Saturday, March 28, 2009

Doggie Girl Surgery Update

Okay, so there are pain meds for dogs, and she's on them... actually morphine and, uh, I don't remember, Remadyl or something? Anyway, she's still moaning like she's simply dying..... however, when I called the vet today (for like, the 5th time since we've picked her up!) the vet said the pain meds are pretty strong so she's probably more likely feeling sick and miserable because of the meds. Niiiiice. It sucks that dogs can't tell you how they're feeling! My husband reminded me how crappy he felt after his own knee surgery (and he had to add that I seem to be much more caring and sympathetic for the dog, lol!!) Well, she's so much sweeter!! When I told the vet that Merry still won't eat a thing, (and this is the hog-dog extraordinaire) she first said "yeah, that is weird for a Golden Ret./Lab mix" and then started to say something else when my cell went dead.... I plugged it in and called her right back, and she was like "Oh, good! I thought I'd offended you, because I was looking at her chart and was saying how her missing a few meals wouldn't hurt her!" Lol. I'd had the exact same thought this morning when her breakfast was untouched!

Here is something cute, though.... when we left the house today, we had to crate her, and I guess the cat is feeling very sympathetic!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Surgery is Over, now the work begins

Well, Merry came through with flying colors! Our vet said her hips look great for a dog her age and size, her other knee looks good, and he was most surprised that the bad knee had no signs of arthritis to speak of. I guess these injuries usually take place as a series of small tears, so there has been wear on the joint and arthritis begins... but not in Merry's case, so that's good. My biggest concern is getting her through the healing process without breaking the repairs... you see, what they do is drill a hole through the bone and put non-dissolving sutures (the description to me sounded like fishing line) in and around the joint to basically hold things in place as the ligament did when it was there. The idea is that, over time, scar tissue builds up and the muscles firm up and eventually do the job of the ligament, even if after a period of time the sutures would slowly dissolve (but this isn't supposed to happen, except after many years, at which time they probably aren't needed.) The problem is that if the dog were to over-exert the area during the critical 2 - 6 week time period, they could snap that line and the job was a waste, basically. So, I had a vet tech come out to help me put the dog in my car (it's a big ol' SUV and a big jump up) but she - the tech - wasn't ready so Merry tried it on her own... so I'm all freaked out that she messed it up before we even left the vet's office!! Arrgghh. But, the vet said he put double sutures in, just in case since she's a 100lb dog, so hopefully all is well. Poor thing, she's been laying around groaning all night - it's pathetic, really. She wouldn't even eat a treat (to take her medicine) and that is a total rarity for this dog - so I know she's really miserable. Tonight Kiwi and I are sleeping in the livingroom with her - she'd probably cry all night if we shut her out of the bedroom, and we can't risk her jumping up on the bed. Oh, what I do for my pets! In three days, we start physical therapy.... funny thing, that.
Here are a few pics - Kiwi laying with her, reading; the IV site on her foreleg; the epidural site on her rump (an epidural! who knew?!); and the incision site on her hind leg. Icky.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Doggie Surgery Day

Well, this is it. Tomorrow Merry goes in - bright and early - for her knee surgery. Honestly, of all the dogs I've had in my lifetime, this gal takes the award for highest maintainance! Sheesh, some "free" dog, huh? My daddy always told me "there is no free lunch...." Well, she's the sweetest dog on the planet, so she's worth it. My one big worry is that they will call me right at the pre-surgery scans to say the knee isn't the real problem, but that it's only a symptom of a greater issue - very bad hips. At which point, our only real option would be to have her put to sleep. I worry about this because her only surviving sister from puppyhood had this problem, and was put down at only age three. With all that's been going on in our lives, I don't know how we could deal with a blow like that. Kiwi would lose it for sure. As much as I am not looking forward to 2 weeks of confinement and 6 - 8 weeks of slow rehab, it totally beats the alternative! We really need this sweet girlie dog in our lives for many years to come!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Holy Horse Crap, Batman!

