I always jump into things from the deep end. I do well at first but the moment I start treading water, I panic. When you are fostering an introverted dog you need nerves of steel and precision movement. For Zach, I was willing to become the perfect adoptive parent. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.
I made a mistake that resulted in a little scare, the kind that seem meaningless at first but over time your brain mulls it out of control. My husband got over the incident in three minutes. It took me, the introvert, a day and a half to get over it. The error? I gave my husband an instruction to take Zach’s Thundershirt off in the middle of a storm. In hindsight that was the wrong thing to do. I was tired, it was 2 am. What happened? Zach growled and asked for space which is a normal dog response. Honestly not a big deal. I took it personally, thought he didn’t like me anymore. That’s such a selfish thing to project. How could he not love us? It was a little warning, nothing major but it made me doubt my own abilities to care for him. For some dark reason I felt like a failure, as if one mistake could cost us all the hardwork entrusted to us. Normal people call these events misunderstandings, flukes. But to an introvert like me, it felt like the end of the world.
The real culprit for my guilt and the thoughts of giving up that steal my peace of mind are classic subconscious efforts to sabotage my resolve. I royally overreacted. We are all okay. Can I really handle this? Yes. Do I want to? Yes. I was feeling overwhelmed as a new fur-mother and new hire. There is a financial burden attached to this endeavor and I was cash strapped to begin with, I took too much on. It is seriously time to ask for a little help. If we want to do right by him we can’t fail him now! When the going gets tough, the tough keep going.
Even before posting this message the offers of financial assistance came pouring in. Some of my friends wanted to share as much as they could with me, helping ease the financial burden. I no longer feel alone, although I am still afraid, but that too is subsiding. The outpour of support helped me calm down and regain my perspective. Phenomenal! My husband took extra care to tend to Zach when Z was still uneasy because of my uneasiness. He felt that I thought he did something wrong. He didn’t. I just don’t bounce back from difficult situations as fast as I used to. I need to do a Zachary shake off. There’s more baggage to shift, move or throw away. The train takes a bit longer to pull away from the station.
As his caregiver, I realize he needs more space, and I do too. Soundproofing can only do so much and cleaning the carpet daily is starting to get to me. Normal mom stuff which makes me highly emotional. Who knew? Between the new construction, the closeness of the homes, the rising traffic flow in our area, and the tunnel of air that forms during windstorms, the odds were a bit stacked against our family. However, everyday we manage to overcome it without incident. I need to stop sweating the small stuff. Now I can imagine more accurately how parenting must feel.
Before I wrote this post I had created a column celebrating 100 days with Zach on what I wanted to officially crown as his birthday and adoption day, March 20th. Like my husband informed me, there is no need ro rush. Three months is not enough time to get a case like Z’s squared away. I don’t have to fix him, just love him as he is. No one is judging us, hurrying us, or putting any blame on us for slowing down and thinking about what is best for our family. Apparently to a lot of people out there think he is already home and that the celebrations will happen at the best possible time. I believe that much is true. *Sigh*
Love is a verb. A decision we make every day to support and value those we love. The amount of emotion and vested interest in Zach’s well being is there, and it is boundless. I know I am entitled to change my mind, to break the promises I intended to keep because those involved know that in the end Zach will be okay, but it is not okay to bolt from my commitments based on doubt. Because I owe him and everyone involved a chance to find the best course of action for Z, we will check with a behaviorist to determine what type of treatment and training he would benefit the most from. Confidence can be built and in our case improved if we get accurate counseling. Zach is doing so well thanks in part because we haven’t shied away from this challenge and I don’t want to stop doing so now. Like my sister stated, this is how I know I am expanding my comfort zone, when I am anxious about my decisions; when we redefine playing it safe. 🙂
Please keep us in your thoughts and send good vibes. We need reassurance and moral support to ensure we continue to do right by him. I am not perfect and I can too fail. I need to take off the chip on my shoulder. We are here to earn a win for Z and in the process a win for ourselves. Asking for help and accepting it is never a bad thing. Expect to hear about somekind of gofundme or wishlist for my birthday, and feel free to suggest fundraising ideas. Getting Zach to a better diagnosis is the best gift anyone can ever give me. There is no shame in asking for a little help from my friends.
Zach’s gofundme link: