I weakened (sort of)

So having thought I would say no to seeing Bd for one final goodbye my resolve weakened. I didn’t want to look back in years to come and know I didn’t take advantage of spending every moment I could with him. It sounds stupid but I didn’t want to know that in the end I turned down even 5 minutes of time with him. So I told my ex a final goodbye walk would be nice, I wouldn’t take him over night but just spend a final hour cuddling with him, smelling his paws, and trying to embed every moment of Bd in my memory forever.

But we had to have a conversation to organise that, and his holier than thou “I am doing all of this for your own good” attitude got on my wick and so he was preaching about how good for me this was, and how hard on him I snapped and told him exactly what I thought of him.

I told him No, this sudden ban on seeing Bd was nothing to do with me. (Whether his excuse of his new woman being upset I was on the scene is true or not I can’t tell you) but this sudden change of heart now wasn’t anything to do with me. Anyone with half a brain can see I am well over him, getting into her bed 8 weeks after getting out of mine kinda turned off any remaining feelings I may have had. The hurt of what he did to me, that’s still very much with me, but any want to get back with him…. Plus I wasn’t the one manipulating situations so we had to continue to see each other, finding crappy excuses to drop Bd off at mine rather than letting me collect him from the garden, being in the f’in garden and coming out to say hi when I was able to collect Bd from the garden. I was the one who wanted to set up a rota and ideally never speak to each other ever again. I wasn’t the one in the ‘bad place, still hanging on’.

So I called him out and told him that “he had used me and how at least I knew now everything he ever said to me was utter bull.” That was it; no threats, no over reacting just a very measured response.

He went mental and vetoed me saying one final goodbye.

(Which just as a side note, never allowed to see Bd again as you think it was too hard on me but actually you had no problems with me coming round the house, picking him up and having him over night for one final time – who wants to bet he had plans and needed a dog sitter?)

After his little mental outburst I remained calm, and asked his permission to donate to charity the stuff I had for Bd at my house. Might sound silly but I wanted his permission now cause if not I can see him getting in contact in a month and asking where X was, or did I know what had happened to Y. Which is something I am keen to avoid! He responded saying that would be ok, and so I closed the conversation with a “Good Bye” There was nothing else to say. I had only maintained contact so I could see Bd, so I thought Good Bye kinda finished it off.

A few minutes passed then I received from him:

You will probably spit feathers for me saying this but I honestly wish you all the best in your new job and whatever the future brings you”

Did I ever mention I was dating a saint? I don’t know how to break this but I don’t care. I don’t want your good wishes, I want less than nothing to do with you. So I responded with the slightly juvenile, but very much needed

“That’s where you are very much mistaken. I stopped caring or having any reaction to anything you said an awfully long time ago!”

I’ve heard nothing since. I feel strange. There have been tears – so many tears. I miss Bd every second, and I know I will look out for him wherever I go. For the last few days seeing dog walkers out and about has been hell. But I also feel free. I am finally completely out of reach of my ex, no biting my tongue so I can keep seeing Bd, no reasons for him to drop around or manipulate situations so I saw him. I am finally completely and utterly free of that Jack ass – just wish it had been because he had been hit by a car rather than the reason being he took my dog.

Bd and I last year. I am going to miss him soooo much!!
Bd and I last year. I am going to miss him soooo much!!
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It’s a No

That is it. The verdict is in and he has told me I am not allowed to see Bd any more.

He has however very kindly offered me one last goodbye, but I don’t think I can. I don’t know how I look into his eyes and know I will never see him again.

So I am going to say no. I don’t know if I will regret not having a final goodbye. But I’m just not strong enough!

I suddenly feel very alone

It’s strange but now that I am facing up to the very real chance of loosing Bd forever, I suddenly feel very alone!

I don’t know why, but I long to be back closer to my friends and family, and I am starting to worry if buying my little house and making a place for me away from them was actually a huge mistake. My house no longer feels like my home; and although I have Poppy to come home to I am wishing I didn’t have my house.

