Rest In Peace, Maximus

On Tuesday night we had Maximus euthanized, along about midnight.  At about 8:30 or 9:00 we were sitting on the couch watching television.  Ronnie was on the loveseat.  I was on the couch with Buffy.  Maximus was playing with one of the puppies’ balls he’d found.  It had a squeaker in it and he was squeaking it and squeaking it while he was in his crate.  We laughed about it and I worried a little that he might swallow it and choke.  A few minutes later he came out of his crate with the little yellow ball and jumped up on the couch between me and Buffy.  He dropped the ball on the couch at his feet, turned to look at Buffy suspiciously as if she might take the ball from him….and lunged at her grabbing her by the throat and shaking her violently.  I sprung forward and grabbed Buffy just as Ronnie arrived to grab Max and pried his mouth off Buffy.  I ran with Buffy in my arms to my office and slammed the door.  I could feel the blood and was afraid to look at the damage.  I just knew I’d see her jugular gushing bright red blood.

Luckily she had puncture wounds on her neck and back but no gushing, gaping wounds.  Ronnie had put Max back in his crate.  We wrapped Buffy in a big towel and left for the animal ER.  By the time we arrived I knew that Maximus had to be put down.  This was his fourth attack in less than 18 months.  We couldn’t take any more chances with him.  He attacked each time with no provocation, with no advance warning and then with no understanding that he’d done anything wrong.  He was a loving, lovable, sweet, goofy big dog 99% of the time.  It was the 1% that we could no longer deal with.  What if next time the animal he attacked didn’t live through it?  What if next time (and we knew there’d be a next time) it was a human, a child.  We knew we had a loaded gun with no safety in Maximus.  There was no turning back this time no matter how bad it hurt to make that decision.

They took Buffy in immediately and started her on some painkillers and checked that she was stable.  She was the second poodle there that had been attacked by a mastiff.  What are the odds?  We talked with the veterinarian and she agreed to euthanize Maximus that night.  I was afraid I’d back out and ultimately put someone or someone’s child or animal at risk if I waited until the next day.  So we went home and got him, now acting like nothing was wrong just like he always did.  And we took that sweet, big, goofy dog and handed him over to the tech.  We said goodbye to him and watched him walk away for the last time.

They kept Buffy overnight and I picked her up at 7 A.M.  They had installed a drain in her neck where the skin had been pulled away.  She is on pain meds and new antibiotics.  But she’s alive.  I’m so, so happy for that!!!!!!!!  Such a sweet little dog should never have had to endure this trauma.  I took her to the vet yesterday to get checked out.  There was some bad results for her liver and kidney functions when they did her blood work at the ER.  Her liver tests were slightly elevated but her BUN (kidney) test was triple what it should have been.  This isn’t from the trauma but could possibly be affected by the trauma.  We don’t know how long she’s had these elevated enzymes.  So now I am injecting Ringers solution subcutaneously to help give her more hydration and help flush her system.  In 2 weeks we’ll rerun the blood work and see if it’s come down any.  The beginning of next week I’ll take her in to have her drain and staples removed which will make her more comfortable, I’m sure.  She has some stitches and some hellacious bruises which will only mend in time.  We may have to put her on prescription dog food to treat the kidney issues, but we can do that, too.

Maximus was never a mean dog.  If he were the decision to euthanize him would have been an easy one.  There was something in Maxie’s brain that just didn’t function properly.  He was taking 3 Prozac capsules daily and that calmed him down fairly well, but occasionally he would snap for no good reason at all.  Hell, we could never figure out a reason for any of his attacks.  They were never after any kind of preamble, not even a growl.  He would, out of the clear blue sky, just lunge at a dog’s throat and start shaking them.  The first time it was a 15 pound fluffy neighborhood dog walking down the street; thankfully he didn’t shake him but nipped him deep enough to have to have antibiotics.   The 2nd and 3rd times were at 30 pound Bandit in our own house, this time was the 4th with 14 pound Buffy.  He would go from complete calm to a snarling, raging, driven maniac.  When we broke his grip on the dogs he would be Maximus again, big, goofy Max.  There was just something wrong in his head somewhere.

