Monday, April 18, 2011

the bathroom incident

it has been almost a week since we had a bit of a setback at the forge household. it has taken me this long to post about it because it has taken me this long to be able to talk about it without bursting into tears.

i locked the dog in the bathroom.

completely by accident, and it was really his own body that locked him in the bathroom, and the door was never actually locked, but he was trapped in there for two hours nonetheless.

and it was traumatizing for the both of us.

we always close the doors to the bathroom and spare room before we leave him alone. i was rushing out of the house for an appointment i was about to be late for as i was trying to make sure i had all my stuff and he was following me around whining. i ignored him and closed all the doors and ran away from the house as fast as i could. (i know i need to get better at leaving the house, in general. i know he senses how upset i am about leaving him.) the door has a bit of a tricky knob latch/closure thing in the sense that you need to make sure you pull it all the way and it clicks, otherwise it can be pushed open or forced open by air if another door opens/closes. this is where i failed.

he found his way into the bathroom and must have shut the door as he was turning around or something. then he probably jumped up on the door, clicking it into full closure. at this point, i assume, he went totally berserk in the bathroom.

i came home to much whining, yelping, and crying, but i couldn't figure out where the dog was until i went back toward the side door and noticed pieces of wood at the foot of the bathroom door. when i opened it up and let him out, i pretty much wanted to disappear. towels, shower curtains, canvas drawers, makeup, brushes, shampoo, razors, manicure tools, perfume, toilet paper, a plant & its dirt, soap dispenser, shower puff--all over the floor. pools and pools of saliva, all over the floor. shards of wood from the door and the molding around the door, all over the everything.

it was a total disaster area, and desmond was freaked out beyond belief. so, i just started crying. i cried because my bathroom seemingly endured a hurricane. i cried because desmond must have been so scared. i cried because i thought he was mad at me--and that he thought i was mad at him. i cried because i was scared that he thought i purposely stuck him in there. i cried because i was afraid of what he had eaten and whether or not he was physically OK. i cried because i knew he was already so sensitive, and i was worried about his mental health. i cried because i thought he hated me. but mostly i cried because the entire thing was my fault.

i do not have any human children, but this made me feel like i had failed at being a mother. failed at taking care of someone who is dependent on me for so much. it made me feel like i didn't deserve to have this dog. i'm not entirely recovered from it, and neither is he. ever since it happened, he has shown signs of great stress, including grinding his teeth.

we ran over to the vet as soon as i was able to focus enough to throw the leash on him and get him into the car that afternoon. he was fine other than some irritation in his mouth. his eating and bathroom habits were unchanged afterward, but he was very different. scared. didn't want to sit on the couch with us. wouldn't listen to our basic obedience commands anymore. would freeze at the steps to the side door after coming back from a walk. i spent most of the last week utterly heartbroken and figuring out ways to be vague when people would ask me how desmond was doing. he has gotten better every day since then, and i didn't want to pretend that this never happened anymore. not that i could, anyway, with the damage done indoors. so, finally, here's the story and below are the pictures.

inside of the bathroom door

damage to the molding, which he also pulled off the wall

in pulling off the molding, he also knocked out some grout.

where the molding detached from the door frame

the bathroom door was a heavy, thick, non-hollow door that we painted & varnished with spray paint. he got through four layers.

a tiny remnant of the splatters of wood and paint. picture this all over the walls, floor, sink, toilet, tub, cabinets, etc.

all of these items were strewn about the floor and covered in drool/wood/paint, but i was able to clean and save them.
this is most of the stuff that needs to be replaced. should be under $100. many items simply got thrown away, and i am opting to live without them from now on.

this piece chipped off of the soap dispenser. thank goodness he didn't eat it.

top shelf was full of towels. bottom shelf had another canvas drawer and all of my makeup. towel bar had a towel on it and was not crooked (or falling out of the wall).

two days after this happened, desmond was alone for about two hours again. we made certain that the doors were closed properly, but he decided to scratch up the spare room door and bite off a bunch of the door frame there. we're not entirely sure why he was trying to get into the spare room, unless maybe he thought joey was on the other side of the door. he also further destroyed the lock on the gate which was blocking the stairs (we have since removed this gate).

we were going to save the gates for when we have a baby, but this one may need some repairs first.
joey is confident that everything will be fine and desmond will continue to improve, both from this incident and overall with his separation anxiety. as you can guess, i am not feeling as confident. part of my fear has to do with the fact that i am the last one to leave in the mornings and am often the first one home in the evenings. currently, i'm not sure that i am the best person to be desmond's last sign of life before his long day of waiting. the only way to remedy this situation is for me to move my butt faster so i can take the same train as husband. it's not ideal, for a variety of reasons, but until desmond is i am settled down, it may be what's best for everyone involved.
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