Sunday, August 3, 2008

Night & Day

I won't pretend that that past few days haven't been extremely rough. Popeye is the first paralyzed dog I've cared for and I'm still learning the ropes. Bladder and bowel incontinence makes for a lot of laundry needing to be done and lots of rubdowns with baby wipes and cream. Diapers don't stay on because his body is upright rather than horizontal like most dogs, plus his drags his bum on the floor and that just pulls them right off. I finally found a belly band that seems to partly work but still requires continued adjusting.

I worry also about him becoming raw or swollen from dragging and bouncing across the carpet and tile floors. I've spent hours and hours and more money than I care to admit trying to figure out a solution for this problem but nothing successful so far. I'm starting to accept there may not be anything I can do about it. And Popeye LOVES hopping around. He goes crazy and moves like lightning.

I put him in his cart every once in a while, but it's a bit small for him so is time-consuming and awkward to put him in. I also have to put boots on his hind paws because the seat is too low and his back paws drag along the crown. Popeye doesn't seem to like getting around in the cart as much, so sometimes I just put a sling under him and lift his hind end as he goes. But he likes to run when not using the cart and it's hard for me to keep up. I hope some of these problems will be solved once he gets an Eddie's Wheels cart. And as for the others, I hope I get the hang of it after a while and become way more efficient because right now, there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to get even half of what I need done done.

Popeye looks cute, doesn't he? He looks like he wouldn't hurt a fly, huh?

Yeah, he suckered me too at first. But something I quickly learned about Popeye is that he's not all sugar and softness. He can be feisty and stubborn and isn't afraid to bare his little teeth. No doubt this was how he survived as a stray on the streets. Indeed, Popeye is the kind of boy who I could easily believe could take care of himself, even with only 2 legs. When I compare him to Bandit, it's like night and day. Bandit is goofy, easy going, and happy-go-lucky, sometimes even obliviously so. I have never seen Bandit display even an ounce of impatience, annoyance, or possessiveness. I've never heard him growl, even in play, and the only time he barks is when he's trying to get another dog to play with him. He is accepting of everyone and everything anyone does to him.

But the one thing they have in common is that they love to play. They are so disparate in size but neither seems to realize it. In fact, Popeye has more of a big dog personality than Bandit. Popeye growls and barks at Bandit, and Bandit just grins and lolls his tongue. Popeye sometimes says in dog talk, "You get near my food or my toys and I will CUT you!" And Bandit just replies, "Dude, let's play!" If Popeye had the use of all 4 legs, Bandit would be absolutely no match for him. As it is, Bandit only has a slight benefit owing to size--he is after all about 4 times as big as Popeye. They are truly a crack together.