Thursday, January 10, 2013

Puppy Prozac

For all of my mom friends about to read this, stop right there. Alternatively, please check your (well-deserved) righteousness at the door. I'm about to compare my dogs to your children. If that pains your heart or offends your being, come back for the next post - promise it won't hurt as much.

For those still with me, on we go. I hope we've met in real life. If we have, chances are you've either met/puppy-sat/seen pictures/received kisses from the two most adorable yorkies on the face of the planet, Petrie and Pax. 

And, having met them, you've probably taken note that they also happen to be the most OCD yorkies on the planet. (Hmm....wonder who they may have learned that from?)

Who me? Couldn't be.

Example A: Petrie tends to compulsively focus on things. Often times I find her sitting in a corner of a closet, her back to me, intently watching my clothes. That's not weird, right? 

Those clothes, so interesting. So very, very interesting.

Example B (and the subject of this post): Paxter tends to be psychotically afraid of the following:
  • Rain;
  • Thunder;
  • The overhead fan that sometimes sounds like rain;
  • The AC unit on the bottom floor of the apartment complex that sometimes sounds like rain;
  • The tree scratching on the window that sometimes sounds like rain...
You're getting my point here, right? Paxter is TERRIFIED of all things "boom-boom" related. And the older he gets, the more obsessive-compulsive he gets. He's convinced his death by lightning strike is imminent. (Note, however, he's wise enough to realize that death by lightning strike can only occur at night while Mom and Goose are otherwise asleep. Obviously.)

Pax on high alert.

And we're not talking about a little case of the nerves here, friends. We're talking about a little: "MOM!MOM!WAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUP!IT'SRAINING!IJUSTKNOWIT!CANYOUHEARMEMOM!THERAINISGOINGTOGETMEANDYOUANDGOOSEANDSISTER!MUSTWAKEUP!MUSTWAKEUP!MOM!MOM!MOM!" accompanied by some heaving panting, some SERIOUS trembles and some Mom-face scratching (to ensure I've heard him otherwise). 

Impending doom.

We're talking the type of panting that reminds you what he's had for dinner. The type of trembles that shake the king-size bed. The type of face scratching that will make an elephant bleed. Did I mention that he's positive the only remotely safe place to intently watch for impending doom is from atop my head?

Home remedies we've tried through the years:
  • Sleeping in the guest bedroom, which has no outside walls;
  • Sleeping in the master closet (ON THE FLOOR), which is even deeper in the labyrinth and even more sound-proof;
  • Being sequestered in the bathtub;
  • Taking Puppy Prozac daily;
  • Sleeping with a baby white noise machine;
  • Kenneling; and
  • Standing outside in the rain as proof he'll survive.
To no avail. None. If it's raining (or Pax has convinced himself it's raining), we're awake. Gloriously awake. 

Me at 3am.

Until recently. My heart has hardened. We've come to grips with his OCD and realized he must as well. I believe this is what some of you mothers call "Letting them cry it out?" Yes? (Has our friendship survived that comparison?)

As of late, our solution is below. Suggestions for improvements in such are, of course, encouraged but most likely rejected by Paxter. Alternatively, feel free to send high doses of sleeping medication and/or sympathy cards to my attention.
  • Layer bottom of guest room bathtub with thick, noise-insulating blanket;
  • Insert puppy kennel;
  • Wrap Paxter's feet with protective bandages (below) as protection against the inevitable escape attempts;
  • Insert Paxter into kennel;
  • Surround puppy kennel on both sides with thick, noise-insulating blankets;
  • Turn on noise-insulating vent fan;
  • Leave on overhead light (in the event that boom-booms humanize and seek out Paxter in the kennel);
  • Shut guest bathroom door;
  • Shut guest quarters door;
  • Shut master bedroom door;
  • Turn on white noise machine and noise-insulating box fan on high speed (this step not optional, even in winter months);
  • Put on winter-grade headband over eyes and ears;
  • Convince Petrie that Pax hasn't been murdered in the night and that she's surely next;
  • Attempt fitful sleep.
Paxie's feet band-aids.
The six steps of noise-insulation? Not for Paxter and the rain. He's on his own for that one. For our neighbors, so they don't report us to the SPCA for his barking and clawing at kennel door that will surely last through the night. 

Wouldn't it be awesome if that were actually us? And Goose had that sweet facial hair?

My favorite part? The next morning, when Petrie and I release Pax from puppy jail, he's so shocked that it's a new day and he's survived the night that he totally forgets that only hours ago, he just KNEW the world was ending. It's a sight to behold. He forgives me all over again. 

I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for you all night!

On that note, who's ready to puppysit in the rain?

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