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Isa's Story

September 21st, 2017

Mama Bear gets Riled Up

Posted by teri in Uncategorized    

If it’s not one neighbor, it’s the other …

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the neighbor on the other side has now turned on “us” – complaining about Roxy’s barking. And I can’t entirely blame him. Arguably I’ve not been maintaining as much control over her as I should. Too busy doing things like washing dishes and clothes and cooking. Silly, unimportant things. This is a long post – I apologize. I need to vent. But there are pictures at the end if you care to persevere.

Maybe if he hadn’t been quite as … not sure of the adjective. Well, I have thought of several but none are fit to print. A spectacular exemplar of an entitled white male (my apologies, if any of you reading this fit that description, exceptions to the rule all of you). He said he was done talking to me and would go to the HOA if I didn’t keep her quiet and/or inside and then to the city after that. At one point he told me that if the city takes her away (for barking), they will probably put her down. I told him she was terrified and he contradicted me, said she was aggressive. Undoubtedly, he knows Roxy better than I do (sarcasm font). He can train a dog in three months. What is my problem that I’ve not gotten her trained in three months? But, he admits she was probably/possibly abused in her previous home. (Anyone else see a potential discrepancy in training time between a “normal” dog versus an “abused” dog?) He went on for quite a while, stating a variety of assumptions about Roxy and me on a number of topics. He also made quite a point about his fear of being bitten (again pointing out that if she bites someone, the city will put her down), particularly his hands. So … maybe he should not stick his fingers through the cracks of the fence into Roxy’s yard? My “favorite” quote: “I gave her a treat and she still doesn’t like me!” A treat? And he’s trying to bribe her through the fence – per our trainer a giant no-no. Funny how a superb trainer like him doesn’t know that’s a no-no. Nor, evidently, is he aware that yelling at a barking dog does anything but encourage them.

Probably the initial impetus for him being done with us: he came over last week with some leftover steak to try and make friends with Roxy. I’d just gotten home and he didn’t give me enough time to get her harness on or do any of the other potentially helpful things the trainer has taught us for visitors. She barks and lungs at him, like she does with everyone that comes to the house (sigh), and choking because I could only hold her by the collar. I finally grabbed her around her chest – OMD, her heart was about to beat out of her chest! It broke my heart! I did all the calming techniques the trainer has taught me and he gave her the steak. She calmed down eventually, leaning 90% of her weight on me, and was definitely not happy.

The secondary impetus was likely him being awakened Saturday morning while trying to sleep (10:00 am). Yes, she was being noisy. I admit it. He, of course, does the sensible thing and shouts at her from an upstairs window – remarkably helpful. As soon as I heard his voice, I went out and grabbed her. He harangued me for a while, very angry. Oddly, Roxy was silent from the moment I grabbed her. When he finished, I went inside and had a meltdown for 15-20 minutes and then went out back with the power tools. That had been the plan before our interaction but, because I am evil, I was so very happy I was being noisy. In fact, I am so evil, I am going to find out what time, per the city, that I’m allowed to make noise on Saturday morning, and I will start using the loudest and as many power tools as I possibly can at the stroke of whatever o’clock is kosher. Evil, I tell you.

After all this, I had a long talk with our trainer on Monday – she was so awesome. Talked me down, gave me a few additional suggestions among which was to write him a letter and tell him to (1) ignore Roxy, don’t try to make friends – it’s up to her if she wants to be friends, and (2) mind his own business. I think I love her.

I also started to give her CannaCompanion. We’re only a week in but maybe, just maybe, it’s helping. Oh, and y’all will like this story. This product is our second go-round. I bought another jar of (different) stuff a couple of weeks ago. I gave her one after dinner and I went to bed more or less on time. I woke up in the middle of the night when I rolled over into a giant, cold, wet spot, clearly pee. Spent some time wracking my brain trying to figure out what I’d done that pissed either Roxy or Wallee off so badly. Finally, I fell back to sleep. When I came downstairs the next morning, I found the jar on the kitchen floor completely empty (29 capsules). She had also peed on the couch in her stupor. She was still glazed and mildly uncoordinated but was back to normal by the time I got home that evening. My dog, the stoner!

Also, as she’s gained confidence, the destruction has escalated. I refuse to take inventory of all that has fallen to her puppyhood but I’ll leave you with this example:

Clean living rooms are highly overrated!

Our training is progressing and I am getting educated in how to take care of my hyper-sensitive dog. Our leash issues continue: mostly she drags me along behind her. And obviously if someone comes to/near the house, her threat of eating such brave souls is utterly sincere.

Now if someone has a suggestion for convincing the Roxinator that she should not take the stairs three and four at a time, up and down, I would love to hear it. I cringe every time (and it is every time) knowing how hard it is on her back and how cumulative these things are. Suggestions would preferably be something other than to to put her on a leash – we would simply end up in a heap at the foot of the stairs. Sub optimum.