There is still no news on whether or not I am going to be allowed to see Bd again. I would like to think that he is giving it some really thought, but I know better than that. He’s too much of a coward and is waiting for another text from me to ask if he has made his mind up yet.

I am expecting him to say no. I am expecting to never see, or cuddle or stroke Bd again.

I won’t go and say goodbye. I have already decided that that will be too hard (although whether or not I will change my mind when I know 100% that it will be my very last chance, I am not sure.) I left him in his garden, with his dinner with a quick head rub and a shout of I love you over the fence. No long goodbye, just a see you later. I was stressed about being on time for work on my second day…

Had I know it would be the last time, I don’t know how I would have left. How I would have walked away! I was a little prepared for this, and so I did spend the week I had with him focusing on soaking up every moment. I kissed him, and cuddled him, and smelt him hoping that that would be enough to keep him in my memory forever.

I know the decision hasn’t been made yet… But I am not hopeful.

For the last few months I have been dealing with the fact that dogs aren’t around for long enough. The fact we outlast them is so… sucky. With Mity being ill before Christmas I was very aware of their mortality. With my ex being an ass I have been trying to figure out exactly how long I would have to put up with him in my life; how long Bd would live for.

But to have him taken from me… that’s too soon. It was always going to be too soon, but this is just so cruel.

I hate my ex. I hate him for every lie he told; for every promise he broke. I hate him for taking 8 weeks to get out of my bed and into someone elses. I hate him for making me fall in love with him, for allowing me to give him my heart and then brush it aside so carelessly. But when I had Bd I forgot about all that. I didn’t care about the hurt, the heartache cause out of all that rubbish he had given me Bd and he was worth it. Bd was worth it.

Now that Bd is gone (or going) hate doesn’t feel a strong enough word!

You guys have given me a kick up the ass!

My wobble had me self-wallowing. I was back in the woe is me camp, do I want me ex back, how could he leave train of thought and then I opened my blog and saw your comments. I have to admit to the comments not being the comments I wanted. I wanted you all to join me in telling anyone who would listen that I couldn’t possibly let Bd go, that I could get over the ex and keep having Bd in my life, with a few verses of he’s an idiot thrown in for good measure.

You see I had thought being animal lovers you would all side with me about not letting go of Bd. That you would support me in the ‘woe is me’ pity party I am throwing for myself. Hell, I hoped some of you would even provide food and drink.

However you didn’t. You were completely honest and forced me to admit that if I want to keep Bd in my life I am going to have to prove people wrong. I have to stand firm, against the crowd in my belief that I can do this and this has given me a very hard kick up the ass.

I am going to have to focus on myself. Stop negative trains of thoughts that have me yearning for the past before they take hold. If I want to keep Bd, I am going to have to fight hard to prove you all wrong. To prove that it is capable…

And now I have something to fight for. Something to be strong about. When the negative thoughts come I can stop them knowing that if I don’t I will have to loose Bd or face alienating people; you are all so lovely, but I know the day will come when you will get sick of offering advice and me not taking it! I know I would.

So I want to say thank you. Thank you for not being my chorus of ‘yes men’ thank you for being honest with me, and thank you for helping me find an inner strength.

I’ll keep you posted on how I get on ;0)

Do I have enough love?

I’m an idiot. I have had a small panic that letting poppy into my life has somehow lessoned the love I have available for Bd and Mity. I don’t know what has brought it on. But I was worried, would I get board of BD, would I resent having the two of them together?

I think part of this panic was brought on by a conversation I had with my counsellor. Knowing the ex is going away on our holiday with his new squeeze brought on tears and it upset me as I thought I had officially finished crying over him. She asked me how different my life would be if I didn’t have BD. If I had completely made the cut, and had no contact with the ex. No seeing him whenever he decides he wants to see me* no jumping when he says how high.

The problem is I promised him. I promised him I would walk out on him and I can’t break that promise. I don’t want the ex to force me to break that promise. My counsellor made the good point that Bd won’t know after all he ‘just a dog’ (although as a dog lover herself she did say she knows that isn’t actually the case) but I will know. I will know I broke my promise to him. I will know I walk away.

