Learning to speak Scooby

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Something I never anticipated about rescuing a dog was learning how to communicate with them. Both of our previous dogs we’d had since they were puppies and, when you’ve lived with them their whole life, you know what their every look, sigh and snuffle is about (or at least you think you do – as much as you can when you’re talking about communicating with another species, I guess).

When you adopt a dog, you don’t have that bond. You have to learn their language. You have to try and guess what a particular look means. You have to guess if that growl was a play growl or a real one. I knew exactly what Oscar or Ami’s ‘I need to go to the bathroom’ behaviour was. I don’t know that for Scooby yet (I just assume that he’s going to pee whenever he disappears somewhere in the house). It’s a weird feeling but I know it’s just one of those things that will come with time. The same way that he’s learning to read and trust us.

He’s a funny little dog. Funny ha ha but also funny weird. In a myriad of ways. One of them is that it’s like he’s never played before. Jared will try and play with him and he’ll start and then get weird and keep looking back at me to check… who knows what he’s checking? If I’m still there? If I’m ok with it? To make sure I’m looking? It’s a fucking mystery. And when he plays, he growls and I’m never entirely sure if he’s just playing or serious. I’m still scared of his teeth. After having snub faced dogs, his (very normal) snout full of teeth is very… there. Right up in your face – all these fucking teeth. And for a 12 year old dog, he has LOTS of teeth (all of them in fact). Pug’s teeth were fucked at that age.

Anyway, we continue to get to know each other. We spend a lot of time on the couch together. His foster parents said he would climb all over them and want to sit on their lap. I’m still waiting for that. Scooby has clearly deemed me not worthy of such behaviour as yet but I hold out hope. I figure each time he gets moved, it takes him a bit longer to trust at the next place. We’re nearly nine weeks now so… we’ll see.

For all his quirks and baggage, I do think I love him though – even if he did growl at me for trying to make him leave the bedroom the other day. Little fucker. He makes my heart feel better… on our good days.

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7 weeks in: maybe he’s settling in (who knows?)

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We’ve had Scooby for 52 days now (just over seven weeks) and I feel like today was my first really good day with him. No bites, a few barks but he took correction and – most importantly – no ‘mistakes’ in the house. My god, can this dog pee. I’ve never scrubbed and mopped floors this much in my life. I took him outside three times today and *touch wood* it seems to have done the trick. That and a fucking massive 1.5hr walk this morning, a quick ‘pee’ walk in the middle of the day and another 40min walk tonight. I have done a lot of walking today. Maybe I don’t need a trainer anymore? Just having this fucking dog might get me into shape!

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Scooby: on walk

I also think it helped that I was at home all day with him.When I leave, I think he gets nervous as he doesn’t know when I’ll be back so he just pees whenever he needs to rather than holding it, knowing I’ll be back soon. I have to leave the house tomorrow so I’ve got another big walk planned (it’s actually kind of fun thinking up new routes to take him on) and then I’ll walk him again when I get home because we have a concert tomorrow night so I’ll need to tire him out before I leave the house again.

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Scooby: post-walk

I got him good today though. He was super charged for his walk but, by the end, he was definitely lagging and that’s when I knew I had him. Finally! When we got home, he basically collapsed on the ground and only moved whenever I moved (so he could stay near me). His state was most definitely ‘potato’. I’ve noticed he also barks less when he’s tired so that’s a bonus and, when he does bark, he takes correction much quicker – either by getting off the couch or by going to ‘bed’ when told. Also, going for a walk seems to equal no bites either (huge win – being bitten sucks). So the key seems to be tire the fucker out and all else will fall in line.

Fucking terriers. Should have done my homework. But who would have thought a nearly 12 year old dog would be so active? Oh well, it can’t hurt for me to get some exercise. Lord knows I’m not doing anything else active just yet so I should be thanking him, really. Plus he’s been super affectionate today, wanting to be super close to me and demanding lots of pats, which has been nice.

