|Tina getting ready for her nightly walk|
My name is Clementine, but the people who love me call me Tina, Tina Bear, Tina Toodles, the list goes on. Who knew humans were so silly? I didn’t! As I am sure you all know, I lived in a kennel all my life. It is hard to imagine now, but when I first got to my new home, all I wanted was to return to that kennel. The humans said it was bad, but it was the only home I knew and I was so scared. But, I have met so many nice humans since leaving the kennel; I can’t imagine going back now.
I need to thank a few people. First, I must thank my Angie. Yes, my new mom read the note you left me in my food. I was so upset that night, I didn’t understand the words at first, but I smelled you and that made it better. I must also thank all the wonderful people in GSRA that came out to the kennels and bathed us and walked us and showed us that a human’s hand means love.
|Tina thinking about her blog|
I asked my mom what I should write. Should I go back and tell everyone how scared and confused I was? How I just didn’t know how to be and it upset me so much? Or should I tell people how I am doing now and try to make people smile? My mom, being the silly person she is, said, let’s make people smile! She particularly likes to talk about my poop (I will explain later!)
Everything really started to change for me the day my mom took me to the vet. Asher, my friend, kindly volunteered to go with me so it was not as scary. But, I still didn’t know what was happening. Was she taking me to another home? Was I going back to the kennel? I can admit now, that I was scared. I was starting to like this new home and it broke my heart that I was leaving. Amazingly, my mom brought me back home! I was so excited that I decided to play with my mom and show her how happy I was. Well, that was a good thing! I made my mom laugh and I like that so much I now play with her a lot. I think she might get sad if I didn’t.
|I could just eat this Stuffed Gator. Roll Tide!|
I still would not eat. My mom was so upset I could tell. I couldn’t explain to her that my belly hurt and I was sick to my stomach. If only humans and dogs could communicate better. Finally, mom started putting the BIG pills down my throat. After she would put that pill down my throat she would kiss all over my face. I really like that, so I now take my pills like a champ and I get my kisses! Actually, mom kisses me all of the time. My foster brothers and sister say that is just something you have to get used to around here. I have NO PROBLEM with it, Bring on The Kisses!!!!!
|Getting mom kisses with my brother Asher|
I did feel sorry for my mom though. She tried all kinds of foods. She even made me eat some by putting it in a syringe. For days, that is the only food I ate. She tried so many different kinds of specialty dog food. She should have taken a picture. She bought two of every kind in hopes that I would eat it. But, I didn’t. Mom bought some canned chicken and I liked that! Mom said it wasn’t good for me, but let me eat it since it was the only thing I would eat. My mom is a vegetarian and she does not cook meat in her house. To the amazement of my Papa and foster siblings, mom went to the store and bought chicken! She boiled chicken and rice for me. But, I still wouldn’t eat it. Mom didn’t know that I don’t like rice. So then she just boiled chicken and she hand fed me. The plain chicken was what I needed to get my tummy working a little. I didn’t know what a big deal this was until my family explained that she would not have done that for anyone else! Wow! My mom truly loves me. It really is amazing because I am 9 years old and I am not sure that before GSRA I had someone to love me.
Well, my eating issues did not miraculously improve. All I would eat was one chicken breast a day. Not enough for a big girl like me my mom said. She kept trying can food, baby food, human food and she kept making me eat some with the syringe. I was starting to make that difficult for mom, so as long as I would eat a chicken breast she didn’t force me to eat. This went on for almost 2 weeks.
I was hungry, but I couldn’t explain to mom what I needed. I am not sure I even knew what I needed. I was in the kitchen with her one day and I was sniffing around. Mom thought maybe I was hungry. She opened a can of special high calorie food and let me sniff the can; I walked away. Poor mom, she was upset. When mom opened that can though, my foster brothers and sister came RUNNING!!! They said that mom just opened the best smelling stuff in the world. I saw them all sitting in the kitchen and I went back to see what all the fuss was about. Mom was feeding them all from a spoon. Each dog got a turn. I was standing there and mom offered me a turn; I said, “what the heck, when in Rome…” That made mom so happy! She kept going down the line, Asher’s turn, Dezzie’s turn, Harry’s turn, Tina’s turn… And each time I took my turn. Mom opened another can and kept the game going! Mom did that hugging and kissing thing again so it seems like I did a good thing!
The medication was starting to work. The doctor thinks I might have a stomach ulcer and that was causing me to get sick when I eat. I am still not eating enough and I do have special rules that must be followed!! In the morning I would like Beneful Prepared Meals, it took my mom A LOT of experimenting with different food to find that. I want it in the kitchen with my bowl on a soft towel. If I will not eat, I want my mom to get out a spoon and feed it to me that way. Oh, breakfast can never be before 9:30. I don’t eat before 9:30, don’t really like to get up before that. Some days I want lunch. On those days I will come into the kitchen and nose the pantry door. I like to keep mom on her toes so I change my mind about what I want for lunch. She sometimes offers me several different choices before I decide. For dinner, I like Beneful dry food. But, sometimes I want the Prepared Meals and I let mom know AFTER she has fixed my dinner. Last night I ate 4 cups of dry food. The day before I only ate 1 cup. Mom says that I need to eat at least 4 cups of food a day. I am working on it.
Last week, when I first started eating a little, my mom was on the phone with a group from GSRA. She was standing in the kitchen talking to them and I noticed the pantry door was open. Mom was busy and I thought a chewie was a GREAT idea, so I went into the pantry and helped myself. My mom got so excited!!! She did that hug and kiss thing again, she even cried a little when she got off the phone. Humans are VERY easy to please. I get a snack and they get happy!
|One of Tina's Many Rugs|
The other problem I had when I first came was terrible diarrhea, and then I stopped going to the bathroom all together. This REALLY worried my mom so she took me back to the vet. At the vet they ran all kinds of tests. When I go in to be spayed, they will check my spleen, which is too large and my intestines. But, a couple of days ago I finally went to the bathroom and my mom started jumping up and down and told me what a good girl I was for going “poopy” as she calls it. She even sent emails and posted on Facebook that I pooped. She and I are going to have a discussion about this. I am a proper southern lady and I don’t need her talking about my bodily functions!
|Mom, I love you!|
I could go on and on about life here. Every day I get more comfortable. I LOVE my mom. I just love her so much I can’t stand it sometimes. When she leaves I am starting to have something my mom called separation anxiety. She told me that isn’t good. She said that she will always come back so it is ok to relax while she is gone. She used to put me in the bedroom with another dog while she was gone. This morning though, I explained to her that I didn’t like that and I got to stay out with all the dogs. Another thing I do when my mom leaves is howl. I howl and cry until she comes home. Papa said that mama isn’t allowed to leave while he is home anymore. I guess my howling was a bit loud for him! Oops.
I never knew that life could be like this. Mom tells me that I have 100s of people to thank. I just don’t know why my life could not have been this good all along. Mom said that we can’t hate the person who had me before. She said that she feels sorry for him. She said that he had the opportunity to be loved unconditionally by 7 wonderful dogs. He didn’t know our love, our kindness, or our sense of humor. So, because of that she feels sorry for him, because he missed out on something amazing! Wow! My mom thinks I am amazing.
Well, it is almost time for my mom and I to get back to work. She works from her home office and I have a spot beside her desk called THE TINA SPOT. Sometimes Harry steals it, but it is usually all mine.
|Tina going for a Jeep Ride|
You will hear from me again soon, but in the meantime I will be going for walks, snuggling with my mom, hopefully getting some rides in the Jeep, and mostly just being a happy dog.