But it is hard. Having the ex dangle me on a lease well it makes me hate him. I sometimes wonder if he knows that when Bd is no more I am done. I will be walking out that door never to see or hear from him again. But until then I am a little at his beck and call, and that could be for the next 10 years…

I don’t want Poppy to be the reason I suddenly find it easier to walk away from BD. Now I have a replacement all of my own… I don’t want to be that person who left. He sat with me while I sobbed alone and heartbroken when things got bad with the ex. He walked up to me and licked my tears away when I had no-one else to do it. He was the reason I got out of bed when the times were hard. He cuddles with me on the settee when I am alone in my house. He looks after me when I am ill and makes me laugh when I want to cry.

I don’t want to walk away.

I don’t want Poppy to make it easier to walk away. I owe him so much.

 

*Sometimes when I pick up BD he will have to be there to discuss stuff with me. Usually it is nothing and I have no idea why he refuses to just tell me over text. But Bd is his dog and so if he says jump….

 

Can I just bury my head and run away?

Long-time readers will know I have a dog with fear aggression. Having a dog with these issues was relatively new to me, and was something I was determined to work on when I moved in with the ex and BD. The day he was racing around with other collie dogs, playing and ignoring a puppy who was clearly trying to get some sort of reaction, was the happiest day of my life. It was also the day before I moved out of the house I shared with the ex.

Now I live in my own house and (unless the ex is away) I have BD one night a week and when I have him I like to go for a ‘proper’ walk; in the hills, miles from anyone. It is perfect. The problem is on these walks it is only him and me.

We don’t encounter other people. We don’t encounter other dogs.

This means I have lost my doggie reading skills and along with BD being attacked last year, this has made me very nervous when I see other dogs out and about.

Mity loves other dogs. He would leave our side and bound across fields to go and say hello to the dog he saw in the distance; and no amount of calling, running in the other directions or promise of treats would do anything to distract him from saying hello. This is something he has never grown out of and now it is only the fact that his eyesight is poor meaning he can’t see the other dog that stops him.

So if I see a dog with BD I panic that the approaching dog with be a ‘Mity dog’. I know panicking is not the thing to do. I try not to. I try my best to hide this concern from BD, but the panic in the pit of my stomach will not go away.

When I was living with BD I worked so hard with him, hence the playing with the puppies. We tried agility. We walked where other dogs were. I had him with Mity (which still happens occasionally) I read books, searched online, stalked pet bloggers… but now I am not it is harder to work with him; especially considering I spend a lot more time walking none responsive Mity.

Now when I see a dog in the distance regardless of who I am walking I freeze. I look for escape route and run walk briskly in that direction.

Here’s the thing. BD is perfectly happy on a walk with me. So long as he has his tennis ball he genuinely could not give a dam whether or not there is another dog. In fact he may prefer that there isn’t. Mity and BD can be walked together, and have been often where they just ignore each other. BD is a little bit of a pain on a lead and will bark at another dog. I don’t leave the house without BDs muzzle and if I see another dog in the distance, the muzzle goes on. He is never put in a position where he can hurt another dog. He is never put in a position where he needs to feel threatened by another dog.

Reading about BDs fear aggression I was advised not to avoid dogs. It makes it worse when you run into them. But when I only have him for two walks a week, and I have tactics to deploy if we do meet a dog, am I being selfish not taking time to actively work on this and relying instead on evasive actions?

He’s not friendly.

On this mornings walk I ended up screaming “he’s not friendly” at two different dog walkers. In both incidents it was their dog who had decided to cross the field, and leave their owner to come and say hi to BD. BD was quite happily ignoring them and to be honest the only thing on his mind was “throw my ball, throw my ball, throw my ball.”

