A Long Weekend Ahead, In More Ways Than One

It’s my bi-monthly Friday off from work, and nothing says Day Off like waking up at 4:30 in the morning! AM I RIGHT?

Sigh.

Our dog friend is sick again (by the way we have taken to calling him Buster as a formal name, mostly because it lends itself to Boo Boo as a nickname and let’s be real, he will always have a little Honey Boo Boo in him) and so I’ve basically been staring at him for the last few hours with one eye, watching Real Housewives of Miami with the other eye, and counting the hours until Garrett gets home from work so we can decide if we are going to take him to the vet. Again. I mean, it seems to be the thing to do lately — It’s Friday! Let’s go to the vet!

People always say dogs prepare you for kids, and in my mind I always thought that sounded reasonable. It’s an added responsibility, another mouth to feed. Another person to care for — sure! All of that prepares you for a baby. But what I think is even more enlightening (and preparatory, perhaps) is that it allowing me to get to know what kind of caretaker I am. And right now, the answer is AN EXTREMELY ANXIOUS ONE. And the problem with worrying so much is that it doesn’t actually solve any problems. Also it does not help with other things like sleeping and eating well when you are anxiously hand-wringing. I guess what I’m saying is my health and Buster’s health are apparently directly proportional.

I emailed a lovely blog reader this morning for advice since she is a vet tech, and it made me feel less stressed to reach out to some “advice nurse” friends. Should we go to the vet? Am I being a spaz? Does it get easier? And you know, taking action does make me feel better than just sitting here worrying. But I’ll tell you what, if I had a kid right now I would be the kind of parent who just stays up for 24 hours straight watching their child to make sure it is breathing and no matter what your parenting philosophy is, I think we can all agree that is not a very productive strategy. Despite the fact that I have spent most of this year with baby fever and wondering WHEN WHEN WHEN will we have one, WHEN?!? I am starting to feel more comfortable muttering to myself that everything is unfolding as it should.

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23 comments to A Long Weekend Ahead, In More Ways Than One

  • AndreAnna
    September 21, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Hope he feels better soon!

  • sizzle
    September 21, 2012 at 8:13 am

    It’s hard with pets and babies because they can’t vocalize what’s wrong or what their symptoms are so you have to keep a watchful eye and guess. I’m sorry Buster is sick and that you didn’t get much sleep (nap later?). Sometimes adjusting to a new food and environment can make a pet have physical issues. Not sure if that’s what is going on but hopefully it will pass and you’ll all be well and rested soon!

  • Beth
    September 21, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I had a crazy case of baby fever and when both my siblings announced pregnancies earlier this year my fiancé decided it was high time we get a puppy. He’s a smart man; four months into puppy life, holy cow the thought of a baby is so overwhelming. There will be no honeymoon baby next week, which a few months ago I was so all about.

    I hope Buster feels better soon! I am constantly convinced Alfred has some major issue and within 24 hours he is usually no longer experiencing symptoms of the latest disease I conjured up for him. We try to wait 24 hours as we’ve decided no matter what the reason we walk in the vet door, it is always $200.

    • Holly
      September 21, 2012 at 8:43 am

      Yeah, I’m hoping his symptoms will pass. He’s been on an antibiotic for 7 days so I’m hoping the digestive distress is maybe just a reaction to that. But YES, just YES to the baby waiting, man. One step at a time. :)

      • Beth
        September 21, 2012 at 8:51 am

        Oh my gosh, if there is ONE THING I’ve learned in the four months, it is that EVERYTHING causes dog digestive stress. Seriously. We pretty much don’t worry about his digestive stress unless it lasts an unusually long time these days.

  • Andrea
    September 21, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Gosh, this is EXACTLY what I found myself saying to people after we adopted our dog. It was so hard and totally not in the ways I was prepared for it to be hard.

    I was prepared for the walks and the cleaning up pee while we housetrained him and the having to always pick up our socks lest they get chewed to bits. Except instead it turned out to be all waking up the middle of night and wondering what was wrong with him and worrying that he’d be crazy forever and why was he doing this and what if something was really wrong, like REALLY wrong, and what if I was totally screwing him up? So many long nights. So many glasses of wine.

    The good thing is it TOTALLY gets easier. You will learn to read all his moods and signals and you’ll learn his little quirks and you’ll learn when something is serious and when it’s probably not. I mean, actual illness will still be super stressful, but you will eventually go back to feeling like a competent human being most days. In fact, one of the best things about having a dog is that they have this amazing ability to make you feel MORE than competent, like you’re actually the best person on the planet. That’s worth a few sleepless nights, IMHO. :)

    (PS: Sorry for typing a novel!)

    • Holly
      September 21, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Thank you for that novel! I think it is a testament to my overworked emotional state that it just made me cry! I’m glad to hear it gets easier and I definitely feel like we are getting to know his quirks. I so hope we are on the right track. Thank you so much for just sharing that.