We are definitely in the grieving process now.  I still cry several times per day.  I still remember the sweet little things that he would do and how he would lay on the couch with his head in my lap totally relaxed with his “momma”.  It hurts.  It will probably hurt for a while yet.  But I made the right decision.  It was the only thing I could have done.  It’s different around here.  All of a sudden the biggest dog in the house is gone; that leaves a big void.  Max had the loudest voice, the largest crate, the most energy and the softest heart.  Today we took down his crate and moved the furniture in the living room.  It hurt to see his empty crate sitting there each day, but now that it’s gone I think I miss him even more.  We gave him a good life; I just wish it could have ended differently for him and for us.

Rest in peace, Maximus.  We love you, big boy!

Max

Still Sewing

This week I’ve actually been able to carve out some pieces of time to sew.  I’m trying to finish all the projects I had started or have bought fabric for in the past 3 years.  Yesterday I made 4 pillowcases; today I made the other 4 pillowcases.  I finished the tote bag that needed handles and next I’m going to make the valances for my home office window.  I found some beautiful purple satin fabric with embroidered butterflies on it.  Since I love both purple and butterflies it was a no-brainer, however, they only had 2 yards of it left.  Of course, I bought it all and am now hoping I can make it work for the pattern I have in mind.

Other than that, I went to jury duty on Monday and was there most of the day but I didn’t get selected for a jury and only had to call in every evening to see if I were needed for the following day.  I never did get called then got released on Thursday night.  So much for the drama of the court!

The dogs are all doing well though I sometimes feel like a pharmacist as I pass out pills, liquids in syringes and apply various ointments twice per day.  Two weeks ago we found out that Keira has demodex mange so we are treating that daily and it seems to be responding to treatment, slowly but in a positive manner.  Buffy’s skin infection is proving just as difficult to cure as the first time she had it last year.  She’s on the 3rd antibiotic and it doesn’t seem much, if any, better.  We are giving Gino and Dusty tummy meds twice per day.  Maximus takes Prozac twice a day.  Jolie takes Lasix and Themophyline twice a day.  Buffy takes Rimadyl and her antibiotic (and I give her glucosamine for her joint pain); she was on an oral antibiotic, too, but has finished that one.  Keira takes meds for the demodex every evening.  Then, before bed Jolie has a nebulizer treatment.  If she’s having a bad day we’ll do more than one treatment.  If it’s terribly acute she has a narcotic liquid cough suppressant but we try to stay away from that if we can.  Did I leave anyone out?  I’m glad everyone doesn’t run out at the same time or I’d have to go back to work just to keep up!

Anyway, I’m enjoying my retirement immensely except for these little concerns.  And I’d have the same canine concerns if I were still working; I’d just be exhausted at the same time just like I was for so many years.  I will be retired 7 months on the 29th of May and I think sometimes that I get happier the longer I’m free.  We are taking estimates for some tree removal and landscaping in the front yard.  Hopefully that will get accomplished some time in the coming week.  I’m going to take before and after photos (did you expect ME not to take pictures?  LOL).

Purple pillowcases
Purple pillowcases
Green/silver pillowcases
Green/silver pillowcases

I Love My Husband

Model 99K Singer
Model 99K Singer

Ronnie had the day off today, so he watched the animals all day so I could sew.  What a wonderful guy I’m married to!!!!!!!!

