Tag: dogs

Perfection

I’m thankful to be in the presence of such perfection.

Sleeping chocolate lab/pitbull mix.
Beautiful Sadie sleeping
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Stretch

I guess this is another MS  post. It’s what’s going on with me after all. Let’s call it a vocabulary lesson.

Spasticity refers to feelings of stiffness and a wide range of involuntary muscle spasms (sustained muscle contractions or sudden movements). It is one of the more common symptoms of MS. Spasticity may be as mild as the feeling of tightness of muscles or may be so severe as to produce painful, uncontrollable spasms of extremities, usually of the legs. Spasticity may also produce feelings of pain or tightness in and around joints, and can cause low back pain. Although spasticity can occur in any limb, it is much more common in the legs.  (more here.. . from National MS Society.)

Stretching is key in dealing with spasticity. Yesterday I hardly stretched at all. I can’t let that happen.

It doesn’t always have to be structured, although having a few routines to do would ensure that I don’t miss any important muscle groups. Stretching helps me focus and relax, so it’s good for stress management. My only difficulty is keeping Riley from walking all over me while I’m sprawled on the floor.

Photo of Chihuahua/Boston Terrier mix.
Riley wants to help me stretch.

Birds for Thought

She stood outside the door, holding the dog’s leash, waiting for the pretty chocolate lab to do her business. She looked up in time to see two large crows winging their way across the sky. Her eyes followed them until they were out of site. Then two more passed, and then three. 
There was something profound about the way these birds floated across the sky. Maybe the profundity didn’t reside with birds, but in her observation of them. She felt that she had witnessed something holy. She didn’t have a religious practice, so holy wasn’t the right word. There was just something about experiencing those birds that made her feel connected to the universe, and to her, the universe was God. There were days when she believed in God and there were days when the existence of an all-powerful deity seemed impossible. She sometimes wondered if the universe, or if she herself was real.

The dog finished what she was doing, and responding to the tug at her leash, trotted back into the house.

  

Here’s Riley!

We got a new puppy. He’s 3/4 Chihuahua and 1/4 Boston Terrier. His name is Riley, and he’s adorable and lovable, and he’s a bit of a nut.

Riley on A's blanket.
Riley on A’s blanket.

He’s about 8 weeks old, and he’s in the chewing phase of his life. I hope it’s a phase that will pass in a few weeks. He chews me and Ernie.  He wants to chew Sadie, but we don’t let him. I think he ate a small rock today.

Puppies are a lot of work, but we’ve fallen in love with Riley. He’s a welcome addition to our furry family.

 

Little Cammie

We have a chihuahua named Cammie. She turned 13 this year.

Cammie on the Oakland A’s blankie

Cammie is perfect. She never does anything wrong. She has her own chair in the living room, and she sleeps in her own special spot at the head of the bed on some pillows between the mattress and the wall. When Cammie runs through the kitchen the sound of her claws on the linoleum is like tap dancing. She’s just the cutest thing in the world!

Cammie was diagnosed with diabetes about a year and a half ago. She gets insulin shots twice a day. She doesn’t mind the shots at all, probably because she gets a treat before and after each one.

Two weeks ago, Cammie had two seizures. We took a guess that the seizures were caused by low blood sugar, so we gave her some corn syrup to bring her back up to normal. Suspecting that her insulin dosage was too high, we took her to the vet and the doctor confirmed that this was the case. We brought her home and began administering the lower dose. Things seemed okay until one day we came home to find that Cammie wasn’t quite right . She usually barks happily when she hears us outside the  front door. That day she was trying to bark, but all that came out was a tiny squeak. We gave her some corn syrup and called the vets office to find out what we should do for her.

Around this time, Cammie was becoming more and more finicky about her food. There were mornings when she just refused to eat. It didn’t seem like a good idea to give her insulin if she wasn’t eating, so we went back to the vet. This  time the doctor felt a tumor in her belly area. They did an ultrasound and found that the  tumor was quite large and covered a good portion of her liver. The ultrasound also showed a bladder stone.

Glamorous Cammie

The doctor explained  our options for treatment. He could remove part of her liver and get rid of most of the tumor. This would be a major surgery for her, and she might not survive it. It also would cost $2,500 to $3,000 dollars. The other option would be to do nothing and expect the tumor to be the thing that ends her life. We decided that the surgery would be too much for her and too expensive for us.