Today, Kiwi informed me she simply loves horses. Okay, it'll never be as deep as my own love for them, I realize that - but of course I hopped right on that wagon, and decided this would be a great summer to sign her up for horse camp! So, I got online and checked out some in the general area in which we will be living by then.... You gotta understand, I have sent her to summer camp the last couple of years, at a Church Camp up in the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains north of us....and she took the Horse Option, which gave them a couple trail rides during the week she was there - so, not full-on equestrian camp, but still.... the cost of the week is under $200.00. So you can imagine the jaw dropping that happened when I saw the prices of horse camp out East..... $980.00, $1000.00 - for a stinkin' week of horseplay!! Geez, for that price, I'm sending myself and Kiwi can stay home and do the housekeeping!

Life, Death, and the stuff inbetween

I had to go to a memorial service today. I say "had to" because I didn't want to, at all. The last one I attended was my own little sister's, so I really just would have preferred to have not done this today..... besides, I didn't even know the kid who died (he was just 27).... however, I know his family... and, from that experience of my own sister's funeral, I know how important it is to see how you have people who love and care for you, who stand with you in your time of grief and need. So I went. And it got me thinking.... that the stuff that matters in this brief time we have on Earth is the love we share with those around us. Just like my sister, this kid had made bad choices, messed up his life, and that ultimately cost him his life, way too young. And yet, the way he had touched others, impacted their lives forever because of his realness and love of them, was huge. Even the most screwed up of us can make someone else feel significant by simply loving them. All the other stuff that clutters up our lives and takes up our time fades in comparison.

I am glad I am on this journey of clearing out the clutter of my life. Even though it began as a quest to rid my home of actual, physical clutter so I could sell this house and move back east to be with my husband again, it has become a ridding of the very real clutter in my head and in my heart. And I will be so much the better for it when it has all been tossed out, and some clear space is left for the important things in this life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What I may need to make it through

Saturday night the dog was trotting back across the front yard - after successfully chasing off the neighbor's cat - when she yipped and began limping. The next morning she wasn't any better (not putting any weight at all on her hind leg) so we took her in to the emergency vet. (Why must they always do these things on the weekend??) It would seem she has torn her "cruciate ligament" (like an ACL in a human). We have a vet consult tomorrow to see what we are up against. It sounds expensive and not a great outcome, at this point. Like, surgery in the $1,500 - $3,000 range.... and may not be a total cure..... and more likely than not, she'll pop the one on the other leg in a couple years... Why? WHY??? Do I not have enough to worry about right now? Cripes. She's only 8 years old; not a pup, but not old, either. I've been researching on the web.... now I'm on one of those "information overloads".... "surgery is the only option" "surgery often doesn't help"' "without surgery they'll get serious arthritis" "no matter what, they seem to get arthritis" And on and on it goes, even to the dangers of the anti-inflammitories she's now on... There are even 3 - 4 types of surgery for this, and everyone has their opinion as to the best one........ And I can't tell you how fun it is to lift her 100lb. self into the back of my full-size SUV.... then of course, all the other thoughts are swirling around in my head.... Will I have to get a new, lower car? Will we have to rent a ground-floor apartment when we move? Can she ever go on off-leash walks again? Will we have to buy a little doggie ramp so she can get on off the bed? I am a mess, totally. Today, we just hucked school, and we went to a movie then out to lunch. Because my brain needed some time off.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Still cleaning.... is there no end to our stuff???

Today I almost found the upstairs closet! Trust me, this is a big deal.... see, we have sort of a strange arrangement in this house - upstairs, we have a bonus room, half bath, and a huge closet of shelves. Most folks would use this area as a family room, but we've used it as Kiwi's space - bedroom, playroom, part-time schoolroom; the works. The closet won't hold clothes (so hers are downstairs in the office - like I said, it's weird) and the upstairs closet holds craft items, games, and toys. I haven't checked on the closet in awhile - quite awhile - and as I've long suspected (and feared) when Kiwi didn't want to deal with something, she just hucked it in that closet. Yeah, you can just imagine how that looked! I've had the Christmas wrapping paper on the floor in my bedroom since - well, Christmas - because I couldn't get into the closet up there to put the stuff away! So it was time. I finally called it quits at just after 6pm, but I think we can get stuff mostly put away now... and that means the rest of her space is looking pretty great, because there is somewhere for all of the mess to be stored! Yay us!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gettin' Stuff Done

Yeah, I am actually accomplishing something! Check this out.... nice, huh?

