A Case of Emotional Whiplash: Fred’s Story

For those of you who follow me on twitter, you might have developed a case of whiplash yesterday.  On the heels of losing Zoom (and Zapper), it feels rather quick that we have brought in a new family member.  This is Fred:

Fred the Dog

We knew when Zoom and Zapper passed we would look into getting several more cats and a dog.  I am 1,000% sure about the cats, and pretty sure about a dog. Before we knew Zoom would follow Zapper so quickly, we had contemplated bringing a dog home for a test run at our house once Zapper passed since we knew Zapper could never handle a dog.  Zoom had possibility to adapt, but at 15 and cancerous, it just didn’t seem like a good idea.

For several months, Fred had been living at the airport where my husband works. Fred came to live at the airport because his owner(s) had fallen on hard times. One of my husband’s client’s adult children had Fred, but also had problems with drugs and the law in general. In an effort to help his kids, the client moved them back into his house, but was reluctant to also take their dog. So he took him to the airport and left him.

I cannot condone abandoning animals. It’s horrible and irresponsible and unfair to the animal. It’s also illegal in the state of Georgia. Fortunately, the airport is rather like a large family and Fred was treated okay. He was fed and petted and not abused and my husband looked out for him. He was treated like a dog, but not a member of a family.

I had thought perhaps we would have a day of grieving for Zoom before Fred came to our house. As it turns out, we did not. I felt a bit whiplashed myself, especially when I found myself crying in the bathroom while the kids were playing with Fred in the living room. But Fred apparently is very astute and has been quite cuddly and affectionate with me. He sought me out when I went upstairs to cry in peace away from the kids, and although he needed help getting on the bed, he laid down next to me and did the puppy dog eyes where the eyebrows shift back and forth, and licked my face and just let me be sad.

He’s a good dog.

Our test will be this weekend when we go to Good Mews to adopt some cats.  If Fred can’t get along with cats, we’ll find a home for Fred where he can be safe and loved.  My husband knows that I am a package deal with cats, and that this was part of bringing a dog into the house: it had to be able to get along with cats and not try to chase and/or eat them.

UPDATED:
We took Fred to the vet for a wellness check on Wednesday evening and discovered that he’s tested positive for heartworms. The treatment is tough, and expensive, but we are willing to try to help him get better. Thanks for kind thoughts and wishes.

7 thoughts on “A Case of Emotional Whiplash: Fred’s Story

  1. Is this a different dog than the one living at your parents-in-law’s house? It sounds like it. I hope Fred gets what he needs and you find some excellent Helper Cats. Take care.

    1. Yes – Nat is staying with my in-laws since my FIL got very attached to him. Fred is much calmer and seems to not have such a strong hunting instinct, which is very bad to have with cats around. However, my kids are firmly on board with taking Fred to Papa’s house so there can be a puppy party.

  2. Heart touching story, made me cry again. Guess I’m just too attached to our 2 kitties (they’re only 17 months) and seeing what you’re going through I just can’t imagine how it’ll be one day for us. Hope Fred will be good with the new kitties! We have 3 of them (7 weeks old) up for adoption 🙂 Too bad you’re so faaaar away. Can’t wait to see the pictures of the new family members!

  3. Good of you to take in Fred, both for him and for the kids. Glad to hear there will be cats, too. Not sure dogs have the same aptitude for quilt helpering.

  4. Thanks for the timeline; I was getting very confused.

    Do you have any neighbor cats who can come in for a test “play-date” with Fred?

    All the best.

  5. You are a true animal lover, and I, for one appreciate that! I am animal-less, but I appreciate people like you who are so kind!

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