Tag Archives: pet owner

Shit Silver Lining

 

I’ve been trying to find the silver lining in things lately. I have a history of being negative, and sometimes I really let it build up. This is exactly what I did last week and I started to put a post together, but I got so pissed off that I didn’t finish. Here is me finishing it:

Sometimes you just end up having a shitty day. For me, it’s been a shitty week and it’s only Wednesday. Part of this was outside of my control, part of this was bad luck on my part, and part of this stems from my own inability to let things go. It’s a major flaw and causes me a lot of unnecessary pain. It’s something I really need to work on, but for now, it’s what inspired this rant.

Monday was stupid at work and I was hurting from my stupid knee, and I found out that the payments on one of my student loans skyrocketed. So I was in a bad mood. Tuesday wasn’t any better. I went to Wawa for lunch and some jackass was just sitting in his car in one of the front spots so I had to circle the building several times to find a parking space and ended up having to walk further because of it. (Why have I never tried to get a handicap tag for this knee thing?) Then Wawa didn’t have the soup I wanted! Stupid shit to get upset over, but that’s what I do sometimes. Then on my way back to the office, I take a turn a little too fast and almost get in an accident. So now I’m pissed at myself on top of everything.

Then I had to stay late at work and got stuck in traffic on my way home. I had to take DibKitty to the vet, so I walk Ranger as quickly as possible and pack up Dib and go. On our way to the vet I’m trying so hard to not laugh at Dib’s howls of protest. Then he howls REALLY loud. And then I smell it. Once we get to the vet (which was frustrating in itself because some asshole just stopped their car at the entrance to the parking lot to let someone out. At least put your hazard lights on so I know I can go around you!), I confirmed that Dib had in fact shit in the carrier. Awesome.

The technicians were very nice about it and offered to clean out his carrier, which I gratefully accepted. They walked out of the room and came back in and said Dib was actually due for a fecal sample and did I want to use his deposit from the carrier? I readily agreed. Shit happens, but sometimes it can be put to good use – there’s my silver lining!

That being said, while we were waiting to pay three dogs came in and kept trying to sniff at Dib in his carrier. He growled and growled, and then he pissed himself. Motherfucker. Dib got a bath last night and I’m still in a pissy mood. It was just my luck.

That’s what I wrote last week. And yes, I had a lot of stupid stuff happen all at once and it snowballed into a huge scribble over my head. But as I’m writing this now, I’m in such a better place. This is probably in part because last week was such a shitty week that when compared, although nothing extraordinary has happened, this week is so much better by default. So maybe the silver lining of last week’s shit was the ability to appreciate this week in all its ordinariness. Maybe that’s how everyone else does it, maybe I’m onto something here.

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Worried Sick

You know that phrase? Worried sick? Well, I always thought it was a phrase and nothing more. That is, until last week when my precious puppy got sick and I didn’t know what was wrong with him.

It started out with him having diarrhea, which is gross but something that comes up from time to time when he gets too much people food or what have you, so I wasn’t overly worried. This started last Sunday. When the diarrhea continued for another day, we decided to put him on the bland diet, which is a rice/chicken mixture that is supposed to help unhappy puppy bellies. We did this for two of his meals – the third he wouldn’t even touch. At this point his diarrhea was no longer icky brown, but dark red. My little puppy was pooping blood. In addition to this, he was throwing up. I was understandably freaked by this point and was planning on taking him to the vet if he didn’t seem better the next day. After all, we had taken him to the vet for his annual checkup the Friday before he got sick.

In order to keep an eye on the pup, we put his crate in our bedroom on Wednesday evening. We woke up around 3am to find that he had tore open his pillow and thrown up all over it and his crate. It was a mess. We pulled up the rugs in our bathroom and closed him in there while we figured out what we were going to do. It was 3am – obviously the vet wasn’t open. FH and I talked about taking him to the emergency room. I decided to give them a call and try to figure out if we could wait until the morning.

I called up the emergency room and told the woman that answered the phone what the situation was. She said that he definitely needed to be taken to see a doctor, but that as long as he was breathing okay and was still relatively responsive, that we could wait. I checked with her to find out how much it would be if we were to bring him in to the emergency room and her answer was $150 to get in the door. I told her I would talk it over with FH and make a decision.

We went to check on the pup and the bathroom was already covered in blood shit and foamy vomit. I felt so bad for the little guy, but he was breathing okay and still responded when we said his name or asked him to come over to us. We decided to wait for the morning, but I was still really nervous about leaving him, so I set our alarms to go off every hour in order to check on him. Every hour the bathroom became more and more covered with grossness, and I felt physically ill worrying about him, wondering if I was doing the right thing by waiting a few hours to take him to the vet.

The vet opened at 8:30am. We were there by 8:15am, sitting in the parking lot with a very unhappy puppy. When the doors opened, we had to wait since we did not have an appointment. A tech came out and did a quick examination of him, said that he wasn’t dehydrated and that they would try to get us in as soon as possible. (Side note: you can check to see if your dog is dehydrated by pulling up on his scruff, if it stays up or takes a long time to go back down, the dog is really dehydrated. You can also check their gums – as long as you can run your finger along them smoothly, they are good). Ranger mostly sat under my chair while we waited, but he got up once and did his I-gotta-poop dance, so we took him outside and he pooped some more blood. A little while later, he threw up on the floor of the waiting room. It seemed like forever, but we finally were shown to a room.