There are still moments when I’m patting him and I think of Oscar and start missing him. I was watching this show on Netflix called 7 Days Out about all kinds of big events/productions and what happens in the seven days leading up to them. The first episode was the Westminster Dog Show or whatever it’s called and one of the handlers had a pug, which won best in show in one of the earlier rounds and he was telling a story about how his previous pug died in his arms out of nowehere as he was leaving its last show so his new dog (Biggie the pug) winning was quite emotional for him. And me, like an idiot, also starts tearing up. Stupid fucking dog shows. Why do I do it to myself? Although I guess I had no idea of knowing they were going to hit me with that shit. It could have been just a happy-happy-feel-good kind of show with maybe a few crazy dog owners thrown into the mix. Nope, apparently not. Fuck you, Netflix. Fuck you very much.

Oh – on a separate and totally random note – if you haven’t watched Russian Doll on Netflix, go do it. It’s got the crazy haired white chick from Orange is the New Black in it and it’s awesome.

 

A post from the past: Is my dog trying to commit suicide?

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Was going through my drafts (looking for inspiration, I think) and found this post I wrote about my dog Oscar who died earlier this year. I must’ve written this a bit under two years ago now but I still miss him everyday. God, he was a funny dog. It’s incredible how fresh the feeling of missing him is, even now (although not surprising, I guess).

We’ve since adopted a senior terrior named Scooby who is just starting to settle after a month. He’s a sweet, little guy most of the time but super anxious, which can result in a some territorialness and aggression. I’m trying to arrange a session with a dog bahaviourist to ‘iron our his kinks’ as I don’t think he’s ever had any boundaries or training.

Anyway, I’ve been having these weird moments where I’ll catch Scooby out of the corner of my ear eye – moving on the ground in front of the couch, for example, and for a split second I’ll be sure it’s Oscar or Ami (Ami passed away four years ago). Scooby’s ear will be the tip of Ami’s big, bat ears (he was a Frenchie) or the top of Scooby’s head will be Oscar’s. Just for a second. And part of me so wishes it was them but the other part feels terrible that I do because Scooby is a good dog. There’s nothing wrong with him (well, that’s a lie, there are a few things he could stand to improve). He’s just not them. And somedays, that’s all I want.

Anyway, here’s the draft…

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We have two dogs – my pug, Oscar, and Jared’s French Bulldog, Ami. Oscar just turned twelve and, over the years, he’s developed quite the attitude. Actually, no, that’s a lie. He’s always had an attitude, it’s just gotten more pronounced with age. Basically he gives zero fucks. He’s full of personality. I like to think he takes after his mother (me) but the bastard’s got way more personality that I do.

Being an older dog, his health is no longer great. He has a bung leg from when he fractured his wrist as a puppy. As a result, his wrist was fused with a metal plate so he can’t bend his leg at all but it doesn’t seem to slow him down much. He also only has one eye from when him and Ami got into a fight. So basically, he’s a pirate pug – or at least that’s what we call him. On many days, he’s just like the the puppy he once was: full of beans and sass, except maybe a little slower and less interested in common dog things like chew toys or rumbles with his brother (unless it’s after his bath – then he’s all for rumbles).

He’s also getting low on teeth, which has posed a whole new set of problems. Oscar’s been desexed so you can safely say his sole purpose in life is to eat (and sleep and possibly hump smaller dogs, preferably puppies). When breakfast time comes, Oscar is usually to be found already waiting in the kitchen (he often sleeps there) and he makes some wonderful singing noises as his food is getting doled out. When the food gets put dog, he swallows it as quickly as possible, which often means little or no chewing. This has resulted in him nearly choking to death – three times.

The first two times, Jared was there to stick his fingers down Oscar’s throat and pull the food out (wet and unchewed dry food stuck together). I screamed and started crying, convinced he was going to die. Not much help, I’ll admit. He survived and carried on eating his breakfast while Jared and me stood by, visibly shaken at how close he’d come to death. After that, we bought him one of those bowls that force them to slow down by making them eat around these big protrusions. He hates it and regularly tries to overturn the bowl (he succeeded yesterday when I looked away for a second). I also give him the wet and dry food separately now so I can be sure he’s swallowed everything before he starts on something new.

