For those of you who missed the announcement on Facebook, I’m a new mommy to fifteen-year-old Gingy. As you can see she’s gorgeous, and the intelligence in her eyes doesn’t lie! My friend Carol found her wandering near the train station in Hyde Park about seventeen days ago. She’s mostly deaf and has cataracts, arthritis, and a couple of other age-related issues, but she’s as spunky as a puppy. For that alone, I named her Gingy after my mom.
We’ve had our adjustment issues. Between my arthritis and her confusion, she’s been peeing and pooping on my rug, shunning puppy pads, yet continues to enjoy our short walks on the relief plan that has served her all her young years, she still has more to do when we’re done. I’m finding it easier to follow her a little longer each day, but we need to find sitting places along the way. I suspect her enjoyment in wrapping the leash around my legs (and everyone else’s) is more than her quirky sense of humor, but I’m not ruling that out as her favorite parlor trick.
On advice, I got a flower essence thought to relieve feelings of abandonment and abuse and put two drops of it on the back of my hand. She came right to it and smelled it gently. She walked away and came back to it. Encouraged, I transferred it to my palms and rubbed it into her head and shoulders. As I prepared to go lower, she shook her head and walked away. I thought vaguely about her sore hips and let it go. By the next day, she seemed to feel much closer to me.
And then there’s her pills. The pain pill tastes so awful, that she nips around every blind I offer her by hand, shaving the good stuff away and leaving the pill. We’ve tried everything: dog food meatballs, hamburger meatballs, peanut butter, cream cheese, three flavors of pill pockets, and crushing them and squirting them with water or putting them in veg capsules. Once upon a time, she’d take her antibiotic, now she avoids all pills. For you no-nonsense dog trainers oral surgery has made opening her mouth and shoving them in a non-option. Quite the picky eater, she most enjoys her plain beef stir-fry with rice and seems to enjoy it when I share her repast.
I thought we were doing pretty well up ’til now. Despite all our adjustments we’ve managed to bond. Yesterday, I woke to find her sleeping on my sweatshirt!
Our trauma started yesterday with three whole walks (a record), a trip to the vet to consult on the meds, and get her butt shaved. After a trip to the pet store for a humane harness, she came home and lay down in the kitchen, happy, but exhausted. Dozing on and off, she chewed around her pills and listened to my discussions about her with my neighbor Tammy a pet adoption lady which lasted the well into the night. Gingy slept peacefully.
Nine a. m. rolled around and she was still lazing in the kitchen, alternating sleep with a dazed look. I was used to her falling asleep in the hallway where she can be aware of the whole place. I was also used to her waking up much earlier. I offered her half of her glucosamine treat, which she took with what I hoped was her accustomed gentleness. When she set it down, licked it and laid down her head facing away from it, I was concerned. Well, more like terrified. At one point, she ate it as if trying to please me. So, I called the vet and woke the adoption lady. Nothing more tenuous than a canine who won’t eat.
When Tammy got here, we covered Gingy’s shivering body with my sweatshirt and tried everything to spark some interest in food. Suddenly, it occurred to me that when I bent over her and rubbed her head, the aroma of the flower essence of two days earlier reasserted itself. And when I smelled it, it diffused immediately into my mouth and tasted really bad. That felt like a clue.
With more facility for sitting on the floor, Tammy washed Gingy’s head and back with warm water and gave her a rub down with a dry towel. Then, we wrapped a towel straight from the dryer over her. A few moments later, her head came up and she was smiling with that expression that makes everyone want to hug her. She wobbled to her feet and walked around a little. So I tried the other half of the glucosamine treat. She snarfed it up!
As she still refused the lamb/rice prescription food with, at the vet’s suggestion, Gerber’s sweet potatoes, I stirred up some hamburger in a skillet. Of course, she inhaled that, too! Frisky again, she jumped around the living room begging for treats and, I thought, perhaps, a romp in the sloshy snow.
I turned away to call Tammy and Gingy came running back in the room and turned my attention to the pool of pee on the puppy pad. That got her a treat and a cuddle and lots of verbal yays! A moment later, there was a giant poop on another pad!
After all she’d been through, we sent her for a spa-day for a warm bath and blow-dry at a local groomer. Styling a soft, blonde fluffy-do, she had two short walks and met Tammy’s gorgeous Pom, George. Gingy was a bit shy with her new friend, but they got along well.
Now, she’s sacked out on of her favorite spots having happy dreams. Just as I thought I’d join her, Tammy knocked on my door. She had called a canine foster mother who cares for elderly pups and had exciting, surprising, and slightly disturbing news. Being elderly, Gingy will be sleeping a lot. She just may not feel like eating right away. In fact, she’s chubby enough, that she can go two days without eating. With her arthritic hips, she should not go for long walks. In fact, the puppy pads are just what she needs!
The cost for finding this absolute jewel of a companion is that I risk become the mad old woman whose floors are lined with puppy pads, sitting alone most of the day with a sleeping pup, eating hamburger and rice from an Orgreenic pan. A fair price.