Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lesson In Empathy

I've gotten to where I love the early morning hours. Sitting on the front porch with my coffee before the little ones get up for school. It's quiet and peaceful, relaxing. I was sitting out there this morning, drinking my coffee and playing Farm Heroes, when I saw our cat out of the corner of my eye. I thought, "man, that's a big cat." I looked up to find a little dog staring at me. "Well, hi there." It took a step forward, then turned to walk on. I got up and got it's attention, it wanted petted. She was wet from the grass so I brought her in to dry off, she had no collar and I wasn't sure what to do with her- we live on a busy street. Once Goofy saw the dog...

Goofy: "I want to keep the dog."
Me: "the dog wants to go home."
Goofy: "You better not get rid of him."
Me: "It's a girl."
Goofy: "It's a boy."
Me: "Honey, I'm pretty sure it's a girl."
Goofy: "I think his name is Kevin."

Ok, for today, and today only, her name is Kevin. All morning we talked about this damned dog going home. I talked to Thing2 about walking her around and seeing if she goes anywhere resembling "home." We asked neighbors. Thing2 posted a picture on Facebook.

Goofy called me from school. He got a positive referral to the office. His second time this year. (have I mentioned the unbelievable fact that school has only been in session for 10 days?) Now, you know my kids. When I get a phone call from a principal, you know what's going through my mind. For the second time now, it's been a call that his resource teacher gave him a positive referral to the principal's office for doing such a great job, it's a thing this new principal started. It's great for Goofy because he loves the attention of adults but every time I hear "Goofy got a positive referral!" what I'm actually hearing is "HAHA, fooled you! and you were afraid he set the bathroom on fire, haha!" You remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? Yeah, I'm wondering if his dad might want to take the happy calls... he's good at that sort of thing. With me, it's more like, "is the dog still there? Are we keeping him? But I want to keep him. Well, what about just for one night? Well, is he going to be there when I get home?"

Walter called me when we got home, wanting to know what was in his room. "Does it have 4 legs? It's called a dog. Your bother named her Kevin. Say hi to Kevin." "Hi, Kevin. Are we keeping him?" "HER! It's a fucking GIRL!" "I think it's a boy." "Do you need me to explain this to you? Ok...flip it over..." "MOM! I know about the penis and vagina!" "Ok, then it's a girl and no. She wants to go home. Go find her home." When I get home, neither Thing2 or Walter took Kevin to find her home. So, I forced the issue.

She refused. Standing in the front yard, trying to shoo the dog away while she's safely tethered to Walter, the freaking bus passes. There went that chance. Goofy will be pissed when he finds out I tried to run his dog off. So, she goes back in to hang out on the couch with Walter.

I get a note from Goofy's OT, "Goofy came in with increased energy. He was not able to focus, so we started with sensory- (proprioception) knee push-ups. Placed cushion in chair and weighted dog on lap, still having a hard time. Discussed his feelings- he was upset because "mom took the dog to the pound"..." I didn't take the fucking dog to the pound.

Getting Alex off of the bus, I call the humane society. I say Kevin looks like a fat Chihuahua, she asks if it could be a Boston Terrier. Maybe... She says I can take it to the vet to see if she has a chip. I can contact the owner that way.

Kevin likes car rides :) we go around the corner to the vet's office and as soon as we walk in the door, Goofy looses all interest in Kevin. There are dogs and cats all over the place, and one specific kitten he's dying to get his hands on. For 40 minutes of waiting on Kevin's owner, I'm reminding Goofy over and over that he has to ask before he touches someone else's animal. He was in freaking heaven. I'm sitting there, watching my kid not pay a single bit of attention to Kevin as he whores around indiscriminately with all of the other animals, watching the clock because I really need to get home, and wondering how in the hell someone could be soooo worried about their pet that it takes them 40 frickin minutes to take less than a 10 minute drive!? At 45 minutes, the woman offers to take the dog for me to keep there until the owner shows up, I gave her my phone number in case they didn't. We're walking out the door, Goofy flipping out that we're leaving Kevin, getting in our car, Goofy obsessing, when the old man from across the street, the one who lost his wife last year climbs slowly and shakily out of his car.

Kevin is usually called Sassy. She was lost 3 days ago when the lawn maintenance people left his gate open. He has been worried and missing her. He's glad to have her back.

Goofy's not glad. He's heartbroken. He doesn't understand why he can't have Kevin. I explain to him that Kevin belongs to the old man. The old man was very sad when he lost her, and Kevin was very sad when she couldn't find her person. I explained that they were happy to be back together because they love each other. After a whole conversation, Goofy had just one question left, "Well, can I have him when the man dies?"

So, I wrote the OT back, "I did not take the dog to the pound. It was not our dog, it just wandered into our yard. I told Goofy repeatedly that we could not keep someone else's dog. She was returned to her owner this evening. Goofy is still upset. Where can we get a weighted dog?" We'll call the damned thing Kevin.

1 comment:

  1. Best story EVER!! I have a 3 part dog story from this summer. This is really part two.