About Face

Good news-bad news day.  Bad news is my pain is not coming from muscles.  It is from my sciatica and the reason the exercise helps is because it’s pulling the lower part of my spine off of the nerve it’s compressing so it relieves my pain.  Good news–I don’t have to go back to the massage therapist and I don’t have to have the injections in my hip.  Bad news is I need a new chiropractor because there’s therapy I need to be doing that they’re not equipped for at our current practitioner.  But I was told that at this point chiropractic is exactly what I need to be focusing on until the inflammation clears up some.  Cigna called and they can’t issue 30 pills; I have to buy 90 or none at all, so $300 later I ordered 90. <<sigh>>  More good than bad though, I think.

I kicked into high gear today (medium gear, maybe?).  I called seven more air conditioning companies today and I refuse to call any more!  I have 5 appointments set up for estimates, one phone number not in working order and left a message at one.  If one of these doesn’t work, I’m going with one of the ones I already have in hand!  I have a good estimate but somebody else who lives here is being picky.  So I keep working on it.  <<sigh>>

I got our laundry and linens done today and will try to get the dog linens done tomorrow between appointments with 2 AC repairmen, chiro visit and Starbucks run.  Wish me luck!

Day started off weird so I’m surprised it ended up as well as it has.  Before daylight the burglar alarm went off, and went off some more.  If it had been R going to work he would silence it, right?  So I got out of bed and rushed into the living room.  There stood R looking aggravated, holding Daisy by her collar, and alarm continuing to sound.  Over the din I shouted “reset the alarm!”.  He did; with more words he got it reset properly before the alarm company called us for verification.  Seems he started to leave for work, set the alarm and Daisy decided she was going to work with him.  He couldn’t convince her not to so out the door she went with R in pursuit.  After a few seconds of the door standing open the alarm sounded….and pandemonium ensued.  So we get it ironed out and Daisy in her crate.  R left for work and I went back to my nice, soft bed for retired folks.  And then it thundered.  Crap!!!!!  Out of the bed I went again and released Daisy from her crate.  Bandit, Zoe, Daisy and I went back to bed together: Daisy, Zoe and me under the covers on my side of the bed with Bandit on R’s side.

We then all slept until 9:30; not even the crated dogs woke up before then.  I don’t know why they all slept in this morning but it worked for me!  I was still feeling exhausted so I released the creatures from their jails and ordered, “Potty–Potty!!!”.  They looked at me like I’d lost my mind—it was raining outside for god’s sake!  Two of them peed on the rug; I didn’t see what the rest did but I just sat on the couch to gather my wits.

I figured the day was doomed already because I was soooo tired and I’d just gotten up, but I surprised myself and started the day the same as usual by feeding the beasties breakfast then doing a Starbucks run.  I put Daisy in her crate (her turn), went out to the car, started the motor….and it thundered.  Crap!!!!!!!!!!  So, I left the car running, went back inside, put the lead on Daisy and put her in the car.  So, Daisy got a puppy whip this morning.

The entire day was a comedy of errors; I don’t know why I’m in such a good mood.  I’m even planning on trying to wear shoes again tomorrow.  My foot looks a bit better and isn’t quite as sore as last week when I tried to wear shoes, so wish me luck!

Celebrated Today

I don’t have to have my hip replaced!!!!!!!!!!  They’re supposed to do injections under fluoroscopy a week from now; doctor says my hip looks too good to mess with yet.  On the way home I stopped by the chiropractor to buy some more visits and got an adjustment.  Fortunately for me the doctor found out my pain is coming from muscles in my thigh and hip, not bones.  He gave me exercises to do and some suggestions on treatment.  First thing he wants me to do is go to a massage therapist and get the tension worked out of the muscle before I develop scar tissue.  I have an appointment for tomorrow already.  Who knew the muscle could be causing this?  Makes sense though because when I was being x-rayed at the orthopedist I was having muscle spasms on the table.  I never connected it to the pain.  After the chiropractor the pain was definitely better already.  I was so happy that I got R to take me out to dinner to celebrate.

Other than doctor visits and phone calls I didn’t get much else done today, nothing constructive anyway.  I found out my exhaustion is probably coming from running out of a medication 3 weeks ago that kept getting “cancelled” at Cigna’s pharmacy.  I finally got through on the phone today and found out that it was because the insurance didn’t cover that prescription and I had to pay for it out of pocket.  I wish they’d told me that a month ago; no one bothered to call to tell me.  It’s on its way now so I should feel better by the end of next week or so.  I guess that was constructive.

