Thursday, October 2, 2008

Poor Bubbabub.

Bubba is a rescue dog, and like most still has some demons. It makes me sad when I see them come out, and it even chokes me up, thinking of that past life Bubba had with some horrible person who treated him badly.

Does this happen to anyone else--a sad animal story gets you outright teary, but hearing about two kids locked in a 135 F car who later die just kind of makes you shake your head in disgust? I wonder if that's about outrage fatigue.* I feel guilty that I get more emotionally involved with pet abuse stories than people abuse stories.

Back to Bubba. His mom was out for the evening earlier this week, and I was Bubbasitting (in other words, I was home). Bub is so very very mild-mannered that he only occasionally barks. Only when he thinks something is at the door. Typically, he moves slowly, and doesn't make much of a fuss. Well, Bubster came over to me at one point that evening, and he was dancing around, jumping up in the air and pointing to the door. I thought he was going to bite my pants and drag me to the back door!

He bolted out the door to eat grass, barely letting me clip on the leash. Baby boy has had some tummy troubles recently, and when he needed to puke, by golly, he was going to be thoughtful enough to get a person to let him outside to do it, already! (He's done the same when he was sick with diarrhea a few weeks before this incident. Good Bubba.)

Seriously, how wonderful is that? Asking to be LET OUT to vomit. Good Bubba. Good Boy.

Here's the thing, though. Bubba's mom thinks that Bubba is getting into the trash at a friend's house. And that garbage gut is what's been causing his gastric distress.

Well, last night I caught Bubba in our trash. Trash that had contained raw chicken for over 24 hours. I caught Bubs in the act, and so I clapped loudly, sternly saying "Bubba NO!"

This is where I cried.

See, Bubba's reaction to my loud voice and the clap was to skitter away, cowering as though I was going to hit him. He didn't look just a little guilty. He hid. His tail was curled under, and he contorted his body so that the blows he thought where inevitable would land on his back, not his belly or flank.

Poor Bubba.

His flinch reflex is so strong that all it takes is me reaching up to adjust my hair for him have a similar reaction. Same thing happens with his mom. Poor sweet loveydo.

I made sure to lavish love on him as soon as I could after scolding him. I came out and paid him extra attention over the evening, even lying down on the floor to pet him. (The floor is hard.) Eventually we ended up both on the ground, sharing the same pillow with our heads, my arm around him. Sweet Bubba.

Of course Mom will always be preferred. Shortly after he cuddled with me, he jumped up on the couch with her.

Sweet Bubba, keep healing.

*Wow. The first time I heard the expression I immediately identified with the sentiment. I had no idea that The Onion coined or at least popularized the term.