I am acutely aware of being MIA from the site for most of the summer. Some is that they have been making me work at work (the nerve!). But it’s been hard for me to be here. I can’t contribute any helpful information or insight to the newbies. Arguably, the Roxinator may contribute some entertainment value. And I do miss all of you.

And I spent a good-sized chunk of the summer missing Isa horribly, daily. I understand it’s the way of things not that it makes it any easier. It has contributed to (or caused?) the brain fog I’ve been dealing with for seeming forever. Ran into Isa’s elbow protection for the wound that never healed stuffed in a drawer. I finally built the thing and we never used it or fine-tuned it (suffering from both fit and technical issues). The night I tried it on her the first time was the night she started limping with the secondary OSA lesion – the beginning of the end. Haunted all over again by the mental image of her body in the vet’s truck, one ear fallen over and up, so still. And, on a happier note, a bunch of memories of her happy goof self. So it goes – everyone’s story.

Oh and after all the hoop-de-do with the neighbor, Isa sent me a beautiful white feather. It’s tucked into a picture frame on my desk with the first one she sent.

Okay, moving on now to what I know you all are waiting for – pictures.

Compare and contrast:

Surveying the Kingdom

Now: different dog, different cat, different house/window, same picture(ish):

The windowsill is a “safe zone” for Wallee – Roxy knows it’s nose and paws off, at least she knows it most of the time. There is another window sill available, out of Roxy’s reach, but Wallee seems to prefer this one – go figure. Yes there are throw rugs – you don’t have to be a tripawd to have zero traction on hardwood floors, particularly when Miss Long Legs travels at the speeds she does.

Also evidence of their improved relationship:

I love that picture. And in case anyone is concerned about Wallee’s stress level:

And I leave you with:

Our first selfie!




  1. Oh Teri, I am so sorry your PITA (pain in the A$$) neighbors are the way they are. I agree with your trainer tell him to mind his own business. And warn him (via certified mail) that if he reaches his hands over or through the fence to bother or “befriend” your dog he is on notice that you will not be responsible for her actions. Maybe check on the wording so you aren’t saying she is aggressive or dangerous.

    Wow the only destruction the girls did was to the inside of a dog bed. They some how broke the zipper and destuffed it. Looked like colorful something on the floor LOL. She is having fun in her puppyhood.

    We understand not being able to contribute much but you can some. It’s hard. We miss seeing you on here.

    How dare work make you work LOL. Love the pictures

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

      Michelle — September 21, 2017 @ 10:32 pm   Reply

    • Thanks Michelle. I will write to the PITA neighbor however I plan to make the first draft cathartic. Then I’ll figure out what’s appropriate to say, including suggesting he keep his fingers on his side of the fence. I work for lawyers so I have access to plenty of input on appropriate wording – no worries there.

      The throw pillow was more spectacular in it’s demise than truly destructive. Roxy pulled the buttons off and then ripped the inner pillow open. The stuffing was of a type it probably exploded on it’s own – well, at the very least one good shake. She is having fun, at least mostly. She worries a lot, I can see it.


        teri — September 22, 2017 @ 3:12 pm   Reply

  2. Oh Teri. I’m so sorry for pesky PITA (as Michelle calls them – I agree) neighbors. You’re doing all you can for Roxy and she’s making great strides. I love your trainer! That window pic is priceless <3.

    And I completely understand about missing Isa daily. I don't think I've had one day where I didn't shed a tear over Boone. The littlest things trip me up. I know eventually it gets easier.

    Sending big hugs to both you and Roxy!
    Jeanette, Angel Boone & The Devil Dog Tuck

      jeanetteg — September 21, 2017 @ 11:00 pm   Reply

    • Oh I saw those pictures of Tuck on your blog, he is keeping you on your toes, as Roxy is keeping me on mine. Maybe someday I will live somewhere that the neighbors are a suitable distance away, say five miles?

      It is the littlest things that make us miss them isn’t it? It gets easier in that it’s not every day that we get tripped up but as near as I can tell it comes in chunks, two weeks on and one off. I can’t believe it’s been eight months Isa’s been at the Bridge.

      I love, love the “Devil Dog Tuck”! makes me smile!
      hugs back to you!

        teri — September 22, 2017 @ 3:17 pm   Reply

  3. Hi Teri – I so get the part about being hard to be on the site….I’ve been missing Nitro like crazy lately, and having meltdowns of my own. The new pup in our life helps, but at the same time I feel almost worse having him. Kudos to you for doing the best job you can with Roxy, annoying neighbor be damned!

    Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

      dobemom — September 22, 2017 @ 4:00 am   Reply

    • New pups (hard to think of Roxy as a “puppy” – she’s so big!) do help and Griz is such a cutie! OMD that face! I’m starting to accept meltdowns as simply being part of the “new normal” – one way to look at it. I will say PITA neighbor has done nothing but strengthen my bond with Roxy – no one is coming near my girl. She’s come a long, long way but we still have a ways to go.

      Neighbor? what neighbor? I have no neighbors. I have wiped him from existence.
      Hang tough, it does get easier if only once in a while.

        teri — September 22, 2017 @ 3:22 pm   Reply

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