Tomorrow I’ll try to get the dog crates washed and maybe linens if I have the wherewithal to accomplish it.  I have a few more companies to call about air conditioner replacement; we’re getting close to making a decision on the purchase now.  It’ll all get done…some day.

Rest In Peace, Sweethearts


Buffy & Jolie

Buffy & Jolie

Buffy and Jolie were interred today in our backyard cemetery.  We included Jolie’s collar tags and Buffy’s leash and topped the new grave with crepe myrtle flowers.  R & I both spoke over them and we both cried for their loss and the loss of our other two girls, Sassie and Miss Baby who are buried beside them.  We thought it odd that they died of similar ailments, failure of a major organ (or multiple in Jolie’s case), but supposed we all die of some organ failure, don’t we?

I ended up staying up almost to 3 AM last night before the weather changed and I was able to crate Daisy and go to bed so I slept in and R got up with the dogs, then he laid back down when I got up.  Sleeping in shifts sucks!  I was still exhausted when I woke up so the dogs didn’t get breakfast until 10 AM.  Oops!  I did get the fish tank cleaned but did no laundry at all.  I went grocery shopping and paid bills, cuddled dogs and watched TV.  Real productive, huh?  N-O-T!!!  Liable to be more of the same until my energy level comes back up.  Might be a little depression about losing JoJo, so I hope it gets better soon.  Except for during the “funeral” today I didn’t cry at all, so I think I’m beginning to heal emotionally.


Jojo’s Home

Today I took Mimi to the vet.  She and Daisy got into a tussle last night and Mimi ended up with a puncture wound on her right “elbow”.  She has antibiotics to take for 5 days but they didn’t think it was anything to worry about, just watch it for infection and to make sure it’s healing properly.  While I was checking out they brought out Jojo’s ashes; I didn’t expect to have them back so quickly, but she’s home to stay now.  We are going to have a funeral tomorrow for her and for Buffy’s ashes as well.  Buffy’s owner loved Jolie, too, so it seems fitting that they should rest together.  Our little backyard cemetery will grow by two.  The last addition was in 2011;  I hope there doesn’t have to be any more for a long time.

Ran a few errands on the way home with Mimi.  Later went and visited the great-grandkids for a bit.  When it started thundering I headed for home thinking I’d need to medicate Daisy ASAP, but when I got home she was doing good; it was Zoe who was the most upset with the weather, but when I got her out of the crate the rain miraculously stopped and everyone calmed down.  I think Mother Nature is screwing with me!

Other than a little laundry and organizing I didn’t accomplish a lot today.  I was tired and fell asleep on the couch sitting up so I didn’t push myself to do anymore than I did.  Hope tomorrow my energy returns because I’ve got to wash dog blankets for all the crates and clean the big fish tank.  Eventually I want to start sewing again now that the house has calmed down somewhat.  Even if I have to crate a couple of dogs while I sew that is doable a day here and there.  I have some purses to put together, a clothespin bag to make and some appliques for a birthday party in September.  Mom bought me some labels to put in the things I make so I can take credit and eventually make some money off my products.

It’s supposed to start storming again at 3 AM so we’re leaving Daisy out for the night.  Hopefully she will sleep on her bed beside our bed but we may end up closing the bedroom door.  There’s simply not enough room for all of us in the bed!  I’m tired but hate to take a sleeping pill because I’m afraid if Daisy gets upset I won’t hear her and be able to help her.  I don’t usually sleep if I don’t take one but even if I have to nap tomorrow when R’s up I don’t think it’s a good idea with a storm rolling in.  Usually I just sleep on the couch and close the door to the bedroom so R can sleep but my hip is in far too bad a shape to do that right now.  I’d have to break out my cane again (may have to anyway; I used it a couple of weeks ago).  It’ll all “come out in the wash”, I’m sure.

Another Breath

Today was one of my better ones of late.  I had lunch with my daughter, just the two of us with no one else to intrude on our conversation…for the first time since she got married almost 30 years ago.  Loved it!  And during lunch it started pouring down rain.  All I could think was: Daisy!!!!  When I remembered she wasn’t in her crate I was able to calm down some.  Today was the first time I left Daisy, Bandit, Fancy and Gypsy out together, so I was holding my breath a little that they would be compatible with no issues.  After all, I was only gone long enough to have lunch; I wasn’t going shopping or to a movie or anything.  When I got home I discovered all dogs still in the shape I’d left them with no issues except that Daisy was sooooooo happy to see me (“Mom, you left me alone during RAIN!!!!”) that she jumped up on me and scratched my chin.  It was my fault because I should have been paying better attention; I couldn’t blame her because I know how excitable she is in the rain–it doesn’t have to thunder for her to get nervous.

