Soooo excited, helicopter tail and lots of kisses!!

I’m going to begin by admitting something that I have been too frightened to admit…..I have been thinking of cutting all contact with BD.

The reason I haven’t mentioned it before is that I was worried that you (anyone I told) would say “I think it’s for the best” or “You should have ended it when you moved out.”

I have been worrying that I was being selfish by continuing to see him when he fitted into my diary, I thought that when we weren’t together he wasn’t missing me and that by returning ad lib I was being cruel to him. I also questioned my motives. Did I really love him or did I just want to keep the contact with my ex? Was I using him when I had nothing better? I kept telling myself that things will improve when I finally move in and am not living to DIY. Currently I see no-one, friends have been told that getting moved in is a top priority and so get togethers are few and far between (although due to being spoilt with the most amazing friends in the world, the ‘few and far between’ seems to be averaging seeing at least a friend once or twice a week). But friends understand, they know that this is short term, BD does not.

Due to my holiday and then the ex going on yet another lads holiday (all good, helps me hate him!) it has been at least 2 weeks since I last saw BD and I did consider that this was the perfect time to make the cut. However, throughout this two week period I have had his name in my diary for last night and so doubting myself (well that’s nothing new!) I went to collect him.

He seemed to know it was me before I got to the gate – I think it was my jingling of keys that gave it away or probably more likely his amazing dog sense of smell. When I finally got to where I could see him, he was going crazy. His tail was going in circles so large that he could have taken off. He alternated between trying to cover me in kisses and running to show me what I had missed while I had been gone. But as he ran away he would realise he hadn’t had a tummy tickle and so would flop to the floor, but from that position he couldn’t kiss me and so he would get up and kiss me, then run, then flop, the kiss, then run……. he was so happy I laughed out loud.

This excitement didn’t just last for the first few minutes, but continued throughout our entire walk. Where ever so often he would check in with me before going racing off in front with his big silly grin on his face.

In that moment I knew I will not walk away from him. Ever.

A part-time reactive dog

So as usual I am getting on the band wagon way too late. I did know about the link but buying a house kinda got in the way – yes I will be using that excuse for the foreseeable future!

Anyway, as I have mentioned multiple times BD has fear aggression. If another dog gets into his face and does not pick up on his “I’m not happy, leave me alone” signs he will react. He also appears to have zero bite inhibition (something I am working on!) and so I keep him muzzled when around other dogs, including Mity. Annoyingly it isn’t just other dogs he goes for an he has once gone for a postman, although the postman took full responsibility for the incident, and he has also gone for myself and him. Again in both these incidents actually the ones to blame was myself and him, we know BD doesn’t like people is his ‘space’ and yet I went to kiss his head, while he was asleep – I know I still can’t forgive myself for being so stupid.
I must have read every article I can think of to try and find a way to help BD overcome his reactivity and when I lived with him, I came home on an almost daily basis with a new bit of information I had read and a new way to look at it.

I learnt not to punish BD for reacting. I understood the importance of routine. If we see something that could cause a reaction we did, x, y and z in order and his confidence grew. In fact the weekend before I moved out, I took BD to play with 4 other collies. Seeing my big idiot, race around the field chasing 4 collies smiling his head of made me sob with tears of joy. Watching him ignore an adolescent dog annoying him, snapping near his face and running just in front of the end of his nose (I did try to stop this dog from carrying on with this behaviour) before finally deciding he had had enough and giving a warning but not following through with an ‘I’m going to kill you’ made my heart burst with pride.

But then I moved out. And this changed everything. Now I spend half my week walking a reactive dog and the other half with Mity who loves every dog and everybody he sees. It has thrown me off my game. I’m losing touch with BD’s body language. I don’t trust myself to read a strange dog’s body language and I feel like I have taken a massive step back and it is affecting him. I worry our bond is not as strong as it once was, and I feel like after everything else I am losing him too.

When he separated from his pre-me ex, BD started with his reactivity. When we separated I didn’t want BD to take a step back and so asked to continue to have access. Hell, I didn’t want to give up the dog I love, the dog who in some ways feels like my first dog. I was losing my house, my home and him I didn’t want to lose BD as well. Bd and Mity have helped me face every day, given me something to get out of bed for. But am I just being selfish? By struggling to rebuild our relationship and closeness am I doing an already confused and scared dog more harm???

But when he curls up on my knee or greats me with the stupid grin on his face. Can I walk away? Should I walk away?

I promised… am I letting him down?

Wow just when I thought I couldn’t sound more pathetic I came up with that title. I had another title all picked out “It’s time” and I even started writing it. This post was positive, about how although I am petrified I have decided that the time has come for me to move on and start putting myself first. I was even going to tie it back to a film that OH and I watched together. I can’t remember the name of the film but basically a husband and wife were involved in a car accident, she lost her memory and her husband spent the entire film trying to make her fall in love with him again – the best bit is that this is based on a true story!!

I deserve that kind of love, I deserve someone who will give me their all, after all that is exactly what I gave to OH. So I decided that I would start putting my life back together and if OH decides he does want me back well he can damn well put in a little effort. However as I was writing the first lines I realised that I had promised OH I would wait for him until the new year, give him time to try and sort out his head and heart. Having been cheated on by most of the woman he has ever dated, I didn’t want to be another woman who said one thing and did another. In fact when we separated I did point out that I was the first woman who he had dated that kept her promise.

So if I break it now does that make me as bad as them? How do I mend my heart while still being true to my word? Or is it past that – do I have to screw him over and put myself first?

Remember me Thursday – #Lightforpets

I have to admit I have never owned a rescued pet… I have to admit that at one point I was in that group of thinking for an animal to end up in a rescue there was clearly something wrong with it – feel free to judge away!

It wasn’t until I started working more closely with rescues that I realised how many amazing animals there are in a search for their forever home, and that 99.9999999% of the animals are in there because we are humans have let them down. I try never to judge, but how someone can give up a pet because it is old, pregnant, needed more exercise than I realised (insert crappy excuse here) I will never understand. The unfaltering love and trust that I see in my own dogs eyes on a daily basis, hell I see that in any animal I look at breaks my heart when I think about them ending up alone and unloved in a kennel not knowing what they had done wrong and waiting patiently for me to come back and get them……

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Today animal lovers across the globe are joining together to help raise awareness of the plight of these homeless pets. We are being asked to light “be a light for pets by promoting awareness about pet adoption. By remembering those we have lost, we can shine a light on the ones we can save.”

As I go through the next few months and try to figure out what my future will look like, and who will be in it, I know how much my heart will ace for BD who I am having to leave with OH. I am going to try and see him once a week, and have my name down top of the list of people who should be contacted if he needs looking after for even a minute. I know that he will not understand why I have had to go away, and I pray to God that he will not think it is due to anything he has done – in fact I am telling him every time I see him how much I love him, how perfect he is, how it isn’t his fault and how it is breaking my heart to leave him. I will miss having a dog around, especially as BD took it on himself to cheer me up whenever I cried, he would get a ball and throw it around growling at it until I was crying with laughter and then would sit so close to me so I could cuddle him until I was ready to face the world…

BD has fear aggression and Mity has made it clear he is an only pet so I have not been in a position where I can adopt. This new start has made me think about it, but I am not in a stage in my life where I can. Earlier this week I saw that Bath Cats and Dogs Home are asking people to make a pledge that they will adopt in the future when the time is right – I have taken this pledge. Today will you?

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