Early Days

A Hell of a Night

Rosa’s Facebook page, April 13th, way-too-early o’clock:

The dogs made it through the night, mostly by wrestling, barking for me every half hour or so, and watching while Hate You Forever peed all over the place. I need a coffee and a handful of doggy Xanax.
________________

The hell with the dogs, I wanted my own happy pills. The night of April 12th was a nightmare.  I went to sleep at around four in the morning and woke up around four-fifteen.

After four hours of the aforementioned wrestling barking pee party, Senior Dog was already fed up with Hate You Forever’s energy level. Pitsenji is an excitable dog and any new thing makes her have to urinate. Between her and Hate You Forever we were scrubbing the floor every twenty minutes or so.

We didn’t have an extra crate or even an extra collar for Hate You Forever, and there wasn’t space to put him in with either one of the other dogs. We had to find another spot for the little dude.

The first floor master bath has a tile floor and unlike the other Craphouse bathrooms it isn’t being used for storage. We decided put him in there overnight because it would be easy to clean.

This did not seem like a really stupid idea at the time.

Of course, I’d been awake for 20 hours by then and my thinking had gone fuzzy at the edges.

Every time I tried to pick up HYF, he’d either bolt under a piece of furniture (or one of the other dogs) or flop over on his side, close his eyes to slits, and breathe verryyyy slowly. I had never seen a dog play dead from terror before; it nearly gave me an aneurysm until I realized it was mostly an act he put on so we’d leave him alone.

Hate You Forever’s first bath ever was just a few hours earlier and he hated that like fire. When he understood that I was carrying him back to the bathroom he began screeching and trying to climb over my shoulder, my face, the side of my head…it was like holding onto a cracked-out howler monkey.

When I got him into the room he ran behind the toilet and tried to play dead. He was small enough to fit back there, but not small enough to flop over. He got his head stuck between the water supply line and the wall and began yelling for help. He was still committed to the “leave me alone, I’m dead” thing, though, so his screeching was in this creepy whisper and his panicked pulling away was in odd little slow-motion twitches.

He held still for me to untangle him and then scooted to a different spot behind the toilet. He gave me the strongest dose of Rage Eyes I’ve ever had and then fell down “dead” again.

We had already put water mixed with Pedialyte and a tiny amount of food in with him (he was terribly thin; eating too much, too fast might have caused his kidneys to fail), covered the floor with newspaper, and piled some towels on the floor for a bed. I knew he would be fine for a couple of hours. I set my alarm for time-for-another-tiny-meal o’clock and crashed out.

For fifteen minutes.

While trying to get him into the car, I fed him what was probably the largest single meal he’d ever had; now, eight and a half hours later, the smell from his resulting mess came into my room, smacked me awake, and kicked my ass down the hall.

Those towels were wrecked.

I cleaned everything up, pulled out some older, more disposable towels for him, and went back to bed.

I didn’t even make it under the blankets.

The funk of his next mess kicked down the door and yelled directly into my brain, “Something awful is happening!” Then it laughed at me as I cringed my way back to the bathroom.

Although I hadn’t bothered telling HYF “no” when he messed on the towels (there wasn’t any point; I could tell he hadn’t dealt enough with humans to know or even care what that meant), something in my demeanor must have let him know that using them as a toilet wasn’t desirable. He took great care to avoid dirtying the ratty old towels the second time he had to go.

I had forgotten the hamper.

You know the one: full of my work clothes and my favorite t-shirt.

Hate You Forever was sitting up, chest out and ears perked, waiting to see if I understood this amazing thing he’d done.  It was the first time he smiled right at me.

He’d had some difficulty getting out of the hamper. I could tell because there were dog-mess paw prints up the wall and the sink as far as he could reach.

He didn’t seem to know about being praised, so I have no idea what he was hoping I’d do. All I know is, my reaction drove him right back behind the toilet.

I spent the rest of the morning boiling everything that had ever been in the bathroom and Googling dog shelter Detroit.

Half an hour before Laulo woke up, Hate You Forever broke out of the bathroom, woke up the other two dogs, got Pitsenji all worked up with the usual result, crawled under the sofa and flopped over dead-ish so that I had to fight the dust bunnies to retrieve him.

I was tying up the trash when Laulo came out.  I must have been wearing my crazyface: he pointed to the bag and said, “Puppy?”

“Just trash.”

“How’s the puppy?”

“What puppy? We have two dogs and Satan.”

“…”

“Satan’s sleeping behind the toilet.”

“…please don’t name the dog; we aren’t keeping him, right?”

“Goddamned right we’re not.”

“Hey, your SCIENCE, BITCHES shirt is in there.”

Satan.”

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