Monday, December 31, 2012

BE SAFE TONIGHT!

If you drink, don't drive.
Make sure you have a designated driver.
Happy New Year!
Be safe.
See ya next year.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I'm still sick but...

I'm feeling bit better. This cold has really knocked me for a loop.
I hate taking medicine but NyQuil and Alka Seltzer Cold meds are helping me, to say nothing of the Mentholatum in my nose.
At least I no longer have chills. Last night I left the heat turned up and snuggled under lots of blankets and dogs.
I was finally warm.

Friday probably was the worst.
I would do my job and then sit at my desk with my head down.
They would call me up front to get the incoming boarders and the girls kept telling me that I needed to go home.
They said I was too sick to be working but
I couldn't.
I had too many dogs coming in and I needed to know that everything would be set up properly.
They were so busy up front that I was afraid that if they took over for me, something might fall through the cracks.
Lots of boarders have special needs and some have medications and I would worry.
And then of course, I couldn't really afford to go home either, since I'm paid hourly.
So I would do some stuff and then sit down for a few minutes and get back up and continue.

I thought about the conversation I had with my sister as we cleaned up Christmas dinner dishes the other night.
She was washing and I was drying.
She's thinking about going back to school. To be a nurse.
I thought that was good idea, she's already in the medical field and she's very smart.
I said I had thought about school but I was hesitant because I wouldn't be far from retirement age when I graduated and then I would have school loans to pay and would I ever recoup that?
More importantly, what would I go to school for?
I love Art and I'm selling some paintings, I need to stay focused on that.
and I dream about writing....

So I got up from my chair as they called me again over the phone to come for another boarder.
I blew my nose and coughed and then tried to act well and walked through the clinic up to the front.
Why am I doing this? I asked myself.
I walked behind the front desk and up into the reception area.
The front was packed with people and their pets.
Clients were picking up their dogs  from grooming or their dogs that had surgery the day before and others were waiting for appointments.
I could see the owners from across the front desk.
They were standing towards the back with their dogs, waiting for me.

I saw the husband look down at his dog and then up at me as I walked towards them and he gave me a big smile.
He said, "She was so scared and then all of a sudden I felt her tail beating against my leg. Then I realized it was because she had just seen you!".
I laughed and took her leash and told them I'd run her to the back and be right back for their other dog.
I hurried through the clinic with her, back to the boarding area.
She was running and wagging her tail happily as we went.
I let her outside into the play area and told her I'd be right back with her brother.
As I hurried back up front, I remembered why I do this job.
Darn it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I got something I really did NOT want...

I hope everyone had a good Christmas!
and that Santa brought you whatever you were hoping for.
I had a simple and nice Holiday but I got one thing I really did NOT want.
A cold.
I am sick.
Dizzy, Achy, Head hurts, Sore throat. Nasal stuff and Coughing.
Unfortunately I don't have any sick days left so I have to continue going to work.
Most of the time I like that I'm able to be moving around and not confined to a desk
but right now I sort of wish I could just sit down and lay my head on a desk and stay put.
Sigh.
Now that I'm home for the evening and have feed the critters, I'm going to bed.
I might be missing for a few days...
I need to get well ASAP.
I have too many things I need to be working on.
Hopefully I will be back soon!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A LESSON LEARNED

A few posts back I showed a commissioned painting that I did of two poodles.
It was hard for me because they were black and I couldn't figure out how to show definition.
And then there was also the fact that I only had one photo to go by and it was a side view.

So I painted a painting and the client liked it but said that it looked nothing like them.............

I asked for more photos.

One of the dogs always refused to look at the camera, so it was hard to paint him.

Also in the photos I suddenly realized that they didn't have mustaches but instead it was beards.
??????????
Like billy goats.
Hmmm.
She also emailed me a photo of 2 Portuguese water dogs....

Could I paint the dogs like the ones in the photos but with the coats of the these water dogs? (which these poodles didn't have) but still try to capture their "look".
At this point I was mentally freaking.
I sat with the canvas in my lap as I squinted at the photos on my laptop.
Looking back and forth and dabbing paint hesitantly.
I finally finished the two poodles and then added the beards.
I told her that was the best I could do and she said OK.
The next morning at work I showed several of my co-workers a photo of the painting.
They said it looked weird but then poodles with chin-puff beards looked weird too.

