Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My poor pooch ...

(Please forgive my grainy photos. Not sure what is going on with my phone camera.)

Samson had surgery on Tuesday morning.

I didn't feel that great about him having it but it had to be done. Everything that could go wrong that morning did, including a snow storm. (I would have cancelled but I'd already rescheduled twice due to snow and, since there was only a few inches, I felt I could push my way through it. I hook Samson to my wheelchair and he can pull me. That's a big help at times. He's 50 pounds of muscle.) He had two large, deep tumors; one in the chest and a larger one in the groin. I stayed there for the surgery. The technician came out and said the tumors had been removed easier than anticipated and since they had some extra time allotted to him, they'd give me a 40% discount on a teeth cleaning. He really needed that and I'd planned having it done at a later date. I considered the savings and decided I could spare the $65 now with the benefit being elimination of future anesthesia. At his age of almost 11 years, I am mindful with his health and age. Since the teeth cleaning was all that was left to do, I went home. I returned at 5 PM for pick up and was given quite a shock ... both sticker and surgical results. The technician told me Samson had one tooth with an exposed root and "I think two others", she said, with decay at the gum line. She'd removed teeth without my knowledge although I would have approved it. I knew there had to be a reason his breath was occasionally rancid. I just didn't like the idea of her making that assumption. Maybe I'm too possessive of control over my dog. ha The bill was like a punch in the gut. I was expecting about $250 but ended up with $549. I asked for her visual opinion on the tumors. She said they appeared to be fatty tumors. The other six have all been fatty tumors so I decided not to send these off for analysis. That saved $120. I looked at the itemized bill and saw she'd given me discounts on almost everything other than the medications and anesthesia. She charged for pulling two teeth instead of FIVE and various other discounts. I am appreciative but would have preferred to hold off til I could save the money. Now I've got too much month and not enough money. haha But, my dog is healthy and that really is my main concern. There are few days left anyway.

It's been a mess. Had I known how substantial this surgery was, I would have left him at the vet's office overnight. I didn't realize the extent of it all until he was lifted into the car and I saw stitches and drainage tubes and blood and swelling and rolled back eyes. I couldn't get him out of the car on my own. My friend, Jamie, came here in, literally, a blizzard and helped me get him into the house and onto the couch bed. He has a drainage tube on both sides of the groin incision. It drips blood all over the place. I'm trying to keep a pad under him so I don't have to change the sheets so much. Samson wants to be with me in every room I go to and that was making a mess.  I parked myself on the couch bed (there is a plastic cover under the sheet) and have been on the computer along with knitting most of the day. Not what I wanted to do but I'm getting quite a bit accomplished. What I knit will be sold in October at a festival. I need to get as many items as I can completed. This is an opportunity to get that stash well on its way.

Miss Cleo usually sleeps beside Samson. She's been very concerned with what's going on with him. She sits by him and occasionally taps his head with her paw for just a second. He looks up at her as she continues her gaze. She finally did lay down to sleep but frequently checks on him and taps him on his head. She's worried about her buddy. 

He was prescribed antibiotics and a pain medication. He's not eaten much. I can tell he misses his teeth. I'm not sure yet which ones are gone. He tried to eat his dry food but either didn't have the energy or it hurt his gums. I prepared for him a small amount of chicken; about one-half cup. He seemed satisfied. He's sleeping most of the time, as long as I'm beside him. I don't mind. He's certainly spent many hours by my side while I've been ill or down in the dumps. It's the least I can do for a spirit who loves me as much as he does.

We will return to the vet on Saturday for removal of the drainage tube. After that, I won't have to watch him as closely. The stitches will be removed in 10-14 days. Even though the vet disappointed me ... and I will discuss that with her when I see her on Saturday, I will continue taking my animals to her. I take into consideration that maybe she was having an off-day or felt she knew I would approve or even somehow, via a receptionist who should have called, a misunderstanding occurred. Whatever the reason, I feel sure it won't happen a second time. 

The sun is shining brightly today with rather gusty winds and temperature high of 39 degrees. It's about 20 degrees below normal but I know in my heart that Spring weather will soon join its rightful season and Samson and I will soon be out digging in the dirt.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Bandit ... without Smoky

I've been quite busy for the past few weeks. So much so, that I've not been online to read even one blog post.

For the past six months or so, my smoke detector has gone off (mostly in the middle of the night) and scared a few years off my life each time. There is no smoke to cause it, so I'm assuming it's either dust in there setting it off, or it needs replaced. It is, in addition to being powered with a battery, also powered by electricity. I read online that these systems need replaced every 8-10 years. My house is just now 10 years old. Since I cannot get to the detector battery, I called upon a dear friend, who makes my life much easier. He switched the electrical breaker off and removed the batteries; purchased an individual detector and hung it in a proper place. I can again sleep without being on edge. It disturbed Samson as well which bothered me more than anything. Now, he's sleeping soundly too.

That very evening, near dusk, I heard an unusual sound that seemed to be coming from under the house. Suddenly, Samson was in defense mode and headed to the heat register and began barking wildly; cats hissing and sniffing. I'm thinking, "Good grief, all this over a mouse (I'm sure of it!)?" I decided I'd turn the furnace on and that little critter would run back out. So ... turned on the heat ... and instantly knew it was NOT a mouse! It lumbered and galloped and thundered around. I feared it would break the duct work so I turned the furnace off. I listened and gasped! I heard a familiar chatter and a dog-like panting. No way! I'm thinking I've lost my mind and NO ONE will believe this. I went to the kitchen register ... looked into it ... and there ... staring back at me through a black mask was a raccoon!!! How in this world did that happen?! I called my friend, Jamie, to come back. (Fortunately, I've been close with his wife since the day she was born so she doesn't mind to loan him out.) He came back and we waited for it to rear its little head again. Never showed. Jamie sat here with me for almost an hour but the little fellow found his outlet to a cooler spot. I'm sure he was quite warm and thirsty after the heat from the furnace blowing on him.

The next morning I went to my car and saw little muddy 'coon prints on top of the frozen snow, heading from under the back porch to the stream just a few feet away. He needed a drink. :-)

A few days later, I was preparing to crawl under the porch to find out how this chubby little varmint was entering the crawl space. A friend stopped by at that exact time and insisted she do it for me. She said someone had cut one-half of a cinder block out and left a clear opening under the vented block. (I'm assuming the fellow who built the back porch did this when I wasn't looking. Why?) She took a few cinder blocks and blocked for me. I've had no more bandit visits but I fear the bandit left a little destruction behind. I can feel a slight cool breeze at the registers when the heat is not on. I'll have to get someone under the house this summer to check the duct work out. I hate the thoughts of sending someone under there because it's very tight. But, it must be done.

The weather is beginning to feel like Spring. Still a bit nippy but the sun is shining and that makes me joyful.

Wishing you a joyful weekend!