Hard decisions

Todd was our first baby. We got him when Ash and I moved into a townhouse together – our first time not living with roommates. He’s been with us through so much: the births of three kids, a couple moves, everything. I admit that I paid less and less attention to the dogs as the children took over more of my life. But I still fed them and gave them good places to sleep and took them to get their yearly shots. Last visit, they told me he had glaucoma in one eye and it was developing in the other. Just two weeks later (and having been on a medication) his one eye has not improved. Now they are recommending another medication… that costs 100 bucks. So they have given me options: pay for these two meds (roughly 122 bucks/2.5 months), take him to a doggie opthamologist ($150) and see if they know of any other drugs, or the ultimate sadness: euthanize. I feel God-awful going that route because he still has so much energy. I feel like that’s just mean. But perhaps it is the humane thing to do. I don’t feel as if he’s really in a lot of pain though, which is the biggest problem with the disease.

SIGH. I just hate having to debate this; that his life is in my hands. I am sad and angry and I keep saying to myself how I am NEVER getting pets ever again. Some day, maybe. But will it ever get easier? No, probably not. Maybe some day when the kids are all moved out and it’s back to just the two of us, we’ll want that companionship, that reason to get up and take a walk every day.

My parents bought a beagle when I was about 14 and I remember when they had to put him to sleep. My father is a man of few emotions and I have never seen him cry. My mother said he cried on that day. When we had to put Iggy down two years ago, it was insanely hard. I cannot even believe I was present in that room as the life left his body. And that is what I keep thinking now. Can I handle that again? I almost wish I could just take him to the vet, say goodbye, and walk away. I don’t know if I can. With Iggy, he was practically gone by the time they injected him. With Todd, he’ll be full of life.

At this point, I am pretty sure that I will commit to the money for a little while and see if it works. It would be one thing if he was in poor health but he’s fine otherwise. I don’t want to spend the money, and Ash will say I’m being irrational, but I think that for now, that is what I can handle.

The passing of a friend

(Written Sunday evening…)

With the exception of my paternal grandparents when I was about 23 and 28 respectively, I have not had to deal with much death. A few years ago, my parents had to put my beagle to sleep. We got him when I was about 13 and he was pretty old. I was sad, but mostly because my father loved that dog and had a hard time dealing with him being gone. About a year or so ago, they had to put their adopted greyhound to sleep as well; he had cancer.

Saturday morning, I woke up to find that Iggy, the third of our trio of Bostons, had thrown up in his crate. As usual, we suspected something he’d eaten in the yard; my dogs tend to do that. They throw up a few times during the day and get through it. But he didn’t. His breathing became shallower and he didn’t want to do anything. Sunday morning, we took him to the emergency vet and after blood work and xrays, found he has pneumonia, and badly. It had progressed very quickly. As of now, 8:20 PM, he’s still laboring to breathe but we gave him meds at the doc and took option #2, which was drugs at home. It was the option between break the bank and put to sleep. But he doesn’t seem to be improving much. I go back forth between “will he recover if the drugs start to work?” and “should we just end his misery?” I can’t decide if it’s his time to go or not. He’s not even seven and it just seems unnatural for him to get sick so suddenly. I realize he’s just a dog but he’s been a good one.

I admit to being irritated by the lot of them, especially after having kids. Mothers everywhere will tell you that if you had dogs before kids, you look at them very differently once the kids come along. There’s just a different attitude and feeling about them; the kids take so much precedence that, even if your dogs were your babies before, they seem like a nuisance, especially on days when the kids are bad and the world seems to be closing in around you. One little dog getting in your way can be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The decision is the hardest part. If he were visibly improving, I would say we’re in the clear. If he was so bad he had to be put to sleep, I’d even feel OK because I’d know he was in peace and in time, I would be alright with the emotions..