Later in the morning I went up to my co-worker that says she loves my work
and who I also consider a friend.
I told her that I had a problem giving that painting to the client.
I said that I "didn't want that out there in the world" and that I was so disappointed with it.
Her response was that she totally agreed. She could understand why I felt that way.
She said if she were me, she wouldn't want the painting "out there" either!
I was so frustrated.
Then she said I should just scribble it out like I do other drawings that my co-workers love.
I am always scribbling quick sketches of my boarders on their cage cards.
Initially I started doing that when I had someone working for me who I was worried she wouldn't know which dog was which.
(I did not hire her, the vet did and fortunately she ended up quitting)
But I had many people tell me that they love my sketches and they have asked me to do some of their dogs.
In fact one of my co-worker has now commissioned me to do one of these type of sketches of her dogs on canvas.
She told me that she prefers my more spontaneous style and thinks there are more people that would love them too.
(she has specific poses and colors etc. in mind for these spontaneous drawings but said I'm free to do whatever I want.)
That night I went home and instead of leaning over and tightly drawing, I tried to come up with something that felt right and true to me.
I scribbled.
and then I painted.
I used black and white but also blue and purple.
I got out of my own head and just did it.
I emailed her a photo and she agreed that she liked this one much better.
A lesson learned.
(oh, and yes, I can hear you Christer, laughing.)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Handmade Christmas Gifts.....

I'm working on some Christmas gifts for my family.
I came up with an idea that I'm really excited about.
I think that everyone will like it, in fact I'm thinking it might bring a tear to the eye for some of them.
My eldest niece always makes her own gifts and if someone starts to cry when they have opened it she fist-bumps the air and says "Yes!"
Not because she really wants anyone to cry but because she knows she's created a gift that is very special.
Two years ago, she had me sobbing as I opened her pencil drawing of Blue.
 
I mean, what could be better than that?
All three of my nieces put a lot of thought into their gifts. They really want to make a perfect fit for their loved ones.
 
My sister has brought them up making their home magically and artful.
Her gifts are always beautiful wrapped. Carefully picked out wrapping paper and clippings from her garden or little things that she has "found".
She makes them so pretty that it's hard to open them.
That's how she decorates her home for each holiday too.
She has saved all the drawings the girls made while growing up, then she  switches out their "artwork" in frames around the house with their creations from years gone by.
In small frames scattered throughout, she has photos of my nieces or her husband or her and I when we were small and celebrating that particular holiday.
yeah, that's me and her on the right.
 
She goes into the woods and drags home vines and weaves them with twinkle lights and hangs them in the foyer.
 
It's not uncommon to find a odd shape piece of wood, from a tree or found along a walk that she has placed about their home just because of it's uniqueness.
I love her total disregard of any rules on decorating.
She couldn't care less. She only has things that she loves in her home.
The result is people coming to visit and not wanting to leave.
One of the girls friends said that their home is "Magic".
So, I have tried to remember this when I sometimes start to get caught up in some "trend".
I strive to only have what I love and what makes me happy when I walk in the door.
Yes, I am drawn to Mid-Century but I'm not confining myself to just a particular "look".
OK, I've gotta off track again.
So my Christmas gift idea?
I can't post it yet in case one of the girls checks my blogs.
Sigh...
Then I remembered I could show you what I created for them LAST year.
 
BOOKS.
Old books from the library. $1.00 a piece chosen for their thickness and their sturdy covers.
Then I painted the covers and transferred photos onto them.
After that I cut out a "secret" box shape inside the books.
Inside each book I had a special wrapped gift.
 
Grace's book had a bat on the front. She loves bats and owls.
Inside, her gift was an old copper owl necklace that I found at a little shop.
 
Maggie's book had a rabbit on the front. She loves bunnies and pigs.
Inside was a little piggy necklace ordered off of Etsy.
 
And Lily, the youngest, the one that works part-time at the boarding kennel with me...
Had a book with a photo of Griffin on the front, because she loves him best.
Inside her book was a whistle, an dog whistle.
 
So that's what I did last year....and after Christmas, I'll post what I did this year.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Deepest Sympathies

for the families of the shooting victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Times like these I feel the need to hold my loved ones close.
To cherish them and be thankful for my blessings.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Two Black Poodles - The Final Painting

Two Black Blobs with Eyes.
That's what I kept coming up with.
and they had to have mustaches.
After I threw away one messy blobby painting and started a second, I received an email that she forgot to tell me the slightly larger one had white on his chest.
So I asked if it was "up and down", a "V" or a "Y".
She emailed back "up and down".
With just one photo of just one of the dog, sitting sideways...I did the best I could.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thoughts and....2 Down, One more to go!

