Thursday, April 25, 2013

How I deal with my own infertility (NIAW post?)

I've written about NIAW in the past, but I don't have much to say about it anymore. It's hard for me because while infertility affects many, a much smaller percentage remains childless and I am so far one of the few. I can't say with certainty that we will be childless forever, but the hope for a biological child, one that I will love for the 40 or so weeks that s/he would grow in my belly, is gone.

So fur children are my children, and I was incredibly lucky to adopt a new one this week. Most of you probably know that I lost one of my dogs almost 8 weeks ago, and maybe even saw that I have been wanting to adopt a new one. You may have even ready my last update where I said I was pretty happy without having another dog. Well, the dream of new puppy ownership came true on Tuesday when we adopted an adorable puppy. Instantly I am thrown into the chaos known to moms of toddlers combined with the lack of sleep known to moms of infants. This is as close to motherhood that I may ever get.

Funny too - nobody knows what kind of dog he is. He was left outside an animal hospital in the middle of the night with severe head trauma. No idea what kind of trauma, how it happened, etc. He couldn't see for a couple weeks and I'm afraid to think that they may have put him down if he didn't recover, but he is recovering, thank goodness! He still can't see great, but is getting better. Fortunately, our vet (who also happend to have seen him originally for the injury) believes he will make a full recovery. In the meantime, everyone has their own opinions on what kind of mix he is. I have heard husky, rottweiler, maybe some shepherd, australian shepherd, cattle dog, pit bull and more. he doesn't have long hair, but he has a thicker coat. The closest I can come to a similar looking puppy is a jack russell puppy - they tend to be a little fuzzier as puppies. However, he will be much bigger! My vet said to get him on large breed puppy food! Ack. As puppy to adult weight predictions aren't accurate, I can guess he will be anywhere from 50 - 100 pounds. Ack! Oh well, he's a great dog - mellow, submissive (for the most part) and if we continue to work on his puppy manners he will grow up to be a great dog no matter how big he gets.

It's a good thing that he is so cute, because he's driving me crazy! He's in everything, and hates being kenneled. We are working on that by feeding him in it and only taking him out when he is quiet. I hope he gets over the crazy whining and barking soon or my neighbors might kill me. Nighttime is okay, but I'm exhausted. The first night we went to sleep at 11:00 pm, woke up at 2:00 am to go potty, and then he was up at 5:30 am. On a good day I normally wake at 6:30 am. Yawn! Last night I was so exhausted I tried to get everyone to go to bed at 9:00 pm. He woke us up at 11:00 pm and that was like a nap for him, because he was wide awake and ready to play. I played with him for about 30 minutes to get him to tire out and was able to go back to sleep around 11:45 pm, getting a solid 4 hours before he woke up at 3:30 am to potty. This morning he slept until 6:00 am when my alarm went off. I hope think he will settle down more and follow a normal sleep schedule in the coming days with one potty break in the middle.

In the meantime, I have my bitter cherry spray for the chewing and the enzymatic puppy mess spray for the peepee accidents. So far, no poop issues even though he goes like 6 times a day.

Yeah, I don't know how this really relates to NIAW but this is how I've chosen to cope with my lack of children.

Friday, April 19, 2013

(Dog) Adoption Update

I had to add "dog" because I didn't want anyone getting excited. Hahaha! While that feels funny, I am approaching this much in the way that I approached my infertility.

First, you get really excited. You're going to start working on it, whether it was TTC or shopping shelters online and in person. You know you're a good person, you know you'll be a great (dog) parent! And then it doesn't seem to be working out. Month after month, or application after application, with no success.

You start to get a little desperate and reaching a little further - with infertility it was treatment, and with the dogs, it was Craigslist. And when that seemingly sure thing fell through, you feel horrible. Second guessing yourself even.

I have finally come back to the knowledge that whatever happens will happen for a reason. Once I realized that my eggs weren't up to snuff, I walked away from IVF. It's incorrect to say that don't want a child that doesn't have my DNA, but more that my race against time was no longer a race. If I'm not using my own eggs, I have all the time in the world, and can make decisions on my future children later. That was a hard lesson to grasp, but once I did, I felt so free. Still sad, but at least free from all the infertility chains that bound me.

Recently, I have come to the same feeling about adopting my dog. My current pup is actually fairly happy now. He's started chewing on his toys and treats again, and doesn't seem so sad. In fact, he seems happy and tired from all the extra attention and exercise he is getting. I'm not getting exercise, and ne of my reasons to get another (larger) dog was to inspire me to get out and run. Well, I have made the commitment to walk dogs for the local shelter so that excuse is done. I also met a littler of puppies while I was doing my training. Super adorable, and in many ways I feel like I could walk out with whichever puppy I wanted. But I had a moment where I remembered all the work a new puppy is. My dog is not playing nice with any of the older dogs he has met, so I have been told the answer is to find a young puppy - under four months - that has a submissive personality, as they will bond better. But then that means I have to raise a puppy. I have no doubts I can do it, and if I was in love with a particular puppy, I would probably do it gladly. However, while the puppies are cute, I'm not in love with any of them. If I took one, it would be my desperation to have a dog to motivated me, not my love for the puppy. That's not the right reason to take on a lifetime commitment like a dog. That dog deserves to be the love of someone's life.