So, this is what I did: I hemmed 2 pair of jeans that have been hanging on the back of the door for about 6 months.  Since I’ve lost 20 pounds I’ll more than likely end up altering them, too, now.  But they’re hemmed anyway.  Then, I bound the seams on the Babylock covers I made for my machines.  They had begun to fray and every time I removed them to sew I went, “Ewwwww!”.  Fixed!  Then I made the pattern for a tote bag I’ve been wanting to make for myself.  I had drawn it out on paper but hadn’t cut it out or made the pattern to cut it out.  Then I made the tote bag, too!  It’s all done except I want to put webbing handles and didn’t have any black, so that has to wait.  But I love the bag!

Also, we opened the box that contained the Model 99K Singer we bought that was delivered Monday.  I threaded it and it sews but have yet to try to mend Bandit’s harnesses with it.  I looked up the serial number online and it was manufactured in 1956 so it’s an authentic antique, too.  Altogether it’s been a great day for me.  Tomorrow is another day.  I have fabric to make pillow cases out on my cutting table.  Will I get to make them?  Stay tuned!

14" inside zipper pocket &  10" slipper pocket
14″ inside zipper pocket & 10″ slipper pocket
20" x 20" tote bag
20″ x 20″ tote bag
??????????????????????
Front of tote bag

Going Broke

Man!  Between dogs and sewing I’m spending a load of money…and I’m retired, what does that tell you?  Last week I toted my big combo machine to my sewing class.  The machine weighs 38 pounds.  The rolling bag it goes in weighs about another 10.  Lifting all that in and out of the car and up and down on the table is not good for my aging back.  It so happened that Ronnie and I both arrived home at the same time that day so he unloaded the car for me.  I told him that I know we weren’t made of money but I just can’t carry that machine around every time I go to a class (which I hope to be fairly often now).  He thought I had gone to a class about that machine and that was why I’d taken it.  He said he agreed that I should not carry that machine (the most expensive one I’ve ever owned) around in the car in case I damage it or someone runs their car into mine and damages it.  I never expected him to agree so readily to buy me another sewing machine.  You could have knocked me over with a feather!

So, on Friday (first chance I had) I went sewing machine shopping.  The second place I went I bought a Pfaff.  It happened to be the same dealer I bought my Babylocks from; they also sell the Pfaff line.  I didn’t even get to take it out of the box on Friday (too much going on).  On Saturday I played with it a bit and was greatly underwhelmed.  I really didn’t care for it much at all.  Wah!  I thought, well, maybe it’d grow on me, but I happened to read a post on a sewing forum that said a new machine should “sing to you”.  This new machine didn’t sing to me or anyone else around here.  It didn’t even hum!  How was I going to tell Ronnie after he’d been so wonderful about it all?

I researched all night trying to figure out what machine would do if the Pfaff didn’t.  Even after taking a sleeping tablet I didn’t sleep.  By the time Ronnie got up at 3:30 to go to work I had the machine packed in the box and he loaded it in the car for me.  I lay down about 5:30 and slept for a few hours then took it back to the store.  I didn’t know how the dealers would react since they’d already registered the machine to me.  To make a long story short, they were wonderful about the whole thing.  Since I knew the exact machine I wanted (another Babylock) and it cost a little more, all I had to do was to pay the difference and it was a done deal.  Whew!  I expected to have to pay a restocking fee and the difference in price, so that was a big relief.  Cost another $216 dollars and I took her home.  And I love her!!!!!!!!!  She sings for me.  I’ve already drawn up a pattern and have her threaded and ready to go.  If I can get a break from these dogs I’m gonna sew, sew, sew.

Today the puppies went back to the vet for their next vaccination boosters.  The bigger one, Keira, is up to 5.3 pounds; the smaller girl is at 2 pounds even.  The vet said they think they have an adopter for Keira which would be wonderful since she has to share love with the other animals here and with the new lady she’d get all the love.  The lady had to put her elderly Chi to sleep this morning and was so distraught, but brightened when told about Keira.  Sounds like just the thing to mend a broken heart!