Suddenly I have all these thoughts in my head.
Things I need to write down and post about.
But there's just not enough time and then there's so many favorite blogs that I'm having a hard time keeping up with.
On top of that, my computer at work is down.
First it was the "fan" in the computer tower.
That happened on Cyber-Monday.
Secretly I felt like it might be part of a conspiracy but I really wouldn't have used it for on-line shopping...
Well, maybe on my "break" or my "lunch half hour" so I guess it was just as well.
I just have to go up to the front desk to use one of theirs to check my scheduling and do my "re-arranging" of boarders.
Yes, it kinda irritated me that the staff was up there on Facebook and looking up Christmas cards to order.
I grumbled to myself, if MY computer was working I could be doing important things.
Like reading some blogs.
And it makes for boring lunches. Nothing to surf.
Just eating my lunch as Edgar the cat tries to grab it out of my hands.
(more about HIM later. That's a post in itself).
Sigh....
Now the mouse isn't working. Or rather the place where you plug the mouse into the tower, that thing has to be ordered in.
Yeah, I can't complain about it.
Or rather call too much attention to my need for it.
And in a week, I will be running around at top speed that I will hardly have time to go potty much less Log In.
So I scribble down thoughts on the backs of used cage cards for now and stuff them into my pockets.
Thoughts about stuff I want to write about. Hopefully I can later decipher what my original thought process was at the time.
And here at home?
No time.
I'm painting, I need to clean the house but right now I'm just lucky to keep up on laundry.
and I have posts about Nora and Poppy to update about...
Now that they have both settled in and know they are HOME
and apparently can do whatever they like.

Here's my latest commission painting.
Now on to the poodles. They are driving me NUTS. Trying to paint 2 BLACK dogs.
Black blobs....with eyes.
No definition. I've ruining one painting and have started over.
I'm making this one more "POP ART", kinda Abstract and hopefully it will be acceptable.
The client has emailed me that she would like me to also do her newest dachshund's portrait, a group photo of all her dachsie's and her terrier AND another of her pony.
I emailed her to hang on and that she's scaring me.
I've only shown her the first boxer one. The one I thought would be easiest.
I told her to wait and see the other two paintings to make sure she likes them too.
OK. off to work on the Poodle painting....wish me luck!

Friday, December 7, 2012

One commissioned painting done...

and two more to go for the same person.
I thought I'd do the easy one first.
The boxer.
Here's the photos she sent:
and then I need to do a GoldenDoodle:
and 2 Standard Poodles:
After that I have to do a BIG painting of a Collie for someone else and then an illustration of three dogs for another person. 
Wish me luck that they turn out and the clients like them.
Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A BIG Thank You!....and a painting on eBay.


First - A BIG Thank You for all the wonderful heartfelt comments that I received about Griffin and his tumor. I sometimes forget how many people know and love that old guy.
I received so many caring comments, emails and text messages. I have a friend text me several times who I had forgotten that years ago when I would walk my Maddie, she would walk Griffin and we would talk about our lives. Now she's married with 2 kids in middle school and yet she remembered her walking buddy.
I just forget how many lives he's touched and how many people were concerned for him.
So he's doing very well and now that I'm feeding him canned food, he comes running to me.
I am now that nice lady with the plate of soft food that lives in his house.

Second, I have had a lot of people lately asking me to paint paintings for them! I know that I said I wouldn't do any more commissions but....I am. Wish me Luck! Ha!
I have also had two different people tell me that I need to get into some Art/Craft shows and I had another person encourage me to get a booth at the Farmers Market Freight House. It sits next to the park and along side the river and I guess they get a lot of traffic. Maybe not so much during the winter months when everything is inside but the rest of the year I guess it's crazy town down there.
So I will be investigating that too.
Also...after the Holidays I am going to open my Etsy shop up. I've had an empty shop (actually 2 shops) with shops names (for 3? years) and never listed a thing.
Those are my plans.
To work on my paintings and pet related items and REALLY set some goals for myself.
So I am working on 6 paintings for people and trying to keep listings on eBay AND I plan on making gifts for my nieces...and Christmas is only 3 weeks away!
I better get off this computer!
Thanks again to everyone for being there for me and Griff.
and here's my latest eBay listing - "Let it Snow"
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=321036354529

