Who knew I’d ever be thankful to a critter invading my garden? I sure didn’t.

Ian tells me that the rat that he chased out of our yard a couple of months ago after numerous rounds of garden destruction, is back. I still haven’t seen him but my most amazing hunter’s nose doesn’t lie.

After a month-long process (saga?) of dealing with a frustrating and painful injury on the end of Ian’s tail, one day he simply told me he was done. Done with wearing his helmet, done with wearing his pants, completely over the wrap that he has always hated and he needed FREEDOM. Ugh. His tail wasn’t healed enough for that. It was the next challenge in a month-long series of never-ending challenges. What to do??

Good news was his tail was finally making some measurable progress, FANTASTIC news actually, and I was at this point feeling confident he was no longer in danger of losing part of his tail. Down side was though that it was still not nearly healed enough to give Ian what he wanted. No way were we having any more setbacks. No. I refused. Period. Not that my refusal ever worked over this entire past month. lol.

Enter Rat.

Once Ian discovered the scent it was GAME ON. He was a dog on a mission. Laser focused. He made it through the garden fence 3 times before I sat and watched him do it and discovered the weak point in my fence. I shored up the defenses and they’ve been holding strong. Poor tomato plants! Talk about a rough year for my tomatoes. Sheesh! I was however able to harvest (pick up off the ground is more like it) a huge crop of green Juliet tomatoes that I’m letting ripen on the kitchen table. At first I was like Oh No! Not the rat again. But then I started watching Ian and how he couldn’t have cared less about his tail. Hmmmm….could this rat be a good thing after all?

I started giving Ian some monitored time outside ‘without’ his helmet, although tail still wrapped and wearing his pants. Absolutely awesome! He was excitedly wound way up there so as long as he could be outside he didn’t even care about his helmet either. But I cared. He would run so fast it was too risky that he’d snag the helmet and break his neck.

It’s now been 5 days since “The Return”, Ian has spent most of his days outside patrolling and monitoring the back yard on high alert. Today I’m celebrating as he even got a few hours completely naked. Holy cow! Is this what a normal day in our house is like? I almost couldn’t believe it. He was so happy and I was so happy too!

I have refused to take pictures of his tail so I can’t show progress. I don’t need any more memories, it’s all stamped pretty clearly in my brain. I can update though to say his tail is very tender, no hair on the end for any wagging protection and still with a few fragile scabs. It was a challenge to maneuver and corral him in the house so he didn’t wack it hard enough on anything to cause it to split open again. All the while his is trying to do his excited wagging and tell rat stories. He does have a minor wound on his front paw he’s re-aggravated from the licking he did to distract himself 🤦🏼‍♀️, but we are so close, I can clearly see the light! 😃

We have grown closer, Ian and I, this month and I love this brave boy to pieces. 😍💗 He has taught me so much, as have all of our dogs. Two of the lessons I’ve learned from this most recent experience (1. Stop trying to fix the impossible and 2. Inherent Whys) I’ll be sharing about in upcoming blog posts so stay tuned.

I’d love to know what lessons you’ve learned from your dog(s), please share! I’m also looking into writing a collaborative book compiling these stories, so if you have one you’d like to share in this book, be sure to let me know! I’ll keep you on my list as I start collecting all the stories to include.

 

Here is Ian, crashed out after a night patrolling. Still wearing his pants, he finally called it quits for the night and came inside but now no longer focused on rats, he started licking his paw again. Sad to have to put his helmet back on again, while sporting a cheery face and telling Ian how great he is….instead I grabbed a blanket and covered him up, paw included, gave him lots of love 🤗 and kisses, hoping if he couldn’t see his paw he would realize he was exhausted and take a nap. It worked! 😇

Tired boy finally calls it quits for the night. Rat patrol will have to wait till the morning.

 

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