Then a little while later my great-grandchildren called me on the phone.  It’d been months since I’d spoken to them and it was great!!!!!!  I love those kids so much and am so glad they love me, too, and hadn’t forgotten me.  I promised to visit on Saturday.  Can’t wait to see how much they’ve grown.

After R got home to babysit the dogs I went to Best Buy and bought a new TV antenna.  The other one worked fine but there were stations I was missing.  Managed to get a cheaper antenna and a promise from the salesman that if I’d bring the other, more expensive one back they would refund my money.  So the old one is packed in its box, receipt in my purse ready to go.  The new antenna gets the stations I want so everyone is happy and it didn’t cost an arm and a leg to get it.  Can’t beat days like that!

Tomorrow the AC guys come to do the quarterly check and I have a couple of errands to run.  I can’t do anything that takes me away from the house for extended periods because I can’t trust the situation with Daisy and the littles yet with the weather so changeable and her so unpredictable.  We’re taking it one day at a time even though so far it has all worked out just fine.  It only takes one slip for one of them to get hurt so we’re not pushing our luck.

Still missing JoJo.  Still a big hole where she used to be.  It seems like when you lose an animal all the stories you hear are negative and you hear the losses more than the successes.  I know that’s how it is; this is not the first dog we’ve lost but they each touch your heart in different ways and in different places.  And the pain is different every time.  I think I’m getting stronger where her loss is concerned but I still flash into tears very easily on a daily basis.  I can talk about it easier now so I’m getting there.  Baby steps.


Able To Breathe Again

So tired but I only cried once today so that’s an improvement.  Took a car load of donations to the vet’s office this morning, went to Petsmart, home and then later to get my nails done.  I intended to do laundry when I got home but ended up making phone calls and working on business details.  It wasn’t a bad day though.  I just got a nice hot shower and am all ready for bed.  As soon as the dogs go to bed (R’s still watching TV) I’ll take my pill and it won’t be long then.  Decided today that I’m going to have to make an appointment with the ortho doctor.  I can barely stand sometimes for the pain in my hip.  Bad as I hate to admit it, it’s time to replace that one now.  I was going to wait until we got our new AC system installed in the house but I’ll be crawling by then, and I’m still gathering estimates on the AC replacement.

The little fish tank is gone, the extra crates are still folded up in the garage, and generally we have spiffed up the house a bit while moving and cleaning out “stuff”.  We had the cable TV taken out at the beginning of the month, so dismantled that stuff and moved it out, then moved the stereo out of my office and into the place where the DVR was.  So we actually have flat surfaces in the house with nothing on them…even dust!  Probably coated with dog hair again today; everything is.  Between Bandit and Daisy most of the house and our clothing is covered in white dog hair.  Who the hell cares?!!!!!!  LOL  They’re sweet babies and we’re all happy together so we’ll just deal with it.  Moved the extra dog gates into the back of my closet and out of the back of the couch.  Daisy loves to circle around the back of the couch and she’d hit the gate against the wall and make all kinds of racket.  It’d raise the dead but never fazed her.  Round and round she’d go, banging and banging all the way until we hollered at her to stop.  Silly girl!

Still missing JoJo but the dogs are beginning to adjust now.  Today I had to start calling down the big dogs for playing on the furniture.  Bandit and Daisy are having so much fun, which is why we adopted Daisy to begin with, to be a friend for Bandit to play with.  He’s been so great with all the dogs we’ve fostered or babysat for, and he never had anyone he could play with except when Maximus was small.  Once Max grew up and started with his personality disorder all he tried to do with Bandit was kill him.  Poor Bandit still loved Max with his head and neck full of stitches and a drain in his throat.  So it was Bandit’s turn for happiness and he’s so enjoying wrestling and running with Daisy, and she is happy now, too.  For a 50 pound dog, Daisy is one cuddle-bunny!  She wants to sit in our laps and lay all over us; she snuggles with the Chis and no one seems to care.  Mimi still wants to eat her at times and even bit her again today (just a nip, no blood drawn).  Mimi has always been a biter and she thinks she is the referee when the dogs play.  She will chase them completely out of the house when they get on her nerves, her nipping and barking and the big dogs running like hell through the doggie door.  Poor things!  It’s funny sometimes but I’m surprised none of them have turned around and bit her back.

So ends today’s doggie-saga.  Time to reboot my laptop and take my pill…..