Monday, December 3, 2012

GRIFF and Plan # 1

ok, yes...before someone asks.
That IS a tumor on his chest too and there's one on his belly but those are just fatty tumors.
I took Griffin into the clinic today. He fasted overnight in case we had to do surgery.
They did several x-rays of his mouth and along the jaw.
Big mass tumor.
Doc said that he could debulk the tumor.
(Tumor debulking is a surgical procedure performed to remove as much of a tumor as is logistically possible.)
He would take as much as he could and then cauterize it to stop the bleeding.
I asked if it was cancerous and he said we would have to send off a piece of it the the lab to determine that.
Then he thought about maybe even removing the jaw bone. He said that way we would know we had gotten it all.
It was a busy day and the schedule was full so I had Griffin's surgery set for later in the week.

THEN...
A friend text me to find out what was happening with Griff. When I sent an update to her, she text me back that while he was MY dog, I could NOT do the surgery. Especially the jaw one. She said she had done a partial tumor removal on her dog years ago and it just kept growing back and prolonged the inevitable. She said she had done it because she couldn't bear to lose her dog but in the process, her dog experienced horrible pain. She had to give pain injections every 4 hours and her dog still suffered. She really regretted it and said she wished she had never done it.

I went up front and the office manager told me she had done the same for her dog when he was only 7 and he went through agony during recovery. She said he was on morphine for a week and cried the whole time. She said she would NEVER do it again and especially never to an old dog.
As I walked back to my area, one of the techs asked me what was wrong and I told her. She had tears in her eyes as she said that she too would never put an elderly dog through that.

Doc was busy with clients so I went to talk to the other vet who has treated several of my pets and who I also trust.
He said NO, on the jaw surgery.
Then he said there were several courses of action I could take.
Plan #1 cleanse the area daily and treat with antibiotics for infection.
Plan #2 debulk the tumor so that he could eat....
I told him that he WAS eating. He had a hearty appetite.
so he said, "Then go back to Plan #1, he's 15+ years old and if he stops eating then we could try taking part of the tumor out or........whatever you decided to do at that time."
I thanked him and choose plan #1
He got me a rinse for Griff's mouth and the antibiotics.
My niece came to work for the evening shift in boarding and I gave her the update.
I was thinking she would say she wanted to do any and everything to save him.
When I told her what everyone had told me about their dogs experiences she said that if he would be in pain from the surgery, she would rather have him put down.
She said she would never want him to suffer.
(I love that kid.)
 
So I leashed up my gang and out we went to the van.
I slid open the door and Blue, Jimmy and Nora leaped in and before I could lean over Griffin hurled his tubby little body up.
His front paws landed on the edge of the door and I hoisted him in.
He waddled across the big dog cushion and curled into a ball.
When we got home, everyone leaped out and I had to grab him and lower him to the ground as he hurled himself out.
The others raced up the front porch steps and Griff took the four steps one at a time but did it on his own.
 
Tonight when I fed everyone, I put Griff into the large dog crate with a plate of canned food, his pill hidden inside.
He gobbled it down and licked the plate clean and then barked to be let out.
So life is good today.
and I guess we will just keep going, having good days until they stop.

Friday, November 30, 2012

WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS

Griffin

(This is Griffin, 6 years ago)
 