He’s choked one more time, when I was home alone. I managed to get the food out of his throat but not without cutting my finger on his back tooth while screaming at him to not die. That time I thought he’d swallowed his kibble but there must have still been some in his throat when I fed him a forkful (yes, at one point I fed my dog with a fork) of meat and he promptly keeled over and went stiff. Fucker tricked me.

New Year’s Resolutions

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Usually, I’d go for the same old ‘get fit’, ‘drink more water’ bullshit but this year I’m going to focus on my mental health, which has been (and continues to be) a huge issue for me.

So, without further ado, Nat’s 2019 resolutions are:

1. Stop chasing one sided friendships that don’t really exist

2. Organise less shit – it’s unnecessary, unappreciated and stresses me out more than I like to admit

3. Don’t feel pressured into being social when I don’t feel like it.

I feel like three is a nice round number so I’m going to stop there. Here’s to a mentally healthy 2019 to me and everyone else out there.

Day #3: Scooby’s Hair-Raising Butt Cream Adventures

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Despite the racy title (depending on how you feel about butts and creams), Scooby’s adventures have been less than fun. As you might see from the above photo, the poor little guy has some dermatitis on the butt. I noticed it on his first day with us and was going to try and leave it for a bit as he doesn’t really like his butt being touched but he was gnawing at it way too hard the following morning for me to leave it as it looked super sore.

Long story short, took him down to the vet. They muzzled him (after I warned them of his butt anxieties), shaved him down, cleaned him up and gave me some cream and pills to clear it up for good. Scooby took it all like a champ, got showered in treats and skipped out of there like he’d been to a fucking day spa.

This morning, I rope Jared in to help me with his cream. We try to bribe him with treats but Scooby’s not having it (maybe our treats weren’t up to scratch). Starts growling and snapping straight away so I call the vet and ask if I can bring him down. They’re awesome so they say yes. I take him for a walk, then to the vet – wash, rinse, repeat from yesterday – and he’s all done. No snapping, no biting. Different dog. It’s got to the be treats. Or the muzzle. Anyway, moral of the story: I’m taking down to the vet twice a day for the next four days so they can do his cream and I can keep my fingers. So. That’s been fun.

On the plus side, this:

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And this:

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He’s been slowly getting more comfortable with me. He’s still so, so timid, is skittish with loud noises or quick movements but follows me everywhere. I have a shower and he’s laying on the bath mat outside waiting for me. He’s getting more comfortable getting up on the couch with me (as per above pics). I left him for about two hours today and he was standing on the couch staring at me when I opened the door.

Tonight we had a thunderstorm and he was pretty shaky. The first roll of thunder came as we were leaving the house to go to the vet and he freaked and tried to run back upstairs. Thankfully no more thunder came until much later in the night but I think it’s thrown him a bit as he hasn’t wanted to get up on the couch or anything and has been super quiet and distant all night. It is hot though so maybe he just doesn’t want to be up on the couch and prefers the cooler option of the floorboards.

I keep reminding myself it will take time for him to settle in and trust us (me). I have a friend who has a rescue dog from the same rescue group and she’s been really supportive helping me understand that all this behaviour is nornal and not to take it personally. It is hard though. I’m constantly questioning if I’m doing the right thing. Is he happy here? Is he really the right dog for us? Meanwhile, he’s leaving drifts of nervous fur sheddings around the house, poor bastard. Nothing we weren’t used to with pug, I suppose, although it’s weird seeing it again after so long.

As I mentioned previously, Scooby has been very much my decision. Jared was busy opening a new bar/cafe/restaurant when I decided I was ready for a dog again so he wasn’t really able to support me when I was doing all the searching and trying to figure out what I wanted. Since we’ve had Scooby, he’s made a few comments around whether I’m doing the right thing. Today, when he snapped at us when we tried to apply his cream, he made another one (or maybe gave me a look like – what are we doing here? I can’t remember).

