We flew to Miami today; tomorrow we’ll board the cruise ship, and I predict Chickadee will be hurled overboard by Wednesday at the latest. (Um, did I mention she’s on her second course of Prednisone? Hell hath no fury like an itchy tween on steroids. Mercy.)
Last night Otto and I were up until midnight, doing the things one does the night before a big trip (no, not THAT): Packing, trying to finish up last bits of work, cleaning the kitchen, and whatever else seemed important at the time.
Licorice leapt onto our bed and curled up on Otto’s pillow, worriedly watching him as he finished packing his suitcase.
The truth is that Licorice has been freaked out even since the first suitcase came out of the attic, which was about a week ago. The suitcases came out; Licorice turned back into the sweet but clingy dog she’d been when she arrived at our house back in the Fall.
And lo, it was pitiful.
For a week I have been tripping over the dog. On account of she leaps into my lap if I sit down, and follows under my heels the moment I move anywhere in the house, and cries at the door most piteously if I dare venture outside without her.
Not knowing Licorice’s true origins, we have been what-iffing all week. What if she once had owners, and then they packed for a trip and left and NEVER CAME BACK? What if one time she saw a suitcase somewhere and then IT EXPLODED? I mean really, clearly SOMETHING has traumatized her about suitcases.
Anyway, I was working in my office, Otto was packing, and the only reason Licorice was bugging him instead of me was because any time anyone was DEALING WITH THE SUITCASES she needed to be there. So she watched him pack. And eventually I finished in the office and came into the bedroom and lay down on the bed with my angsty puppy and snuggled with her and told her that we love her and will be back very soon. And then I asked Otto if he would take her outside and put her to bed, and he said yes, and I got up to go get ready for bed, myself.
I was closing the bathroom door when I heard Otto calling for Licorice. And then I heard him calling her again. And again.
I laughed and opened the bathroom door. “She isn’t coming?” I asked.
“I don’t know where she IS,” he answered. “I headed for the back door and then she DISAPPEARED.”
It’s true that sometimes when it’s time to put Licorice to bed, she becomes what we call Low Puppy, and lays very flat and still on our bed as if she thinks maybe we won’t be able to see her, and then she’ll get to sleep with us all night. But generally if you approach her when she’s doing that, she’ll (grudgingly) stop. However, this time, she wasn’t on the bed.
Or anywhere else.
About five minutes later we found her huddled UNDER the bed. And it took quite a bit of coaxing to get her to come out.
Apparently when I got up to pee, she decided that she’d been abandoned again and had some sort of PTSD flashback. I wish she could tell us what was going on there. Or that I had a flask small enough to offer her. Poor dog was freaked OUT.
Once we got her out from under the bed, though, she went outside and into her crate without further incident. This morning she was VERY excited to see us, and even after everyone was ready to go and we were packing up her crate, she didn’t go hide.
She did become boneless, though. Just like the old days. The kids and I sat down with her on the kitchen floor and passed her limp, nervous self around and gave her lots of belly rubs and kisses and promised her that we’ll be back soon. And then I had Otto deliver her to the friend who’s keeping her for us this week. He reported that she was “nervous but exploring” when he left; the friend has a dog, too, and that MAY have been enough of a perk to distract her from the SHEER AND UTTER ABANDONMENT she was experiencing.
I’m hopeful that all will be forgiven when we return. Barring that, I guess I can start looking for a doggie therapist, so that Licorice can work through her issues.