Friday, May 28, 2010

As expected

Today I can laugh. Yesterday? Not so much.

I had to be up at the crack of dawn yesterday; nothing different than every other day, but no food for the dogs. My dogs are used to routine, expecially Henry. In fact he demands it. He demands it quite loudly. Following me step by step through the house. Demanding it. This time it was food. He was having a minor surgical procedure and food was restricted after midnight. He demanded. I could not explain, and am not sure I would have even if I could have. He demanded. I yelled. He demanded. I got the water bottle. He demanded. I went back to bed. Boy did THAT confuse him!! The other two seemed to watch in amusement, until they realized that they were not getting their breakfast as well. There is nothing sadder than a droopy eared, droopy tailed, Cardigan Corgi.

Anyway. I needed to be on the road by 7am for an 8am appointment. I got Henry in the car and ran back in to feed the long tails. Kate could wait, but I didn't know when I would be back and felt the need to give the pup his breakfast. They both got fed. I headed out.

Four hours later I was back home. When I walked into the house I was greeted by a mess of epic proportions. Truly. My kitchen floor is white ceramic tile. (Yes, I hate it, but it came that way and until I spring for laminate for the whole house it will stay that way.) It was no longer white. The entire floor was brown. Strange. the odor was not as one would assume. Yes, a tad, but nothing like the mess should dictate. The pup's bib, normally a stunning white, was also brown. Then I saw it. A chewed bottle of chocolate syrup. Sugar Free. Panic rose in my throat. Luckily I had recently picked up a nice fresh bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide. I grabbed it, the two dogs, and a syringe and headed to the dog pen. Two happy, glad to see me, doggies hopped alongside. My pants quickly getting coated in a mix of chocolate and uh, well, poo. The H2O2 did the job and I found that Kate had consumed a container of Top Ramen. (I don't "do" Top Ramen, so likely moved it with me over nine years ago.) The pup? His breakfast, chocolate, a few noodles, chocolate, some styrofoam, chocolate. Panic now ensues. Back to read the container and a call to a friend. She makes it worse by telling me how deadly the sugar substitute is. I quickly hang up and call the vet. I am fearing liver failure, kidney failure. The vet gives me the option of the Emergency Vet for 24 hours or watching at home. Since he is not dehydrated, acting fine, although tired from purging, I opt to do my own 24 hour watch. I can watch him each and every second, not crate him and do an occasional vital sign check. I had instruction on what to watch for in chocolate toxicity, but was told all was likely fine. It seems that the sugar substitute that is so deadly to dogs is Xylitol. This was Sorbitol. Had I stopped to think I would have known it was fine as we used it quite a bit in the hospital to help with a sodium/potassium imbalance in the lower gut; it is also, dum, dum, dummmmmm... a laxative. sigh. yet again...

So, now I am stuck, literally, with cleaning the kitchen. I have fenced it off so no dog could help. It was bad. Overwhelming, actually. My little floor cleaning system mop was shivering in the closet. Thanks to a Costco trip I had bought a monster box of the disposable pads. My first "step" (ewwww) was to scrape as much up as possible including the bits of Ramen cup, shredded potty pad, plastic from the bottle, and other nasties. Then soapy water to soak a bit. 6 pads later I was ready to use the spray that comes on the mop. By now the floor is almost white again. The grout is an interesting chocolate brown, but I am getting there. Now it is time to turn the puppy white chested again. Into the tub and grab the nice lavender scented baby wash. The vet said to keep him quiet as increased heart rate is what can exacerbate the chocolate toxicity. "Soothing. Relaxing." The bottle states just that in quite large letters. Besides, he smells nice! At this point anything but fake chocolate would probably smell nice, however. Clean, relaxed, sleepy puppy is deposited on a towel onto the bed. Henry hops up. Oh yes. Henry. He is recuperating. Hopefully he appreciated that I kept the other dogs away so he could just chill. I informed him of that fact and he gave me a nudge as if to say "yeah, right." As I towel dried the pup the other two snuggled in and we all napped; blissfully smelling the lavender fields of Sequim...

