Thursday, September 18, 2014

Saccharine Overload

We're about to go heavy on the sugar, so if you're an emotional diabetic, beware this post.

Before I got Bastas, he was rehomed somewhere around 9 times. Now, to rehash this, he was about 9 months old when we got him. That means, before he was 10 months old he was:

  1. Bred by a scumbag BYB who let a lot of Bast's siblings die of worms and neglect
  2. Taken in by a rescue
  3. Rehomed to a family who tried to sell him on Hoobly as a high content wolfdog for $1,000...
    Rotating pictures is hard, apparently...
  4. Repoed by the rescue
  5. Adopted out to a girl in my state
  6. Taken to the pound
  7. Adopted out to another family
  8. Taken back to the pound
  9. Adopted by me
So it's no wonder he's a little... addled...

The face of psychosis.
One of his previous owners began training Bast as an emotional support animal. There was, as I understand, no small amount of drama over this - and by "drama", I really mean, "Members of the service dog community acted like vicious twats and threatened Bast's life over it."

I wish I were kidding about that.

Anyway, I haven't reinforced this training, not because I agree with the greasy farts in the SD community that wolfdogs should be killed for being ESAs (one of Bast's sisters passed the AKC Canine Good Citizenship test with flying colors, something that most regular dogs can't even do...) but because I'm lazy and that's a lot of work.

On occasion, Bast shows that he remembers some of his training without any reinforcement, however. Last summer, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and on one particularly emotional phone call from my doctor, I slid down to the floor in my kitchen and cried into my hands. Despite me not making much noise, Bast somehow knew and came to sit by me and nose his way into my face to give me a kiss. I was, of course, cheered right up - when Bast puts the charm on, he's an irresistible creature.

You're about to get charmed so hard.
Last night, I jolted upright in bed, still basically asleep. I guess I must have woken from some nightmare, although I don't remember a bit of it, because I opened my mouth and let out the loudest, most unearthly banshee shriek I've ever produced. Still asleep, I was helpless to stop making this sound - after I ran out of breath, I gasped for air and continued wailing. I didn't know I could even make that noise, and not being able to stop frightened me even more than whatever night vision I escaped by waking.

What saved me was a dark, furry cannon ball that blasted into my chest and knocked me back into the headboard. With all the air forced out of my lungs, I stopped making that horrible cry and wrapped my arms around Bast's narrow torso. Although I shifted to try to get him to the side of me, he planted himself on my chest and sat on me until I stopped shaking.

I don't remember drifting off to sleep, but at some point he must have moved back to his bed on the floor, because I woke to him snuffling my elbow and gracing me with his morning breath.

For all the stress, exhaustion, expense, and heartbreak of having an emotionally damaged wolfdog, I have never once regretted impulsively snatching him out of the pound and keeping him. It's not often that you can look back at a decision and say, "That was absolutely the right thing to do," but I think Bastas may be the only thing I've done perfectly right in my life.


  1. I seriously have tears in my eyes over this.

  2. I have 6 dogs that are not "trained" and with every turn in my recovery from PTSD, they are right there. I'm sorry to hear of Bastas start at such a young age, it breaks my heart, but you were there to save him. And I have no doubt he there to return the favor, no matter what training. He's way too smart not to know. Hope you are doing OK. From what I hear cancer sucks. :(