Give Me A Break

I’m tired. I love my dogs but I’m tired.

Risa had several chronic illnesses and problems. IBS, food sensitivities/allergies, IVDD, and a chronic UTI at the end. Plus her slew of behavior problems. I spent her entire life managing problems. Don’t take this the wrong way; I love that dog. I love her more than words can say. But it’s tiring.

Kyu is not much better. He’s behaviorally normal but his IBD is far more stressing of a chronic illness than Risa’s IBS. His disease reared its ugly head and became a major problem about a month after I had to say “good bye” to Ri.

After trying to manage his GI troubles with diet, we attempted to treat with antibiotics. After 2 months, there was no improvement so I finally recognized I had no choice but to have an endoscopy/colonoscopy done so we could figure out what is truly going on. I received the results last weekend and it was as expected. White blood cells in his intestinal lining and some cells indicative of difficulty in processing fats. At least there were no overt signs of disease. He had some inflammation of his esophagus so we did a 10 day course of omeprazole and sucralfate. Now it’s on to tougher medicine for life-long management. He’s not even 5 years old.

I’m frustrated. I’m tired. I haven’t been able to catch a break. I spent 12+ years managing Risa’s issues only to spend another 2+ managing Kyu’s. And his breed is long-lived so I’m looking at another 10+ years of this. I love my dogs. I love them despite all the bullshit I have to deal with to keep them happy and healthy. But I’m tired. I’m really tired of having to deal with this. I just want to enjoy having a dog.

Along with his health issues, Kyu doesn’t give me a break in life either. He’s so sensitive to the smallest slight that half the time I have no idea what I did to mess things up. One day something is fine to do and the next time I try it he outright refuses. I have no idea why. It’s so damaging to our relationship and I don’t even realize I’ve done it. I know some things are obvious. He’s clearly not a fan of liquid medications (which is going to be a problem) and it was not exactly fun for either of us to try and get that taken care of. He did not want to go into the kitchen because he knew it was coming. One morning he ran away into the bedroom and wouldn’t come out. I can easily see why these moments are stressful for him and I could develop training plans to work through them. It’s the ones that come out of seemingly nowhere that leave me baffled and frustrated.

Like why do you no longer like to do the scratch board for your nails? I have absolutely no idea how I ruined that but now I get to fix it. Hopefully. Especially since nail trims are still his #1 most horrible thing Mom does to me ever.

With Risa, even if she didn’t like it, she’d let me do it. That’s not ideally how I want to build a relationship with my dogs but at least I knew I could do it if I had to. Kyu is not that forgiving and it adds further challenge to our lives together.

I’m frustrated. I’m tired. I just want to enjoy spending time with my dogs without so much emotional baggage.

About Jamie

I'm just a traditionally-trained artist with interests in dog training. I currently teach classes at the local obedience training club (tricks, freestyle, and Rally-FrEe) and I also teach classes professionally for an organization who helps veterans train their own service dogs.
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