When I awoke I did a check and all three dogs were fine. They all rolled their eyes at me not unlike my human children as I did the head injury checks in the middle of the night following a fall all those years ago. I felt the same happy relief when they stirred. I got up and began the work on the grout. Again, Costco saves me. I had bought the big pack of sponges. The scrubby side did the trick and the kitchen was back to where it started a few hours earlier. The carpet was aided by the Nature's Miracle. Yep, it works on chocolate too. Cool!!

This morning starts fresh and new. The rain has taken care of the dog pen clean up. My brain is busy trying to come up with a way to lock down the turn table cabinet. Even if I empty it someone could get stuck or hurt in the thing. (My theory, for what it is worth, is that Kate was after the fake chicken smelling packet in the Ramen cup. It was on the top shelf of the turnstile. She got on her hind legs and shuffled through until she found the Ramen, knocking a bottle of syrup on the floor. Puppy sees plastic bottle and thinks "toy." First puncture and it becomes tasty as well as paw paint. The rest is now history.) Until I figure out how to lock the thing down the dogs will be crated when I leave. No big deal; I just like the idea of giving them more room if I will be gone for a longer period of time. There must be kid proof locks for those cabinets; I need to take a return to Lowes sometime and will check into it then.

For now, I sit here with sleeping dogs at my side. Smelling lavender, and smiling. Yep, I can chuckle about it today. Everything is back as it should be.

Song of the day(s):
Yesterday? "How Much is That Doggy in the Window?" Patty Page
Today? "Everything is Beautiful" Ray Stevens


Monday, May 24, 2010

Of pumps

Both anatomical and mechanical, that is.

First the good. The pool pump is in and running, finally. The frogs and salamanders are dying as I type, as the green water has been shocked BIG time. It will probably take the week to get the pool cleaned out and the solar blanket on. Rain or shine it will get done. I so dreaded installing the pump as I feared it would leak even though I so carefully changed the seals. Now I want to sing "I am woman, hear me roar...I can do anything..." NO LEAKS. It took less than 30 minutes, probably because I took it apart so much last year trying to seal up the bloody leak. I wish I had done it a month ago as I had promised myself I would. So it goes.

Now the bad. Both big dogs have had issues with their gut pumps. My house stinks. I will be heading out in a bit for another jug of Nature's Miracle. So far the puppy is fine. I suspect the turkey necks didn't agree with them. That is the only thing that they had that the puppy did not get, and their guts began the purge in the middle of the night Saturday. They were given the necks on Saturday late morning. I have to replenish my stash of Immodium and Pepto. It has worked to the point where it is easier to clean up. I wish it was just a matter of changing the seals to plug these leaks.

Then there is the fact that I am pumped. I ran my first "race" this past weekend. It was a short one mile fun run, which made it perfect for testing the new leg. Tomorrow I have an early morning appointment to take care of a few minor details. It was amazing. I am terribly out of shape, but that will come, I hope. In two weeks training officially begins for the Triathlon season. (Add dog shows to the mix and you see why I must get the pool done this week.)

So I am off to Petco for a jug of enzymes for the carpet. To Home Depot for a gasket to replace the one I bought to replace the one that my toilet needs. (A Kate casualty on a counter surfing incident a while back.) To Wallymart to replenish the medicine cabinet. Then home to spend some quality table time with the Peanut.

I am definitely re-tired. Well, I am tired, anyway. I do look forward to the day this poor carpet can go into the dumpster and be replaced with laminate. It sure would be easier...


Friday, May 21, 2010

But I WANT it!

