Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day Two Part II: The Great Escape

**After writing about day two with Barry it turned into a really long post so I made it a two part post. This is part II.** - find part I here.

Here's a pic of Barry to tide you over!
About 30 - 45 minutes after I got back to work from lunch I got a call from our building manager letting me know that Barry had escaped from our unit. He was found roaming the hallways by one of the board members who lives on our floor. He was placed back in the unit but managed to open the door again and let himself out. (remember that door handle pic in the Day One post?)  At the moment the building manager was telling me this I thought I'd pass out. I couldn't even eek out a word to express anything. I didn't know what to express. Should I apologize? Should I cry into the phone that it was hopeless and we just weren't meant to have a dog in our life? Should I quit my new job? Should I be angry at Barry? Did someone let him out? How did he get out? What were we going to do? Who could help us? The building manager chimed in again and asked me if I was okay. She was excellent. I mean I don't think we could have continued without her. She really made a big difference in our decision making with Barry. She has since received a well deserved promotion and is no longer our building manager but I can't say enough good about her. She was one of the most helpful people (there were a handful) during our first few weeks with Barry.

Barry looking down the hallway.
I immediately called my husband in a teary panic. I told him what was going on and he wound up taking the rest of the day off work because I couldn't. Remember, this was my 4th day on at a new job. At that point I was just worried that everyone thought I was a big drama queen and loved attention. First of all I hate drama. Don't want any in my life. Second, I don't like attention unless it's from my husband and now Barry. I certainly don't want people I barely know giving me unwanted attention due to doggie drama. It was embarrassing but it felt like my life was falling apart! It also turned out that my immediate supervisor is a huge animal advocate and was very supportive of me during this time. She kept telling me, "The first month is the hardest part." She was right.

Another pic to tide you over. He's so handsome.
My husband had gotten help from the building maintenance man to reinforce the crate so that Barry wouldn't be able to escape it. He had to be crated or he would escape our unit! Once the crate was reinforced and sturdy enough to hold a 60 some-odd lb pit pull my husband had Barry get into the crate then he laid down on the bed in the back room and fell asleep while Barry fell asleep in his crate. When I got home I was exhausted with worry. I can't really remember if they were both asleep when I got there or they were in the living room because my mind was in such a jumbled-whacked out state. They were both just fine, though. The crate was sturdy and the plan would be to crate him. I was still worried, though. I didn't want Barry to hurt himself in an effort to get out. I shared my concern with my husband and I know he felt the same. We had the talk about Barry. Was he too much dog for us? Could we handle him? We were having second thoughts. The idea of going back to Tuesday and just not adopting Barry at all was a relieving and wonderful thought. The thought of taking Barry back now and giving up on him was both a relief in that my life would go back to normal and devastating because of the reality of what that would mean. The reality of taking Barry back outweighed any relief I might have fantasized about. It would mean Barry would be devastated too. He would go back to being in a shelter. He may not get adopted quickly enough and that might be it for him. We might be his last chance. It also would mean that we failed. We weren't willing to put in the effort that it takes to care for and love an animal. I already loved him. Love wasn't enough.

Husband & Barry relaxing together. My two favorite guys!
I went into our bedroom and tried to constrain my sobbing to quiet puffs of air rather than gasps and gulps. I was beside myself after that talk. I was so torn. The feeling of dread everyday coming home at lunch, not knowing what to expect. Waking in the middle of the night and wishing we could take it back. Having a brand new job that I really liked. Loving a dog and not knowing how to make it work. I wanted to bring a dog home and love on him and have fun with him, maybe train him and work with him a little but that was it. I didn't know the level of detail and work that would go into this. I didn't sign up for this. But there it was. I loved him and it killed me. I cried my eyes out and kept as quiet as possible. I didn't want Barry or my husband to see. I just needed to cry after so much stress and anxiety. It was only day two! If it was already this bad how could I handle more? My husband eventually saw me crying. We decided we couldn't give up. Not now. It wasn't fair.

I  suggested getting a weekday dog walker. I explained to Husband how taxing my lunch breaks were and that because I was still new at my job I'd like to not have to be in a rush to leave, rushing around for my one hour lunch to walk Barry, rushing to put him in the crate, rushing to get back to work, and then get to work all flustered and upset. Our building manager was able to suggest someone for the job. Someone that lived right in our building.

If memory serves me correct we also decided to give him a bath on this night (I can't remember exactly which day but I know it was within a couple of days of bringing him home). We didn't want to give him a bath right away but he hadn't had one since he was out of the shelter and he had a slight smell with that dirty feel when you pet a dog or cat and can feel and smell on your hands. Plus his coat was dull and some tinges of yellow/brown were in areas. A bath was in order. We used a sensitive skin almond oatmeal wash. He didn't love the bath but he didn't fight us either. I got in with him and helped scrub him down. All in all, the bath wasn't a bad experience but I could tell he didn't want the bath to be happening.

We decided we could tough it out. We would come through this and Barry would get used to everything and it would all work out in the end.

We weren't prepared for what day three would bring...

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