It was after the first ‘incident’ that I realised I was doing BD a massive disservice by screaming this about him… in the style of a loon… at other dog walkers. He isn’t ‘not friendly’; he’s cuddly and caring, he has a killer smile, brilliant personality, goes out of his way to cheer me up (now I see why people chose dogs over men) and greats me like he hasn’t seen me in years every time I see him. He would beat Mity in a friendly dog test by a mile, with both paws tied behind his back.

In fact the only time he isn’t friendly is when an off lead dogs come running at him, gets in his face and refuses to pick up on his “leave me the heck alone” signals. Then he gets scared and reacts; and the key would is he gets scared. If he can walk around the dog and get away then ‘touch wood’ he does not react. It is only when he feels trapped that he lashes out. Is it ok that he lashes out – No! But is it fully his fault…?

I feel like I am doing BD a massive disservice every time “He’s not friendly” leaves my lips. But what do I say instead, as awful as it sounds nothing else I can think of causes the ‘panic’ in the other owner quite in the same way. If I shout any other warning I generally get back “but mines ok” and that just doesn’t cut the mustard. Do I care if your dog is friendly? Not really. I care that your friendly dog is going to scare my timid dog and as a result his training is set back months. My nerves are put a little more on edge and we take a few more steps back, slowly inching forwards until another ‘friendly’ dog, another incident.

I know what it’s like having an overly friendly dog. If we ever took Mity onto a field he would scope it out to find out who he could say hello to, and he has covered lengths of fields trying to get to another dog to play. I know it is hard work. I know that despite months of training some dogs will just say hello.  We were very fortunate that on only a handful of occasions did this ‘greeting’ turn out badly. Generally Mity would drop to the floor a few meters from the other dog and always rolled over as soon as the other dog approached him. But if ever this happened we would be on it. (I know some of you will roll your eyes as this is breaking dog training rules)  but if he put his head down and ran generally me, my sister and  my dad would all take off in hot persuit after him, screaming like loons trying to distract him and encourage him to come back and join us. Did it work? Not always. Did we try? Every single time.

Yet the people I met this morning didn’t. They didn’t seem to care that I spent the entire time I was within their eye sight purposefully keeping my dog and me as far away from them as possible. They didn’t notice that there was always (until their dog took off) me in-between their dog and BD. Nope they didn’t pick up on anything until I screamed “He’s not friendly.”

I worry BD is going to get a stigma. I don’t want people to judge him without knowing him. I don’t want to be ‘the woman with the unfriendly do’ but actually if that keeps their dogs away from mine, and BD safe. For the first time in my life I genuinely don’t care what people think. I will step up and be whatever the label needs to be to keep my boys safe!

Causing Extra Stress

I have (possibly) had a break through moment, but dear friends I would very much value your thoughts, opinions and two cents on this matter.

Recently  I have been thinking a lot about BDs fear aggression. Following on from his attack he has been doing ok with dogs, although he did go for Mity the other day. They are both fine. BD was muzzled and Mity just squeezed past to him too closely trying to get around my mother and me. It was a bit of a hectic night and I should have found a way to not have them both in my house, but I had no option.

Anyway. Bd has taken to barking at most dogs we see when we walk past them. Turns out it is only with me that he does this. Apparently when he is with my ex he can now walk past all sorts of dogs on the other side of the road, but with me he does this excited bark/jump/yelp thing and almost tries to run at the dog but not in a ‘grrr I’m going to kill you’ manner more a ‘look, look, dog’ excited way. I know that I need to work on this, a large (potentially muzzled) dog barking at your dog does not a happy owner make (he has officially ruined any chances I may have had with the fit young vet, by barking like a loon at the vets JRT which resulted in a very disapproving glare from said vet to me the crazy lady who can’t control her dog!)

But I am not asking for your opinions on that (although any advice you have would be appreciated) No today I want to discuss my obsession with battling through BDs fear to one day see him play with other dogs. Every since I have known BD I have wanted to see him relax around other dogs. I want him to not be scared. I want a confident happy boy. I have once or twice seen him play with dogs. Watching him run around with them was amazing, and the big smile on his face when he was warn out and exhausted was just amazing. But (and here it comes)…

Is this need to see him relax in BDs best interest or just an obsession I have. Is this about BD or me?