Anyway, I took Scooby out on his walk to go see the vet and was quite upset. I get that he wasn’t able to be there for me while I found a dog. I get that this isn’t his choice of dog and he doesn’t have time for one. I get all this. But, right now, I need him to be supportive. I need him to be positive. I’m struggling with emotions around missing Oscar and whether I’m doing the right thing adopting a senior dog that already has issues and his little comments aren’t helping.

I don’t need him to help me walk him or feed him or anything like that but I do need him to not make a tough settling in period harder by being negative. None of what is happening is unexpected for a rescue dog (although obviously you hope they’re not going to need to go to the vet on their second day) or anything we hadn’t already done for our other dogs so I was upset that he was being so hard on Scooby so early on. I worked myself up into a bit of a state on the way to the vet – just managed to hold back tears – but resolved to say something to him when I got home.

Usually, I would stew on stuff like this for a few days. Slowly getting angrier and angrier while trying to figure out the 100% perfect way of explaining my thoughts however Jared would always beat me to it and ask me what’s wrong before I could figure out the right semantics. Not this time (my therapist will be proud)! I got home and told him straight away that his comments hurt me and, even if he meant them in jest, I needed him to be supportive because I’m struggling with it all.

He was really good about it. He apologised. He said it’s been hard for him too as he sees this old dog and it reminds him of what we went through with Oscar but he respects my choice and he’ll try to be more supportive. I do see him try and interact with Scooby sometimes but he’s rarely home and I suppose my main fear is that he doesn’t like him. That he’s not giving him a chance. Or he’s not letting him in because he’s old and he doesn’t want to get attached.

Anyway, at least we talked it out and I felt heard although not really much better because I don’t feel like his heart is in it but I guess I just have to be ok with that.

The Scoob has landed

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So he’s here. He was sleeping in Oscar and Ami’s old bed but then Jared came home and he got up to greet him and is now laying by the couch. Apparently he loves being on the couch but I haven’t been able to entice him up as yet. Baby steps, I suppose.

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Scooby makes himself comfortable – in his new bed

He got here this morning. His foster parents were clearly quite sad to be leaving him but they were doing their best to be upbeat so it wouldn’t affect him too much. It was a bittersweet moment. They sat and spoke with us for awhile, answering a few last questions and giving him scratches then they left and the most heartbreaking moment came when he spent the first few hours searching the house for them and then staring at the door waiting for them to come home. I felt fucking terrible for him. In a month or two, we should be able to do playdates with them so they can see him again. Any sooner than that and it would be too confusing for him.

I did try to bribe him with treats but, as expected, getting a rescue dog is not like getting a puppy. He’s very nervous. You can see how uncertain he is and it makes sense, of course it does. He’s been passed from home to home. How does he know this is his ‘real’ home?At one point, Jared turned to me and said, “You like a challenge, don’t you?” I asked what he meant by that and he explained about all Scooby’s timidness (doesn’t like to be picked up until he gets used to you, doesn’t like his butt/back legs getting scratched, gets nervous on car rides, in the bath, being brushed, etc.). He said, “He’s not going to be able to give you the love you’re looking for straight away. It’s going to take a lot of time” and it made me realise I’m quite alone in this.

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Scooby makes himself comfortable – in front of the fan (not pictured)

I was the one who went to the pounds, who googled the rescues, who went and met Scooby and decided to do the trial. This is all my decision and so him and any consequences that come from having him are all on me. It was the same with Oscar but I was single then and he was a puppy. This is very different. I can see the amount of trust it’s going to take for this dog to finally feel safe and it scares me. I don’t want to let him or anyone down.

Anyway, on a positive note, we went on our first walk today, down to the vet to put him on our file and to get him some food. I was going to feed him again when we got home (his foster parents said he didn’t eat his breakfast) but then he managed to scavenge what looked like a whole fucking Fiorentina steak from the side of the road and refused to give it up. I had to wrap my hand in one of his (unused) poo bags and wrestle the meat out of his mouth. He still managed to get a decent sized chunk down. Hopefully there was nothing wrong with it (aside from it being a rotting piece of meat on the side of the road) but I’ll keep an eye on him anyway – just in case.

