Saturday, June 30, 2012

Patty - Post op

Patty had her internal female parts modified Thursday.
I delivered her a 7 AM, per instructions, and picked her up at 4 PM that afternoon.

She was barely able to walk at pick-up time.
I had to help her into the car.
Once home, she had no appetite not even for water.
She wanted to stay outside even though it was very hot (100), I thought she would be more comfortable inside.
I prevailed because she was in no shape to argue.
Bad idea.

She got sick and barfed on the gym room carpet. (a common reaction to anesthesia, I understand)
So I let her out for a while.
After a couple of hours she requested to come inside and I accommodated her.
She slept all night in her two favorite locations - next to my bed against the wall, with her head on the A/C vent, or, in the dining room on the cool vinyl floor, in front of her little fan.

Friday morning Patty was better but in obvious pain/discomfort.
She spent the morning going from place to place in the house, trying to find a comfortable place/position.
She was sleep for a while in each spot then have to get up and find another spot.
She even went to places she has never slept before - head under my bed, under my keyboard, in the gym room, in the back storage/workshop room.

Sometime at mid-morning Patty drank some water.
This was a good sign as she had gone over 24 hours with out drinking anything.
When she woke up from her noon nap, she nibbled at her food.
More good.
And when I scratched her, her tail responded with more enthusiasm.

By Friday evening, Patty was eating small snacks every couple of hours.
I responded by giving her some roast turkey bits along with her dry dog food.

Saturday morning Patty wanted out at 4:30 AM - her usual time.
I let her go out and went back to bed for few minutes before I needed to get up for my weekly run.


I felt tired Saturday morning.
I knew that I would break no records during this mornings jog but that was of little concern to me.
The big deal was to finish the whole distance with no stops or injuries.
That goal was accomplished, but not without some challenges.
First, my tiredness wanted part of me to whine about how hard this was.
The firm, consistant answer to that was "shut up and run".
And run we did, even though I was forced into Level 3 breathing for the last third of the party.

Second, was my left leg.
It had some muscle/nerve/connection problem that made each step chirp some undefined complaint.
It felt like a neurological issue except that there was some low-level pain in there also.
Every time I moved my leg forward to take the next step, there was a vague pain around my Sartorius muscle upper connection. (the muscle that lifts the leg forward toward the body.)
Or some place near there.
And as I placed my foot and the weight of my body transfered to my left leg, my thigh muscles acted like they did not want to support my weight.
A precursor to my left leg collapsing.
Not good.
That is the bad news.

The good news is that I finished my four-mile run with no problems.
No stopping.
No collapsing.
No broken parts.
Woo hoo.

Patty - Day 3 Post Op

Patty was much better today.
Her tail was up to at least 90% full wag.
She was hungry and more playful/responsive.
I cooked her an egg to go with her dog food, for breakfast.
She went outside a few times and barked a few times (her first utterances since being sliced upon).
She slept more comfortably and could not get enough food.
All good signs.

The day was not without its troubles.
Patty trangressed the Tradition of the Elders - twice - this afternoon.
She dove into the kitchen trash can and stole the egg shells from this mornings breakfast.
For this, she was banished to the back yard.

Thirty minutes later, she fished something else out of the same can to sniff/lick/taste.
Out to the back yard she went again.

When I invited her back inside a few minutes later, she refused.
She wanted to enjoy the 104 degree heat.
She would show me.

After about an hour, she requested entry to the coolatorium.
Which I granted.
It appears we are still friends.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Patty n Me - Day 2

We slept better last night - about 6 hours.
She spent the night in the narrow (24 inch)space between my bed and the wall.
She seemed to do a lot less scratching during the night.

I put her out when I went running at 5:30.
She was a bit stressed but hopeful.
When I returned an hour or so later, Patty was glad to see me (duh).


The run itself was a total success (again - I am spoiled with blessings)
Because of my lack of sleep, I felt tired from the time we woke up at 4:30 AM.
I let Patty out but she seemed to have no urgency in her.
She came in and I went back to bed hoping to doze off for a little while before my "official" wake up time of 5 AM.
The time came too soon and I was not ready.
I would have slept-in another half hour but I wanted to get done what I planned to do.
So I got up and began the day.

From my first steps on the course I could feel the tiredness in me. (does that make sense? Do we "feel" what is not in us or just what remains?)
But my strategy was, as always, do what I can do.
So I did.

The session really did not go that badly.
The long uphill was a challenge but not significantly more than other times.
In fact, I did better than I have at other times (faster breathing, etc)
On the return loop a part of me flirted with the thought of "stop and walk for a minute or two".
Ego, Runner, Coach, and Running Central, all said "no" to that idea.
Tired equals slower, not, stop and walk.
So I finished my weekly four-mile loop in good shape. (no pains, no injuries, no stops)


After a shower, we had breakfast together and she did not eat all I gave her.
That brought flashbacks of dark events 8 weeks ago.
She was also very calm/sleepy lying on the kitchen floor on her side.
More concern.
But my worries were unfounded, it seems.

I ate my eggs and let her lick the plate.
She liked that and was obviously surprised.
While I washed the dishes, Patty took turns laying on the cool kitchen
floor and playing with her new tennis ball in the back room.

Then, after doing the dishes, I let her out in the backyard again.
This time, the neighbor dogs were out and started to yap.
Patty seemed to want to play with them (a first in my seeing).
She was galloping around the yard when I left her.
I went food shopping (including a 50 p bag of dog food...)

When I returned, she was lying in the shade next to the fence and did
not hear me.
I unloaded the car then let fur-face in.
After everything was put away, I decided to take her for a short walk
to do some more leash training.

