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:
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.