Other Side of the Mountain


Jolie drinking her last puppywhip---me in tears

Jolie drinking her last puppywhip—me in tears

Today we said goodbye to Jolie.  After 3 years of multiple medications by mouth, subcutaneous fluids and nebulizer treatments we could no longer treat Jolie’s many illnesses.  She had a COPD-like lung disorder, congestive heart failure, renal failure and her liver was damaged.  Even with fluid pills three times a day she could no longer release the fluid from her belly and lungs, and her heart couldn’t pump all that liquid.  She was straining to just breathe, to just live from one moment to the next.  She was weak.  She would stand unsteadily and fall over and be unable to get back up.  Her belly was bloated and since she had a heart murmur and congestive heart failure we could no longer do surgery to remove the many growths on her body.  I suspected that some of them were very ugly on the inside and probably contributed to her ills.  I took her to the vet Wednesday and they did more blood tests, injected Lasix to release some of the fluid in her belly so she could breathe, and told us that we need to make the hard decision of when to let her go.

Originally we were going to plan to euthanize her Monday morning but then she was so sick yesterday that it just broke our hearts.  Even though we knew we were going to miss her and we would cry a lot to lose her, we also knew that we had to help her leave her pain behind. At about 11 AM today we took her to our sweet vet’s office and told JoJo goodbye, how much we loved her and how much we’d miss her.  Then they gave a shot to relax her while we stroked her and talked to her.  She was so tired and ill that it took effect immediately.  When we were both ready we told them to give the last shot that stopped her heart.  We continued rubbing her and talking to her even after we knew she couldn’t hear us anymore, but it was hard to let her go.  We didn’t doubt for a minute that we’d made the right decision but it was still hard to let go of her.  It’s almost like losing a child.

So now we’re down to seven dogs: 5 Chis, Bandit and Daisy.  They were all very subdued when we came home without Jolie.  There’s always about a 2 week adjustment period when we add or subtract one dog that they are very quiet, not knowing where they fit in the new pack hierarchy.   We gathered up 4 bags of medications to take back to the vet to donate for another animal who might need them.  We changed the crates around so that Jolie’s crate went to Zoe who had adopted her as her mother and spent a lot of time cuddling there with Jolie.  That allowed Dusty full-reign over the crate that he had been sharing with Zoe so that now each dog has his very own big crate without having to share.  I don’t know if it’ll stay that way or if we’ll downsize them.  We’ll just have to see how it works out.

We gave away the small fish tank; the guy is supposed to come pick it up in the morning, so the living room will have a new face by tomorrow this time.  Now that Daisy and Bandit are playing so much and a lot of it in the house, they have been bumping into the little fish tank a lot; I keep expecting them to knock the whole damned thing over in the floor, water, fish, glass and all.  We thought it safe to give away before the disaster happens and someone two or 4 legged gets cut with glass or hit with falling furniture.  Our house is too small to have 2 big/medium dogs playing in the house so we have to make it safe for all again.  May end up getting rid of the 55 gallon tank, too.  I’d like to have a tank though, maybe a hexagon again when Blondie kicks the bucket.  We’ll see.  We just need to make more room to live in these days.

Good bye again to our sweet Jolie girl.  We’ll miss you so much, baby doll!!!!!!!



The dogs are trying to kill us; I’m convinced of it now.  Fancy barks all night and Daisy doesn’t want to go in her crate to sleep.  I was up until 4:30 this morning, then R got up at 5.  I slept until 8:30 then we switched out again.  Something’s got to change!  I disconnected the noisy desktop computer and brought my laptop in from the sewing room so maybe that will help Daisy sleep.  We’re going to let Fancy sleep under (not in) our bed and see if she barks tonight.

Surgery went well but I stopped the pain meds because it’s hard enough to sleep without the nightmares.  It hurts but not so much I can’t deal with it without the medication.  Tomorrow I can drive again so I go back to the black boot.  I’m ready for a trip to Starbucks!  Everyone should have my issues, right? LOL

Daisy’s Crate & Other Tales

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks around here.  The most exciting was the demise of Daisy’s crate.  Daisy is absolutely terrified of thunder; there’s not a doubt in my mind anymore.  One night I heard Daisy scratching around in her crate; wasn’t really sure at first what the sound was, just that something was amiss in the living room.  Upon inspection via flashlight I found the noise was Daisy staring, glassy-eyed and panic-stricken at me.  Her nose and mouth were dripping, her mouth was open and she was making a huffing noise.  I was shocked because I didn’t have the foggiest idea what was going on.  I spoke to her gently, softly….then I heard the thunder far, far away and I knew what was going on.