(Monday morning…)

New day. We made the decision to put him to sleep, because when he tried to get up, he couldn’t. It was really sad. Ash and I called my neighbour over to stay with Elliot and we took him in and said our goodbyes. The hardest part, I think, is how suddenly it came on and just ravaged him. Iggy was the runt and though never really sick, he did sometimes have eating issues and he was definitely a wee bit physically challenged. But of our three Bostons, he was the sweetest. He was never a pain, only ever wanted to make you happy. The other two have their annoying quirks, but never Iggs. I was happy that he was no longer suffering; the crying was more for the event and having to see it happen. And then thinking about all the times I ever said I didn’t want dogs anymore because they were annoying me.

But it is what it is and I can move on. He was a great dog and he’ll be remembered as such. Just another milestone in our lives. I hope everyone reading this goes and gives their pet a hug, and enjoys their day.

We’ll always remember you, Fat Face Iggy.

Grossness trifecta: accomplished

Zoey used to have a problem. She was the hardest to potty train and it took her the longest to stop randomly peeing in the house. Then she started taking a dump in the same place in the living room. I couldn’t hardly figure out what the magic secret was to avoiding this so we tried making sure she went outside alone – other dogs distracted her from doing her business – and that she went out multiple times before and after eating. I don’t know exactly how long this went on but throughout her 4 years of doggie life, she has had three or four episodes where this behaviour went on for a week at a time then magically stopped.

Within the last year, she’s been really good about whining when she needs to go out and we’ve avoided any issues. Then last night happened. I was in the bedroom reading (If you must know, it was Living Dead in Dallas) and Ash was on the computer. It was maybe 10:30. A stench suddenly wafted into the bedroom and as Ash and I sought the source, we realized it was stinking up the whole house and that Zoey had taken a massive dump… and eaten it. This is apparently common behaviour for this breed and I guarantee you any of the methods of “deterring” them from doing so do NOT work. (meat tenderizer, etc.) So, sigh, I cleaned it up. An hour later, we took them all out and put them to bed; they sleep in the kitchen. I fall asleep. A peaceful sleep, for once uninterrupted by back pain or other pregnancy symptoms. Until Ash nudges me to say that the dogs are whining. My response? Go see what the problem is! He just grunted and went back to sleep. But I could not. I had the image in my head of Zoey somehow strangling herself in her crate by her collar or something.

So I go out there, greeted by an even worse smell than before. Zoey had created the most disgusting mess I have ever seen or smelled. I kid you not; I have dealt with some nasty fluids since having a child but the combination of her puke, her food from dinner, and the revisitation of her recently ingested poop was the mother of all messes. In her crate. All over her blankets. And all over her. UGH.

Zoey was thrown into the bathtub where she waited until I could a.) throw away the fluid covered fleece blankets, b.) wipe out the chunks of half digested dog food, and c.) wipe down the crate, which still stunk to high heaven. I gave her a bath and brought her back to the kitchen, where I set her up behind a gate with a blanket and told her good night! I returned to bed with a massive headache and quite awake, considering I was passed out prior to this horrific event.

BUT, today’s weather makes up for all the crap I had to deal with last night. The weather channel website says it’s 51 but my Brookstone thermometer said 58. Of course, the reader is right outside the door by my kitchen so it’s probably warmer near the house. It feels really good though, to be cool and clean and see clear skies… oh, I just love Fall. Elliot is wearing new jeans and a cute collared shirt and he looks like a little man, I swear. Once they hit two, they’re on the road to looking like real people and it’s so… weird.

On my agenda today: grade papers, do something for a committee I’m on, and work on my

Why there’s a burning dog carcass on my lawn (just kidding, people!)

Just to give you a little background, for those of you not following along at home, my brother-in-law, Elliot, moved into our house at the beginning of March. His plan was to get a job here and get a place of his own, because he wanted to be near us as our family grew up. He’s now moving to Chicago, of all places, because he’s “always wanted to live in the big city.” Whatever. I got over my anger at his abandoning his brother a long time ago. The big problem I am facing now is his no-good rotten pug, Webster.