Just a post to update.
I wasn't going to write about this originally.
I didn't want people to dread coming to my blog.
But.... the next day after losing Horton, I found a tumor in Griffin's mouth.
It was on his lip and also on the floor of his mouth.
Everyone I talked to at work and all my friends and family said that if he's still eating and active, to leave it be.
He's "at least 15" years old.
I say that because when I rescued him 12 years ago, I was told he was "at least 3"...
So, he's probably older.
I didn't even think about surgery to remove it because he "died" on the surgery table during a dental a few years back.
Doc and his tech (who's a good friend of mine) worked like crazy to bring him back.
His "numbers" were good before the surgery so there really wasn't a good reason except he just doesn't handle anesthesia very well.
Then there's the fact that my niece who called Horton "her cat" loves Griffin the most out of all my dogs.
She was 5 when I brought him home and she's grown up with him.
She knows he is old and that he's confused most days, in fact I'm sure he doesn't even know who I am anymore.
I will walk in to the room, he looks startled and runs away from me.
I call his name and he stares at me.
But he eats, in fact he's chubby and he "runs" rather than walks.
So I planned to leave it be. Like the big lump (the size of  my palm) he's had on his chest for the last few years.
Then I came home tonight and as I walked into the house I smelled "blood".
In the laundry it looked like someone had been murdered.
There was just so much it.
I quickly called work since I knew they were closing. (it took me 3 tries, I was shaking so bad.)
The Office manager said Doc would wait until we got there.
So Griff and I drove through rush hour traffic and it took forever.
Doc had to cut the hair away from his mouth that was clotted with blood.
Somehow Griffin had broken the tumor open.
Doc said it was Bad, and that it felt like it was into the bone.
Most likely Bone Cancer.
I told him that Griffin is over 15 and I also said he was my niece's favorite dog.
Doc wants to do surgery on Monday, unless it starts bleeding tomorrow and then he will come in special and do emergency surgery.
I reminded him of the past problems Griffin's had with anesthesia and he said not to worry. He said that "I'm REALLY good."
Then he said we will keep him on pain meds afterwards and he has other plans for keeping him alive and happy for as long as possible.
I do know that he's a really good vet, I'm not doubting that but....
We could use all the positive energy and healing thoughts you can spare.
Jeez, when it rains it pours.

(This is Griffin, last year)
 


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

R.I.P Horton

Doc opened Horton up and started looking. I watched through the window but then went up front and had one of my co-workers, a friend go into the surgery room and see what was happening.
She came back and told me I needed to go into surgery, things were NOT going well.
So I went in and Doc showed me.
The baseball size looking tumor in the X-Ray was more like a tennis ball on his liver but there were little tumors slightly smaller than ping pong balls on his gallbladder and on...well, everything.
Not fatty tumors, most likely Cancer. Everywhere.
Doc said we needed to let him go.
I was crying and told him Yes, let him go to Heaven.

My niece had a VERY hard time with the news. I think that was the worse part.
Not that any part was good, but....
I will be back in a few days when I'm more cheerful and when I think of something happy to write about.
Thank you for all the kind comments on the previous post.

Monday, November 26, 2012

SOMETHING'S WRONG and

I'm taking a break.
I don't know what's wrong with me but everything is irritating me lately.
I mean EVERYTHING.
and I'm not sure why.
I just feel angry.
maybe it's my hormones or something. (I hate when other people blame their rude behavior on stuff like that)
See what I mean.
Everything is bugging me.
I just want to bite everyones head off.
I know that a FEW different things have sent me into this direction,
but, I usually can deal with those types of things.
Except...
for the fact that a cat of mine who's been living at the clinic because my big cats pick on him,
a cat that my niece loves very much and wants for her own when she moves out after graduation,
a cat that I kept saying that he looked sick and I paid for expensive bloodwork etc. to be run on him back in August
and I was told the tests showed nothing...
I found out on Friday that no vet was shown the results.
And he's now in liver failure.
The xrays and ultrasound are showing a HUGE mass tumor.
It's crowding his organs, his stomach, covering the liver.
Prognosis - not good.
His mouth and around his eyes are a yellow color today.
Doc said he's going to open him up tomorrow and see if there's anything he can do.
See how bad it is, maybe he can get the tumor.
It's the size of a baseball.
He says it's not looking good but he will try.
I guess it depends on what it's attached to.
If he doesn't do this surgery, my cat won't be here much longer.
He said if he can't get it, he won't wake him up and he'll let him "go".....
Yeah.
I will never trust anyone again.
I usually don't. I'm more of the in your face "What's going on with my critter!" kind of person.
but I dropped the ball.
I believed someone cared about him as much as they said they did.
I had a talk with Doc about this.
He knows that I am going straight to HIM from now on.
He's fine with that.
anyway.....just one of the things making me cranky, crazy and wanting to SCREAM.
so, I'm taking a break until I can get it together and be nice again.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thank God it wasn't BLOAT.