When I go out walking with BD he doesn’t care if we meet another dog or not. So long as he has his tennis ball and we are together then he is happy. On the odd occasion we come across another dog (ignoring the lead bouncing for now) we take steps to avoid the interaction; I detour of the path or change direction, we usually pass the other dog without incident and carry on our way. I have learnt how to manage the situation and so has BD. When we are walking in a wood, or somewhere else where BD can be off lead once the other dog is a safe distance away and not likely to run back to try and say hi to BD I will re-remove his muzzle, congratulate him and we carry on.

So long as I have remembered his tennis ball BD is beyond happy. He doesn’t seem to worry that there is no one else around and as we walk out in the country as much as able, there aren’t really any dogs for him to play with anyway. He gets on fine with Mity, and so there is no longer the problem of having the two of them together. On walks they ignore each other and (until the attack) they ignored each other in the house as well. Yes, there were occasions when BD would be slightly concerned to hear Mity ‘talking’ to me and if ever Mity wanted to do crazy dog I would hang on to BD so that he wouldn’t chase Mity as on the occasion I wasn’t fast enough they would both just kinda panic and freeze. Mity would look at BD as if to say “why are you chasing me” and BD would look at him as if to say “why were you running and why have we stopped?”.

If BD is contented, and Mity is happy. Why do I want to push it further?

Am I right to encourage BD to relax around other dogs, regardless of his nerves? Or do I accept him for who he is and let this go?

 

P.S It’s this post Pamela that you inspired!

I scooped the wrong poop.

It happened to me again this morning. Yes, that’s my first confession I have scooped the wrong poop on more than one occasion (hangs head in shame) the second is that I may have already shared at least part of this with you, but here’s to hoping your memory is as bad as mine!

The first time it happened it was dark. I had let BD out for a poo and although I thought I had pin-pointed the location clearly I hadn’t. BD is a bit of a pain. He refuses to go on-lead unless desperate (I am working on this) and generally if you move, or breath, after he has ‘assumed the position’ he will stop and you can be out walking the field, in the dark for another half hour. So, he squats and I freeze wherever I am and then have to reward him (again trying to make him better at pooing) while getting the bag out my pocket, moving towards the poo whilst keeping one eye on the spot and the other looking out for any other poo someone else has failed to scoop. Please note, this is not so I can pick it up… I am not that kinda person.

Anyway, the first time I scooped the wrong poop BD has run slightly down this hill and so in the dark I carefully made my way to the area where he has positioned, and I bent down and scooped the poo. I then looked at the poo I had scooped and saw it was filled with maggots. Yep, rather than picking up my dogs poo I had picked someone else weeks old, stone cold and maggot riddled poo. I shudder to this day thinking about it.

After this experience I have always been extra carefully whenever I scoop, I mean it’s bad enough I have to pick it up and usually end up wearing most of it and you want to make sure if you’re going to wear it, it came from your dog.

However, this morning I yet again picked up the wrong poop. BD – it is always with him, can I blame this on him I wonder?!! – had stopped a few meters away, squatted, finished. I threw the tennis ball and told him he was good. Switched on my head torch and walked towards the spot. I always stop a little way away to properly check the ground as I am approaching the spot and was shocked to see I was closer to it than I should have bee. He had done the ‘walk and poop’ technique so I wasn’t surprised to pick up a trail which I could see back to the tall tuft of grass he has started his business on. I bent to pick up the first bit and had a thought of “oh well, at least this will warm my hands a little.” I had thought it would be warm enough to not wear gloves – I was wrong!

However, the first bit wasn’t warm.

Neither was the next bit.

I said to no one in particular “gosh I knew it was cold, but didn’t realise it was that cold” and then I picked up the third piece (am I over sharing?) and that bit was still warm, as was the rest.