Oh, this is from the girl who keeps telling me she needs nail polish...reeeealllyy??? Maybe someone just needs to clean her junk up, eh?? Pretty much all she had in here that wasn't trash was nail polish. Geez.

I didn't take a pic of the huge bag of garbage I took out of the drawers!! It seems when Kiwi doesn't know what to do with something - or doesn't want to walk the, uhm, 8 inches, to the trash can, it just gets tossed in the bathroom drawers!!

I soooo love order and organization!! Too bad it happens once in..... let's see, how old am I now??

Oh, wait - there are more drawers upstairs.... oh, look! Is that more nail polish?? Uh-huh. This is actually a cleaner drawer....

And here's some of the stuff I took out... yeah, that's right, those are socks.... 'cause where do they get stored, if not in the bathroom drawers, really??

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm feeling like a "less than"

Let me explain.... I've been popping around to some other homeschooling blogs, and I'm thinking "wow".... what am I doing again?? You see, I started off in a very unique situation; a homeschool co-op that is run like a regular school, two days a week. That's right - I homeschool M-W-F, and on Tues. & Thurs., Kiwi is in a classroom with a paid teacher and other students. It is run by our church, and I've really loved it the last 4 years.... this year ~ not so much. I started this way because I am totally disorganized, so I was scared to h.s. on my own... I figured I'd wake up one morning about the 1st of June and go "Crap! We haven't done any school this year!" I would. Honest. In our co-op, the teachers do all the curriculum planning and lesson plans and we pretty much just go along for the ride. Which was a cool way to begin, but I am tired of the inflexibility - because, I was thinking homeschooling was all about the flexibility! Our school was in the beginning, but it's kind of outgrown that stage of it's life.... we've got 200 kids in preschool to highschool now, so it needs to be, I don't know, the way it is, I guess. But I don't want to do it anymore - which is cool, since we're moving across the whole US and I don't really have a choice in the matter!! But I read all these blogs, and think.... huh, can I compete with that?? And c'mon, you'll say "it's not a competition" but, hey, I've been to the homeschool conferences, I hear the talk.... lol. In fact, people in my school have been quietly derided for not being "real" homeschoolers.... yeah, whatever! I personally get that same deal about not being a "real" mom since I just have one kid - I'm kind of a freak in the homeschooling world! It's cool; I'm tough, I can take it. Bring it on.... Anyhow, I do really want to do a good job on my own, and mostly, I really want to have FUN!! This year has been a tough one on my daughter and I, and I really don't want her to end up begging me to send her to school so she can get away from me!!

Next year should be an interesting one!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Value of the Husband

Hey, I'll be honest here - for awhile now (a long while) I've been thinking my husband did about jack-diddly-squat around here. In fact, I'll be quite transparent - I figured life would be fine if he was elsewhere and just sent home the paycheck. Yeah, sad, I know! Guess what? Now that we are in that situation (predicament, really!) I have learned something.... it totally sucks. Yep, that's right! I really, really want to live in the same place as my hubby, who did an incredible amount of good around here!! From taking out the trash, changing lightbulbs, making sure the furnace works (yeah, it was 55 degrees in here this morning...brrrrrr) all those little things I'd been taking for granted. Especially helping with our daughter... that's huge. It's far more work than I can really handle on my own. I will be thankful and incredibly grateful when this little part of our life is over..... and I won't forget how much he means to me.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More help from the cat

He's back at it... today my focus was the office/schoolroom. Tidying it up and all. So I am stacking books in the bookcase, turn around, here he is. What a goof.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What the heck

I need to work on this blog - because nobody is reading it. Focus, girl, focus!! Never mind - it's too hard.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What? It's March?

When did this happen? Where was I? Oh, yeah.... in some closet, trying to make order of it. How a family of three people can have so much crap is beyond me, honestly. Then there is trying to do everything, with my husband gone.... Tuesday I forgot to set out the trash, as it's his job... and the can is overflowing with all the stuff I'm chucking, not to mention the "science projects" that had been growing in the fridge, which I threw out since "it will be gone tomorrow". So, what did I do when I realized? I cried. Totally reasonable, right?? And helpful.