Monday, March 21, 2011
The life of a dog....

Well, owning a dog is a LOT more work than owning a cat. Roxie is a very very sweet dog, but she does have her issues. Apparently she suffers from abandonment issues. She has claimed me as her "person" and wants to be at my side always. Right now she's lying happily at my feet doing what she does best - unfortunately that's sleeping and farting.

She's very loving and gentle. She let us give her a bath yesterday and now she feels and smells good. She has not bothered the cat (well, Tater finds her mere existence bothersome, and is annoyed that she insists on eating the cat food). She loves to snuggle and give big wet sloppy dog kisses. She doesn't bark, or snarl (except at really big dogs when we're out walking). She can't be left alone though.

For the first week I felt like a prisoner. When I was home, I was locked in our bonus room with her, or had her on the leash at all times. It must be like having a new born baby (only not as hard) - some days I didn't even get to shower! I bribed both Roxie and Tater with chicken, and they now can be in each others vicinity without me having to worry. Roxie ignores Tater, and he growls at her if she gets a little too close. They both vie for my attention. I often find myself petting them on either side of me. Perhaps this will be good upper arm exercise?

The problems start when we have to leave Roxie alone at home. The first time I left her alone in her crate, she managed to break out. I don't know how she did it, but the great Houdini dog squeezed herself out of the corner of the crate. We zip-tied the crate and figured we were ok.

Last Thursday we went out for a green beer with my friend Maryann. Since she was being so good, we left Roxie loose. MISTAKE! She found a pie pushed back on the counter and ate it, leaving sticky strawberry-rhubarb yummyness all over the floor. She also ripped apart a bag of clean recyling and spread that throughout the house. She had quiet the evening.

On Saturday night we again went out. Hubby worked all day and I met him for dinner before he had to go and work all evening. I had plans to go to a party. We left Roxie out. After dinner, hubby went home to change his shirt. Roxie had pulled down the bread basket, ate the bread and shredded the plastic all over the house. In all the excitement, she also had a little accident. Brian cleaned up the accident, left the mess for me, put Roxie in her crate and went back to work.

When I got home, Roxie met me at the door. She fought like the devil to get out of her crate, somehow busted out of the back of it, squeezing her big body through the crack, over the night table and out to freedom. Everything on the night table was on the floor, and the mini-blinds on the window did not survive her struggle. This was very upsetting.

Of course Roxie didn't mean to be destructive. She was just scared. So..... hubby zip locked the entire crate, we're working with her on separation training, and hopefully she'll calm down and know that when we leave her we'll always come back.

Except for the breakouts (and the farts) she is a really delightful doggie. I'm sure we can get through this as a family. I just hope she feels comfortable sooner than later.

On other fronts, I am slowly working on the crochet bunny that I started. I keep messing up the decrease formulas, so it's taking longer than it should, but hopefully it will be cute in the end.

Saturday, March 12, 2011
Meet Roxie

My last blog post was about a really bad day and about losing my baby boy, Bogey. We are still broken hearted about how we lost Bogey, and doing what we can to make sure that others don't board pets at that veterinarian.

Life goes on, though, and today, quite unexpectedly, we brought a new member into our family. Meet Roxie. Roxie is a 72 pound bundle of sweetness! We started our day with no intention of adopting an animal, but when we say Roxie, we fell in love with her. She is a 3 year 8 month boxer mix. She has the sweetest disposition - she's just a big ball of love.

Tater is less than delighted with his new "little" sister. Thankfully Roxie does not seem overly interested in Tater, but the site of her sends him under the bed. We're crate training Roxie, and she's very good about staying in her crate, so we'll be able to introduce them slowly, and hopefully soon they'll be fast friends. Let's hope so anyway.

So welcome to our family, Roxie. We already love you and we're glad to have you!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011
A really horrible day.

Monday - Tuesday was the worst 24 hours I've had in years.

We went on vacation last week. It was nice. It was our 5th anniversary on Saturday, and this was to be the honeymoon we never got to take.

We were going to have someone come into the house to watch the cats. Bogey has been sick and had chronic diarrhea. We decided to board the cats at the vet so that Bogey would be watched and could get IV fluids if he dehydrated.

We got home on Sunday afternoon, and picked up Bogey and Tater first thing Monday morning. When we got there we asked how they did in boarding. The vets office said that they did well. We asked if he had been given fluids, and they said that there was nothing noted on his chart so he must not have needed any. They brought the cats out in the carriers and we took them home. When we got them out, Bogey was half dead. He was totally dehydrated. He was skinny beyond belief, and he couldn't walk. His back legs just dragged behind him. He tried to go up the stairs and I helped him. He just lay and drank water for a long time. He couldn't even stand.

Brian and I both had to go to work. We called the vet and questioned them, and they said the cats did well. Brian wanted to know input and output for Bogey; they said the vet would call back. The vet didn't call. Finally I called the vet. They were very defensive and said that Bogey did fine and that his disease was manifesting itself and that I could bring him in to discuss end of life options. I asked why he wasn't given fluids and why his decline wasn't noted on his file, and they said that they watched him and didn't see any problems. They also said he didn't have diahrrea, which means that they lied or that Bogey never had a bowel movement all week.

Brian came home and worked from home in the afternoon, and Bogey was not doing well. Brian laid down, and Bogey just laid next to him. His back legs didn't work at all anymore. Brian called a different vet and they gave us an appt for 8:30 Tuesday morning.

We stayed up with Bogey all night. He had no strength at all. I had to touch him to check if he were still breathing. He cried out a few times when he got uncomfortable, but there wasn't anything we could do.

We took him to the vet in the morning. We were both crying. He was totally dehydrated. His temp was dangerously low and his weight was down to just 4.8 pounds. He lost close to 2 pounds in the week he was in boarding. They didn't even notice. The new vet said we could put him to sleep or we could immediately give him fluids and then run all kinds of blood work to see if there was something we could do to help.

Brian and I decided he was too sick to go through more tests, and we put him to sleep. It was horrible. This is the 3rd cat that I've had to put down and the 5th pet that I've lost, and it was unbearable. He was neglected at the first vet and he suffered unnecessarily because they didn't care enough to look at him. He was almost 16, and he had a long good life, but he died terribly. We felt so helpless. We're so angry and so sad. It's just unconscionable that a veterinary office could neglect an animal so badly.

When it was over, we had to go to work. We both felt like crap after being up all night and crying so hard.

I got to work and then was told that I was being let go. I lost my cat and my job in a two hour span. It really was a bad day.