It meant only one thing…Yet again I have scooped someone elses poop. Surely this will get me into Heaven right??

aaaaaaaaah

It’s 8.20am and I am seriously debating if it’s too early to begin drinking – it’s 12pm somewhere right??

BD was attacked last night. I was walking him from the exes garden to the boot of my car and this Jack Russell (JRT) went for him. I saw it coming, and so I positioned myself in between BD and it. I had BD near the low wall which runs past the house, and I put my legs as a shield between him and the JRT. BD was brilliant. This dog slowed to approach him and he wrinkled his nose and showed his teeth. I shouted to anyone that could hear my dog wasn’t friendly.  A neighbour tried to shoo the dog away – it wasn’t having it. Then the dog’s owner appeared and tried to grab his dog…. The dog launched itself at BD and clung on to his neck. Obviously at this point BD reacted and we had a fully-fledged dog fight on our hands.BD was on his lead, and so I had him under some control, but this terrier would not let go. I didn’t know what to do for the best – I considered dropping BDs lead so he could out run it and get away, but I didn’t. I think I knew that although he doesn’t start them, he will finish them and so I knew if I dropped the lead he would have just stayed. So I hung on to him… but this meant I had no free hands to get this bloody dog off him. The JRTs owner tried a few times, and we did get the two separated but every time we got the terrier off it would wriggle out of the owners hands and come back for BD.

There was so much blood. I was covered. BD was covered.

I thought this dog had really injured him.

Finally we got the JRT off for a few seconds and in those moments I ran and managed to get BD safely into the boot of my car where he cowered.

I was shaking. He was a mess.

There was so much blood…..

I tried to check him over but he was very scared and I didn’t want to stress him further. Although there was all this bright red blood on him, I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I checked his neck, nose, mouth. I checked me – a  few scratches and a big rip in my new leggings – but no reason for all the blood.

The JRTs owner came across to apologise and check on BD. He said his dog was fine and was concerned about the damage done to BD. He too agreed there appeared to be too much blood for neither dog to be harmed.

I called the ex. I didn’t particularly want to – he can’t be my I have a problem and need someone go to guy. But in this instance I had no choice. BD is his dog and I wanted him to check him over as well, a second pair of eyes!!. I also called my parents and cancelled our plans to finish DIYing. They would have bought Mity; there was no way I was running the risk of having a stressed out BD and Mity in close proximity.

So BD and I spent the evening chasing tennis balls (him), drinking red wine (me) and cuddling on the sofa (both of us). He was soon smiling his head off again and I can’t find a mark on him. The ex went to see the other owners and apparently they were beyond apologetic and the JRT is now sporting a small graze about her eye but shows no other signs so no one is any the wiser as to where all this blood came from.

Fast forward to this morning when BD and I spent a brilliant half hour chucking tennis balls in the sun. I was relaxed. Then I go to drop BD at the exes before I head to work and you’ll never guess what is waiting for us as I pull up outside his house……. a big black dog. And it was almost in the exact spot where BD was attacked, and very much stood between the garden where I would be leaving BD and my car which we were both sat in.

I panicked.

There was no way in hell I was getting BD out of the car while the other dog was in eyesight. But I couldn’t bring myself to chase this dog away.

I will admit that my first thought was to just sit in the car with BD in the boot forever. Yes, that was my first thought, no I didn’t consider just driving back to mine. What can I say it’s been a stressful 24 hours. After what felt like forever (but was only a few minutes) I decided that I had no choice but to try and find the dogs owner.

Unlike the last loose dog I found, this one did run away scared and was quite happy to let me lone on it while consuming some of the treats that it smelt out in my pocket. The dog was wearing a collar but the collar was free from any information no name, no number, no address. Fat lot of use that collar is! Luckily one of my neighbours pulled out of their drive, recognised the dog and I managed to return it to her owner (who hadn’t realised she’s escaped). I got BD into the garden with no issues and was all set to arrive at work on time, despite everything… … and then I got stuck behind a tractor and ended up driving the entire way to work at 10mph.

So, what do you think, too early to open a bottle or can I justify it?