I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to do an update about Dexter’s adoption day.Â 🙂
The week before we had a “house visit” with New Daddy and got a chance to see where Dexter would be living. It was also a chance for me to watch New Daddy and Dexter interact and there is a nice little love-match there. Dexter digs New Daddy a lot.
So we planned to drop of Dexter on Saturday evening… and then I was suddenly riddled with anxiety. Is this the right home? I felt deep in my heart that New Daddy was a good fit for Dexter. He is a calm assertive loving man who has a mellow home life but an active life outside the house. I mean … that’s all I wanted for Dexter was someone who fit that description. My biggest worry was wondering if New Daddy going to be able to handle Dexter’s crazy-quirks?
So I had an emergency meeting with my wise friend Kimmee and she got to meet Dexter (for the first time) and we had a long talk about my fears. She reminded me that Dexter was no longer broken. That I had spent the last 4+ months putting him back together and that all she saw in front of her was a lovely dog full of loving energy and lots of promise.
My perspective changed in an instant when she said that and I was able to look at Dexter with “fresh eyes“. He really has blossomed into a regular quirky DOG and was no longer a bundle of crazy stress. I worked so hard with him the last months on his doggie etiquette, reducing his anxiety that I was so focused on grooming him to be an adoptable dog and I wasn’t looking at him as a dog that no longer needed to be fixed!
Suddenly all my fears went away and I felt ready to let Dexter go to New Daddy’s house.Â 🙂
The night before I was to take Dexter over we had a long romp (with Fergus) at the dog park. There were 25 dogs there and it was so fun to watch him run around and interact with other dogs “like a normal dog”. There was no fear or stress. Just FUN! So much fun. Fergus ended up having a little bit too much fun and when we got home I noticed that he was limping. I checked his paws and they seemed fine so I thought maybe he pulled his back again.
So that night we kept things mellow. I tried my best to keep Fergus from jumping on/off the sofa and we all burrowed down under blankets for a lazy night of watching movies and snuggling.
Dexter crashed HARD and even though my arm was falling asleep I stayed in this position as long as possible. I wanted to drink up every lazy, sleepy Dexter moment I could.
The next morning I noticed that Fergus was really stiff and limping so I decided to keep him on bed-rest and keep an eye on him while I packed up Dexter’s gear for New Daddy. Dexter kept giving me these looks … I think he knew that something was about to change.
I wanted to keep his anxiety as low as possible so I was going to take him to the park and exercise the stress away but then Fergus limped over to where I was standing in the kitchen and barfed. Uh oh. That’s a sigh of stress and pain so I scooped him up and took him to the Emergency Hospital and left Dexter at home in the crate to chill.
Fergus was given a full exam and he had indeed strained himself but it was nothing that required x-rays or medication so he’s been ordered to have 5 days of bed-rest.
Got home. Got Fergus settled and then took Dexter to the park for his last big exercise run. I wanted him to be depleted of crazy energy for the drop-off at New Daddy’s House.
We had a grand time at the park and then came home to check on Fergus. Both dogs STUNK from the romp at dog-park the night before so I gave them both a bath and then I tucked them onto the sofa and we had a shivery snuggle until they were dry.
I kept thinking about how it felt like I was getting Dexter ready for prom or graduation. Once Dex was dry I brushed him out and then shared a little moment. He always likes to get into my face and stare deeply into my eyes while he breaths my breath only this time it was different.
I stared deep into his soulful eyes as I’ve done every day since he arrived but instead of making a “shhhhhh” noise like I always did to calm him down – this time I whispered “your welcome“.
I burst into tears but tears quickly turned into laughing because Dexter was all over my face with his giant tongue. I guess it was my turn to have a bath.Â 🙂
Almost all of Dexter’s stress triggers have been worked out but he still has a few quirks. One is the car – it’s still tough to leave the car because he has a melt-down. The 2nd is trying to leave the house without him. I didn’t want to leave New Daddy’s house and have Dexter stressed out about us leaving without him so with the help of Kimmee – I came up with a plan for a smooth transition to New Daddy’s place.
First we drove over to New Daddy’s house and while Gerry got all of Dexter’s gear out of the car I took the boys for a walk around the block to get rid of any negative energy that Dexter was holding on to from the stress of the car ride.
I popped the dogs back in the car and Gerry and I went to New Daddy’s house and we dropped of the gear and I showed him how Dex’s medications need to be administered, etc etc. Then we all went down to the car and I handed New Daddy Dexters leash and we all went for another walk up the street.
On the way back to the condo we had decided that New Daddy would walk Dexter into the condo without making any kind of fuss while Gerry, Fergus and I stayed on the street and it was seamless. Dexter didn’t even look back … he happily trotted alongside of New Daddy like he was on his way to have a new adventure. It was amazing!! 🙂 Once Dex was inside – Gerry gave me a big hug and we went home.
When I got home I had an e-mail from New Daddy saying that Dexter had eaten his dinner with no problems and that they were snuggled on the couch watching TV and that all is going well. I’ve had a few other updates since and New Daddy says he hardly notices any of the “crazy” I warned him about and that all Dexter’s been so far is a polite well balanced dog. Yippee! I’m so proud of Dexter!!
We’ve decided to get together for a walk on the beach but I’m going to wait a month. I want Dex to really bond with New Daddy before we hang out again …Â 🙂
As for Fergus. He’s doing much better … still a little sore but is on the mend.
A lot of you have asked me if I think Fergus misses Dexter and my answer is no. Fergus and Dexter politely ignored each other the whole titme Dex was here. They would occasionally wrestle but that was it. I think the age difference (Dex is 4 and Fergus is 10) was too vast. *laugh*
As soon as Dex left – Fergus kind of came out of his shell and has been bugging me for attention and has been acting a fool. I think he’s very happy to be the only dog in the house again.Â 🙂
I can’t ever thank you guys enough for your love and support. I could not have made it through this without your help and guidance. Thank you.Â 🙂
I am so happy for Dexter! What a great transition.
I got a little teary reading your blog (at work of all places!)
Awesome job Sarah.
Yay, that’s the best possible outcome I could have imagined!
Aww that made me want to cry! You did an amazing job with Dexter! Its wonderful to know hes no longer broken and is living with his new Daddy! 🙂 Yay!
This made me cry! You did a good thing, and it’s really happy to see it ending so well.