GUEST POST – Just When You Think You Prepared For Everything: The SampleSizeZero Dog Update

Guest post by J (Mark’s wife).

We got a dog!
We have a dog!
We had to return the dog.

The human brain is really weird. Almost as soon as we had the dog home on Sunday, I began to get anxious and more anxious and more anxious. I began to panic, and I spent 3 days either panicking or on the edge of panic until I had a panic attack that lasted an hour on Wednesday night.

Note: None of this is the dog’s fault. He was a perfect good dog and did nothing to warrant this reaction.

Of all the things we’d prepared for…me have panic attacks triggered specifically by the dog was not anything we’d ever thought of. Where the #$@@ did that come from?!?

Fun Fact about J: Prior to this week I hadn’t had a panic attack for 15 years – thanks to coping techniques, therapy and medication.

Through everything, Mark was calm, as helpful as he could be and tried to do everything to make this easier for me. We have complimentary anxiety disorders, so we seldom panic at the same time about the same things.

Wednesday night I said I couldn’t do it anymore. Such a hard decision so we were both a mess. We called FA and she rushed over to support us (thank you FA – thank you DM) and as we told others in our support system everyone offered help. I forget that we have people who care for us that much, and I often forget to ask for help.

Mark was/is heartbroken that we couldn’t keep the dog (and I feel really bad about that). But he and FA worked together on Thursday so that I could go away without worrying about Mark and come back to the house later after the dog had left for his new home. FA talked to the rescue organization on our behalf (thank you thank you thank you) and arranged everything.

On Thursday morning I saw a therapist and together we located at least 5 separate things that were being triggered and causing me to panic. (I’ll be investigating those more in the coming weeks and months). I spent the rest of Thursday with my aunt seeing my doctor and then relaxing at her house.

And then Thursday night I came home, Mark had rearranged the house into its pre-dog state and BAKED A CAKE. My sweet husband knows me so well. And he really doesn’t give himself enough credit for all the ways he looks after me.

Thank you isn’t enough, but THANK YOU Mark, FA, my wonderful aunt for all coming to our rescue Wednesday & Thursday. THANK YOU to everyone else in our support system (parents, DM) who have helped us this week too.

Writing this out was hard, so time for me to relax again.

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