In the beginning, Webster’s problem was that he hadn’t been socialized as a pup. In fact, he rarely saw another dog. So when he entered our household, my three were like a dream come true. But he would NOT leave them alone. My dogs would want to take a nap and he’d badger them to play, barking, growling, hopping on them. Eventually he calmed down but there are times when they scuffle and he’s the main cause.

Well, as I may have mentioned, I’m flying solo this week. Just me, the Boy, and all four hounds. And Webster? Well, he woke the house up at 5:30 AM Sunday morning, barking. As far as we can gather, he misses his owner (God only knows why, my BIL is not that kind to him). He does not bark like that when Elliot is here. Again, this morning, he started with the barking at 4 AM. I thought I had fought off any possible issue by placing his crate in the kitchen with the other dogs, so he wouldn’t feel so isolated in the other bedroom. Nope, he’s just barking to bark. Because he sure as hell doesn’t need to go out. Both Ash and I got up separate times to see if that was the problem.

So I am frustrated with him right now and have no idea what I am going to do. I never thought I could dislike an animal – a dog – this much. But I can’t find a single redeeming quality about him. He doesn’t listen, runs away when he has to go into his crate, bites (lightly) when you finally catch him to put him up, and he’s hyperactive. If this keeps up, my patience is really going to run thin. The Boy was awake at 5 this morning because of the barking so I see myself getting increasingly less sleep before I either put that damned dog outside for the night (which I don’t see myself having the guts to do) or boarding him at the vet and demanding reimbursement from my BIL.

What would you do? I can’t lose that much sleep, especially when I have to juggle everything this week.

On a happier note:

My friend Catherine turned me on to the Pedigree million dog mosaic, which is a fundraiser.

You can view the mosaic here and find my dogs as well: mosaic.
Type in Todd5, Iggy6 and Zoey43 to see my beasts; they all come up in the center.

Red flags

I spent all morning trying to come up with something interesting to blog about. I could talk about baby kicks and baby hiccups (which I think I finally felt last night), or I could tell you about our day trip to Jacksonville tomorrow to look for nursery furniture. But all I could really come up with was dog poop.

Having 3 dogs, I pretty much have to do poop patrol at least once if not twice a week. Sure, they are smaller- medium sized dogs but that stuff adds up. I keep a plastic beer drinking cup – Solo cup – and a trowel out in a planter and go around – in specific shoes – searching for piles o’ crap. Sometimes, if it’s had a bit to start decomposing, its color becomes very close to that of the leaves that take up the majority of our poorly landscaped backyard. So finding said piles is not necessarily easy.

Unless its a pile of Zoey’s poo.

Zoey cannot and will not stop shredding the fleece blanket that pads her crate. I don’t get it. It shouldn’t be fun to rip up and eat something so fluffy and soft. And so tasteless. And yet, she does this constantly. Henceforth, even if the poo has eroded, her former pile is marked by little 2-3 inch strips of red fabric.

Thanks for the head’s up, Zoey-girl!

We don’t eat ears

Here’s a shot of Todd and Iggy going after poor little Indy’s ears. They tend to gang up on other dogs but I guess in a lot of ways it speaks volumes about family. Heh heh heh. Happy Saturday.


Morning entry – take two

Let’s try to recreate what I so craftily put together before. Ok, here goes nothing – (deep breath and go!)

I had one terrible dream last night. I’m not kidding; it completely freaked me out. These possessed people kept coming in and out of my office and one was a young boy in what looked like the shirt of one of the chipmunks – you know, Alvin, Simon, Theodore – and he kept trying to get me to look into his eyes, which kept getting bigger, more gaping and black. I remember jabbing my fingers into his huge eyes, as if trying to remove the evil that lie within the cavernous spaces and eventually, I ripped off his eye sockets as well as his nose. UGH.There was a lot more violence and gore but I can only render vague images now. Which is good because I sleep alone tonight.

Ash leaves around lunchtime for a conference in Daytona. I really don’t like when he travels but he doesn’t have to do it all that often. The days will probably go by pretty quickly: I have an eye appointment this evening and then I will either make soup or pick up Japanese, on Tuesday evening I am meeting a friend for coffee and on Wednesday, I plan on climbing. Ash will be home that night.

In totally unrelated news, I am very glad to see the Colts going to the Superbowl. I really enjoy seeing well-coached, talented, deserving teams beat less deserving teams. With that said, I will probably now proceed to piss some people off, and I don’t care. I hate the Patriots and I hate all the assholes in America who like them just because they win. They have some shitty-ass players on their team: Tom “I think I’m hot shit” Brady, Reche “I have the biggest boob-eyes in the world” Caldwell, and Kevin “Worst player in the NFL” Faulk. Not to mention cheaters like Vrabel and Bruschi. A couple weeks ago the cameraman caught Bruschi kicking the ball to get the first down before the chains were set. On tv people! They exposed ’em and you still cheer for them?? What made it even worse was when Troy “I played for the dumbass Cowboys” Aikman saw the footage he said that “they are a smart team.” There goes sportsmanship right out the window, America. I am super happy that the Colts finally made it to the Superbowl and I don’t even care who wins; I like both teams and I’m just reveling in the Patriots loss. What a way to start my week!

The dogs’ playdate was quite successful and I will upload pics later. For now, you can watch this video of them playing with a ball. Mine are in there somewhere but it’s hard to distinguish with all that black and white! Doggies.

Alright people, I am off to file and waste for time until lunch.

Disjointed end of week thoughts

This morning has been… busy. For a Friday anyway. I woke up feeling in a particularly good mood. Maybe because I was in such a shitty mood yesterday. I don’t know. I am looking forward to the weekend though. On Sunday the pups have a playdate with 8 other Bostons and it’s always a pretty fun time when we go to the one woman’s house. She has a huge yard and the dogs go absolutely nuts with each other. Since Iggy has been sick, the other two have kind of been kept down (not a lot of activity) as well. So this will be fun for them.

I’ve done a lot of work already; been working on that Fall schedule still and then on finding another teacher for a section in which the current teacher has to withdraw. Unfortunately, all this work has proven to make time pass slowly. Sigh. But it’s ok since it’s Fryday – and we’re going to Cypress for lunch.

I have a ton of filing to do; it’s beginning to pile up. I wish I had some Goldfish and then I would do the filing. :(

I’ll show you 3-ring circus…

Ok… (pant, puff) things have setteled down now. The first day of classes is usually a 3-ring circus, with lost freshmen, confused freshmen, TAs with multiple questions, and almost always, the main system goes down and people can’t print their schedules or rosters. All of this happened today but for now, I am ok. The sun is finally back out here in Tally and the breeze is cool and dry. I have the window open a crack and it’s making me much more calm.

Yesterday was the first day that I have felt like things were starting to get back on track. Iggy’s stitches are not oozing as much, he’s feeling a lot better, and he’s eating more. He can probably start eating solid food again by Wednesday and stitches come out either Friday or the following Monday. I will be so glad when this is all behind us. I have been very stressed out since we got back. Even hot baths with relaxing music (Enya even!) haven’t done the trick. What else is there?

I was glad, however, to have Saturday night. We went to a friend’s place where he was premiering a movie he made. It was quite professional – he always does everything to the max; doesn’t settle for less than the best – and it was a good time. We also spent some time playing Wii with Matt and his girlfriend. I don’t know why it is but just as soon as we get to know people well and begin spending time with them, they move. But that’s life. We all must follow our own paths.

At noon I have to go home to feed Iggy and eat a sandwich. It will be a nice reprieve. Happy Monday.