday, March 06, 2016

Critter Update

The vet left a voicemail yesterday: Sophie's test results came back and she has no intestinal infections, parasites, whatevers that could be causing her diarrhea. Somehow, I'm not surprised. I'm glad I wasted $200 eliminated that as a possibility. Now we have to look elsewhere, and the elsewhere I'm still thinking is psychological. This runny poop started when Murphy died, and has continued off and on (but mostly on) ever since. I'm honestly starting to think that Sophie has developed a nervous tummy from being on her own all day while I'm at work. Think about it: she was born into a show breeder household and grew up surrounded by other Bostons. (She didn't really like that and wasn't getting enough attention, which is how she became mine at a year old.) She has never been on her own, or in charge. She's a peaceful little follower, not assertive. She adjusted very easily to her new family. Murphy was already fighting his disease when she joined the family, but he was energetic and very much her alpha dog. Now he's gone and she's on her own all day while I'm at work, and though she cuddles with mommy every evening and we take long walks, etc., I know it's hardly the same. I know she plays with her toys during the day, because her stuffed animals are rearranged every evening when I get home, but it's a lonely life for the little girl.

I'm considering adopting another pet, but it's a really tough decision. Sophie is pretty much perfect. She's smart and well behaved, and I never have to think about whether she'll get bored or frightened and react by chewing something up. I don't have to crate or gate or otherwise restrict her, she has the run of the house all the time. I think about bringing in a stranger, and just don't know if I want to cope with that "getting to know you," stage. I'm basically spoiled by living with Sophie and am not sure I want to take on a new dog. I really don't want to come home to be greeted by, "Hi, there was a really big thunderstorm! It was really dark and noisy and I was really scared, and well, I kinda...chewed off the arm of the couch. Sorry!" I also don't have a block of time I could take off to spend on getting to know a new dog. If I take a week off this summer, I'd like to spend it on visiting the granddaughters I rarely get to see! So the only way I would feel okay with bringing in a new dog would be from a foster situation, where the foster parent can (if only they will) tell me the straight scoop on fears, quirks, etc.

And then there's the cat option. Cats aren't likely to eat the arm off the couch in a storm, but they are not without issues of their own. A bored cat is a gravity-testing cat. When Boris and Natasha lived, I couldn't have anything on any flat surface - if they could push it, they would. A plant eating cat. If I received fresh flowers I had to hide them in the bathroom and shut the door whenever I left the house. An "Oops, my fat ass just knocked the lamp off the end table," cat. Cats aren't as graceful as their PR claims. I've had cats all my life, I know they aren't as easy and low-maintenance as cat people would like you to believe. And then there's the litterbox location issue, and as I've mentioned before, this condo doesn't have any great options. The hall bathroom is really the only choice, which can lead to the delightful situation (again, this is personal experience talking) of sitting down to dinner in the dining room and Fluffy decides it's a great time to take a massive poop a few feet away in the hall bath. Yeah. No.

So until I can talk myself into and figure out a way to identify the perfect new addition to the household, I have to work entertaining Sophie into my evenings in a more deliberate way. She needs more attention and more play. She told me the solution the other night. Yoga. I've vowed to do yoga more regularly in March, and Sophie says, "Let's do yoga every night, mom!" Seriously, she knows the word yoga. The other evening I told her (of course I talk to her!) that I was going to change my clothes to do yoga, and she lit up and ran to get Cow. I do yoga, and play fetch with her at the same time. It's a fairly informal and very personal yoga practice, but we both get a lot of out of it. She tires after about half an hour and is then content to just hang out next to me, kissing me whenever I'm within reach.

We've been doing this for a few days now, and hmmm...the liquid poop has stopped. It's not 100% normal yet, and yeah, it could be entirely coincidental, but there you have it. I've taken her off the prescription food from the vet, as it appeared to make absolutely no difference at all to the poop results, and put her on a quality limited ingredient food, which so far (knocking wood) appears to be helping and is far more palatable. I'm hoping a combination of "doing yoga" every day and this new food will bring stability to her tummy issues. Time will tell....

P.S.: This morning's walk? Normal poop. Another benefit of a regular yoga practice - it regulates the dog's colon. ;-)


wednesday said...

Awww, she is a jewel, isn't she? Both of you feeling better because of yoga, that's an endorsement.

Brenda said...

My ex and I bought my first Yorkie together and she went through the same thing when he moved out. I can't imagine why she would ever miss the Rat Bastard, but she apparently did. (?) Eventually, we both got over it.

KatyaR said...

Glad to hear Sophie's better. I have to play kickball with Basie when I'm doing my Leslie Sansone videos. Unfortunately, he never tires out like his mamma, he's like the Everready Bunny!

besshaile said...

I think you nailed this