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The Meat Scavenger on the prowl

Aside from the meat incident, the walk went well. I slid flyers under the doors of the other apartments in our building letting them know we have a rescue dog and asking for their patience while he settles in. We met a neighbour on the stairs and Scooby had a bit of a bark at him but nothing terrible. Another neighbour saw the flyer come under the door and brought her French Bulldog out to meet him, which went fine. We also met a few other dogs on the walk and at the vet and he was fine. He’s pretty fucking spritely for an 11-12 year old dog. He walks pretty fast and takes stairs like a fucking demon. I was hardpressed to keep up with him once I was weighed down with all his food.

Since I started writing this, he finally decided he wanted to get up on the couch, which he managed to do on his own steam in one go. He didn’t quite snuggle me but he got quite close and let me pat him. He’s since gotten down and toddled around the house a bit. I’ll chalk it up as a win.

He’s not Oscar but it’s not fair to expect him to be. He’s his own dog and, once he feels safe, I know he’ll come out of his shell and we’ll see the real Scooby. The foster parents said it took about a month for him to fully trust them so I’m guessing I’m looking at about the same, if not longer. We’ll see. It wasn’t a terrible first day. Oh aside from the fact he sheds like a motherfucker when he’s nervous… so, it’s going to a super furry couple of who-knows-how-longs.

I’m not pregnant but…

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Image credit: Pinterest

Today I did what would probably be called nesting. If I were expecting a child. I’m not (thank fuck). All I’m expecting is a little rescue dog named Scooby and I’m slowly getting the house (and myself) ready for his arrival.

His foster parents will be bringing most of his things with him but I went down to the Pet Barn and bought him another bed and a bunch of treats (no chicken, he’s allergic to chicken). Then I went to see our vet to talk to them about what kind of food will be best for him. While I was there, our usual vet came out and wondered what I was doing there (seeing as we don’t have a dog). I believe the phrase he used was, “What are you doing here? Are you drunk?” I told him we’re getting a rescue dog and when I told him he was 12 years old, he just shook his head. I said, at least he has a snout this time (he was always making fun of us for having snub-faced dogs that have so many health issues) and he laughed and agreed and said he looked forward to meeting him. He really is the best vet, even if he did call our old dogs ‘retard dogs’ (he meant it with all the love in the world. Seriously, he’s amazing).

As I went to pay, the nurse I was talking to opened up our file and was like, “Oh, you’re Oscar’s mum! I remember him.” She had been trying to place me the whole time but it wasn’t until she realised what dog I was related to that she was able to remember me (and him). It was nice of her to remember him (as she said, he was in there a lot!) but it was also tough. The last time I was at the vet was when I picked up Oscar’s ashes and that took nearly everything I had not to burst into tears (the vet nurse was in pretty much the same state though so at least I wasn’t alone).

I’d already had a rough moment this morning when I brought out Oscar’s bed from storage and put it in the lounge room for Scooby to use. It brought back so many memories and made me feel like I was replacing him or forgetting him. I have to remind myself that this is a good thing. Oscar is gone and I’m helping another dog have a happy rest of their life. I would say it’s what Oscar would want but he was a bit of a dick so I don’t know if that would be entirely true. 🙂 God, I miss him. It’s insane how much I still miss him after so fucking long.

I was talking to my therapist about it today. Telling her how stressed and nervous I was about him coming and just wanting his first two weeks (the official trial period) to be good for him. She told me I was “probably overthinking things” and I have to agree. I am prone to this type of behaviour after all. But it’s so new and I don’t know what to expect so it’s making me want to control everything down to the tiniest detail and I know that’s just not possible. He’s a dog. I’m not a monster. He’ll be fine (I hope).

Plus I bought HEAPS of treats so, if nothing else, I will win him over with food.

Meet Scooby

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This is my new little guy. Well, he will be if our two week trial goes well. I filled out all the paperwork, did a FaceTime walkthrough of our apartment so the rescue group could sign off on his potential new living quarters and now I’m just waiting to hear from his current foster parents about when will be the best time for him to come live with us.

