i think the worst thing we can do to animals is to over think or over feel them.
Carol · Sep. 21, 2009
it is like we think we are trained animal psychologists or vets.
daphne 1 came back from her foster home because she was suffering apparenty from doggy dementia and needed to be put down. when in fact she was suffering from profound cardiac disease (which occasionally cut off her oxygen supply to her brain) AND accumulated stress because she was unintentionally driving her foster family nutz. she knew darn well she was doing it too, daffy is a very sensitive dog. she just didn't know how not to do it, because daphne could not fix her own heart, she needed a vet to help her do that.
"i don't think he/she is in pain... he/she is peeing on the floor because he/she is mad at me".....but we see them stiff and sore, we see them having a hard time getting up and limping around...still we accuse them of holding a grudge and trying to get even.....and we withhold pain medication from them so then because they are always wet, they get a bladder infection which makes them act even more weird.
did you know that bladder infections can affect their mental status...sure it can, any untreated, long term infection can too.
and then we go too far the other way....he is depressed, he is sad, he is jealous because i got a new job or had a new baby, he is angry cuz a new cat moved in next door. and when we start the psycho mumbo-jumbo stuff, the animal is pretty well screwed. animals adjust, if WE adjust. they take their cues from what we give off ao if we are at odds about something, then so are they. they are our emotional sponges...so here is a hard truth for most of us to swallow..if we are emotionally or mentally unhealthy, they are too.
the one thing i am good at is creating a healthy environment for our animals. i may crowd it too full but i still control the mood. i decide what is normal here. so all of these guys who could not make the adjustments to very small changes at home come to this shelter and have their worlds turned upside down. they have every perception they ever held, challenged, re-worked, re-vamped until the alieness of it becomes normal to them.
and how do i do that? first of all, i treat the underlying physical issues first. then, i keep it positive, i keep it light and happy. i keep a lid on my fears and inadequacies and never let them see me sweat. i feel sorry for none of them....whatever they came from, whatever they feel now...this is now reality. embrace it and get with the program..i may be the one adjusting things around to suit you, but you won't know i am doing that for you.
it is a fine line between meeting their needs, feeling empathy vs sympathy. sympathy cripples them, it writes them off. it consigns them to forever more suffering. it does not help them to feel better inside. it does not help them adjust or get better.
give them what they need...good medical care...fun and games...cuddles and affection....laugh, love and live.
if i had bought into felix's pathetic-ness...he would still be pathetic..now he is a tail wagging barking beast who bites my nose in happiness and thinks he is big and strong enough to hump me.
unneutered, ancient, cardiac crippled, little, blind and deaf dogs are quite disgusting, because part of them still thinks it works pretty good....but they are kind of funny too.
if someone had neutered him, he could have been down right cute.
and as an aside....pass the message along, spay and neuter your pet so when they do eventually end up in rescue, too old and sick to survive the surgery... they won't happily hump the rescuer. i would really appreciate that.