The BEST thing happened the other night. Our dog, Pixie, came and slept upstairs with us. She hasn't done that since February.
We brought Pixie home the day after our wedding - she was our Honeymoon and I'm not going to deny it - we spoil her rotten. She has full run of the house, she always gets the left overs from our Sunday Dinner, and she even got to a stage of refusing to eat her food until my husband put cheese in it for her. She gets carried to the back door at the end of the night to go out before bed, she's guided past cats because she's terrified of them, and she walks around puddles so she doesn't get her paws wet. She's a princess. But unfortunately, our furry little royal has had a tough year so far.
When you or your partner start PD, a lot of your energy goes into focusing on how it's affecting the two of you and your human family, but what about your fur babies?
There were changes as first that I didn't pick up on. She'd lay with Curt at night, and she'd become more hyperactive because I was a waddling 8 months pregnant and Curt was too tired to take her out in the mornings before work. She'd started to become unhappy. in herself and went off her food.
She perked up when my maternity leave started, but that all went away when I brought our daughter home. In Pixie's eyes, I'd brought home a loud little Chihuahua that was taking up all our time, energy and space. Pixie absolutely loves our friend's babies. She'll sit next to them all day long, but you so much as point our daughter in her direction and she scarpers. Meelie is a new settler forcing our little Pixie off her own land.
She did eventually come to terms with the new tenant, and tolerated the crying bundle in the bassinet. She returned to sleeping in our room after about a month of sulking downstairs, and she got really good at walking with the pram.
Then we found out those little f***ers (also known as Curt's kidneys) had packed in for good, and Curt was going to need peritoneal dialysis.
We got loads of visits from nurses to check out the house and our storage facilities. My advice to anyone at this stage by the way; don't take the comments about cleanliness completely to heart. Your PD nurse probably isn't calling you a slob, you're just going to feel that way. Especially if you have a dog that malts...
"Pets are not really supposed to be near the equipment."
So our lovely little pooch has had to contend with the invasion of the Meelie armada, and now expulsion to the ground floor. Like I said, not the best year.
For the first few nights, she cried at the bottom of the stairs in front of the newly installed baby gate. Then she gave up and I could just tell she hated the whole thing. To top it off, she was getting a hard time off me for simply shedding her hair.
I love my husband's family, and I know they love me. I know they love Pixie, but they love Curt above anything else, so they were naturally worried about the dog hair when the dialysis machine was delivered. The problem is, it s never fully banished from a room even if the dog itself is. You could hoover three times a day (trust me I tried) and you'd never get it all - that stuff gets everywhere. So they would ask about it. They really did mean well, I know that. I know nobody was slating my ability to keep house, especially with a newborn, and a husband who thinks the arm of the sofa is a personal storage space for all his man crap. I know all of this, and yet I felt completely and utterly devastated. They hated my dog, and they didn't trust me to keep the house clean for Curt. I would get mad at her for sitting on the sofa. I got mad at her for walking to the door to go out for a pee because a few hairs fell off her en route. She got the brunt of a lot of my frustations.
BTW - this is all cleared up now and I'm totally over it. I'm writing this purely because it's what you're bound to be feeling if you are, or ever end up, in this situation. Trust me - your family don't hate your dog, the nurses do not think your the filthiest homeowner in Britain, and you're doing a cracking job. What's more, they all think you're rocking it too.
In the end, Pixie went on an extended holiday to stay with my Dad for a while, and again when Curt has his transplant. We very nearly decided to permanently re-home her because I really didn't know if her living with us was what was best for her anymore. What should you do if you can't keep your pet happy, but you know someone else can? I was so torn between my wanting to keep my fur baby, and my guilt for putting my wants ahead of what she needed. My dad was so supportive throughout all this, I genuinely believe we would have said goodbye forever if it wasn't for him. Thanks Daddio - you're amazing xxx
Pixie has been home for a week or so now post transplant. She is getting lots of walks in with Curt and his new found energy, and she is more content than I have seen her all year. And then, few nights ago, just as if nothing had changed, she followed us upstairs and hopped up on the bed as we were going to sleep. I'm going to miss the extra leg room, but I've definitely missed my fur baby more - hair and all.