First of all, Blue is doing well.
I'm doing just OK. I'll do better after I get some sleep.
Last night I kept waking up all night just to look at him.
I was such an idiot.
I was all off schedule yesterday. I usually feed Blue, Jimmy and Nora twice a day and the little ones just in the evening.
I wait until I get home at night to feed the small dogs so that they aren't "holding it" all day or having a "poop" party.
But yesterday was just a weird day for me and I ended up feeding everyone at 3:00 pm.
Blue usually eats 5- 6 cups a day. So I gave him 2 cups and he was barking for more, so I gave him another and then 2 more after that.
Somewhere I was sure that I heard that as long as they didn't gulp down water afterwards, a dog wouldn't get BLOAT.
Last year a dog that I used to board, a big St. Bernard mix the same age as Blue, woke up in the middle of the night wanting to go out. His owners let him out and he walked outside and dropped over dead...of bloat.
I had heard that if you added a bit of water to the food, that was a good thing?
No! Now I find out that's bad to do!
I was feeding Blue on a raised platform, now I find that's not good either.
I find that I should be adding canned food to his dry, that I should split it into 2 or 3 meals a day and NEVER one large one.
I did know that:
A dog should not be allowed to quickly gobble down the food.
Also large amounts of water before or after a meal is a very BAD thing.
If a dog can't vomit or belch, he's in BIG trouble and could die within the hour.
Bloat tends to happen to large breeds, especially deep chested ones.
It's not usually seen in small dogs except for breeds like DACHSHUNDS!
(Nita! and Anne! are you reading this!)
 
I feel like we dodged a bullet.
Thank god he threw up after drinking all the water....if he hadn't,
well...I just can't let my mind go there.
But apparently he could have still bloated. We were just very lucky.
Thank you for all your kind and caring comments!
Blue really appreciated them

Below is more detailed info about BLOAT.
 
The following information is from:
http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/gastric-volvulus-bloat-dogs-life-threatening-emergency
Bloat is a life-threatening emergency that affects dogs in the prime of life. The mortality rate for gastric volvulus approaches 50 percent. Early recognition and treatment are the keys to survival.
Anatomy of Bloat
Bloat actually refers to two conditions. The first is gastric dilatation,in which the stomach distends with gas and fluid. The second is volvulus, in which the distended stomach rotates on its long axis. The spleen is attached to the wall of the stomach, and therefore rotates with the stomach.
Gastric dilatation may or may not be complicated by volvulus. If volvulus occurs, the stomach may twist 180 degrees or less (technically called a torsion). An actual volvulus is a twist of 180 degrees to 360 degrees or more.
During volvulus, the pylorus is pulled out of position and becomes displaced to the left of the gastroesophageal junction. This pinches off the duodenum and prevents fluid and air from escaping from the stomach through the pyloric canal. Simultaneously, the gastroesophageal junction becomes twisted and obstructed, preventing the dog from belching and vomiting. Gas and fluid are trapped in the closed-off stomach, which becomes hugely distended as the material ferments. Interference with blood circulation results in necrosis of the wall of the stomach.
This sequence produces a number of other problems, including acute dehydration, bacterial septicemia, circulatory shock, cardiac arrhythmias, gastric perforation, peritonitis, and death.
Bloat can occur in any dog at any age, but typically occurs in middle-aged to older dogs. There may be a familial association. Large-breed dogs with deep chests are anatomically predisposed. These breeds include the Great Dane, German Shepherd Dog, St. Bernard, Labrador Retriever, Irish Wolfhound, Great Pyrenees, Boxer, Weimaraner, Old English Sheepdog, Irish Setter, Collie, Bloodhound, and Standard Poodle. Chinese Shar-Pei and Basset Hounds have the highest incidence among midsize dogs. Small dogs are rarely affected, with the exception of Dachshunds, who are also deep-chested.
Bloat develops suddenly, usually in a healthy, active dog. The dog may have just eaten a large meal, exercised vigorously before or after eating, or drank a large amount of water immediately after eating.
Signs of Bloat
The classic signs of bloat are restlessness and pacing, salivation, retching, unproductive attempts to vomit, and enlargement of the abdomen. The dog may whine or groan when you press on his belly. Thumping the abdomen produces a hollow sound.
Unfortunately, not all cases of bloat present with typical signs. In early bloat the dog may not appear distended, but the abdomen usually feels slightly tight. The dog appears lethargic, obviously uncomfortable, walks in a stiff-legged fashion, hangs his head, but may not look extremely anxious or distressed. Early on it is not possible to distinguish dilatation from volvulus.
Late signs (those of impending shock) include pale gums and tongue, delayed capillary refill time, rapidheart rate, weak pulse, rapid and labored breathing, weakness, and collapse.
If the dog is able to belch or vomit, quite likely the problem is not due to a volvulus, but this can only be determined by veterinary examination.
 
