“I Couldn’t Sleep at All Last Night”

Looking back, I feel guilty for not believing him.  So many times over the years Bud would tell us that he hadn’t slept at all the night before.  “Of course you did,” we would reply.  “You just don’t remember.  You probably woke up a lot and that’s why you think you weren’t asleep at all.”

He was such an easy baby.  No fuss and always such a sweet smile on his face that I called him my angel baby.  But it seemed like the terrible twos lasted three years.  After that, things got easier, but Bud was always  a little crabby and anxious.

Then in 2009 his attitude took a turn for the worse.  Our business was failing,  and Art and I were gone from the house for 10 or more hours a day.  Bud was in his first year of high school and struggling to keep up in some of his classes.  In addition, he and his girlfriend were not getting along.  All I knew was that it was nearly impossible to get him up for school in the morning.  He had a headache, or he didn’t feel good.  Could he just miss a class or two and go in late?  I remember adding it up and he had missed over 15 days of school his freshman year!

Finally, in June of 2009, right after we closed the business, I tried to get Bud up one morning.  He refused.  It was the week before finals and I was worried he wouldn’t pass his classes and end up having to repeat his freshman year.  I told him there were no more excuses and gave him 5 minutes to get out of bed.  Then I personally drove him to school (the boys usually walked, but I wasn’t taking any chances on that day).  On my way back home I got a text.  Pulling to a stop in our driveway I read the message from Bud which read, “well if you’re not even going to listen to me then I might as well just kill myself.  You don’t even know what’s going on.”

Needless to say, I freaked out.  I woke up Art and read him the message.  He agreed we had to take the threat seriously and called the school.  By the time we got there, they had already pulled Bud out of class and he was in the vice principal’s office waiting for us.  It turned out that Bud and his girlfriend had broken up the night before and he just couldn’t deal with going to school.   It was obvious he was done for the day, so we brought him home.  He wouldn’t talk to us and we were scared.  We finally got him to agree to go to therapy through the local Community Mental Health.

It took a month for us to get an appointment for Bud.  In the meantime, he did manage to attend class every day for the next two weeks and to pass all his classes.  His first day with the therapist she managed to get out of him that he had not had a full night’s sleep in years (we think probably since the age of 5 – maybe even earlier).  She also suggested that Bud was suffering from generalized anxiety disorder and depression.  We wrangled a doctor’s appointment the very next day and after two weeks on heavy duty sleep meds we could already see the difference in Bud.

The past 2 1/2 years have been a two steps forward one step back world of medication changes and adjustments, psychiatric appointments and family discussions.  Bud is still not the best sleeper and one of the main reasons he is homeschooling is so that he can “do school” when he is most awake  – usually around 10 p.m.!  He is fun to have a conversation with and, if he’s really well rested, even volunteers to do some chores!!

I’m happy to say – I got my angel baby back!!



The Unexpected Corgle


A few weeks ago, I was sitting in bed, playing a game on my Kindle, trying to relax enough to fall asleep when Art walked into the room.

“You’re never going to believe this,” he said.

Great, there goes any chance of falling asleep at a decent time.  I set down the Kindle and looked at Art.  “What happened?” I asked as politely as  possible.

“You have to come out and see,” he said.  So I put on some sweats and followed him out into the dining room.  Lying on the table was a blue blanket wrapped around some kind of bundle.  I peeked inside and this is what I saw:

corgleAt first, I thought it might be some kind of rabbit, but then I realized it was a puppy.  The puppy we had specifically told Bud he could NOT have for his birthday because we are losing our house and trying to find a place for one of our other dogs.

“How is it that we have a puppy?” I asked, as politely as possible (I swear I never even raised my voice).

“Don’t be mad, Mom,” Bud pleaded.  “Aspen’s mom gave him to me for my birthday.”

Seriously?  She gave him a dog without asking us?  What do we do, send it back?

Well, I took one look at the sweet little face, almost raccoon-like, and my mama instinct kicked in.  It turned out the puppy was a rescue.  His mama and her litter had been found on someone’s front lawn and fostered for six weeks by a very nice lady in Stockton.  Aspen and her mom had adopted the pup as a present for Bud.

“What kind of dog is he?” I asked.

“He’s part corgi, part beagle (corgle),” Bud replied.

“And part raccoon,” inserted Art.

“Or part Mogwai,” I laughed (we have no idea what breed his father was). Update 2/13 – we have since decided that Kiff’s father must have been a border collie. He loves to herd anything he can find, cats, Katie, cats, people (if we let him).

It turned out that Aspen and her mom were more than willing to co-parent the puppy.  We took him overnight, since his other grandma (Aspen’s mom) works early mornings and Aspen goes to public school.  Then Bud would take him over to their house once Aspen got out of school.  Art and I wanted to name him Gizmo, after the movie Gremlins, but Bud named him Kiff (an alien in the TV show Futurama).

I went into this new venture assuming that I would be the main caregiver for Kiff, and I am the one who gets up with him in the morning and entertains him/snuggles him/feeds him/cleans up after him until everyone else wakes up.  But we have held Bud to his promises.  He takes Kiff with him when he goes out (as much as possible).  He and Aspen have paid for all of Kiff’s vet bills and most of his food, pee pads and toys.

In addition, after having to give up one of our other dogs due to the imminent move and some behavioral issues, Kiff has been such a blessing to our family.  Our older dog, Katie, is adjusting to the new puppy, and enjoying her new princess status (since Kiff is an indoor dog, Bud got Katie a nice bath and she is now indoors as much as possible – which she absolutely loves!) For the rest of us, focusing on this tiny one who NEEDS us so much, has definitely helped distract us from some of our other problems, and also to bring us closer together as a family as we negotiate responsibilities and decisions.  Bud is Kiff’s “dad” and he makes most of the decisions regarding the puppy’s care.  Art and I try to only step in where we are needed – I guess it is good practice for the (hopefully distant) future when we have grandchidren.

corgleDo you have a pet adoption story?  Please share it in the comments below.