Friday, August 28, 2009

wonderful distractions part 3

I hurried back from Tampa and wonderful distraction number 2 so that I could chicken sit. My friend Renate has 4 hens that free range in her yard, and she needed sitter while she was on vacation. Every day for a week I let them out in the mornings, and put them up in the hen house every evening.

I loved it. And by the time Renate came home, my desperate need for distraction was over. It was perfect timing, and I made some new friends...Chiquita, Geeba, Jemima, and Matilda. Great girls all of them.

Flashback Friday

Seven years ago this month I married the man. My friend Kimberly over at Petroville had me thinking about it this week when she asked "where did you go on your honeymoon, and how much did you spend on the wedding?". After digging through some old files I found the wedding budget spreadsheet, and some snapshots from what seems like a lifetime ago. We spent $2,620, and that included EVERYTHING. Even the wonderful honeymoon to Cozumel. Thrifty me!

The kids were our wedding party. Brannon the best man, and April the maid of honor. They're all grown up and out of the nest now. Seems like just yesterday we were talking about drivers licenses and curfews.

* that piece of frozen cake still in Mother's freezer?*

Who is the skinny girl? WHO? And with the bare feet. Some things never change. The curled toes give away the giddiness over all the presents. I love presents!

Cake, presents, unconditional love. What more could a girl ask for? It was perfect.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

wonderful distractions part 2

Right on the heels of wonderful distraction number 1, I left on a business trip to Tampa. It was a lonely boring business trip, and I was pretty blue, but I had at least two things to look forward to. Dinner with my cousin Lindsey...who I adore, and almost never get to see...and special plans with my bloggy friend Vicki.

I had some free time one afternoon, so Vicki picked me up at the hotel and graciously spent her whole afternoon showing me the best of St. Petersburg. It was great to meet another bloggy friend face to face, and I felt like I'd known her forever. To quote Vicki, "you meet the neatest people here in the neighborhood". Ditto Vicki!

I got the behind the scenes tour of the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve where Vicki is a volunteer. Lucky me to have an up close and personal introduction to Stretch and Wheezer, the resident Eastern Screech Owls at Boyd. Stretch was the only one to grant me a REALLY up close hello. Wheezer was busy protecting the last owlet in rehab as all good mothers would. They made great foster parents I hear.

Another new friend made was Spirit, a magnificent Bald Eagle. I'm pretty sure I will never get this close to another Bald Eagle without a fence between the two of us. I really was that close, almost no zoom used for these photos.
It was really sweet the way Spirit recognized Vicki as we approached. They had quite the conversation. She volunteers regularly with the raptors, but had been out for a few weeks with Mohs surgery on her nose. I think Spirit really missed her.

Here's a shot of Vicki at Boyd Hill showing me a Red Rat Snake, who had just shed his skin and was unbelievably soft.

We also took in a quick tour of the fabulous Salvador Dali museum in St. Pete, and dinner at the 4th Street Shrimp Store...which was satisfied my craving for some good ole Florida seafood...with Vicki's daughter Abby and her husband. A rather enjoyable dinner, really.

On my last night in town, Lindsey and I had dinner at my now favorite place to eat in Tampa, Datz Deli. I had an egg salad and smoked salmon sandwich for which there are not words. And the wine? Oh man the wines. I chose an incredible French Rose (it was sweltering after all). Also no words.

So thank you Vicki and Lindsey, for the wonderful distractions from my blues regarding a sickly doglet. Vicki, I am better for knowing you. And Lindsey, I am proud to call you family.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

she's home with her little chicken leg...

...and her bald neck. Her little leg was shaved where the IV was, and they had to shave a patch on her neck to do the spinal tap. I know from past experience that IV's hurt, and can't imagine how uncomfortable it was in her little bony leg for 3 days. Her legs already look like chicken legs, but with the hair shaved off, wow, naked chicken leg. She has to feel like crap just from the IV and spinal tap alone.

It was so good to pick up our little doglet and get those sweet kisses and tail wags. It quickly became apparent though that we have a long road ahead. She is better, by just a little. Her balance seems better but she is really weak. We'll give her 2 meds daily for months (an possibly life), and she will go back to the vet once a month for an injection.

I am hopeful.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

read in a fortune cookie

A single kind word can keep one warm for years.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

inflammation of the meninges

Meningitis that is. The doglet has Meningitis. This is good news because it's treatable. The doggie neurologist says that about 2/3 of the dogs that have it get better, and some even recover completely. Apparently dogs get a type of the disease called Steroid Responsive Meningitis. It's an auto-immune illness that is highly treatable with steroids - umm - hence the name.