Right after I got home I received a phone call from Buffy’s family.  Her human momma had had a heart attack and passed away; could I please come get Buffy?  I didn’t even put any shoes on to walk around the corner and bring her home.  Poor little girl doesn’t know what is going on and why she’s back at our house but now this will be her home.  Her human dad is very upset with losing his wife but thought first about caring for Buffy.  We’re thankful for that.  She’ll be cared for here even if it adds to our brood.  We’d never leave her out in the cold, but we’ve got to get some dogs adopted!

Babylock Elizabeth
Babylock Elizabeth
Buffy
Buffy
Buffy Too
Buffy Too

A New Pattern

I spent Wednesday in the Bag Ladies group at my local sewing shop and had a great time even though I had to finish my bag after I got home.  We sewed from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., straight through lunch and still didn’t finish.  But it only took me an hour or so after I got home to get it done.  Now I have a Mother’s Day gift and a new pattern to make myself a purse from.  I already have the fabric I want to use; it’s an old shirt that is faux suede and is elaborately embroidered already.  I’ll line it with beige duck canvas just like this one was lined with white duck canvas.  When I first cut this out (it seemed like a million pattern pieces out of 4 different fabrics) I thought I’d never want to do another one with this particular pattern.  But once it got done and I understood the construction of it I’m ready to tackle another one.  What do you think?

Lining
Lining
Inside zipper pocket
Inside zipper pocket
??????????????????????
Finished product

Productive Day

Today has been all about sewing.  I went to the fabric shop this morning and bought supplies for the event Wednesday and talked to the teacher, Georgia.  She seems like a really nice lady and I’m looking forward to spending the day sewing with her.  I have to prepare all my fabrics/patterns/etc. prior to class  but still spent the day doing sewing for myself.  I finally opened the tote bag pattern I bought last week and did something productive with it.  I must admit that I spent some time ripping out seams because of amendments that didn’t work, but it worked out in the end (as far as I’m concerned).  I was making a gift for a family member and Ronnie suggested I make a matching bag for her child.  Wonderful idea!  And done!

Played with the dogs before sewing and they’re all doing marvelous.  Keira was spayed, micro-chipped and had a dew claw removed yesterday.  According to doctor’s orders she must be kept in a crate for 7 days.  Poor little puppy thinks she’s being punished because she can’t play like she’s used to.  She’s looked so sad today.  It’s hard to keep them penned up when they feel like being free.  We finally crated the rest of the dogs and set Keira free; that way she wasn’t tempted to get too excited, and it worked famously.  She’s now exhausted and sleeping peacefully.

I’ve been researching vintage Singer sewing machines the past few days because we need a machine that is strong enough to use to repair leashes, collars and harnesses for the dogs.  Bandit especially will chew up his harness if he’s left alone in it, and they are expensive, especially for the bigger dogs.  I just purchased one from someone who is a member of the same online group as me.  It’s a Singer 99.  I have no idea how old it is but they were manufactured between about 1911 and 1962, so it’s an O-L-D machine, but it works well and will hopefully work for what we need.  This may be a really interesting adventure; you never know.

Singer 99
Singer 99
Mommy & Me Bags
Mommy & Me Bags

Bag Lady

I just got the pictures taken of the small bags we made in class last week.  I’ll probably never use them for anything (they’re not my “type” of bag) but, as I said before, I’ll surely use the knowledge I gained by making them in my future projects.  I have fabric to make 3 large, lined tote bags in my sewing room which will be my next foray into the sewing world.  Next week we’re having a get-together to sew a tote bag in a group called (you guessed it!) “Bag Ladies”.  I paid for the class this morning.  Tomorrow I’ll go buy my supplies so I can have it all cut out and prepped for next week.  Wish me luck!!!!!!!!

Jewelry Bag Closed
Jewelry Bag Closed
Jewelry Bag Outside
Jewelry Bag Outside
Inside Jewelry Bag
Inside Jewelry Bag
Clutch open
Clutch open
Clutch closed
Clutch closed