Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fern the destroyer

We made our first trip to the vet on Friday, and Fern didn't appreciate the adventure. Why did we go to the vet, you ask? Because Fern chewed something plastic to near extinction. M was sick on Friday, so Fern was out of her kennel, sleeping next to M while she slept. Sometime during the time M was asleep, Fern got up and found something to chew to death. I'm not positive, but I think it was a flashlight. I still haven't found the non-chewed parts, like the top with the light bulb and glass, the switch and the batteries. I have absolutely no idea where she would have gotten a flashlight, though, so maybe it was something else. She started throwing up, so away we went for an emergency trip to the vet. After two x-rays, she was pronounced good to go. The cost for her misadventure? $125, with the 25% discount. The refused to do payments, so I had to do some creative financial juggling to come up with that money. Not fun.

Two days before the flashlight incident, Fern got up in the middle of the night and chewed a chunk off of our wood futon. I woke up to splinters of wood everywhere. I checked her mouth and there were no splinters, so I cleaned up the mess and didn't make a production out of it, even though I was mentally swearing at dealing with it a 0530. 

I contacted CA and they said she could be chewing because she's bored. They recommended putting out a rawhide bone for her, in case she wakes up and is bored at night. That won't work though because rawhide bones are like crack to Fern. Shen she gets one she goes crazy, running around the living room to show it off and chewing non-stop until it's gone. If I tried to put out a rawhide at night she wouldn't sleep until it was gone, which would defeat the purpose to begin with.

She hasn't chewed anything that I know of since Friday, so maybe getting so sick has turned her off of it. I hope so, because I can't afford to run to the vet once a week. And I'm not crazy about having possessions destroyed, either.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A mortifying trip to Krogers

Let me preface this by saying Fern is usually so good that any odd behavior is unexpected. I don't want to give you a bad impression of her with this story, so keep that in mind.

Yesterday Mika had testing after school until 6:30 (don't even get me started on that), so I would take care of Fern until that was over. I don't like to leave Fern alone more than necessary because she's in the kennel while Mika is at school. (Long story there) I needed to get a few groceries, so I took Fern with me to Krogers. Big mistake.

Fern was trying to sniff everything while I walked to the pharmacy, but I didn't think too much of it. She actually sniffed the leg of the guy in line ahead of me. Fortunately he's a dog lover and didn't mind at all. After I got my prescription I went back and got a cart to do my shopping. I had the cart for no more than 2 minutes when I turned around and saw Fern pooping in the middle of the produce section. I nearly screamed. There were several people around initially, but by the time I had the emergency clean up supplies out they were long gone. Thank heavens because I was already embarrassed enough. To make it even more frustrating, as soon as she was done, Fern came over with her wagging tail and smiles like she was so proud of what she did. GRRR....
I got everything cleaned up and the tied up bag thrown away and tried again.

To make a long story short, Fern was awful. She tried to sniff at everything and everyone. I know this can be a sign of stress, but her tail was wagging and she would smile at me when she bothered to look up. She's been to that store at least 3 or 4 times, so she should be comfortable in it. My trip that should have taken 20 minutes took me 45 and my hand was sore from holding onto her leash while she was pulling. Darn dog. 

For everyone who is thinking "Why didn't you take her potty before you went in the store, you idiot" I want you know now I tried. She did pee beforehand, but she's going through a spell where she only wants to poop after a 30 minute walk. Yesterday morning and today she wouldn't go at all, even though she got the normal 30 minute walk. I have no idea why she's being so fussy! It makes it really hard though. 

It's a good thing she's a good dog 95% of the time because that 5% is really frustrating. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An unexpected travel complication

So this summer, I'm allowing my daughter to plan an ambitious trip back to the home state. It's both amazing and frightening to think of her doing this. This is the first time we've made plans for her to be away from home for such a long time, and it's not without some anxiety on both of our parts. Still, the thought of having Fern with her really helped encourage M to try this.

Our original plan was to have her take a 3 week trip back to the upper Midwest. We would fly out together on a Thursday and catch up with all of our friends. I would take her to band camp on Sunday and fly home solo. She would stay in the university dorms until Friday, when camp ends and go home with her grandparents from there. She'll hang out with them until Thursday, where she would head to her best friend's house until Sunday. On Sunday, she would be picked up my her grandparents and taken to Girl Scout camp for the week. She would be picked up on Friday and fly back here on Sunday. Sounds good, right? If only things were so easy.

When I registered M for band camp I told them that she would be traveling with a service dog who would stay with her the entire time. The camp director directed me to the Hall Coordinator and to say I got a rude response would be an understatement. The woman was so rude I actually contacted CA and asked how to handle her response. That lead to a long phone conversation with the follow up guru (I love that woman). She had significant reservations about Fern going to band camp when she hasn't been exposed to such an experience before. I can certainly understand that. A band of 300 kids is not going to be a quiet experience. She waffled on GS camp, but M is going to a horseback riding camp and we would have to find something to do with Fern during the hours she was with the horses. I agree that it may be best for Fern to miss both camps.
It's hard for M, but when I explained why we made the decision she understood. In fact, she has become worried that new things might bother Fern and is starting to become anxious.

So now I'm in a quandary. I hate the idea of letting M go away for weeks at a time without Fern there. I have come to trust Fern to help Mika if needed and having to rely on strangers to help does not sound like a good plan to me. On the other hand, this is the first time that M has felt confident enough to even try something like this. I sure as heck am not going to hold her back. So right now the tentative plan is to bring Fern with us for the 1st weekend of hanging out with friends, and then I'll take her back home with me. I wish there was some way to get her back to M when camp is over, but I can't afford to make several extra flights to make it happen.

I guess this is one of those times that I'll just have to grin and bear it. Hopefully Fern won't be too upset without Mika. And I sincerely hope that this doesn't harm the bond between the two of them. CA said that they had no doubt this wouldn't harm their bond and I'm just going to have to trust them on that.