She is at the hospital tonight, and tomorrow night. It's very strange being here without her. I don't know how I'll sleep without her giant 5lb presence in the bed. I'm hoping she's resting ok. I left her with her big pink stuffed FiFi dog and her 2 favorite binkies. And a tiny pink backpack with cookies and treats and some other stuff.

I'll say it for you, I win crazy dog lady of the year I'm sure.

That's ok cause I love my little girl named Mavis Pearl.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

update on the doglet

The visit with the doggie neurologist went well today. I really love the doctor. She was compassionate, and thorough, and gentle. It's too soon for me to tell if she's a genius, but I have high hopes.

Her hunch is that this may be something like meningitis. Not bacterial like us humans get, but something auto-immune. Or hydrocephalus. I will take her back for an MRI tomorrow morning. They will also draw spinal fluid and test that. On a normal day I would be upset that she had to endure all this. But today, I am hopeful because it may be something treatable. The doc didn't think it could be a brain tumor since the symptoms were multiple (affecting more than one part of the brain).

Thanks for all your caring, my bloggy friends. I will keep you posted.

ps.. if it wasn't wrong to rip off cool stuff from other bloggers, I would call her Dr. Nerve. Isn't imitation the highest form of flattery? One of my favorite bloggers names all of her doctors that way. I won't call her Dr. Nerve. Not here anyway, but in my head I will. That's not wrong is it?

Monday, August 17, 2009

read in a fortune cookie

Do not mistake temptation for opportunity.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

wonderful distractions part 1...a gratuitous photo essay

Last weekend we had our 2nd annual family bash at Lake Grapevine. It was the first of several wonderful distractions from what's been ailin' me. In my family we keep each other close. They mean the world to me.

The Muscovy Duck. Ugly duck, or rare beauty?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

she's not even 3 years old

I've put off having this conversation for days. My heart is broken. I am so very sad, seriously depressed I think. The doglet is slipping away from us and I feel powerless to help her.

It started a couple of months ago when she appeared to be suddenly going blind. The vet looked at her eyes and couldn't see anything other than very dilated pupils. We were having a bumper crop of mushrooms in the backyard, and he assumed it was mushroom consumption. He said to watch her, and if it didn't improve soon to take her to the doggy opthamologist. It didn't get better so we did, and he agreed, no eye disease. Perfectly healthy eyes, but blindness in her left eye. After some expensive, extensive tests the eye specialist said "it's neurological in nature, you have to see a doggy neurologist". I put off making the appointment for a few days. I just couldn't wrap my brain around it, and it didn't seem to be any worse than some vision trouble. Then, in just a matter of days Mavis began to have trouble walking. She could no longer make it up and down her little stairs by the bed. No hopping up on the couch with her foot stool. In just a few more days she merely stumbles around, her legs often just going right out from under her causing her to fall. She wants to play but can't function. I just don't understand. There are moments when she seems to be better, giving me hope that we might get her back. But just moments. One good thing though is that her appetite is great. She really perks up for her scrambled egg, and as recently as 2 days ago still enjoyed the trip to her favorite restaurant for plain grilled chicken.

I feel really guilty getting so upset and sad about this. I have friends whose children have serious diseases. Potentially life threatening diseases. I know they feel like life is over some days. I also have friends who have lost their children too soon. I can't begin to imagine that pain. I wasn't able to have children. I just can't imagine how hard having a sick baby would be. Or, oh my God, to lose one. Mavis is the closest thing I've had but I feel ridiculous loving her this much. But I do.

We have an appointment on Tuesday to see a neurology specialist. We have health insurance for her. Doglet health insurance. I'm so grateful I made that crazy decision. I don't know what he diagnosis will be, and I of course have been googling like crazy. Until Tuesday my imagination will be cranking overtime. I've had little energy to think, write, or talk at all about other things. So if you haven't heard from me, that's partly why. To you it may seem crazy. She's a little dog. How did I get so wrapped up?

I've been busy with some other things, wonderful distractions and very busy days. I'll write about that soon, maybe even later today. I just had to get all of this off my chest. There, I feel a little better already. Thanks for being here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

7 years

Seven years ago tonight I married my one true love. Tonight we sat hand in hand to watch the sun set on one of our favorite places. A place we visit often to sit and enjoy each other.

Christopher, I love you.