This weekend was a bit of a rough weekend in our house.
Joe's GF (yep, you heard me right) lost her 15 yr old Maltese a few mos back. She loves Ela, Joe's dog, and just has done wonders in making her a contributing member to society. Ela can be around cats and goes to her daughter's girl scout meetings and sits nicely and quietly (this is after poor Scoobi Doo the cat has lost 8 of her 9 lives to Ela). So Missy ended up adopting this dog - real nice looking lab mix named Sandy.
Apparently, there was some miscommunication about the aggressive nature of this dog - on Saturday, it all came to a head. Apparently, there were some issues at Petsmart with a smaller dog - which should have been our first clue. Anyway, Joe and Missy brought over my Girl Scout cookies, and I came out to see Sandy and Ela. Sandy appears to be a very sweet girl, and El just wanted to see me, so we got them out of the car. Being as El and Sandy got along, I told Joe to let Chel out. Big mistake - Chel came trotting out of her garage, happy as a clam to see her Uncle Joey and then encountered Sandy. It all happened within a matter of seconds - Sandy growled at her and before any of us had a chance to do anything, Sandy had Chel pinned on the ground. Ela was quick to jump to her cousin's defense, and pounced on Sandy. We had 3 75 lb dogs growling and yelping and fighting in the driveway. It was horrible - Ela and Sandy were the aggressors and poor Chelsie was trying to figure out how to get out of Sandy's grip. We finally got them separated - there were clumps of black fur all over my driveway. Joe took Chelsie in the house and I got Ela back into the car and went in the house to check on Joe and Chelsie. Ten seconds seemed like a lifetime.
I went into the house and Chelsie, still obviously shaken, came running over - she was still very stressed and upset, and was just losing fur left and right (a sign of stress in dogs) Even worse, Joe was bent over the sink, running water on his finger. For those of you that don't know, Joe had a minor run in with his table saw a few years ago and removed the tip of his right index finger from the first knuckle up. Limbs that have been injured like that are very sensitive. In the mayhem, dog jaws got his finger - I went into my house to find him hunched over the sink running water on his finger. Joe has a VERY high tolerance for pain and I was very worried - I asked him if he was going to pass out and he said he did not think he was going to. Thank god he didn't but I was not sure he wouldn't....he felt horrible and was practically in tears as he was petting Chelsie and telling her he was sorry.
Long story short, they ended up taking the dog back to the Humane Society - which was just horrible too. Clearly, the aggression of the dog was a safety issue at that point, but it was still upsetting to all parties involved. Please, please - for those of you thinking of adopting a dog, if there is any mention of aggression, there is another dog out there for you. I fault the humane society for this because someone there should have known this dog was not ready for the setting they agreed to place her in. Joe was very forthcoming with the people that they needed to work with her and make sure she goes to a home where she is the only dog. Subtlety is not a strong point of my brothers...
It took me well over an hour to calm Chelsie down - I had her on the bed with me, and she licked her lips and right front paw for over an hour. I also had to vacuum the bed because she shed all over it. Finally, we were able to nap, the both of us. She seems no worse for the wear, but I am scarred permanently by this.
Despite this and her mother, she managed to go to work tonight and do a great job. The house was relatively full, but many people were sleeping. Two of our patients stood out tonight. The first one was a young man named Levi. Levi had obviously been in an accident of some sort - he was on a ventilator and did not have use of his arms. He communicated to his mother through blinking his eyes. He was in a private room, and the door was part way closed - I knocked and asked if they wanted to see the dog. They did, so in we went.
This room was situated a little differently - as I said it was a private room, probably because of the vent and support he required. Ventilators are not quiet, and his bed was very high up - when she got in her chair, she could rest her head on his bed. I had her get in her chair, and she checked him out by giving him a good sniff. His mother picked up his hand and petted Chelsie with it. The room was warm and we were in very tight quarters - I literally had her pinned into a small space on the chair. I silently prayed she would not get antsy and want to go - and God love her, she did just what she needed to do. His mother was very grateful and I hope he was too. He has a long haul ahead of him, keep him in your prayers. We made a difference to Levi and his mom tonight.
The second was a patient we saw in the lobby - his was the last room we had gone into and he was not there, as he was out visiting with his family. The man was the patient, and had a big scar on his head, and I am guessing the woman was the wife. There was another lady and about a 15 yr old boy there. Real nice family, we talked for a long time. They were big buckeye fans and loved Chelsie's collar. Right as we were getting ready to leave, I had Chelsie give the guy her paw - as she did, she let one go, for the whole world to hear. I love my dog dearly, but she belches and farts like a truck driver. Good thing they were dog peeps and understood.
As I write this, my little girl is resting comfortably next to me. Chel's grammie and grampie have returned, and on their errands today, they stopped by and gave her a break. I feel very fortunate that she was not injured in this weekend's event, and am very proud of her work tonight.
We hope this finds everyone well. Take care and stay warm,
Love Nicole & The Chelsie Belle