This week Can I Keep It? received the distinct honor of being reviewed by Lisa over at www.PETSblogs.com . Her praise was lavish. Her prose made me crimson. It's a great blog, if you have yet to discover it. Lisa seeks out pet related blogs, samples them for several months and writes about them in her "Featured Blogs". Some are funny, others serious, but the selection is worth the read. I'm flattered she chose my humble blog. Okay, Zali thinks he deserved all the attention, but, well, he's the Zali Lama.
I also thought I would throw a little blog amour over to www.alphainventions.com. Alphainventions feeds currently undated blogs onto one site, where you can get a little taste and see if you wish to pursue them. I don't know how it works or what horse Cheru rode to get to the Hudarosa, but I'm sure glad he did. The page visits spike exponentially whenever I am a featured blog. Of course, Zali believes that he, er, we should be on permanent cycle, but alphainventions has figured out a way to slightly more fair than that.
In keeping with the vibe, I'll send you to your weekend with a warm, fuzzy feeling.
A homeless man in Santa Barbara has successfully nurtured peace between the species. His family consists of a dog, cat and a rat. Its a regular Bremantown's Musicians. The four of them hold court on State Street where passersby can witness the love for a pat or two. He rigged a harness on the dog to facilitate the cat, so that the tabby can ride on the black and tan mixed breed's back. At some point a charming white rat joined the crew and rides with and sometimes on the cat.
Whee! Wahoo! Yippee! Oh La La! Early this morning the freezing rain turned to snow. Hey, don't laugh! It got deeper! This is Memphis, Tennessee, folks. Snow is a foreign as hen's teeth. An inch or so can shut the city down. Citizens across the county will plunder the grocery shelves of bread, milk and beer.
Perhaps, though, not in that order...
You'd think two dogs of the same breed would be a little more alike, but not at the Hudarosa. Simone, who is not all that fond of the rain, because it bangs on her tender ears, LOOOVEESSS the snow. Trepadacious at first, she gingerly padded the surface. As we walked back to the studio to the garden to procure some rosemary for the gratin potatoes, she picked up speed like a snowball rolling downhill. Faster and faster, Simone ran circles around me, yanked Zali by the collar to the ground and finally broke out into an all out crazy run. She raced around the pool deck, right onto the cover and knee deep into the puddle of water her weight caused. She stopped, looked shocked and then sped away jackrabbit fast, laughing the whole time.
Zali looked at her. Looked at me. Looked at her. He shook his coat off and muttered, "Zhat is one crazy b..."
"What? Crazy beach party! Pool! Zhere's a pool! Geet eet? What's wrong with ze beach party?"
"Well, she's a nut burger zhen. A squirrelly, squirrelly nut burger. Zis stuff, she is eecky. Eet steecks to ze fur between my toes, gets in my eyes. I don't like eet."
I must be a crazy beach party, too. Atypically, the snow has endured though out the day. Normally, it's a memory by noon.
I thought it was beautiful.
*Not to worry about Simone and the pool cover. We have the trampoline type supported by springs, not water bags. I could walk onto it's surface without falling in. I'd get little wet, but wouldn't go under. And I weigh considerably more than nine and a half pounds!*
The Hudarosa has been twirling in a tornado as of late. Nothing seems to have any respect for gravity or the laws of physics.
I have a re-occurring dream in which I fall UP the stairs. I'm strolling through a corridor, pass a doorway and I stumble, losing my balance and WHOOSH! I am swept straight up the staircase. It seems to go on forever. I never reach the top of the stairs. Usually, I jerk myself awake, popping Papillons into the air. A couple of times, I've awakened, standing, beside the bed.
Today, we hit the top landing. It was quite a jolt. The house has become completely disarranged.
'What, Muhzer? I sort of like eet. Zhere eez plenty of ze soft place to sleep and some of ze dust bunnies are rahzur friendly. Zhey teeckle."
THE largest crisis is that Zoe had run out of food. We do not let that happen. The garbage could be trashed. Sofas could perish. Priority one was concocting the savory blend of brown rice, sweet potato, spinach and beef on which she thrives. Then we tackled the rest of the house, including those dust bunnies. I must admit, however, that some of them were rather cute.
My world is getting back in order. The excellent news yesterday stopped the free fall. Gravity is making a comeback.
