I got married. I went on a honeymoon. And it was all fantastic. But right now there’s another story about our home coming.
When we got back to Hawaii the day after our wedding we hadn’t planned on seeing Tsunami. We would only have an hour or so with her and we didn’t want all that confusion for her: Yay! I’m home! Boo. I’m not home. But the timing on our plane leaving and our puppy-sitting neighbor leaving for work didn’t leave us much choice. And it was as sad as you would think it would be, and sadder. We noticed she had a limp but Puppy-Sitting Neighbors didn’t know what happened. We think she landed on it wrong after digging a giant hole in the ground, as sometimes happens with puppies. We weren’t terribly worried about it but we agreed that PSN would watch her and if it got worse then she would take her in.
PSN worked at the vet we bring Tsunami to, and where were also friends with most of the employees there and after a couple of days with no change, she asked the Dr. about it. He said that since she wasn’t whimpering or anything it was probably just a muscle strain and that she should rest. While in Thailand Wes and I checked our e-mail regularly to keep up on the situation. We thought it was under control – it wasn’t getting worse and was getting incrementally better – so we told the neighbor not to worry about bringing her into the vet. If she was still limping when we returned we would make that decision.
We got home early Saturday morning (1am early) and by 7:30 Wes was up, as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. “Wake up! Our puppy’s out back!” But as soon as we saw Tsunami we knew something wasn’t right. Normally a very active puppy, she was lethargic and sad-looking. Her limp was still there but not as prominent. She slept most of Saturday and Sunday and by Sunday evening we were both worried about what had happened while she was in the neighbors’ care. In the two days we’d been back we kept hearing stories about how they would constantly complain about Tsunami – she’s a lot more active than their dog. She went to work every morning and complained to our vet and our friends about what a terror Tusnami was being. We know their strict with their dog, but neither of us imagined that we’d come home to a completely changed puppy. The more we heard, the more worried we got.
Monday morning we decided to take Tsunami into the vet. A decision made much easier after the neighbor quit without notice and I didn’t have to worry about her being Tsunami’s vet tech. Our vet tech, instead, was one of the employees I didn’t know and who had to listen to the neighbor’s complaining the most, probably because she didn’t know us and didn’t know that our neighbor is full of shit. Her response to seeing and meeting Tsunami was to say, “This is not the puppy that Cruella [um, not her real name] described. She’s so sweet and nice and friendly and pretty.”
The vet confirmed that it was most likely just a sprain and that we should keep her kenneled for two weeks or until it heals. So I dropped her off to the kennel and went out with some friends for lunch where we all exchanged horrible stories about Cruella. We all agreed that nothing good happened while Tusnami was over there, but it was nothing life-threatening and in a couple of weeks she would forget all about it. My thoughts on the neighbors were to slowly phase them out of our lives and surround ourselves with people who aren’t so negative all the time.
After we finished lunch and were on our way home, though, all that went out the window when I got an e-mail from my sister-in-law, Wendy. You see, while we were gone a friend of hers and her husband were staying at our house. They were keeping Tsunami company during the day when they were home, but because it was a mini-moon for them, we didn’t want to ask them to keep her at night. Wendy called her friend to see if she could give any background as to why Tsunami was acting so differently. Then she sent me a bullet-point e-mail detailing all the ways they were shitty puppy sitters. None of them were too awful – they left her in the yard until late and then dropped her off very early – and then I came to one that left me shaking. They had been giving her Benadryl to knock her out at night.
I was definitely in fighting mode. We talked to the Dr. to see how much could be given to her without any harmful side affects and were told that anything serious would have already happened and that she just needed a couple of days to get it out of her system, but they would still like to know the dose she was given, how often and for how long. I knew, as soon as I read the e-mail, that we were never going to find out what exactly happened. They were never going to admit that they did it. But after talking to Wes we decided to give them a chance to tell us instead of marching over there and demanding the truth.
I guess I should have known that not only would I never get the truth from them, but that we would also never get the chance to confront them to their faces. They were too scared to meet us and instead we conducted our business over text message. The closest she got to telling the truth was to write that she gave her one 25mg pill once, which was “way less than I could of given her.”
Tsunami is slowly on the path to recovery, but it seems like everything is happening at once. Her back leg is healed but now she’s limping on her right leg. Some afternoons all she does is sleep. And then the next afternoon we’ll get a glimpse of the puppy we left: excited, happy and thieving.
Our neighbors have been noticeably absent since they alienated every one of their friends in a span of 24 hours. They wait until nearly 10pm to take their dog out to go to the bathroom. And that’s just fine with everyone in the neighborhood. After this post I banish them from my thoughts – they’ve already gotten too much of time and energy. In the future we’ll be more careful about who we let into our lives. And who we leave our puppy with. And they will live a miserable life with no friends. I’m okay with that outcome.