8.13.2012

Howie Is Sick, But It's All About Me

Remember our dog, Howie? Yeah, we have a dog. A dog that has dropped far to the bottom of the list. I've written about Howie on occasion. Not enough, clearly. Howie just isn't my thing anymore. He is Matt's responsibility and that's how it should be, because my plate is overflowing. And sometimes I get a little resentful when he gets in the way. Clearly I am not the poster dog parent these days.
The other day I was working from home and on a call when I started to smell... something. I thought to myself, "No way. This dog never has accidents." I investigated and found the source. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say that clean up was not pretty and it was in the worst possible location in the house... The only room with carpeting and right in the middle of where the kids play.

I considered that he might be sick for a split second and then decided that it was must be a behavior thing... And by behavior I mean: he was punishing me personally. I kept him outside for the rest of the day and grumbled to myself about how mad I was, but thankful that I was working from home and the kids weren't here when I found it. I have no idea how our nanny would have handled it had she been here.

The next morning I'm sleeping until I hear Matt come into the bedroom, "Howie did it again. How should I clean this up?" It wasn't even 6 am yet. Good morning!

Anger launched me out of bed and I told him I would take care of it. Scrubbing dog poop out of your carpet is not something I would recommend while seven months pregnant and/or before coffee. I became convinced it was behavioral. Matt had taken Howie out at 3 am and then again before he got in the shower and Howie struck again. Matt's manager and his assistant were out last week, so working from home wasn't an option for him, which meant I had to work from home and continue with Howie duty.

I turned to the vet (who now thinks I'm totally crazy). I described what was going on to her and her response was: colitis. Here is a picture of our conversation:

Me: "Are you sure? Because I kind of think it's behavioral."

Vet: "No, this doesn't seem behavioral. It can be stress-induced, though."

Me: "Yeah, but, he's given every opportunity to go out and he only does it when I'm home."

Vet: "I think it's an urgency issue and you just happen to be home at the wrong times."

Me: "OK, but, he's choosing to do it in the middle of the kid's play area. I feel like he's choosing the worst possible place on purpose."

Vet: "How about we try some treatment and see how it goes. If this continues we can talk more about it."

Me: "So, you're sure this isn't behavioral? It just feels really personal. I mean, he is fine otherwise."

I think the vet wanted to scream: "Hey lady, this isn't about YOU!" But she remained patient and let me get all neurotic and crazy.

And she was right. Now that Howie has been on special food and is taking medication, he's much better and it's clear the poor dog has colitis. Yeah, I'm pretty much a monster. But, here's the thing: My plate is full. I have two kids under three and am almost seven months pregnant. I work full time, have spent the greater part of the last month working on our house each night, just hired a new nanny...  Right now anything that doesn't go according to plan or is an additional thing for me to deal with is beyond what I can handle without it feeling personal.

Sorry, Howie... But, in the back of my mind I still think you were torturing me.

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