The walk was a slow affair.
I had to let her test/examine every new bark and smell and sound.
And she has to learn to come around each telephone pole and mailbox on
my side (as Sally did so amazingly).
We went around the smallest, nearest block, as I had planned.
I did not intend for this to be an extended session.
She needs to get used to a lot of stuff - me, the leash, the noises,
dogs, smells of the neighborhood, etc.
It just will take some time.

A highlight of our walk was when she allowed a neighbor lady to pet her.
Patty was VERY cautious at first, but within two or three minutes,
scratches were being received.
The lady has a rescue dog, as well, so she knows the drill.

Tomorrow will be a test because I will be gone for almost four hours at church.
Patty may not know how long because she cannot read a clock.

Interesting factoid - Patty came to the shelter the same week Sally
died - four days apart.

Friday, June 22, 2012


I don't know if this is going to work.

My nights sleep amounted to about three or four hours.
Hers must have been about the same.
At midnight she seemed like she wanted to play.
Midnight is not my play time.

She loves my attention. (duh).
She does not lick me - not face, not hands - she nuzzles with her
nose. (using her nose, she wiggled it into my relaxed hand and moved
my fingers so that I would scratch her)
She does not jump up on me, but does lift her front paw to get my attention.
She has laid down on her side/back and allowed me to rub her chest and
tummy - which she seems to LOVE.
She seems a bit hyper at times and when I rub her tummy, I do it very
slowly, which seems to calm her.
She is not as ticklish as Sally - very little hind leg kicking when I
pet various parts.

Patty is a sweet dog.
She has some issues.

1 - she cannot stand to be away from me.
If I leave her alone in the back yard for longer than five minutes,
she tries to get out.
I have seen her trying to climb over my low gate (to go where?)

2 - she is hot natured.
She pants like a freight train (steam).
All night.
I fixed a little fan for her in the dining room and she laid in front
of it for a few minutes off and on, but she preferred to sleep next to
my bed.
I turned on the ceiling fan for us, which, no doubt, helped a little.

3 - She has allergies.
Evidently, Patty is allergic to my carpet. (or something....)
She spent the night gnawing and scratching herself.
At first I thought it was left-over fleas but her fur is pure white
down to her pink and tan skin.
I have not seen a single flea on her.
When she is in the kitchen for a while or outside, she does not scratch as much.

It occurred to me this morning that Patty may be an "Inside" dog.

Sally was an outside dog from her third day with me as a puppy.
She liked being inside with me, but she was happy to play and sleep in
the backyard all day and night, hot, cold, rain, snow, whatever, with just visits inside at meal time.
This was changing (spending more time inside as she matured), but I
think she would have always preferred to be outside most of the time.

Patty is very well behaved inside.
She does not try to climb on the furniture/bed, she does not try to
play with my clothes, she has not wet or plopped in the house (yet).

More later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Testing The Waters For A New Dog

No, I have not died.
Just busy, and not much to say.

What follows is my report to my sister on my visit to a rescue kennel to inquire about a Great Pyrenees dog.

I just got back from the SPCA Kennel in Pisgah, Alabama.
It is about 80 miles away.
I met "Perl". (her name given by the kennel).
I went into her "cage" and sat on the floor by the gate, Perl stayed
outside in her little area.
She wagged her tail tentatively but would not come closer than about 12 feet.
She has a very raspy bark, but did not bark very much.
The manager/lady gave me some doggy snacks to use to entice Perl to
come nearer to me.
I sat there for about an hour and she (the dog) would come no closer
to me than about three feet, and then only to quietly pick up the
treat and take it outside to eat it.

Finally, I gave up.
The dog was obviously sweet and wanted to engage, but was scared or
shy and was uncomfortable around me/stranger/male(?).
If I lived closer and could come over every day or so for a week, I
felt that we could gradually bond, but that was not possible with the
distance as it is.

The manager offered to bring the dog into the lobby.
I agreed.
She said I would have to help her carry the big dog through the rear
kennel area to the lobby.
I agreed (suspicious that the dog, who did not want to engage me alone
would allow me to touch her and carry her hind end).
But the dog allowed us to pick her up and carry her into the lobby
with no problems.

Once she was in the lobby she was a different dog.
Her tail wagged off and on, she sniffed around a bit (there were
several cats in cages in there).
The lady broke out some kind of doggy snack that looked like a baby
hot dog. (different from what she gave me in the kennel)
She fed Perl a couple of bites then she gave it to me and I broke off
a bite and offered it to the dog.
She ate it out of my hand immediately.

Soon, Perl was allowing me to pet her (gently) all over her. (head,
ears, neck, chest, back, hips, etc)
She had a serious case of fleas, but was otherwise in good shape.
She does NOT like a leash and wants to pull away when one gets put on her.
But Perl was well behaved even when distressed.
She reminds me of Sally in her coloring.
I told the lady that I wanted to think about whether to take her or not.

In anticipation of a possible transfer, the lady took Perl into the
washing area to give her a bath (she needed it...)
Just before she took the dog into the wash area, Perl was standing
next to me, with her head pressing against the side of my leg,
allowing me scratch her head and ears. (was this a "bond"?)
While the lady sprayed the shampoo on the dog, she stood quietly in the wash area,
enduring her bath.

I am scared to take this animal.
I am not sure why.
It is clear that she needs some training and some time to adjust from
a bad beginning, but she is clearly a sweet animal with a calm
I argue with myself - what's not to like?
All we need is some time.

As much as I wanted to treat Sally right, I feel a double
responsibility to rehabilitate "Perl" if I were to adopt her.
We do not know all that she went through as a puppy other than she was starved.
At the best, she was just neglected.
She has no scars to indicate any worse treatment.
This weighs on me - irrationally, I suspect.
The good news is, dogs don't expect much others.

Stay tuned....


April 15 th of 2013 was my last year to work for HR Block. I disliked the corporate pressure to make us call customers to try ...