Treating Bloat

In all cases where there is the slightest suspicion of bloat, take your dog to a veterinary hospital immediately. Time is of the essence.
Gastric dilatation without torsion or volvulus is relieved by passing a long rubber or plastic tube through the dog’s mouth into the stomach. This is also the quickest way to confirm a diagnosis of bloat. As the tube enters the dog’s stomach, there should be a rush of air and fluid from the tube, bringing relief. The stomach is then washed out. The dog should not be allowed to eat or drink for the next 36 hours, and will need to be supported with intravenous fluids. If symptoms do not return, the diet can be gradually restored.
A diagnosis of dilatation or volvulus is best confirmed by X-rays of the abdomen. Dogs with simple dilatation have a large volume of gas in the stomach, but the gas pattern is normal. Dogs with volvulus have a “double bubble” gas pattern on the X-ray, with gas in two sections separated by the twisted tissue.
If the dog has a volvulus, emergency surgery is required as soon as the dog is able to tolerate the anesthesia. The goals are to reposition the stomach and spleen, or to remove the spleen and part of the stomach if these organs have undergone necrosis.

Preventing Bloat

Dogs who respond to nonsurgical treatment have a 70 percent chance of having another episode of bloat. Some of these episodes can be prevented by following these practices:
  • Divide the day’s ration into three equal meals, spaced well apart.
  • Do not feed your dog from a raised food bowl.
  • Avoid feeding dry dog food that has fat among the first four ingredients listed on the label.
  • Avoid foods that contain citric acid.
  • Restrict access to water for one hour before and after meals.
  • Never let your dog drink a large amount of water all at once.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise on a full stomach.

more great info, here -
http://www.globalspan.net/bloat.htm

and more, here -
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-care-bloat.aspx

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I ATE TOO MUCH

at Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house
and then I came home and Blue was sick.
He threw up his whole dinner from 5 hours ago.
He's sleeping now but I can tell he doesn't feel good.
Lucky for me that I work where I do and if he's not better in the morning when we get to work,
I'll ask one of the Docs to look at him.
Wish I could throw up.
 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I have a lot to be thankful for.
I'm thankful that my sister and her girls live so close by.
I'm thankful for my home.
I'm thankful for my furry kids.
I'm thankful that I have a job.
I'm thankful that I'm healthy. (but I'm working on being healthier.)
I'm thankful for my friends, the ones that live close by
and the ones scattered all over the world that I have never meet,
but who stop by my blog, share emails, cheer me on and keep me going.
XOXO - Cindi

Monday, November 19, 2012

Co-Pilot

With the time change, it's light out when we leave for work.
Jimmy and Nora jump in the back and Blue sits in the front passenger seat.
Just like a person, he sits up straight.
I buckle him in.
Everyone is awake and alert.
They are excited to be going.

But when we leave work. it's dark.
In the back I have an old feather bed.
My sister was getting rid of it and thought my dogs would like it.
They do.
When we head home at night, Nora and Jimmy curl up and sleep while we head home.
and Blue?
Lately he's too worn out in the evening to sit up straight.
He sits in the passenger seat, buckled up but by the time I'm leaving the clinic parking lot
he's got his front feet down on the floor.
He rests his chin on the dashboard.
He's tired too, but stays awake.
He keeps his eyes on the road. He has to.
He's my co-pilot.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