  • Michelle
    September 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I’m the same way when my guinea pigs are under the weather. (They may be small rodents, but they’re totally my fur-babies.) I dropped two pants sizes when one of them was sick because I was so worried that I couldn’t eat. It definitely gets easier as you get to know your pet and learn more about what’s normal and what’s serious when it comes to their health. Sending you and Buster positive thoughts for a quick recovery.

  • Tamara
    September 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

    When I first got lula, I constantly worried . It’s a new dog owner thing. It gets better!

  • Michelle
    September 21, 2012 at 9:20 am

    It is super stressful when your furbaby is sick! I feel your pain. I hope it’s nothing serious and he feels better super soon (for him AND for you!).

  • Carol
    September 21, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Ditto on it gets better. When we first got Cacey, it seemed we were at the vet a lot (because we were) and I had a few of the up all night experiences, so I completely understand and empathize. I have felt like the crazy lady at the vet a couple of times but then was vindicated when the test came back showing a hook worm infection! What a thing to be pleased to be right about.
    When you get to know your dog better, you’ll be able to read the signs and know when to call and when to wait it out.
    My vet suggests oatmeal to help calm the dogs stomach when upset. They love it.
    Hope Buster feels better soon!

  • K
    September 21, 2012 at 9:47 am

    A friend/co-worker just adopted two new kittens and, man alive, do her care-taking stories and wiley anecdotes sound similar to mine with Ezra and Iris. So I definitely think there is a parallel between pets and kids.

    I hope that Buster/Boo Boo feels better soon.

    P.S. How about those Miami housewives?! Holy crap on a cracker. This season is looking to be MUCH better than Season 1.

  • Jill
    September 21, 2012 at 10:07 am

    aw Buster!! Hope he feels better soon! Our pup is 2-1/2 now and it has gotten so much easier. But I remember one incident where he had clearly eaten something bad for him (and they just keep eating it even when it makes them feel like crap) and was drooling and really lethargic. We rushed him to the emergency vet and did every test imaginable and he was totally just a sleepy puppy. But now, we know exactly what he’s gotten into and what is going on, even down to what we call his “poo poo face” before he even asks to go out! Hang in there!!

  • LizScott
    September 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Aw man, I’ve been there. Hoping Buster feels better — and you, too.

  • Meg
    September 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Aw, I hope Buster starts feeling better. Nothing worse than a sick pup that you don’t know how to help! You guys are in my thoughts!

    (Also, I’m the same type of anxious pet parent. I even worked at a vet hospital for 2 years in college, and I’m still convinced our vet has my picture behind the desk with the words “crazy” underneath!)

  • Sallie
    September 21, 2012 at 10:59 am

    As a mom, and a dog owner, I can tell you that you’re not at all alone in your thoughts and worries about Buster. I’m sorry to say it only gets worse when you have a child (or at least, for me, as an…ahem…older mom I KNOW more of what can happen so it was worse with a child). But that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. I just hate to see animals or kids suffer. I worry. I think of the worst things that can happen. So I can plan, ya know? That way, the worst thing USUALLY doesn’t happen, so it all turns out okay. And I was prepared. So there! I hope BHBB (Buster Honey Boo Boo) feels better soon. I say take him to the vet btw. It will ease your mind.

  • Jesabes
    September 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I have to say, your dog posts have sounded a lot like having a baby to me. Mostly the no sleep thing. I am so tired.

  • mellissa@ibreatheimhungry
    September 22, 2012 at 5:52 am

    We had two dogs prior to having a child and it definitely prepares you in a lot of ways – especially if you start with a puppy and have to train them from scratch because you have to learn consistency and patience. Even with an older dog though you get used to having a being totally reliant on you for food, shelter, love and care. Seriously though, can’t wait for your post AFTER having a baby about how easy having a dog was in comparison!! ha ha! Sleep – goodbye forever. Anxiety – your new constant companion. And not just about whether to go to the doctor, because now you’re responsible not just for another person/dog’s physical well being but for their mental health – are they happy? Will they be a good person? Are you screwing them up forever? For the love of God will they ever figure out how to use the toilet (which you will call a potty for the rest of your life) so you don’t have to lug a diaper bag around every friggin where you go???? But it’s awesome and life changing and you’ll love them like nobody else ever. For now, enjoy Buster and easing into it. Cherish your freedom to travel and go for a run and even take a shower without worrying constantly about whether or not your child is safe, happy, healthy, etc. Because once you have one, your life is changed forever. Hope Buster is feeling better soon – you are obviously doing it right!

  • Sherrie
    September 22, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Poor Buster. How is he feeling today? How are you? HUgs all around.

    We have three dogs and I hover when one gets sick almost as much as I hover over the kids. Who am I kidding? I hover over all of them equally. The dogs are family and I always hover when family isn’t feeling well.

  • Patrick Timpone
    September 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Dog problems can always be scary. I hope your dog gets well. We’ve interviewed quite a few holistic vets so they’ve helped a lot. Good luck and I hope your little pup recovers soon! :)

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