It's about that time. No, it is about PAST that time. I really need a decent camera. No, I need a good camera. I have a decent camera. It works fine for snappy shot type pictures, but I want better. Until I moved here I had the SLR and multiple lenses thing going on. I left them behind. I am not sure why, but I did. I get a bit of solace in the fact that it was a 35mm film camera, but that camera was my constant companion when I taught childbirth classes all those years ago. I took hundreds of pictures with it, and many were quite nice, thank you very much. I remember when the camera was purchased (the second SLR) it seemed like it was six months pay to get it. (I said it SEEMED like it). Now that same camera can probably be had for a few bucks on CraigsList. Knowing that background, why then does the idea of having to learn the digital version seem so daunting?? I suspect it is one of my ways of trying to convince myself that I really don't need it. But I do. All too often I want to pitch my camera into the woods as that perfect picture of the peanut is lost to the lapse time between when I push the shutter button and when the camera actually takes the picture. It is difficult to tell the puppy "just wait a few seconds with that goofy look on your face; wait, wait, wait, oh maaaan, you moved!" You would not believe the number of blurred tail shots that get sent to the little garbage can in cyberspace. The camera elves are getting a good chuckle each time I push the shutter down; I can almost hear them laughing at me. (You know they ride on Pembroke Corgis, don't you? Yes, look it up, they do. Oh wait, that is fairies that ride on Pembroke Corgis, never mind.)

Anyway, I am officially beginning my research of cameras. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

On to other things.

The leg. I think I will be bringing it home today. I was supposed to take delivery on Wednesday but it had a leak in the suction system. He thinks he found it and took care of it. I hope so, as I have just a month before the Mary Meyers Tri with my son. My first. His first. Our chance to cross that finish line together. I get a rush just thinking about it...but I must train, and that is difficult without a leg to stand on. Or run on. I found an artist to do my artwork for the blade. He is very excited about it and seems to appreciate my warped sense of humor. I suspect that tattoo artists get all kinds of weird requests, so at first he just pretended to take it all in stride. Once we talked he really started figuring out that I was serious and got into it; offering to do the artwork for free. I refused. He is an artist and should be compensated for his time. I have saved my pennies for this and it is available. Now the guy is really psyched and is making all kinds of contacts and arrangements to see that everything comes together as it should. Hopefully I can arrange a meeting this weekend to get the ball rolling. It won't be the same as having my son's artwork, but his work and school schedule just doesn't give him the time needed and I want this done by the first race. Of course the artwork will make me run so very much faster. Yep, no doubt about it.

Word came down the pike yesterday that daughter had won a prosthetics cover for me. We are talking a bag that a person wears over a cast, or prosthesis, that allows one to swim, wade, fish, etc. She had to write why she should be the one chosen. And she won. Yes, I am humiliated by my own daughter. She spoke the truth when she said that she thought it would be easier for me to use my pool slide. And all this time I thought it was ingenious that I figured a way to get up those fifteen stories to the top of the slide, put the leg into a garbage bag with a rope attached, swing it juuuust right so I could carefully lay it down at the edge of the pool, slide down and then swim to the edge, hoist myself out onto the sharp pebbled deck, put on leg, at the chair that has been left in just the right spot, and repeat. A couple of trips up and down the slide and the sun has set; I can have the skeeters fly that baby down to the deck. It will be interesting to see how this thing really works, which won't happen until I get her the measurements so she can get them to the company. Then again, the pool is still a frog pond at this point. sigh.

The pupster is getting nubs for teeth. He looks like the first grader with new teeth. Ones that seem way too big for their faces. Big front teeth and little sharp daggers as canines. I suspect if I were to brush Kate's tail I would fine a few teeth embedded in the hair. Nugget tends to ride Kate's wave. Literally. As she is running full speed in the field he gets just close enough to grab her tail and hangs on for the ride. It would be funnier if I didn't worry that he was teaching her to lift her tail up to try to avoid being caught. There are way too many Cardigan Corgis with spitzy tails. Kate is not one of them....yet. I think she looks at Henry's nub and lusts after it. I keep telling her that she can tell the pup to back off, but she won't do it. At least not yet. Soon he will be bigger than her and it might be too late. It is a good thing he is so darned cute. With 4x4s for legs, satellite dishes for ears, and the dough eyes, perhaps Kate feels sorry for him. Me? I think he is almost perfect. However, I am not sure how well everything will go together come July and his first show. At this point I am just hoping that his ears are finally up without help from tape. The endless task of taping has this pup run for cover when he hears the tape pull from the roll. He is getting so big that he can no longer eat in his small crate if his ears are taped. Poor baby.

