The not-so Cautionary Dog.

I got Cautionary Dog in the separation.  There’s no way I could’ve managed these next few months without him.  The loneliness is already so painful that at night I count on my hand the hours I have left before I can reasonably go to sleep.  Without CD to take care of and to take care of me, those hours would be unlivable.

CD was part of my Cautionary Life because we thought he was defunct.  Don’t get me wrong; he is a wonderful dog.  He’s (kind of) smart, and he has more love to give than any other dog I’ve ever met.  He’s also the best cuddler I’ve ever met.  But.  He’s had an issue with separation anxiety since we first got him two and a half years ago.  He was on a mission to systematically destroy our house while alone, so we bought a crate to keep him in while we were at work.

We’ve been through four crates since.

The last time we tried to leave him out alone in the house was probably two years ago.  He ate an impressive number of my books in the few hours he was alone, and the experience was so painful for me (mah books are mah babies!)  that we haven’t even entertained the idea of leaving him out.  But since this separation is all about me trying to shake the “Cautionary” from my “Life,” I thought I’d give CD a chance to do the same.  Mostly because trying to manage a defunct dog alone (taking him out, regular walks, cleaning his crate EVERY DAMN DAY, etc.) seemed like the most overwhelming part of this whole trying-to-make-it-on-my-own experiment.

On Saturday night he took a chance I didn’t mean to give.  I put him in the bathroom while I took the friend who helped me move out to a thank-you sushi dinner.  When we returned, however, CD greeted us at the front door.  Turns out my bathroom door doesn’t really shut.  But since CD had handled himself well in the hour and a half we were gone, I decided to leave him out when I ran errands on Sunday.  Another success.  So I left him out as I got dinner Sunday night.  And he was fine again.  Surely it was a fluke, I thought.

I was ambivalent yesterday about leaving him out when I was at work, but Cautionary Husband said that maybe we should extend this gesture to CD until he abuses it.  So I did.  I came home at lunch fully expecting to see the apartment in shreds, but when I opened the door, CD jumped off my bed, came trotting into the living room and stretched at my feet.  He’d slept the whole time.  So I left him out in the afternoon for his final test.  And he passed!  This time I walked in the front door and had to call his name before he jumped off the bed to greet me.  I texted Cautionary Husband, “HE DID IT!”  A big victory for our pup–no more crate.  And, hopefully, no more “Cautionary.”

Really, though, I’m not sure it’s a victory: I think he’s just as broken-hearted as I am.  I took him with me to the old place last night to grab a few kitchen items, and he simply sat and stared at the place where his food and water bowls used to be.  But he’s adjusting.  And I know that we’ll get through it together.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “The not-so Cautionary Dog.

  1. I too got my dog in the separation. But she had always been more “my dog” than “our dog”. Nonetheless, with me she went.

    I remember the nights being fantastically hard. Those first few months were killer, my house empty and quiet. I found a few friends who didn’t get pissed when I called at midnight to simply cry to them.

    You’ll get through it. Your pooch will help.

    Oh and take him to the dog park. I found it was very hard to cry and be sad when you’re surrounded by the craziness of dogs running free. And yes, he’s sad too, it’ll take some adjusting.

    BTW, this may not be the place, but I’m curious so I’m asking and perhaps you’ll address it in a future post, but do you WANT your marriage to work? When I separated I wanted the separation, not the marriage. It was hard and there were a lot of times when I wanted him back, but ultimately I wanted the separation and the divorce. Just curious as to what you hope for the future of your marriage… Chin up.

  2. acautionaryblog

    @ Word Perv:

    Kind of what the separation is for (one of the things, anyway) is to find out if I even want to continue to be married. Or, more specifically, if my husband and I are capable of finding the kind of intimacy necessary for a solid marriage to function. I really have no clue what’s going to happen, but I’m crazy about my husband, and I do want to try. I know if we get divorced, I will inevitably have regrets, but it’d be nice to try and keep them to a minimum. 🙂 Also, he’s a catch, and I don’t want to let him go without a fight.

  3. I’m so glad that CD is adjusting well – it really does mean one less thing you have to worry about right now. And there is no comfort like that of a dog. Plus, there is another small victory in the fact that you and CH were able to celebrate something together. All good things.

  4. Squee!! <— this is me.. cheering in your corner.. for one victory gained!

  5. *fingers crossed*

    for whatever happens… 🙂

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