So, I'm in a holding pattern, still looking for the perfect dog (which I may never find) but feeling much less desperate about it. That dog will come along when it's time. In the meantime, I will spoil the crap out of my current dog, and care for those unadopted dogs at the shelter, hoping that some extra attention and exercise will make them more adoptable.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DietBetting It

I just joined a DietBet. I have been sad and lazy. Sad about my pup, sad about pup adoption hoops, sad about my infertility (lots and lots of people seem to get pregnant every day, right?), and now sad about Boston. I haven't wanted to work out, run, or even eat right. It's so easy to slip into bad habits.

I heard about DietBet a few weeks ago because a friend of mine posted in Facebook about one she was participating in. I think they explain it better, but you bet money, you work for 4 weeks to lose weight, and if you lose 4% of your starting weight you win! Everyone who wins splits the pot. I'm usually not comfortable with betting (or losing money) but I decided to do it. Why? Because 90% of the people who join a bet, lose at least 5 pounds. So you're a winner regardless, right? Also, since I hate losing money, perhaps I will actually be good for these four weeks? Time will tell.

I'm also going to invite you to join me in the DietBet we are participating in! I don't think I get anything from inviting people (unless I invite the most, which I am nowhere near!) but for every person who invites at least 3 participants, DietBet adds another $15 to the pot, which benefits all the participants!

My starting weight was 182.5 so my 4% is 7.3 pounds. Actually, since my old ass scale only weighs in half pound increments, I need to have lost 7.5 pounds. In four weeks. Ok, it's on!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Meeting a pup

I'm so nervous. I'm likening my feelings to trying to get knocked up. I'm sure if it happened right away I would have freaked out. This is like getting pregnant the first cycle we tried. I've only been looking for a dog seriously for a week, and here we are. I'm almost positive I can take this one home tomorrow if I feel like it.

I'm nervous because I thought I would have time to prepare. I thought there would be lots of time to get ready, while I wait for final approvals, etc. I don't have the right size crate. I don't even have a collar. My house hasn't even been puppy proofed. I've had adult dogs for too damn long.

I don't know if the chiweenie is going to like her, and I'm not even sure how I can tell if he does or doesn't since he has a small dog attitude all the time.

Hell, my husband isn't even going to meet her tomorrow which leaves it all up to me. What if she's perfect? Do I take the time to be absolutely sure and risk losing her? Do I come prepared with the adoption fee, or do I not bring it so I can't make a rash decision?

Ugh. I need sleep.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Searching for another pup

It's so hard to find another dog.

I feel bad for my little one when I leave for work. I know he misses his friend. I think all in all, we have handled her death very well, but there is just something missing in our home. I also desperately want to rescue another pup and give her a good life. I say "her" because I feel like little one would bond more strongly to a girl than a boy, and I want to avoid any sort of agression that is statistically more possible with same sex packmates.

However, I am finding it rather hard to find a good fit. Our local pound has a few dogs, but nobody that seems to fit with our family dynamic. The next closest shelter is an hour away and has limited hours, so we haven't had the opportunity to go yet due to our crazy work schedules. I have reached out to a few out of my area rescues on PetFinder, but no luck. A few of the dogs have been adopted, and I'm so happy for them! However, many of the requests I have sent went unanswered, and one even rudely responded that there was no way they would adopt a dog to me because they couldn't do a home check or drop in to see how the dog was adjusting. I find that a little crazy - I have adopted both of my dogs, have been a vet tech and have been around animals all my life. I can provide references from our current vet and from the woman who runs the shelter where we adopted our little one and I offered to do so. Regardless, some of these rescues are so particular that they won't even consider a situation that is a little out of the norm. I find that very sad. There are so many abandoned animals that need homes. Not only that, but I could just go to a puppy mill pet store and buy a dog if I felt like it. I could even walk into any county pound and take almost any dog I want, no questions asked. That's how I got my first dog - was in the right place at the right time, and didn't have another dog at home to consider. This time I have to be more careful, as it is hard to assess a dog's personality when they are in such a strange and stressful environment.

If you hear of a dog in the California/Nevada area that you think is amazing, please let me know. I think we would need a friendly, easygoing confident dog to complement our more timid dachshund/chihuahua. He lost a lot of his bravery when our sweet girl passed, and another fearful dog would probably just create an even more anxious situation. I am also looking for a dog with some more stamina to run and hike with, as my little one can't handle more than a couple miles. I am open to ages from puppyhood to young adult - my heart breaks for the older dogs in the pound that will likely spend their last few days alone in a cage, but I can't intentionally put my little one through another loss. Last, we don't have a yard so a more medium sized dog would fit into our lifestyle better.

In the meantime, I think I am going to try to volunteer to walk the dogs at my local shelter, and maybe even sign up to foster. Maybe that's how I will save my next family member. I will also use this time to teach little one to do more silly stuff like this! Enjoy the cuteness: