Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I'm sitting in the backyard, enjoying a cafe au lait made in the french press with some authentic Cafe Du Monde coffee. Oh so sweet. My intention was to come out and write about whats been going on with Mavis. I'll get to that in a minute. Here are some recent Mavis pics. I know you have missed her so.

I haven't been very motivated to write lately since nothing extraordinarily good has happened. This is the "In my backyard good things happen" blog after all. There have been extraordinarily BAD things going on, but I just don't feel like writing about those things, don't ask. So I haven't. But today, as I got settled to sit and write about Mavis and her health, since so many of you have asked, a good thing happened in my backyard. So it preempts my not so good news story about Mavis. Just by a paragraph though, so again, I'll get to her in a minute.

The Good
Like I said, I'm getting settled on the porch, coffee in hand. The squirrels are running rampant and Mavis is having a ball chasing them. It's funny because she isn't much bigger than they are. I think I see one crouching in the pine tree (I'm not wearing my glasses) so I go closer to check it out. I don't want her to get into a boxing match with a squirrel. Then I get goosebumps. There sits my Eastern Screech Owl. In the pine tree, on the lowest branch, in the middle of the day. We stare at each other and he appears to snooze off and on. Chris comes out to look and the owl just blinks. That was an hour ago and he still sits in the same spot cleaning himself, snoozing, and I'm guessing hunting too. I'm irritated at this moment that I haven't bought that upgraded camera that I've been dreaming of. I have a pretty nice one, a Sony Cybershot, but what I really want is one that can super zoom and take rapid shots. Here's the best shot I could get.

I think we should name him, since he's decided to keep us company. Let me know what you think, I'd like for you to help me pick a name.

The Bad
Ok, now on to the rest of my story. Now don't get me wrong, it hasn't been all bad lately, I've just felt all doom and gloom and stuff. Mavis has had trouble breathing for a year now. She snores LOUD all the time. When she gets really excited she snorts and kind of gasps. I've asked our regular vet before if it's all ok. Dogs like her are prone to "collapsing trachea", and I've always worried that was the case. Our vet has always said that it's probably just allergies. I've known and trusted this vet for a long time. She used to take care of Beaux Kittie and Pee Wee before they went to kitty heaven. Fast forward to Friday. Mavis was going in to have her teeth cleaned, and 2 baby teeth that never came out pulled. The regular vet is out on leave, so we had a sub, Dr. Long. By the way, I REALLY like Dr. Long, and he has little ones like Mavis too. I was going to have routine blood work done since she'd already be under. You know kidney, liver, blood sugar. Just to be sure everything was working right. I mentioned to him that she had trouble breathing a lot, and he said he would take a good look while she was under for the cleaning. A couple of hours later he called and asked if he could do some X Rays. Said he didn't see anything in her mouth or throat that would cause labored breathing and just wanted to check her trachea. Of course, it turns out she has a collapsing trachea in the worst spot, down in her chest right next to the chest wall. This means that she wouldn't be a candidate for the surgery they do now to correct this - a metal or plastic stint much like a tube that is permanently implanted. I'm not sure I would want that for her anyway. How could that be comfortable? I cried a little, sucked it up and went to pick her up. Did I say how much I like Dr. Long. He's older, rough and worn hands, and reminds me of a favorite grandfather. He also reminded me of a vet we had when I was in high school that would come out to our place and treat the horses. Dr. Long assured me that she would be able to deal with this on her own. She knows her limits and will calm herself most of the time. Eventually she may sometimes faint when she over exerts, or gets too excited. I now have the doggie CPR instructions posted where I can find them. *deep sigh* Worst case the collapse gets so bad it will be fatal. Not all dogs but some die from this, and usually when they are older. I was counting on getting a good 18 years with Mavis like Joan Rivers did with Spike. I'm trying not to be a pessimist, but I tend to err on the dramatic side. I'm currently resisting the urge to buy an oxygen tank and tiny mask just in case she keels over.

And the Ugly
Ok, now a complaint about the ugly. Dear Mr. Neighbor, could you please remove the ugly satellite dish from my nice view. Every time I sit in my favorite chair out here now this is what I see.

I've already emailed the city. There has to be an ordinance regarding the placement of these hideous things.

It's been at least 2 hours now since I spotted the owl. He's still there, hasn't moved. The Blue Jays have been totally harassing him. They have a nest nearby. I wonder if this little owl has been hanging out in my backyard every afternoon? I need to spend more time out here. I miss it.


Joanne said...

Sorry your puppy is sick... that sucks. I hope that the worst case never happens and she gets to hang out with you in your backyard for a good, long time!
As for the owl's name. Spock seemed to jump out at me when I saw his cute little face. Or Hootie MacScreechowl. Or Screechie Van Hootsalot. Or Owlie Von Mousehunter. I like compound names.

Renate said...

I like Mr. Spock too. It fits since Chris is a die hard Trekkie! I like the pic. He is pretty.