Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Two dogs are different than one

Hannah moved in last week and it's been a grand time.  First, she's super funny.  Second, she can cook, so Diego and I are no longer living off Cafe Fresh Steamers.  And third, she has brought with her Spencie's best friend -- Charlie.

These are things I have learned in a post-Casa De Diego, Hannah, Ru, Spence and Charlie World.

A teeny dog like Spence cannot open a bedroom door.

But a giant dog like Charlie can!

In fact, a giant dog like Charlie can barrel right into Diego's room on a Saturday morning, doorknobs be damned.  Lucky for Diego, he is the world's deepest sleeper, and napped his way though Charlie and Spence play fighting until Hannah and I dragged them out.

A beensy dog like Spence cannot drink out of a toilet.

But Charlie can.  And boy, does he like it!

And a picky, bratty dog like Spence takes his sweet time eating his food.  But now that Charlie is here too, all bets are off, little pup.

Most of the differences now that Charlie is here are positive or at least amusing, but there is one change that is a potentially mixed bag.

Hannah got Charlie from a rescue (yay Hannah!), not a breeder (boo, Ru, you're the the worst!) and Charlie has severe anxiety.  He doesn't hurt other animals, has never snapped at a person, and he doesn't destroy anything -- he just cries when he's left alone.  And when I say "cries," I mean he sounds like he's being murdered.

That has been ok, since really, he's not alone all that often.  He spends a lot of time with Hannah's family or with a doggie daycare, and when Hannah has to go to work, usually Diego or I are at home.

But this morning, Hannah left for a 6:30 am shift.

And Charlie started crying. 

Now, Spence sleeps in his crate, but once in awhile I let him nap on my bed.  This morning I let Spence out at 5am for a potty break, so he got to sleep on the bed with me for a couple hours before I got up to get ready for work.

As soon as Charlie started crying, Spencer started pacing on my bed.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Nothing I could say reassured him that, no, the little girl from The Ring was not downstairs, crawling out of Hannah's TV to get Charlie.  (Spence and I watch a lot of horror movies together.)

Finally I gave up and got out of bed, but even with the lights on, Spence was still anxious.  (I guess the dark is not a big deal when your real problem is potential caninicide.)  So I took him out for a walk.

Where he sat outside on the sidewalk, refusing to budge.

So I took him back inside and gave him a treat. 

Where he proceeded to yelp as if it hurt him to eat his delicious, delicious treat.

By now, Diego (the infamous sleep-inner) was also up and getting ready for a day at court, so asked him if he thought Spence was being weird.  Diego's response?  "You know, I've never really noticed that Spence has eyebrows until now.  Because those things are clearly furrowed."

This led to a great Diego and Ru debate -- is Spencer sick?  Is he just upset about crying Charlie?  Is he experiencing sympathy pain?  (But if Charlie isn't really in pain, how could it be sympathy pain?)  And WHEN IS CHARLIE GOING TO STOP CRYING?

The end result is, I have no idea if Spence is sick or just sad, and if I can't decide by either my lunchtime visit or when I come home tonight, off to the overly expensive vet we go!

So Charlie's anxiety led to Spencer's anxiety, which led to Ru's anxiety (and of course I called Hannah to get her in on this action, so now she's having a rough morning as well).    If I can get Diego really upset by tonight, the circle will be complete. 

The old lady who swallowed the fly indeed.

I know it looks like Spence is getting his face bitten off, but that's just how he and Charlie express affection.  HUG TIME!


  1. Turn on NPR for Charlie, nothing soothes the savage beast like Doug Fabrizo, but seriously a radio going always helps Sparky be less of a co-dependent wuss when I leave.

    Wait, it's pledge drive week. Now I have anxiety about not donating, damn.

  2. This may or may not work, but the place we adopted our dog from recommended this herbal thing called Rescue Remedy (they sell it in the pills part of Sunflower Market. little yellow box). It supposedly helps soothe people and animals. Just kind of like an anti-anxiety thing. It didn't seem to work on Monster, but it totally chilled Zim out. So maybe it could help with Charlie a little bit. 3-4 drops is the dosage, I think.

  3. Hmm...glad you added the caption to that picture because Spence's cute life was about to flashe before my eyes :-)

  4. update: I think it's just Charlie that's causing the anxiety. He was fine when I went home at lunch. Charlie is also doing a little better, and yes, he's listening to soothing music. :)

  5. We leave Planet Earth running for Sydney while we're out. She likes to watch the birds flying by. :) Glad to hear both pups are adjusting!

  6. I never had a dog (I know *gasp*) but from what experience I've had with them I can see how this would be a stressful situation for everyone. Wishing you the best!