And, don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited to have a little doggie in the house again. I want nothing more than to hear four little paws following me around the house and a warm, furry little body snuggling me on the couch but I am also very, very nervous. Scared even. Despite having dogs before, for some reason, this feels different. My other dogs, I all had since they were puppies. They didn’t come with any baggage. Although, to be honest, I did stay up all night worrying that Oscar, my pug, wouldn’t like me when I first got him (I needn’t have worried, I had plenty of beef mince to feed him with and he was nothing if not food driven).

But Scooby is a rescue. He has a history that began waaaay before me. He’s nearly twelve. He lived with his owner until his owner suddenly had to go into care and then he was left at his owner’s apartment – all alone – with just family members dropping off food to him FOR THREE TO FIVE MONTHS. All alone for so long after being a cherished family pet. So needless to say, he doesn’t like being alone for very long as he has no fucking clue if anyone will ever come back for him. Which is fair enough. Luckily, I have a job where I can be at home most of the time or I can take him with me if I do need to go in for whatever reason. But I’m still worried.

I’ve met him twice now and we’ve got along fine but that’s different from living together. Oscar loved me straight away. Scooby’s foster parents said it’s taken him a month to really get comfortable with them and now I’m uprooting him again. I’m stressing myself out looking at my calendar trying to figure out the best time to take him so I can spend plenty of time with him so his first two weeks can be as stressfree as possible.

I know how big a responsibility a dog is but I’ve never had a rescue dog so I’m scared I won’t be up to the task, especially with how I am just in general at the moment. I’ve been doing some excessive partying lately and that will have to stop if I take Scooby because he can’t be left alone for so long. Do I have the will power to say no and go home? Oscar didn’t really need much walking and would happily stay inside with us on the couch if we were hungover. Scooby needs walks. What if I’m hungover? Will I force myself to get up and take him?

Am I just getting the ‘wedding night’ jitters now that it’s all actually happening? I don’t know. All I know is I want to do the right thing by him but all of a sudden I’m having nightmares and feeling more scared that excited. Terrified actually. Hopefully it all goes well and it’s just nerves. We’ll see, I suppose.

Being honest with myself

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Image credit: Slideshare

This is something I would normally write on my other blog (mainly because my mum reads this one – hi mum!) but I’m feeling like I should be more honest with myself, just in general. For those that read both blogs, there will obviously still be some things that stay on the other site, just due to the G rating of this one (if I keep up my writing that is, it’s not like much of that has been going on lately!), but I don’t feel this is something that should be hidden, just because it’s on the more negative side and involves aspects of our non-conventional relationship.

Ok. Here goes. 2018 has been a pretty fucking shitty year all round. Hopefully all of you had better years but mine fucking sucked and I’ve been seeing a therapist since July to try and sort my shit out. Actually, I was seeing two therapists for awhile there because I couldn’t decide but I finally dropped down to one in October. Brief rundown of the shit this poor woman (and, for a few months, poor women) have to deal with:

  • Really low self-esteem, self-worth and body image issues that are wreaking havoc with my insecurities and ability to trust. I think this is something that has gradually been increasing over the last three or so years since we seriously opened up our relationship
  • Processing the fall out of our break up with Cherish, the girlfriend we had for about three months earlier in the year, and how this has affected/is affecting our relationship (yes, still, but mainly just me)
  • Our oldest (and last remaining) dog died in April.

That’s it in a nutshell, really. But this has been going on for months so why am I just writing about it now? Well, I slept really badly last night (as I have been a bit the last few forevers) and I was lying on the couch, head spinning with thoughts, and figured, ‘why not let everyone else in on the mess that is currently me?’ Writing has always helped me get my head around things so why am I not using it now, at my lowest point?

The thought that prompted me to pick up the computer instead of continuing my downward spiral of negativity was the fact that I am considering adopting a rescue dog. It’s taken me just over seven months to be able to even consider this but, two weeks ago, something in me clicked and I started going to dog pounds and seriously looking on rescue websites. I’d been looking on and off for awhile but always decided I wasn’t ready but, two weeks ago, IT WAS ON. I think partly because I knew Jared was going to be working a lot (he’s opened a new venue in the last week and a bit) and I wanted a companion to help stave off the loneliness.