METANOIA

 
I have to be careful what I write about on my blog. I mean, anyone can read it.
It's not like they need to be a "friend".
But I've never been big on "secrets". Probably because I was raised by a man full of them. Everything was a secret with him. Boy, I could really write quite a bit about that or one could ask my sister, she goes crazy on that topic!
But some things are best kept as secrets.
Such as salary. Sigh....
Yeah.
I was just rolling along with my life, not ignorant of the fact that I am probably a member of the working poor but...
Hey! things could be much worse.
I could not even have a job.
Or I could still be working at the "bank".
Now THAT was awful.
Awful to wake up each morning and feel every joint in your body be heavy with dread.
It was a physical effort to sit up and rise from bed and go to work. Then to sit in a windowless room and research the mistakes that other people had made. Only to almost always find another that had to be corrected too. I look back on that times and wonder how I made it through those years where I felt like my life blood was being drained slowly out of me....
and I didn't even have a dog.
I suppose the fact that I had a part-time job all those years that was a polar opposite of the bank, helped me get through that time.
That and the fact that I was so very busy working.
Now I have a job that I don't hate.
I get to go outside.
I get to care for creatures that I mostly love. I won't lie here, there are the occasional annoying untrained or nasty boarders but I do my best to view them as a challenge.
A challenge to connect with them and get them to settle down and be happy.
So...
the other day when I came into work after taking a day off to try to stop being sick, I just needed to get some rest before the big holiday and get some energy back. I was pleasantly surprised when the vet tech who had covered for me and cared for the ONE dog that was in my boarding kennel (and the room of cats) told me that she is amazed how I do all the work myself every day.
She commented about how caring for, medicating, cleaning. doing laundry for one dog had kept her busy all day.
This Thanksgiving I will have more than 30 dogs and several more cats to care for and she shuddered at the thought.
I thanked her because most people think it's a "cushy" job (as my boss has stated) and they don't stop to think how keeping a level of concern and commitment and most importantly care for YEARS is not always easy.
But because I am a fanatic about it, I can't let myself ever lower my standards.
So.... it made me feel GOOD, kinda warm and fuzzy that someone GOT it.
I felt happy, almost contented
Then I walked up front, the boss hadn't arrived to work yet and I found there is a feud going on over salaries.
I was told that one person had told another person what yet another was making.
They were mad and angry.
One talked about the dollar amount and how they had a raise this year and hoped for another in January.
I felt like a balloon that someone had just blown up and then let go.
My air rushing out and my head sailing around the room.
It's been 3 years since I have gotten an increase and I've been employed there for over 10 years...
and most of these people have just started working there....
their $ amounts are evidently very close to mine.
Or more.
I walked back to my area.
Tears in my eyes and went outside with my little boarder and leaned over and scratched the top of her head.
I stood up, threw the rope toy and watched her race after it
and I questioned what I'm doing with my life.
 
I guess I'll go paint something.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

SEVEN YEARS....

Wow! That just flew by!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLUE!
(He's the BEST thing that has ever happened to me.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Being SICK and a Business IDEA!

 I've been sick.
Physically. Achy, tired, dizzy with a sore throat type of thing.
and
Mentally. Because I've seen ugliness.
The last few months have opened my eyes to what is really inside of some people.
Sometimes it was just a difference of opinion and we might have said things that we shouldn't have but we listened to each others point of view, and then agreed to disagree, still be friends and move on.
I find that there are times when you don't always LIKE someone but it doesn't mean you don't still LOVE them .
But when things are said or written that creates a crack and lets you glimpse inside and you are able to see the awful truth, the hate and the ugliness that lives inside their heart.
When that happens it's best to step away before the evilness leaks out and contaminates you.
If it's rotten to the core, that's a waste of time and time is too short to waste energy trying to help and heal.
Maybe I'm a Pollyanna but it still shocks me that people can be so unkind and uncaring and hate-filled.
I'm not just talking politics, although that has definitely shined the light on some people lately.
I'm not just talking about heartless disregard of dogs and cats.
It's just that lately I've encountered so many mean self-centered people who can't figure out why they are so unhappy.
I realize that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
I know that I can be sarcastic and stubborn. Sometimes I'm lazy and whiny. I 'm indecisive on everything and then procrastinate when I do decide on something. I'm outgoing but secretively antisocial ...
a borderline-hermit. I'm judgmental and I have no time or use for anyone that doesn't care about animals and I harbor horrible thoughts about people who abuse them.
But I do believe that I am aware of my bad behavior and try to work on it.
(except for the animal part, that's in my DNA)
So, I'm trying to rid myself of these poison people in my life.
Sometimes it's easy and you're able to just "UN-friend" them.
Other times it's harder and you have to hide in the kitchen until they quit knocking and let the calls go to voice-mail.
Some are impossibly difficult because they are related to someone you care about.
Or worse yet, you work with them and you just nod, walk away and go hold a cat close.

Holding a cat close...
that gave me any idea.
I recently read about "Cat Cafes" in Tokyo.
I thought I could open one here. A place for people to come in for coffee or tea and sit and play with cats.
Maybe it would soften their souls.
Maybe they wouldn't take life so seriously and relax and just be.
I was thinking, what could be better than a a warm kitty purring against your heart?
and if it couldn't change some peoples mindsets, maybe it could be a refuge for others from those people.
But then I started having doubts.
What if the business failed? Where would the cats go?
I would need a bigger house.
My head hurts.
I think I will go not finish something.