Monday, July 27, 2009

Fun Monday - messy, messy, messy

To those of you who are visiting for Fun Monday, I apologize. I think my camera is somewhere in the mess.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Guardedly Optimistic

It has been exactly one week since my daughter called me and told me that Bug was sick. It has been exactly one week since I had any hope that the dog would actually survive.

Oh, I have said that she would. I have prayed that she would. I have managed to convince most of the people who love her that she would.

Today, I actually have hope.

Today, as I sat on the floor, she lurched, lunged, and staggered her way over to me. She managed, with much difficulty, to lower herself next to me and put her front paws across my lap. She stayed there panting and puffing like a fat old woman who had just clambered her way out of a deep-cushioned chair.

I could feel her muscles relax one by one. Finally, she was calm and relaxed and as at-ease as she has been for a while. Then -

she picked her head up and looked at me.

Her head did not quiver. It did not wobble. There were no visible tremors running through the veins on her head.

Her eyes were focused and her head was steady.

I cried and she licked me.

I am guardedly optimistic.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

She breaks my heart, she does

Bug is at home.

She spent the weekend at the vet's 30 miles away. Monday morning, Juls and I went and got her and took her to our vet.

She is very ill. She has ehrlichia. Long story short, this is a tick-borne fever that she has been carrying for some time that, possibly exacerbated by the heat we have been experiencing, manifested itself violently and acutely.

The result is that she had a cerebral hemorrhage and has still not regained the use of her hind legs. She is heartbreaking to watch. She has, according to her vet, a guardedly optimistic prognosis.

We are giving her a few weeks of treatment to see how well she is able to respond.

She is now at home with Juls and the Moose. I am still praying and I thank all of you who are praying with us.

We also took the Moose in for bloodwork as he had a tick bite around 2 and 1/2 months ago before we knew she was ill. We will learn the results next week.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fun? Monday - Tears

So this Monday, our post, as requested by Mariposa, is to be about tears. Sad tears, happy tears,joyous tear, laugh-filled tears, spontaneous tears, eventful tears.

I have had all kind of tears. My nickname, growing up, was faucet-face. I am very quick to tear up. I don't make a huge production of it now that I am an adult. My face just leaks.

I am sitting on my sofa at 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning, weeping, as I write this. Bug, my daugher's dog, who used to be mine, is currently at a vet's office 30 miles away. We do not know what is wrong with her and I am terrified.

Bug is...Bug.

She came into our lives as a throwaway, literally. Some wretch tossed her, as a puppy, from a moving vehicle. The guys I used to work with found her. She was terrified, hungry, cold, terrified, shaking and very, very dirty. I managed to get some food into her and tried to clean her up. I almost cleaned her to death.

Bug has a very unusual marking on her left hindquarter. It looks exactly like tire treads through brindle fur. I'll bet I spent a good 20 minutes trying to clean that tire mark off of her before I realized that it was part of her.

Bug's name is Bug because she bugs EVERYONE! She is very inquisitive and very friendly. She is jut a bug.

We kept her there at work. There were people on premises 24 hours a day. I was there from 7 to 6 every day and, when I was there, Bug was with me. She stayed in the office with me and then, when she was older, she had free range of the 1600 acres we were on. She never left us. At night she would stay in the guard shack (and it was). She loved to curl up under the shelves beneath the desk. It amazed me how small she could make herself.

She was a very playful, good-natured little girl. She never met a stranger and loved children. Part of our operation was a scrap yard. I had customers who would bring their children out just to say hi to the Bug. I never saw her exhibit any kind of aggressive behavior. She is just a sweetheart.

Her very favorite toy? Semi trucks. We had, on average, a dozen trucks a day in and out of our facility. Bug never chased cars but she sure loved semis. She would grab hold of the mud flap, set her feet, brace herself and hold on for all she was worth. She actually won a couple of days and the mud flap came off. I don't know who was move suprised, her or the driver.

She guarded the guards and protected the various strays who came to stay, temporarily, with us. She almost lost her life protecting Sadie from the rattlesnake. She didn't. She is a survivor.

When the scrap yard closed down, we were at a loss as to what to do with the Bug. All of the guys at work who loved her did not want her. I wanted her but I already had the Duck, Holly, and, at the time, Buddy. Duck and Holly tolerate Bug but they do not like her. Nor does she like them.

She is the alpha dog of her kingdom.

Julie came to the rescue and took Bug home with her. We thought, once, that Bug might be happier elsewhere. Bug disagreed with us.

Bug has lived in Julie's backyard ever since. Julie's landlady will not allow dogs in the house. Julie is moving into a new house next month and Bug will, once again, be an inside dog.

We hope.

Friday afternoon, Moose fed Bug and all was well.

Saturday morning, Juls said, "Good Morning" to Bug and all was well.

Saturday afternoon, all was not well.

Moose went to take out the trash and, as is his wont, let Bug off her chain while he was outside. She tried to follow him but was hugging the fence. This was not normal. He got her to come to him and she lost her balance and fell. Turns out the fence was holding her up. She was staggering, unable to stand, and whimpering. Bug does not whimper. She talks occasionally but she does not whimper.

Juls tried to call the vet but got no answer at his house. She called one of his techs at home who called him on his cell phone. He was out of town but suggested two or three other vets. Juls asked the tech which vet she would go to. We went. Through the rain and the gusting winds and with one eye on the "could have tornadic activity" clouds, we went.

When we got to the vet, 30 miles away, Bug still could not stand. Her temp was 103 degrees. The vet, who left his own animals and his own house and gave us his Saturday night, gave Bug an injection of broad spectrum antibiotics, some vitamin K, and a pain reliever. She stayed there.

30 miles has never seemed so far away.

A favorite priest once told me that tear are prayers. You know, the prayers when you can't find the words and your mind is racing and your heart is aching and you just don't know what to say or how to say it or sometimes even Who to say it to.

Tears are prayers.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, America!

Our hostess this week is Grace. This is her assignment: July 4th is US Independence day, for Fun Monday, please tell how you spend your Independence Day either this year or in the past. Do you have a July 4th funny story you would like to share? Do you have a family tradition for this day?

I grew up in a part of the country that did not allow personal fireworks. I now live in a part of the country that not only allows, but encourages, personal excess of explosive devices. This rocks. We not only have fireworks on the Fourth of July but also on Christmas, New Year's, and whenever our favorite team wins.

My story, however, takes place in California 7 years ago. The Moose was 2 years old. His parents then lived near the coast and we were going to watch the fireworks. We met up with friends and settled our lawn chairs on the grassy knoll. Juls and I took great pains to explain to the Moose what was about to ensue. We told him there would be LOUD noises and BRIGHT explosions. We told him the appropriate response was "ooh, aah". We put him on the chair in between us.

The fireworks began. Moose was watching the fireworks and we were watching Moose. He was good. He did not scream or flinch or cry or any of the other things other people's children were doing. He sat there and watched, transfixed, and said "ooh, aah".

Suddenly, an spectacularly large firework exploded. Juls and I heard, "ooh, aah, HOLY S__T!"

Once we regained our composure, we explained that this was not an appropriate response. It has however become part of our family lexicon. Instead of saying Holy ____, we just say "ooh, aah".

It works.

Hope y'all had a spectacular Fourth. Happy Birthday, America!
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