We adopted a puppy a little over a week ago.
Iko is still tiny (about 4 lbs), and at the Trouble stage — with a capital T, and that rhymes with P, and that stands for Puppy. (Five points if you know the reference.)
Anything at nose level becomes game for his attention, chewing, and/or ingestion, forcing us to keep a constant eye (and ear) out for him when he isn’t penned or asleep.
He wakes at the crack of dawn, the blue hour, and though sometimes we can coax him back to bed, it’s only for a wee bit. We are all up early.
Unlike my little friend, I can’t nap several times a day, which has led to a slight brain fog — the cumulative effect of constant vigilance and not enough sleep.
Yesterday I received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine (hooray!!). My arm hurt (still does), and by evening, the brain fog morphed into outright exhaustion. I got chills and sweats.
We all went to bed early. Though Iko didn’t need to go out last night, he was restless, waking me several times. He roused me for good 6:20 this morning.
My head hurt. I felt mildly nauseous. And I was tired, worse than just fatigue. Was this because of the pup or because of the vaccine?
Could be either. Or both. Hard to tell.
But breakfast settled my stomach. And a walk cleared my head. We fed the puppy, and after yet another visit to the great outdoors, I figured that Iko was ready for a nap. So I brought him into my office, fluffed his bed, and gave him his favorite toys and chews.
At 9:30 sharp, I was online with my writing partner: we planned to work for an hour while on mute, each on our own separate projects.
As we said hello, I heard whining by the shut door.
I apologized. “I need to take him out. As a precaution. I should be back in 5 to 10 minutes.”
They grinned. “No problem.”
Iko did his business promptly, and I praised him effusively. We returned to my office — time for work!
I’d been scribbling away for ten minutes when I heard more whining, and a persistent scratching at the door.
We had just been out! And he’d peed. He wanted to be in the living room, I reasoned, his favorite place in the house. He’d calm down.
One more big whine, and he quieted. I glanced over. Iko was sitting very politely, in his “I’m a good dog” position. I noticed the wet spot next to my desk. I took him out again, as if it weren’t too late, and he found a stick to chew.
Inside, I cleaned up with a deodorizing enzyme. Finally back at my desk, I glanced at the clock. Only twenty minutes left with my partner. Dang!
Brain fog and fatigue were settling back in. Did I sense nausea on the horizon?
Whom to blame? The vaccine? Our puppy? My ineffective puppy raising?
Iko curled up at my feet and fell asleep, trusting I wouldn’t step on him, reassured by my presence. A gentle warmth crept through my weary body, comforting me.
The vaccine was the culprit. Of course.