Anyway, I may go more into the detail of my search in another post but, long story short, I may have found a dog. His name is Scooby and he’s an 11 (nearly 12yo) terrier cross. I met him last week and then they brought him over to our house so he could see the place and meet Jared and I’ve decided to go ahead with the two week trial period (when we get back from Tasmania next week).

So this morning, for some reason (probably because I’ve yet to her back from the rescue people), my head is whirling with thoughts about this dog. What if he doesn’t like me? What if he’s not like Oscar (my pug that died this year)? What if he is like Oscar? All the imaginary scenarios are playing out in my head of him being like Oscar and – bang – too much. Tears. Fuck I miss that dog (and Ami, our other dog as well, of course). But Oscar was mine. I’d had him since he was a puppy and he was the reason Jared got Ami (because he loved Oscar so much and wanted his own dog). He would have been 14 this year. Anyway, I think I may be a bit more emotional than usual because I didn’t sleep well last night but this has been my life of late. These crazy swings in feelings, waaaaay too many feelings. Sometimes so many feelings I take a Valium (or two) just so they will go away and I can have some peace and quiet (and/or get to sleep).

I don’t know. I know we all struggle with lows from time to time and I definitely don’t feel like the way I feel right now is me. I think I have had a genuinely bad year and I’m just trying to deal with it but sometimes I worry that it’s more than that. Sometimes my thoughts are darker than I would like to admit and I’ve never actually felt this way about myself and my body specifically (I’d generally consider myself quite confident, at the very least in how I look) so it scares me to be so unsure. And not even unsure, so outright negative about myself.

A GP I saw recommended anti-depressants but I don’t feel like I’m there yet. Or maybe I just don’t want to admit it. My therapist doesn’t think I need them. But I just want to feel good again. I want to feel like ‘me’, like the old Natalie, the one I can still pretend to be if I’m in public, even though I know the whole time it’s a fucking lie. I’m beginning to feel like she’s just an act now but I hope she’s still in there somewhere. Rest assured, I’m doing my best to find her.

4.57am is a totally normal time to wake up

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I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. You know the deal (or maybe you don’t and you’re one of those people that can sleep anywhere, anytime and for as long as needed, in which case, fuck you) but anyway yes, broken sleep, waking up super early (like still-dark early) then can’t get back to sleep.

I’d previously chalked it up to there now being three of us in our bed (“us” being myself, Jared and our new girlfriend of just over two months, Cherish; we’re in a polyamorous relationship) but she slept at home last night. And while I slept solidly for a few hours (from about 11pm or a bit earlier), I woke up when Jared came home just before 3am and then had a series of nightmares after that.

The first one woke me up crying (it was about my dog that recently died) and the other one was your garden variety, brain-doing-a-number-on-you type of nightmare and after that I was like right, that’s enough of that! I got up, got some water and walked around for a bit. I find if I go back to sleep too soon, I just go back into the same bad dream or something like it. But then I couldn’t get back to sleep and when I checked the time – lo and behold – it’s just before 5am. It’s like the fucking witching hour for me or something. The last few nights I’ve woken up and haven’t been able to get back to sleep, I’ve woken up exactly around the same time and then I lay there getting furiouser and furiouser about my lot in life and my inability to get a decent sleep.

So I’m currently writing this from the couch at 5.36am after finally deciding to get out of bed and give up on trying to kid myself that I’ll be able to fall back asleep. Once the sun actually comes up (yep, it’s still dark outside), I might go for a walk. In the meantime, I have my book so I’ll probably read. Ah, that reminds me of another thing I was going to write about. Well, at least on the plus side, it’s giving me ideas for writing and a quiet space to do it in. Yeah thanks, insomnia/my asshole brain. Give me my creativity back but trade it for some very fucked up sleep. I don’t believe I ever signed on to this deal.

I’m going to be in a great mood today, aren’t I?