Monday, September 6, 2010

Gumball is something else!

My little Gumball is such a handful! He continues to thrive, even though he has lost 2 ounces since I found hiim (he needs to gain 4 pounds according to the Vet.) He initially gained 4 ounces over the first 2 weeks, but in the 3 weeks before our second appt, he lost 6 ounces. And I don't know how, since he eats like a little pig!
He continues to get stronger everyday, and manifests more and more personality.

We were on vacation in the mountains last week, and he had a great time roaming around my friends' steep mountain property, taking in the cooler mountain air. And because there were a total of 4 dogs in the house that week (Bailey & Gumball, plus my friends 2 dogs, Tai and Nummy), we had to go to extraordinary measures to ensure he got to eat his meals without the other dogs poaching them.

It still takes him about an hour to eat one meal (what with having no teeth, and no bottom jaw), so sometimes I would feed him in the guest bedroom behind closed doors, and I would kill time reading, or reading e-mail. Other times, Kathy would take him into her office to feed him while she worked on the computer - the only problem with this scenario was that she has a glass door on her office, so the other 3 dogs would line up at the door and show their intense annoyance at Gumball's special treatment; Nummy would whine, Tai would scratch the door, and Bailey would just pant and stare.

So now that we are home, Gumball has decided that he will ONLY eat when he is in the same room with me, which has really made me look for ways to maximize time-management. He used to eat his breakfast slowly in the kitchen while I locked Bailey in the bathroom with me, and I showered, did my hair, makeup, etc - and when I was finally done, he would be moseying upstairs, all full and ready for the day at work. And he would eat his supper in the kitchen while I kept Bailey upstairs in the bedroom with me, and I could work on the computer. NOW, I can't even feed Gumball in the bathroom while I shower - because if he cannot SEE me, it evidently doesn't count - so every morning this week he has ultimately only eaten part of his breakfast by the time we need to go to work, and I just take the leftovers to work, and feed them to him once we get there.

This lovely 2 day weekend has been much easier, because he is eating his meals in the bedroom while I do whatever I want, and Bailey carefully watches from the bed, waiting to pounce on the bowl if Gumball should walk away from it.

But Bailey is actualy learning, and he really understands now that he can't clean up Gumball's leftovers until I say so. And he is being a very good brother, even if it IS unintentional, for the most part.

Gumball is very hard of hearing, but he uses Bailey as a hearing-eye dog - and when he senses Bailey moving around at night or other times (whether through Bailey's thundering vibrations on the floor, or because Bailey walks close enough by Gumball's bed that he nudges Gumball), Gumball knows that I am probably up and moving, and he gets up to check things out - and he is usually right, it is bathroom time, or meal time, or something is up!

And this is the new thing Gumball started yesterday - he gets up and walks around to tell me that he wants to go out (which he has always done), and now he goes out the backdoor and off the porch and does all his business without me having to escort him. This is so much nicer for me - no more fire ant fiascos! And it shows that he is trusting the environment here, so that's good. But yesterday, after he did all his business, he wandered around the yard until he found the perfect spot in the sun, and he just plopped down for a sunbath. This was a first! His former routine was to dash back to the house as soon as he was done.

Later yesterday afternoon, I was walking around the backyard with both dogs, and Gumball started circling around a spot where he clearly intended to lie down in the sun again, and I walked toward him and stuck out my foot to stop him, because he was going to end up in one of the fireant beds I had coated in pesticide, and I just wanted to move him a few feet away. I certainly wasn't going to kick him; I wasn't even going to touch him - I was just using my foot as a roadblock (he is so tiny, I didn't want to bend over, because I am so lazy! Why bend over when I can just direct traffic with my big foot?) But he yelped and jumped backwards about 3 feet when my foot was still 12 inches away from him, so I feel like it is very likely he has been abused in the past.

Today he is still refusing to eat unless I am in plain sight, and he has just come back from him morning sunbath. Bailey even stayed out in the yard with him while Gumball lay in the sun, only Bailey chose a nice shady spot, because it is already 90 degrees out there!

I am glad Gumball is getting stronger, and more independent, but I cannot get over how much he has altered my routine - I have a hard time finding time for blogging and other computer work, let alone time to create!
And he's no cuddly lap dog, but he's happy, and it sure is funny to watch him do his little "I'm hungry" dance - it reminds me of the old Little Friskies commercials (I think it was Little Friskies, anyway, and am too lazy to look it up) where the cat did the cha-cha-cha while his Little Friskies was being prepared, only Gumball hops from foot to foot, and turns around, and jumps up in the air - it's a hoot!
And I found out the secret of how Gumball's bed kept getting moved while we were up in the mountains - everyone up there was blaming everyone else - Kathy said John did it, John said I did it, I said Gumball was doing it, Kathy and John both said Bailey was doing it - but no one ever saw it happen. We would just come home in the evening, and Gumball's bed would be 10 to 20 feet away from where we had left it - sometimes in a completely different room!

Last night, while I was watching TV and doing chainmaille, I heard Gumball "digging" in his bed - he has always done this, sort of his version of turning around 3 times before he lies down, only he would take both his front legs, and stand halfway in the cut-out "door" of the bed, and just dig at the cushion with his nails, like he was trying to make a nest. But I crept to the edge of the bed to watch without him seeing me, and he was actually using that digging motion to drag the entire bed to a new spot. Last night he moved it 3 feet away from where it had been (and consequently into the middle of the floor), and then got in it and went to sleep.

1 comment:

PussDaddy said...

Poor Gumball, I sure hope he wasn't abused. I have really enjoyed reading about him and Baily.