...Or I hope that's how you say it! My apologies if I said anything untoward about your mother. No, can't be. That's "mah" which also means, "horse". A sentence composed by an amateur with that could get ugly fast especially if it involved your mother's teeth or bum. How's about we just call it, Happy Chinese New Year!
I know, I know. It's the year of the ox. I didn't have a picture of one so, here's a "mah". That's the horse "mah" not the mother one.
Hud and I celebrated by going out for Asian food. Okay, it was our favorite Thai restaurant, but Hud didn't have the time to go to Lobster King for dim sum. It was in the general geographic area of Asia, so stop already. At least I didn't try to substitute with Indian food. That's India , Indian, not Cherokee like American Indian, because you'd have to be made of rubber to stretch your brain around that.
We also felt as if we had won the lottery. Apparently, in our family, it's traditional to visit the Oncologist for the Chinese New Year. The pathology was squeaky clean so the doctor said whatever the adverse of "Ni How" is and kicked us out the door for the dermatologist to deal with for the next few years.
Hud's fortune cookie read, "There are no bad days. Some are just worse than others."
Maybe what the cookie meant to say is that "Some are just BETTER than others.
I opened my eyes to a different world last Tuesday. The surgery was successful, as far as we know and the cancer was removed completely. One more pathology report and quarterly full body skin checks for the next four years and I'll be given a clean bill of health.
The cancer was first spotted by my Ear Nose and Throat doctor, Thane Duncan, last Spring. During his diagnosis of my sinus problems, he questioned a mole on my clavicle. I told him it had been there forever and not to worry. He informed me that I did not have asthma and other than a deviated septum, my sinuses were fine. I had "silent acid reflux" and the stomach acids were burning my vocal chords, lungs and nasal cavities. A little pill once a day would keep me out of bed for weeks at a time. I wouldn't lose my voice for months out of the year. I was skeptical. He was right. Dr. Duncan eyed my mole suspiciously and asked again about it before we left the office. I have watched it ever since March, lying there on my neck, looking like the silhouette of a bunch of grapes.
Right before Christmas, the mole turned surly. It darkened and the edges smoothed out. We made the appointment to see the dermatologist.
The rest is now history.
Thane Duncan was true to his name. He was my "knight" who first gave me back my quality of life and then, he gave me back my actual life.
I lay in my bed, convalescing on Inauguration Day. The snow swirled outside the window, blanketing the gardens in clean, white ice crystals. On my television, our new president told me that things would be tough, but we had been through this before and we would persevere because of who we were as a people. As he spoke, the thin shell of my anxieties cracked, and from it fluttered out the thing with feathers. It wafted through the shaft of light past the window, caught a thermal above Ruby's cage, lifted by the clear sound of her song, circled above the bed where the snoozing Pappies and I lay and perched on my soul.
It was my hope returning home.
*My apologies for the pilferage of Emily Dickenson's imagery.*
So you're flying your plane, as you do, and all of a sudden your engines implode because you ground up a goose or twelve and have to land on the Hudson River.
I hate it when that happens.
Just last week, I was minding my own business, doing laundry, cooking, painting and playing with the doglings when a goose flew smack dab into my flight path. I was diagnosed with skin cancer. I told the doctor that he had misinterpreted the script. He was supposed to pat me on the head, roll his eyes and cluck something about getting treatment for my hypochondria.
But that didn't happen.
Simone and Zali have padded around after me, concerned faces upturned to watch for signs of me breaking apart. Or maybe they're just worried because I have the thumbs they need in their lives. Fortunately for all of us, they'll only have to do without my service thumbs on Monday. I am scheduled to have the despicable thing removed early in the morning. After that, I will be able to resume moving about the cabin.
The cancer was caught very early. It is contained to one spot. I am getting rid of things I don't need this year. This is definitely something I do not need, so it's outta' here as soon as possible.
My life has always been like a stone skipping on the surface of a pond. Airborne, trouble, airborne, trouble... until it will slip under the surface and float this way and that downward to join the others on the murky bed at the bottom of the water. But not yet...
Okay, we also did laundry yesterday, but Lazy Girl here left the last basket full in the dressing room on top of the shoe bench. Last night, Aida needed a cozy place to take a nap. Those warm, clean, neatly folded shirts and towels were too much to resist. She snuggled deep inside.