So we brought Cammie home again and she has surprised us so far. Her insulin dosage was reduced again, so it’s okay to give it to her even if she doesn’t eat. Some mornings she just doesn’t feel like eating, but she’ll take something later in the day. She had a few days of constipation, but that seems to have resolved itself. Her energy level is good on most days. Sometimes she runs around and plays with her little sister Sadie. You’d think she was a young pup.

The doctor said she may start to go down hill in two to six months. If she is suffering we will have to put her down. We’ll be very sad when she’s gone, but for now we’ll just enjoy every day we have with her.

Cammie is a great dog. She always makes us smile.

Drying off after a bath

Writing is difficult!

I signed up for The Fiction Project. Now I’m writing a story  to put in the little book they sent me after they received my $60.00. I think I signed up so I would be forced to write some fiction. I’m not really being forced to do it, but wasting $60.00 would be a silly thing to do.

Here’s the thing; writing fiction takes a lot of work. I have to wonder why I’m compelled to do it. It’s kind of not fun. It’s kind of grueling.

Today I watched about 6 episodes of the X-Files on Netflix. That was easy. That didn’t require any effort. I also fed the outside dog, Annie; I fed the other two dogs, picked up their poo with a plastic bag, and fed the cats.  None of  these tasks were difficult.

Finally, I sat down to add some more words to the story I began last week. I like the story, and I think the idea is good, but I’m finding it mentally exhausting to write. I keep adding all of these little details, and quirks to the characters’ personalities, and a back story about the main character’s schizophrenic aunt. Why do I put myself  through this?

I don’t expect to have my fiction published. I’m apparently doing this just for me, but I don’t know why.

I once started writing a novel, thinking that if I were a novelist, I would be important. I would deserve to be here on this planet. I don’t feel that need anymore, but for some reason, I still write. It just doesn’t make any sense!

Annie-I call her Annie Bannanie

I am still what I am

  • I felt all tangled up today.
  • It took forever for me to finally start the thing I wanted to start.
  • I had trouble thinking.
  • I’m still having trouble. 

I had some deep thoughts on the way home from work today. Deep thoughts can lead to depressing thoughts and should probably be avoided. I think I might be depressed, slightly. My list of things to accomplish is beginning to overwhelm me. My job situation is still what it is. I am still what I am.

I was  thinking of writing a short story about a woman who has regular conversations with her  cat. That story has been told  time and time again so I  won’t attempt to re-tell it. In real life, I’m becoming a cat neglecter (that ‘s not a word). I am a bad mama cat. Most of my attention goes to Sadie (my beautiful puppy). Cammie (our spunky Chihuahua)  gets a lot too. OJ, the elder cat,  gets less attention than Cammie, and Pericles gets the least. Pericles’s problem is that he can’t be in the same room with Sadie. She chases him away  every time he dares to show his little furry orange face.

I’ll post a picture of Pericles just to show I haven’t forgotten him. I wonder if he has a story he’d like me to tell.

Pericles asleep
Pericles

Dog Lady

Yesterday, in the Walmart parking lot, there was a dog in the car parked next to ours. The car’s owner (a woman in middle age) walked up as Ernie was communicating with the dog through the partially open window. He told her that he noticed the dog and that we were dog lovers. The phrase took me aback slightly because I’m new to this dog loving life. I used to be strictly a cat person, but now there’s Sadie, who might be the love of my life.

The woman (I’ll call her the dog lady) proceeded to tell us her dog’s story. The dog was female and had belonged to someone for 10 years, but they had to give her up for some reason. She had a few health problems and was woefully underweight. The woman learned of the dog’s plight on Facebook and she decided that this dog (who lived in North Carolina), needed her. I asked the dog lady if she drove all the way down there to get the dog, but she said “no, I flew her in.” Ernie and I were impressed. Someone who spends hundreds of dollars to fly a needy dog from halfway across the country is a good person. I don’t know how much she’s spent on veterinary bills, but it’s got to be quite a lot.

The take-home message from this story is that this world is full of love. Love really does exist. Sometimes you find it by talking to a stranger in the Walmart parking lot.

Puppy with rose in his mouth and red heart in the background.
Puppy Love