Thursday, February 7, 2013

Puppies, Turkey Sandwiches and Adjustment

I’ve been MIA.

Thankfully, it isn’t because Robert is in the hospital or because caregiving duties have become overwhelming.  (Unfortunately, my mother-in-law is in the hospital but that has been a recent development).

The reason for my absence? 

This little guy:

Meet Taz - not usually this still!
We had no intention of adopting a puppy. 

In fact, we had recently claimed a cat that was living on our porch which was enough for me.  We fed him, named him Rambo, got him his shots, neutered him and brought him in to a warm house with other cats.
He hates it. 
Rambo lived on the streets for 18 months and now he’s trapped in a house.  I recently walked in on him trying to climb out a second story window – he was between the glass and the screen and two steps away from flying out the window.  I rescued him but realize how unhappy he is now.

 Rambo isn’t the reason I’ve been MIA, though.  Heck, cats are usually super easy.

Meet Rambo - Not loving the indoors
It’s the puppy.  Taz came to us by way of my daughter.  She works for RedRover which is an animal rescue organization that helps out animals that are displaced during a natural disaster and provides financial assistance for those who need help with urgent veterinary care.  It’s a wonderful organization but it is not a shelter.  Just over a week ago a man came to their office with a puppy he had found roaming a WalMart parking lot.  He couldn’t keep him, the shelters were closed that day and the good-hearted people of RedRover couldn’t turn the animal away. 
I mean, who could resist this face?

Taz came to live with us and it has been quite the adjustment.  He is a bundle of energy and has lived up to his name.  Our middle-aged lab, Oz, wasn’t quite sure what to make of him; after all, he was used to smaller dogs but they were all old and not nearly as energetic as this little guy.
It’s taken a week of adjustments (and realization the little guy wasn’t going anywhere) but Oz is starting to come around (for the most part).  It’s not perfect (yet) but I’m not such a nervous wreck when they’re together (well, maybe just a little bit).

I’m adjusting but it is taking time.  The whole family schedule is completely thrown off and I don’t have near enough computer or relaxation time.  I’ve been so used to old dogs and cats just lazing around while I write or watch television. 
It’s only been a week so there are more adjustments to be made.  I’m hoping to be able to write another blog post in six months or so. J
Robert has only had one day with Taz and it mostly involved Taz trying to steal Robert’s turkey sandwich. 
Robert was not a fan.   
Again, more adjustments are needed. Along with time.
My problem is I am impatient with adjustments but I know they do happen and things work out – in time.  Fitting in taking care of Robert took some adjustment but now we have it down to a routine which only gets thrown off by hospitalizations (we’ve even adjusted pretty well to how seizures throw off the schedule).
A friend of mine wrote a blog post on and shared information about adjustments  written by Lara M. Stepleman, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Georgia Health Sciences University.  Dr. Stepleman was writing about adjusting to a chronic illness but her wisdom applies to any adjustment.  One observation by Dr. Stepleman really hit home with me, “Adjustment doesn’t just happen once, it happens over and over. Few, if any of us, are ever finished adjusting.”
Oz isn’t the only one who needs to adjust to the puppy and his boundless energy.  Robert needs to adjust, I need to adjust, my husband and daughter all need to adjust. 
Not to mention our cats and poor Rambo!
I have faith we’ll adjust and end up with another very happy member of the family (who, hopefully, will eventually realize how wonderful it is to curl up on a blanket and relax).  I have faith Robert will come to love Taz and look forward to having another animal to pet when he visits. 
I’m not quite convinced Rambo will adjust to the benefits of being an indoor cat but we’ll give that some time too or we will find another way to keep him happy. 
In the meantime, I’ll make sure the windows stay closed.   

1 comment:

Kathy Lowrey said...

Trish, you have a heart of gold!
you are definitely Forever a Caregiver to Person, Plant and Animal.
Ok, if I remember rightly you're like me, maybe not so much the plant but you try ;-)

Taz and Rambo sound like bundles of fun.
Actually Rambo sounds like a typical cat.

The adjustments you have all made with your other animals over the years are just that, adjustments over the years. It's funny how something new makes me realize I'm getting more, seasoned(?) in my days.
Change is hard for everyone. Even the fur family members.

I'm sure there is enough love in that household to make those adjustments smoothly. But you might need to keep more turkey meat and bread available ;-)