Another week has come and gone. Another month has about come and gone. How is this possible? What have I done? Where is my head? At least I know where one of my legs is, and I hope it will be attached to my body this afternoon. Wouldn't it be nice to have a good camera so I can get some pictures? I do think, however, that I can get some decent snaps of it with the old camera. Chances are it will "wait." I do need to come up with a name for this one, me thinks...


Sunday, May 16, 2010

This and that

Yesterday I had a bike clinic. I failed miserably. I have had my bike in the house on a trainer. Piece of cake to ride for miles...with it locked in a tight, upright, position. I learned a lot, besides the fact that I suck at biking. First, my seat was too high. I had thought that anyway, but "noooo" says son. "It is just right." Yeah, just right. Tell that to my bruise where bruises are not meant to be! Then the toe basket/strap thingies. Oh yeah, they will be great. NOT! What I learned? Besides that I am a terrible bike rider? I absolutely must start with prosthesis side up. Duh! I can't feel when I am on the pedal. If I start on the pedal it is a no brainer, eh? I got better as the clinic progressed and I made a few minor modifications. I will be able to do what I need to do for triathlons. There are NO STP rides in my future, however, and I find it much less enjoyable than riding with "a twist of my wrist." I came home and took the toe cages off the pedals. (They were pretty scuffed up from dragging upside down on the turns.) Eventually I may go to a clip on pedal on the long side. Perhaps. Maybe. it will get better as I ride more and get more confident. No more driving to the ferry unless I have the dogs along or plan to drive on. If I can't bear to get on the bike I will be walking or running. Period.

Then the dogs. The peanut has been losing teeth like crazy. They hurt when stepped on. He is growing up way too fast. Nugget and Henry have become good buddies, although it sounds like Henry wants to kill him most of the time.

Kate found a perch that allows her the perfect view, but out of the way. This crate is HUGE! It's 42" long/wide, 30" tall, and 28" wide/long. (OK, so I use the door on what would be the side and call it the front!) I had a funny feeling that some girl dog might try to get up there so put a plank on it. After I caught her up there I also moved chairs closer to it so she wouldn't try to dive off.

My house looks like it has been invaded by toddlers. As soon as I get some things put away the pup starts working on things that he shouldn't have. I now start out the day with just a couple of toys and add as he gets bored. This was taken mid day, so you can imagine how my evening is spent. This chore, however, requires the four leggeds to be out in the pen or in the big crate.

Tomorrow begins another week. I am still working on Nugget and the toenail grinder. At two nails a day, we will never be done. But he will be used to it, or a blithering mess.


Friday, May 14, 2010


can sure do wondrous things


Monday, May 10, 2010


Somehow this pup realized my fascination and joy at seeing a certain blue girl. (My neighbor's had to point it out to me as I am a bit lame and never noticed.) Any others see it??

Friday, May 7, 2010


And I already got to run on it!!

Happy Third

Miss Kate.

It has been a crazy year and a half. You are finally growing up, now. Your weird compulsions are almost non existent and you are looking mah-vel-ous. It is amazing what time, and a puppy, can do. What a nice early birthday present, my dear pup. (You must remember to thank Auntie Kim when you see her.) The frantic look has disappeared from your eyes, and it is quite nice to be able to walk away from you for a few minutes without you flipping out. I'm sorry for whatever weird thoughts you have; you see, we are in it for the long haul.

So as I begin the preparations for showing this weekend, rest assured that it is all about you. I think you are fantastic. Almost perfect, really. You are my first. (OK, Henry is the first corgi, but you are my first show dog.) We are learning together.

I will now begin my day with a smile. I will also ponder slug slime on your back from the pup who thought the slug was horse poo and tried to eat it with sharp little puppy teeth, then needed a napkin as the slime dangled from your mouth to the ground. You were it.

Yep, it is all about you, Kate. Happy Birthday, pup.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


and everything changes.