The techs checked his temperature – it was actually a little low, and they took some of his blood to run tests. They asked us to move to a smaller room since they needed to weigh a big dog and we were in the room with the big dog scale. Ranger was so exhausted he made no move to get down from my lap where he was sitting, so I carried him over. Mind you – Ranger does not like to be picked up and certainly does not enjoy being carried around. The doctor came to see us after another long wait and said most of his blood work was normal, there was a slight elevation in something (I can’t remember) that concerned her a bit. She gave us the option of trying medication to see if we could fight whatever was wrong with him that way, or we could get an x-ray to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong with his insides. She advised us that the x-rays shouldn’t be our first choice because of the high cost and because there could be a million things causing his upset stomach. We took her advice and decided to try medicine first. She ordered fluids and some medication to be given to him subcutaneously (under the skin – it made him a hunchback for a few hours). She also wrote us a few prescriptions including antibiotics, something to coat his stomach before we fed him, and something else that I don’t remember what it does. We were instructed to give him a special diet for a few days and see how he does. If he was still having the same problems in two or three days, we were instructed to bring him back and we would do x-rays and further tests.

It was quite an ordeal, but I’m happy to report that Ranger is healthy again. He is still on his special diet for a few more days, and he has two more days on the amoxicillin, but he is back to his old self. What was frustrating was that the vet said we may never know what really happened, his issues could have been caused by so many different things. But we knew how to treat it anyway and the pup is better, so that is what counts. I had a horrible sick feeling in my stomach for days while trying to get the puppy better. I really get what ‘worried sick’ means now.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland – What the Song Doesn’t Tell You

I have a dog. I love him, he is a very sweet-tempered pup and is quite attached to his mama. I spent a lot of time researching dogs before I got him so that I was prepared. I read about what to feed him, what training he should get, the best ways to enforce house-breaking, and how often to take him on walks. It’s not like I never owned a dog before – but the ones I’ve owned were always the family dog. This translated to Mom took care of him and I just played with the dog. Becoming a dog owner is a big responsibility and I wasn’t about to walk into it unprepared.  

One thing that all the books and articles stress is the importance of walking your dog on a regular basis. For puppies, this should be around three times a day. Older dogs can usually go on two walks a day and be good to go. My ideal puppy was going to be at least a year old. Even though when I was getting my dog I had changed jobs to one with regular and predictable hours, I knew I would not be around often enough to take care of a ‘newborn’ (most articles suggest taking a puppy out every two hours – even during the night).  

In order to prove myself to the boyfriend, I was required to get up at six in the morning for a couple weeks, get out of bed, and walk around the block. I did this grudgingly, but I did it and was rewarded with my dog, Ranger. For the most part, Ranger really enjoys going on walks. He isn’t a huge fan of the rain, but he likes the snow well enough and usually can be found leaping around like a deer. 

That has not been the case over the past couple of days. I live in Philadelphia and it has been SO FUCKING COLD of late. So, despite the fact that Ranger has a winter coat (complete with a little hood), he has not been a happy camper when it came to going on walks over the past few days. On Friday, we got almost a foot of snow. I think more than half of my neighbors decided it was ‘fuck-this-shit-o’clock’ and did not bother to shovel their walks. Did I mention that my street does not get plowed? So I head out with the lil guy and we walk down the path to the sidewalk. We have steps to go down and I am almost up to my knees. Ranger looks at me apprehensively and follows me down the stairs. He ended up nose-diving into a huge pile of snow. Most of him was not visible. It was really hard to get him to continue the walk after that. But I kept coaxing him on. He didn’t want to cross the street, so I shuffled my feet in order to let him follow my tracks.  

Once we crossed the street and embarked on the path we usually take, things got even worse. He didn’t want to move. He didn’t want to budge. I tried to yank on the leash a bit and ended up falling in the snow myself. I came to the conclusion that this whole ordeal just wasn’t worth it. So we went back home (and I carried him up the steps). Since he hadn’t gone, I decided it was time for the backyard. We went out and he just kept looking at me. Finally, I got the broom that we keep out there and swept all the snow that I could to find some grass. It got to the point where he could walk around without snow touching his belly and FINALLY he went.  

Then the afternoon came around. I saw a lot of my neighbors had cleared the sidewalk, so I thought that we would be good for our walk this time. We have different routes that we go in the morning verse the afternoon (afternoon is longer) and so we went on our usual afternoon walk. The only thing is, no one shovels the sidewalks at the park. So we walk down my street, go up another, then cross over to the park. And here is where he once again stopped cooperating. I almost had to drag him the whole time. We got up to the point where we usually cross the street and he reluctantly went across. Here the sidewalks were for the most part clear, so he was good for a few minutes. He even turned the snow yellow in places.  

Then, less than halfway up the street he just stopped. He looked at me and that look said “Mom, I’m not taking another step. Fuck that. Not moving. It’s TOO COLD”. With that newfound information, I decided to stop fighting it. So I picked up Ranger (thank God he is a little one) and carried him the rest of the way home. We weren’t even halfway through our walk, so by the time we got home, it felt like I was carrying a 50lbs sack of potatoes that was shivering. I felt bad and decided no more long walks when it is that cold out.  

Exercise be damned!! 

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