Have I mentioned that Aida leaks?
It's part and parcel to the nerve damage she received as a kitten. She's sound asleep, dreaming of drinking an enormous bowl of creamy white milk and then she peeeeeees... I like to think of it as if she's a kid who wets the bed. She can't control it. Thank goodness my world is washable.
Speaking of which, it's a good thing Zali isn't dry clean only. I gave all of the kids the plates to lick today after lunch. Quit squinching up your face, Mom. It's not like I put them straight back in the cupboard. I wash! I wash! Hot water and everything! Papillons have several design flaws. One is their low profile to the ground. It prevents proper clearance from the sides of messy saucepans. Zali's ruff actually crunched when I touched it after lunch. He was thrilled. I was not. He got a refreshing bubble bath.
"Ooooh, Muhzer. Stop! I was saving zhat for layter... "
*The painting is entitled: "Who Does Your Laundry?".*
This was sent to my husband, Hud. He checked it out on snopes.com to verify. If you have one of these balls, be aware of the potential problems it could cause.
If you don't have a dog, send it to your friends who do.
On June 22, 2008, my 10-year old lab mix, Chai, sustained a severe injury from a product that the company Four Paws, Inc., produces. The toy I ' m referencing is the pimple ball with bell (Item #20227-001, UPC Code #0 4566320227 9).
While chewing on the toy, a vacuum was created and it effectively sucked his tongue into the hole in the ball. From speaking with my vet, this likely occurred because there is not a second hole in the ball preventing the vacuum effect from happening. I became aware of this when Chai approached a friend at my home whimpering w ith the ball in his mouth. She tried unsuccessfully to remove the ball but the tongue had swollen and could not be released.
Chai was taken to the Animal Medical Center (an emergency care facility in New York City ) and was treated by Dr. Nicole Spurlock to have the ball removed. Because the size of the opening on t he ball was so small, all circulation to his tongue was cut off. The doctors had to sedate him in ord er to remove it. Once the ball was removed, his tongue swelled to the point that he could no longer put it in his mouth. Chai was sent home with care instructions and to be observed overnight for any changes.
By the following morning, Chai's tongue had swollen even more.
This is the dogs tongue not the Toy! He was taken to his regular vet, Dr. Timnah Lee, for treatment. He was admitted and kept sedated for a period of three days during which time they were treating his wounds and waiting to determine how much of his tongue could be saved. On June 26, 2008, Chai had his tongue amputated.
He was kept in after-care for an additional three days. On Sunday, June 29th, I brought Chai home from the vet with a barrage of home care instructions, to last for an additional 7 days . His next visit was to have his mouth re-examined and have the feeding tube in his neck removed.
On the way home from the vet we stopped at Petland Discount where I purchased their product to speak to the manager on duty. Upon meeting Chai and seeing his condition, he removed all of the balls in question from the shelves. He also ga ve me the customer service number to their corporate headquarters to request that they refuse to continue purchasing all Four Paws products, but I have not called them as of yet.
Additionally, I shared my story with friends who have a French Bulldog named Petunia. Upon hearing my story, their eyes widened. They explained that the same thing happened twice in one night with a smaller version of the same ball to their dog. Fortunately, they were able to pull it off before the tongue swelled, but not without tremendous effort and pain to the dog. They recalled how horrific it was to hear their dog screaming while they had to pry the ball from her tongue.
To date, my veterinary bills total over $5,000 and I will have regular follow up appointments for some time. Additionally, Chai now requires a much more expensive form of food beca use of this injury, averaging approximately $200 per month.
Additionally, I now have to re-teach my dog to eat, drink and adjust to life without his tongue. Feeding him takes me about 90 minutes twice a day and for at least this first week he is not to be unattended for more than 20 minutes at a time.
I sent this information along with the reference to the French Bulldog to Four Paws, Inc., and it is their position that there just aren't enough instances to do anything about this. I told their insurance company's case manager that was not a good enough excuse. It was inferred that my dogs value wasn't much and that his pain and suffering don't count as he is just a piece of property.
*Tennessee has laws on the books, thanks to Senator Steve Cohen, to compensate people for their valuable family members , like Chai in this tragic story. Pets are not property.