Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Health Issues Continue for Atticus

As you read in the most recent post, in a two night span we went to the North Conway Animal Hospital on an overnight emergency visit and then spent an 18 degree night in the car.

Yesterday, Atticus wanted nothing to do with the house and he showed a great deal of fear throughout attempts to get him in here. Therefore we spent most of our time away from the house. When we returned mid afternoon, he was agitated but he calmed down a great deal. I felt we may have been through whatever problems have been plaguing him here. Since I hadn’t slept for the better part of 48 hours we went to bed around 4:00 p.m. yesterday and we slept well.

Actually, we slept well for about three hours. Just after 7:00 p.m. Atticus woke up in a panic again. He could barely breathe, was extremely agitated; and he wanted out of the house in the worst possible way.

I took him around the house room-by-room to show him there were no problems. I let him see me looking under beds, checking closets and opening drawers. We walked down into the cellar. None of it mattered. If he calmed down it was barely and only for a handful of seconds. It was clear we had to get out of the house again.

Luckily Atticus and I have made an elderly friend who lives down the road about a mile and she offered us the space of an unused bedroom in her condo for a few nights. That’s where we spent the night - without incident.

When we returned here this morning we were inside for less than 30 seconds before Atticus wanted out again. We went for a long walk and now we’re back. He’s currently sitting in the front seat of the car, the driver’s side door is open, and so is the front door of the house. I’m typing this from the front steps. It’s clear he doesn’t want to come up on the steps or into the house. He seems calm and happy lying down on his fleece blanket just feet away.

The strange thing about all of this is that the medical tests showed nothing wrong. And he shows no ill effects whenever we are away from the house, even if it is just five feet away from the front steps as he is now. For six months we've lived here and he hasn't had an issue until the last 72 hours.

Tomorrow morning the landlords are sending someone to look at the boiler. We shut the boiler down two days ago and the gas has been off for 24 hours.

In a bit we’ll leave here and drive to our friend’s place again. That’s where we’ll spend the next night or so.

A big thank you to all who have contacted me about Atticus. Please know that so long as we are out of the house he shows no ill-effects and you’d have no idea that something was amiss. Hopefully this mystery will be taken care of in the next few days and we can get back to a normal life where I write and he sleeps on the chair next to me in my writing room.


mi said...

Hope that Atticus and you find what's going on with the house and are able to find somewhere other than the outdoors to call home. Will keep you both in my prayers. *hug*

Thomas F. Ryan said...

Thank you, mi. I'm sure it will work out. and thank you for your prayers and your hugs. We'll always welcome those.

kurt mullen said...

Hi Tom, sorry to hear about this,of course, and I hope things get back to normal for you right away. Was up in your neck of the woods yesterday, but for a quick car-camp only, and then home this morning. Would like to meet up next time I'm in the area. Good luck with Atticus and your house. Best wishes, Kurt

LM said...

Hey Tom,

Best of luck getting this mystery solved. Is it an old house? I know your Atticus is not much of a hunter but my dog once acted odd like that when we had mice living in the walls. It is getting cold, that is when they will come inside. Have ya heard any scratching in the walls? Who knows? Only a thought...


ann said...

a ghost?

Ellen said...

As LM suggested, I was thinking mouse in the house or chipmunk, too. I've had them investigating my space, too. They might just be too close for Atticus's comfort zone? Hope all is back to normal soon. Ellen

Ellen Snyder said...

Hi Tom,

Yes, hope things get sorted out soon. Is there any chance Atticus could have gotten shocked somehow in the house. We had a lab that was terrified of certain places after he got shocked by an electric fence. I am sure you are with him all the time, but could something in the house have given Atticus an electric shock. I would be surprised if Atticus was that upset about animals in the walls.

He remains an amazing little dog.

All the best. Ellen