Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon Chilly and overcast at 49 degrees F
After my last post about our new family member, and my upcoming surgery, I was overwhelmed and humbled by all the encouraging comments from so many. Of course, when Al of the Bayfield Bunch gives anyone a shout-out, all heck breaks loose with the servers and many more people got to see our new little Mattie than might have otherwise. Thanks, Al. Your love of dogs shines through and I knew you would love Mattie at first sight.
The good news is that our little bundle of fear and anxiety has already blossomed into a very happy little dog. I couldn’t wait for the time when I would see her smile, when her tail would rise and wag, when she would run and play. It didn’t take long.
While I was in the hospital, for a few more days than expected, Mo had time to spend with her. Peace Health Sacred Heart at Riverbend in Springfield, Oregon, looks more like a high end college campus, with a large park along the MacKenzie River lined with gorgeous plantings and beautiful trails. It was a beautiful, quiet, and safe place for Mo begin to teach Mattie how to walk on a leash. It was also a great time for Mo to bond with her one on one.
On a little side note, I have to say I was incredibly impressed with the care I received at this rather amazing hospital. There were always plenty of caregivers around paying close attention to my needs, the food, if I could have eaten it, would have been quite good, and the private room with a view of the city was quite lovely and comfortable. After asking how I managed a private room, I was told that all rooms at the hospital are private rooms because they afford better care for the patients. Each time a caregiver came into my room, I was asked carefully if there was anything else that I might need. I was asked that often and with genuine concern. I knew my surgeons were great, but didn’t know that the hospital would be as state of the art as it was. I’m not one to talk up the medical system, so these words coming from this skeptic, are surprising and heartfelt. I am grateful.
I don’t have a lot of good memories of that first week. It was wonderful to have the motorhome for transport to and from Springfield, a trip of about 200 miles, but has anyone actually tried to rest in the back of a moving motorhome. Illegal as heck, I know, but it sure beat trying to sit in an upright position. Bounces and all. By the time we got home Friday night I was one miserable puppy. The real puppy, on the other hand, was quite content in the motorhome, either curled up in her bed, or snuggled up next to me on my bed. She loves riding and shows no sign of getting car sick or stressed in a moving vehicle. Lucky for us!
The first few days at home for me were lost in a fog of feeling pretty miserable, more so than I had anticipated, so Mo picked up all the slack and took care of everything, including me. She and Mattie bonded even more as she played with her on the leash and Mattie began to respond to her name, to perk up her ears, and yes, to leap about with joy on her forays into the outdoors and wag her tail.
Reading about rat terriers has been interesting. Mattie has all the known personality traits of a true rat terrier, with lots of energy, but also a love of napping and cuddling. She and I have continued the bond we started that first day at the shelter as she snuggles up to me while I am in bed. It has been incredibly comforting.
I can report that now, 12 days post surgery, I feel pretty good. No more uncomfortable than I expected and am improving every single day. “Take It Slow/Take it Easy” according to my friend Erin, battling her way through some stormy weather in southeast Texas, and with more encouraging notes from MBZ, also in Texas, and Nickie in California, I have a ton of support from long distance as well as up close friends.
The chicken soup that my local quilt buddy, Mata, brought over that first night was a life saver, with homemade broth that got me through several days of not being able to eat much. Tomorrow, my lifelong friend Maryruth will be arriving for several days of best friend care, and Mo can take a bit of a break. Of course, a break for Mo includes doing everything she usually does, plus everything I usually do, and then some. I have been pretty lucky to have her here to get me through the hard parts.
Mattie, of course, is still a project. She still is fearful, sometimes retreating if she thinks you might want to catch her, other times coming when called easily. There is much she will need to learn before we feel totally safe with her in unknown environments.
On Mom’s Day, when my daughter and grandkids showed up with fresh fruit and flowers, she guarded me in the bed, growling at the intruders until I convinced her they were OK. She is a tough little thing, and smart!
I am planning on taking her through the beginning dog training classes offered at Double C in Klamath Falls as part of the adoption package. Watching her run and play and jump, I can see that she would love to have the mental and physical stimulation of agility training. Once she gets the basics, of course. She definitely needs something to keep her engaged and busy, or she tries to discover other ways to entertain herself. Chewing the ends of my glasses was one of them.
Even though they said she was two, she acts more like a year old puppy sometimes. I’ll have to ask my own vet about that one I think. We still have to pick a birthday for her.
Just wanted to say a huge thank you for all who cared enough to comment, send good wishes and thoughts and prayers, and let you know how much I appreciated them.