I got her out of the crate and kept her with me for a while until the noise subsided then I put her back in her crate for the night.  I went back to Facebook or email (whatever) and put the incident out of my mind.  It was raining but not hard; I never thought there was still an issue.  A few minutes later I heard Daisy bouncing her crate around again.  Ignore it, I thought.  She’ll lay down and go to sleep if I don’t intrude on her.  But the noise got louder and I couldn’t ignore anything about it.  I walked back into the living room and Daisy was in full-blown panic.  She had bent the back off the crate and was squeezing herself out the top of the crate.  I snapped on the light, opened the door to her crate and alternately called her to the crate door and told her, “No, Daisy!  No, Daisy!  Come to Mama, Daisy!”.   But she was beyond hearing or following my command.  So I pulled the crate away from the wall to give her enough room so that she didn’t injure herself getting out of the crate.  She was much better after she got out.  She wanted to be held and I accommodated her.  She paced, whined, looked at me with those big frightened eyes and neither of us knew what to do next.

I went out to the garage and brought in a container of cable ties because I didn’t know any other way at 1 AM to put the crate back together so that when the storm blew over it would still provide a place for Daisy to sleep.  It took about 30 or 40 ties to get it secure though you can’t tell from the picture below.  This is what her crate looked like at that point:

Daisy's Crate post panic attack

Daisy’s Crate post panic attack

With 9 dogs of too many sizes in the house I have to be able to keep all of them safe.  I have to be able to crate them to keep them apart at times.  I cannot stay awake 24/7 and watch them yet I do not yet trust that they are safe if out with Daisy.  There are too many variables.  For the most part, Daisy is good out running around.  She doesn’t get into much (except the trash can in the office sometimes where she chews up Kleenex).  She has only peed in the house once and that was during a thunderstorm when she was scared…and only happened once.  She uses the dog door religiously and even in panic she will only pace, cry and try to find a safe place on the couch or loveseat.  She will sleep under our desks even when the other dogs are out with her.  She is good about wearing a muzzle although she has taken them off occasionally.  The problem I have for the most part is Daisy with the other dogs.  Mimi will chase the big dogs out the dog door; she always has…she doesn’t handle stress well and believes that dogs should be seen and not heard, it’s not okay to play in the house.  Mimi’s always been that way and she is single-minded about it and will not back down from her self-appointed chore of ridding the house of noise/play between dogs bigger than herself (at 8 pounds).  Jolie doesn’t like anybody; 2-legged or 4-legged; she’s the only one who has bitten me.  She growls at all the other dogs and holds the distinction of being the only Lindsey dog that has ever got into a physical confrontation with Daisy.  No blood was shed but Jolie pooped all over the kitchen and herself before we saved her and put her in the bathtub (yuck!).  She is old and sick and pitiful but she is a bitchy little dog who wants her way or the highway. Dusty at 6 pounds will bark at Daisy if she sniffs him sometimes, not all the time.  If the little dogs jump on Daisy, I have no doubt that she will jump back and that’s where the problems lie.

So, I went the day after the panic attack and bought Daisy a new, stronger crate.  I slept on the couch with her for 2 or 3 nights because the weather was still bad and she could not/would not/was not able to sleep in her crate.  She was chewing on the new crate, too.  So I told R on the phone that we needed to get some hardware cloth or something to line/reinforce the crate or Daisy would repeat the process.  He just happened to know of some material at work that had been abandoned that might work if he could get permission to take it.  They approved his request and now Daisy has a crate lined on 3 sides with industrial plastic paneling.  It’s smooth to the touch and she cannot chew the bars.  There are no sharp places on the inside to injure her because R and I bolted it on from the inside (which took hours!!!!!!!!).  Of course, by the time it was done the weather cleared up and all has been much better for her.  We now have prescription medicine for thunderstorms and a calming aid she takes every night at bedtime.  I have been able to sleep in my own bed for 4 or 5 days now and life is beginning to calm back down.

Which brings us to Diego, who is a sweet little 5 pound dog who loves to play more than just about anything else.  The bad thing about Diego is that he has no sense when to leave the big dogs alone.  That is how he got between Bandit and the food bowl and got nipped on the ear.  He never knew when to just be still.  He’s a sweet little boy who craves attention and really needs to be the only dog in the house so he could have all the attention lavished upon him, but that’s not this house, so we had to give him back to the lady we got him from.  I’d never forgive myself if one of the big dogs severely injured or killed him, and my stress level was way too high trying to watch them 24/7.  I miss his little face but I have to admit that the entire house is quieter and the stress level has dropped immensely both for me and for the other dogs.  It’s easier to control the canine population without a tiny boy trying to rule the roost and instead constantly putting himself in danger.

I have now woken Daisy with my typing so I’ll get off here and hope she’ll go back to sleep so I can go to bed.  Surgery is Thursday so tomorrow is the last day I have to run errands/prepare prior to getting the big, ugly black boot back.  I need to go to bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!