4:45am and the first morning call sounds. yep. There is a "baby" in the house. A house training baby. It goes something like this...

A slight stirring on my pillow. I stayed up way too late trying to figure out that last Sudoku puzzle. (It was the only time I could do one without little puppy teeth trying to steal the pen, or the book.) I know I must get the leg on, which takes time as I must squeeze it on over the scrapes and bruises...but cannot take too much time or the puppy will have an "accident." (Yes, like they are really accidents...what a silly thing to call it!) So I take a deep breath, (which appears to be the sign to the big dogs that I am now officially awake and they launch upon me) throw back the covers, and the dogs, and grab leg parts and pieces. All the while I am getting a morning bath by three corgis, one of which is snarling and growling, then barking a piercing bark, as HE wants to be the one that greets me first. The two big dogs launch off the bed via ottoman, the HE man barking incessantly, the little man now yipping and squeezing his legs together. Me trying to make sure that little man stays on the bed and doesn't try to jump off thereby injuring himself and finding a nice place on the rug to "let loose," all the while bellowing "SHUUUUT UUUUPPPPPP" at HE dog. Leg on, pants dragging behind I hurriedly head for the front door. She dog follows close by, stepping on dragging pants as I now am yelling "MOVE" along with the aforementioned "please quiet down, class." Out the door goes puppy, and I stand on the porch and slip long side into pants leg then leashes on big dogs and let them out as well. One foot, the "real" one, is shoeless, as I obviously had no time to slip a shoe on if I had no time to pull up the pants...duh!!...and the wet grass is freezing cold. I mean, freezing. Seriously. Crunchy. It is May. What's with that??? OK, by now it is 4:47am. I get the dogs reigned in so that I can go use the bathroom. I was outside freezing my foot off and doing the potty dance. That is the ONLY thing that kept my foot from thawing the grass enough to permanently stick it to the grass as it refroze at oh-dark-thirty. At this point I sit on the throne and there are three faces parked at the door staring at me. Three pairs of corgi ears. The smallest beginning to wilt again. (Make note: re tape ears today.) Pick up the roll and the dogs begin to run. All three. Back and forth in the hall. One barking. It is their button that the day has officially it is their button that breakfast is imminent. Yep, that's it. So I wander down the hall, avoiding big puppy feet, and gather dog dishes. Turn on the hot water and begin the routine. A scoop of dry in each bowl. Carefully measured. Really. Then the meat, the vits, the cottage cheese for the pup, the salmon oil. Henry first, in the kitchen. Kate next, at my computer, Nugget last, in the crate. Then the dash back to my chair before Henry finishes and comes to steal from Kate. Once thwarted he heads to stare at Nugget locked securely in his crate. Nugget is sending messages to Henry "Open the crate and I will share." Henry begins to bark..."he said he would share"...Kate finishes and picks a favorite bone for the morning. I can now go get my robe to throw over me as it it cold in the house!! Puppy is done, so it is now time to go back outside. Once in after a successful outing that took at least an hour to find the perfect spot, not really but it seemed like it, Kate needs to go out. No, she didn't want to go a few minutes earlier, she didn't NEED to. Nugget must accompany her, of course, so out we go again. My boot that used to be at the computer has been taken under a bed somewhere, so my toes are now turning blue. Back inside I finally get to settle a bit and warm up. Nope. Henry. He refused to go out before as he had stolen Kate's bone, but now couldn't wait. sigh. No wonder the house is so cold. The door is open most of the morning! OK. It is now about 5:10. For real? I could swear I have been up for hours. OK, maybe it is 5:15, or even 5:20. The dogs are all settled chewing...on something. A quick puppy check comes up with some strange piece of plastic bracket. Trade for a toy and the fun begins. They all want that toy. That ONE toy. All three are now barking. I have to laugh when I see that the peanut has wedged himself between the folded up treadmill and the wall. He is the only one that can fit there. He knows it. He looks like a striking snake, but is laughing at them. He taunts a bit too much and one of the bigger dogs snags the toy. Dejected the puppy goes to the tile entry and flops down. Kate's cue that it is puppy bath time. For a brief few minutes all is quiet. Then it happens. Henry discovers that the toy has a squeaker. The rhythmic squeak gets the other two interested. Now they all want it again. Henry snarls, and squeaks, and snarls. Eventually they give up. Then he drops it from the couch. They are still not interested. He won't get down and get it. But wants it. From three feet away he barks at me. I raised three kids, I know the game. I refuse to play. My head is pounding. He won't stop. I throw something at him. Cue the two other dogs. Playtime!!!

