28 November 2018

Good and bad.

Otterpop likes to sleep in her bed. Her preferred life at the moment would be to sleep in her bed on the couch, and I would sit there next to her. If we could do that all day, her life would be good.

Anything outside of that is not preferred, and has now crossed over into bad. If I get up when she's sleeping, she figures this out, and that's bad. She likes to walk on her leash in the forest, but just on a short walk. A long one is bad. Or a place she doesn't know, bad. The beach is good, but scary, she can walk into a wave or get stuck on rocks, so I manage it a lot to keep it good and make sure she can see me at all times. Walking in the neighborhood is bad, night time is really bad. Playing at the park is good, she still likes to chase a ball and follow us around, but at some magical point in her head that I can't predict, it turns into bad, in which case she may bolt out of the park, down the path, thru a parking lot, and into the road. Lots of things that were good a few months ago are slowly becoming bad.

She used to like to sleep in her crate in my car. That used to be just as good as her bed on the couch, and I didn't even have to be there. That's still good, until it gets bad, when it goes bad is unpredictable now. She used to like to hang out at work, that is all bad now. Walking down to the arena, bad. The tack room and barn aisle, bad. Her list goes on and on. Bad, bad bad.

If she isn't asleep on her bed, her mind is awake and she thinks things are bad. Bad means pacing and howling and crying and thrashing around. Usually when she wakes up, if I'm there and she can see me, it's not bad. But if I'm not there, bad. Me nowhere near her at any time is bad. Restraint is bad. Leashes are bad. Bad can mean she spins donuts around me if it happens on a leash, running in circles til I gather her up. Putting her harness on and off is bad. Standing still is bad. Travel is bad. Motels are bad. Long car trips are bad.

Sleeping at night is less bad since I started giving her melatonin at night, that seems to be zonking her out. So we can all get about 8 hours of good while she's sleeping. I think all my dogs when they got old started this behavior, I think it's just dementia of an old brain. Otterpop's seems a bit more manic, which makes sense, she's always been like that anyways. I just feel as bad as her when I see it click on to the bad setting, and we look for a way to reset it to good. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. The bads are coming more quickly than they used to, pushing out her goods.

So when I can, I just sit next to her on the couch. So we can have some good.

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