May 21 2020

Day 66: Morning Sickness

Published by at 8:57 pm under Coronavirus Journal

Once again, I was nauseated this morning after awakening and as I made final preparations for Dusty’s arrival. Perhaps I’m pregnant?

I take some solace, in my hour of need, in the reassurance of friends. Ma reminds me that, in the unfortunate situation that Dusty and I are not a good fit, I have two weeks to bring her back. In response to my query, Am I insane to be doing this, Cheryl wrote, It’s s big commitment so that’s why it feels crazy but that doesn’t mean it is!

I’ve had several dogs in my life. Not all have worked out. Two were just too hyper, and one snapped at Molly when she was a toddler. But my beloved Otis was great, as was Stella before I gave her to Ma. My sister Kate named both of them. So I asked her for ideas again as well. She suggested Bessie or Nettie. Actually, I think Bessie could work.

But I’m not getting to the story. Elana was generous enough to go with me again to Rio Vista to pick up Dusty. If Elana hadn’t been there, the ride home would have been gnarly. Elana and Dusty were in the back seat and, while Elana was sitting like a model passenger, Dusty got up and toppled over and looked out the window and lay down and stood up and toppled over.

When we arrived at my door, Dusty was confounded by the front stairs, but proceeded up bravely anyway.

Now we’re home. I feel as though I have a baby again. No wonder I have morning sickness. Ever since we got back, around 2:00 this afternoon, I’ve been watching over the dog every second, making sure she doesn’t pee in the house. Shortly after we returned from our one-hour journey home from the Delta, I put the leash on her and we took a walk by Vicki’s house where my friends, from a long and masked distance, got to see her. She stopped to sniff at every tuft of grass, and then I’d drag her on down the road.

A couple people, including Vicki’s mother, have pointed out that “Dusty” is the same color as my hair. Well, the same color as the fake part of my hair. If she matched the roots, then Ember’s idea of “Silver” would have been perfect.

When we returned from our walk, Dusty totally disregarded the crate and instead headed under my bed (as my Otis used to do) and found a home on my meditation pillow.

She spent several hours there, until she reluctantly emerged at my urging. For the first time, we went out on the back porch and down the steps into the back yard. She sniffed and dug (which I stopped) and explored, and then when it was time to come back upstairs, she balked. She climbed a few steps and then totally freaked out and backed herself down to the bottom before running off into the yard. I’m positive she’s never seen stairs before. So I was stuck down there with her, with no idea how to get her back up. I tried grabbing her collar and pulling her, but she strongly objected. Finally it occurred to me that I could get the leash and bring her around to the less-onerous front steps. That worked. But that means I’ll be out in my front yard in my bathrobe at ungodly hours of night and morn until she stops being afraid.

Tonight I took her for a walk around the block. After we returned, she immediately came in and peed on the rug in the spare bedroom before I could stop her. I’d asked the foster if she’d had any accidents, which she hadn’t, so I guess she saved it for me. Grrrrrrrr. That’s not okay. I know this must be a huge adjustment for her, but please: don’t do that again. Because of her recent trauma, I didn’t want to yell at her, but I really wanted to yell at her. What was she thinking?

I’m so stretched mentally that I made a big mistake tonight. I put some green beans on to steam and forgot about them, on account of keeping an eye on the dog. I burned the crap out of the pan.

At Mom’s suggestion, I posted on Nextdoor with a request for a good vet and petsitter. I got a ton of responses, which was fabulously helpful. And then there was a touching answer from a woman named Marci who wrote to offer the name of her dog-care person and to give me her number in case I had any dog questions. I wrote back thanking her. In her reply, she once again encouraged me to call her with questions, and then went on to say that, tomorrow, she has to put her beloved dog to sleep. How amazing is that, that someone going through such an agonizing time would still offer help to a total stranger? Man, I love stuff like that.

Dusty shortly before she peed on my rug

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Day 66: Morning Sickness”

  1. Molly says:

    I am so SICK and tired of you getting pregnant all the time.

    What an adventure all around! She’s very cute under your bed. I hope she gets less frightened of stairs as she gets less overwhelmed/overstimulated by change. I love her little eaaaarsss, as I might have said seventeen times before.

    That’s so touching about Marci. The bonds of pet owners!

  2. marianna says:

    arnold had never been on stairs before he came to our house. he had no trouble coming up because we were up there. but going down, my oh my! halfway down he would take a huge leap. i thought he had killed himself. so it was stressful every time he came upstairs. we finally put a bed at the bottom so he would land softly. then i put the leash on him and we went up and down. after a few days with the bed we were able to remove it and he turned into a stair master.
    good luck ginna. perhaps put a leash on her to go upstairs or just wait her out, my guess is she will come eventually.

  3. Ma says:

    The stairs could be scaring her — or actually hurting her tummy. Try a treat placed on every third step and go up with her === slowly.

    Excuse the peeing, with a gentle “Oh, no” — she is probably as wrought up as you are!

  4. Genevieve Halkett says:

    I also thought about the treats on the stairs.
    And I’m guessing the pee was anxiety. Baby steps. And just imagine the horror of the squirrels when they spy her.

  5. marianna says:

    one of the comments reminds me of ernie we had for a couple of days to give him a break from the shelter. he had just been neutered. and i couldn’t understand why he had such a hard time going down the stairs. now i know and perhaps her recent surgery is causing the hesitation.

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