The sun is now up. It is too early to take the dogs out to the field for their first romp. I love that time. Not only do the dogs get to greet the horse, and it is so darn cute, but I can wear them all out a bit so that I can relax, clean up, and start my day. yep. Start the day. It hasn't officially started yet. Wait, I smell the coffee. But I didn't fix any. How is that possible? Oh maaannnn...that's not coffee I smell.


Good morning. It truly is. For all of that, these dogs do make me laugh. That is what it is all about. I do love them.


Monday, May 3, 2010


Last night I was putting together an order for grooming supplies. My brain was moving much faster than my body, due to a most wonderful steak dinner. I finally gave up and went to bed, figuring memory would come back after some sleep. Of course it did, a couple of hours later. Instead of going through the whole leg on ritual I grabbed my fancy new "3Day" crutches. Tiny and lightweight. I gimped to the computer and finished my order, hit "send" (in hopes it will be here by Thursday, rather than saving shipping and picking up at the shows this weekend) and headed back to bed. I think I was smiling a wee bit too much. As I neared the bedroom one crutch tip hit the bathroom linoleum and slid. These fancy little crutches only drawback is that they have little hard cane tips...polished cane tips. My arms did the splits. Right in the middle, and directly in front of my body was a double door jam. One to the bedroom, one to the bathroom. IMPACT! I haven't a clue what hit what, as it all happened so fast. My left and my right knee caps both show damage. The right has an actual line that is skinned and bruised; I feel pretty sure it was hit by the jam. The left is by far the most sore. It immediately swelled and was on fire. It had the weirdest pattern on it; I don't know if it is rug burn or what. My lip also got caught, but with minimal damage. By now the puppy, who is on the bed, the very, very, tall bed, is whining , barking, and looking like he may try to jump down. Not wanting him to get hurt I butt crawled to the edge of the bed to assure him I am fine...laying down was near impossible. Any thing on that knee felt like acid. And it was cold in the house. No water at the bedside so I knew it was suck it up time. I could either go find a bottle of water, or lay there until it subsided. Ice would have been nice, but same problem. No ice at the bedside. What's with that?? What a slacker I am. Eventually the puppy pills took effect and I fell asleep. This morning I have had a chance to do a more in depth assessment and I haven't a clue how I took that dive. I think the peanut butter cookie saved my face. Yep...there was peanut butter cookie everywhere. Oh, I guess I failed to mention that I was carrying a peanut butter cookie in my mouth at the time of impact. It exploded. EX-PLO-DID, it did. Somehow I managed to get the knee and all the puffy tissue squished into the prosthesis. (I am so delighted that this new fancy leg is not reliant by the patellar tendon for support as all in the past have been. I figure that it will keep the swelling in check a bit. Right wrist is tweaked a bit; likely twisted when the crutch took off. The shoulder is a bit sore as well. Right knee is impressive looking. It looks like it ran into a door jam. Left knee will be mighty purdy colors at my next appointment on Friday. I'm almost wishing I hadn't flushed all those meds a while back. (Chill, I didn't really flush them, I took them to the pharmacy to dispose of.) However, I have way too much to do to sit around on pain meds shows are coming up this weekend.

So, the lesson here? Always have ice at the bedside? Never buy crutches with small polished tips? Carpet the bathroom? Save a pain pill for emergencies?

I'm thinking none of the above. All will be fine.

Where would I be without Peanut Butter?? Yep, I think that is it. That and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...