Monday, October 17, 2011

Yucky Sunday

I hope that Sunday can be considered an end to the week rather than a beginning this time because if this Sunday is the beginning then this week will be a doozy...

My boss went out of town Friday afternoon and through the weekend as he often does during the fall college football season. We had a cat in the hospital who had pyometra; emergency spay performed Friday, and a dog that I intended to discharge Saturday when I was at the clinic taking care of the cat. Fortunately for me, the kennel schedule got abruptly changed at the last minute putting the best worker who can actually be depended upon on this weekend rather than the worst one who was scheduled.

The reason I say fortunately for me is Sam. The last few days have been really bad for the old fellow. I'm pretty positive it has to do with barometric pressure. We've had a low pressure system which, by the by also affects my vestibular system like crazy, seems to make his walking worse. Since Wednesday evening when he got himself stuck partially in the dog house where his food was, he has not been able to rise unassisted. Once I get him up, he is typically able to ambulate although he loses his balance easily and cannot go far therefore I'm using a sling then his tail when he urinates and / or gets a little more steady / strong on his feet. Quite remarkably, he actually cooperated to being inside the house during the night and part of the day until Saturday night.

Saturday, I felt as if someone had drugged me unawares. After going to the clinic and taking care of the cat (who is doing quite well although not eating great voluntarily yet), I came home with the intention of cooking us a good meal. After taking Sam out, I was out of energy and fell asleep; it was like I seriously couldn't keep my eyes open. We decided on a light snack and early bed, as in 7:30 or 8:00. I had just laid down and was drifting off when Sam started trying to get up and got very agitated. I got up, took him out, and he tried to wander off into the woods. Refused to use the bathroom and acted annoyed that I wouldn't let him go. I took him back in and we repeated the process with my taking him out, offering him water, offering him food, laying in the floor on his cushion with him and petting him, etc. until finally, I took him out and he deliberately laid down in one of his favorite spots and refused to budge. I gave in to his superior stubbornness and let him remain outside.

Finally, I thought I might be able to sleep but then I was assaulted by Peanut barking demandingly at me. Usually she does this when she wants to play and not in the middle of the night. This time, she actually wanted to be held and petted, a new behavior for her since up until now she has let us approach her for any loving. After that, I kept waking, worrying about Sam, getting the flashlight and going outside to make sure he was okay and not too cold. Sunday morning, I went out early, got him up and moving then brought him in for a couple of hours to warm up. At that point, he demanded to go back outside and started walking around as good as he was before this whole episode started, including rising on his own. The only bad thing is that there is another system coming mid-week... I anxiously await his doggie wheelchair since I think I'm getting too old for this. I keep thinking how old I'll be when the horse puppies get old. Yikes! Better find myself some strong help by then.

On Saturday, I got two messages. The first was from my technician / friend who is out on maternity leave. Her dog was diagnosed with a kidney tumor that had already metastasized to the lungs and had caused hypertrophic osteopathy several months ago. She suddenly started going downhill over the past few days and had reached the point that it was time to let her go. The second was from a long-time client who has become a friend. Her dog had a mammary tumor that I removed last year but it had lymphatic invasion already and has recurred and metastasized to the lungs recently. She also has gone downhill over the past few days (I had seen her on Wednesday and we talked about knowing when it was time) and was ready to go. I arranged to meet both of them Sunday because it is such a hard decision to reach, when it is time and someone is ready, I don't like to make them wait since I feel it makes things even harder than they will already be.

My tech met me first and Vidalia, a.k.a. "The Onion," a basset hound that I have known since she was a puppy and her ears were longer than she was, went peacefully to doggie heaven. 'Dale was the puppy that my friend and her now husband got together shortly after they met. She has grown up with them and with their little girl who said, "Goodbye Onion. I'm going to be very sad." I think that the time was right, though, because she was a great deal worse but not to the point of such needless suffering that it will be regretted later.

The other lady met me a little bit later. Elsie was a 15 year old black and white Cocker spaniel. She was also one of the Rust-bucket's girlfriends in his and her younger days (he used to be a real Casanova.) Her mom let her walk around to use the bathroom outside and since it was such a pretty and peaceful day, we sat in the grass for the euthanasia. It was not the smoothest ever since she's always had crappy veins and her legs were all swollen and the veins kept blowing but since she had sedation prior, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Elsie went to doggie heaven with her mom holding her and hugging her in the grass (and hopefully not sitting in any poop...)

So Sunday was kinda yucky which is why I hope it's not the start of a yucky week. Things do have a great tendency to go in themes although these were my only two really sick cancer patients out there at the moment. I have others but, as of last check, they are doing well and, I hope, continue to do so for a while!!

Otherwise at work, I probably will cause a ruckus tomorrow by my posted notes including a job description indicating that answering the phone is the receptionist's duty (i.e. pointed at the boss's wife who just lets it ring and assumes someone else will answer) and that the middle / floater position is not so glamorous as the kids seem to think, and that the kennel person is responsible for completely cleaning the kennel, etc. and this week's schedule. Should be interesting to see how it all plays out over the next few days. I'm thinking of posting another sign stating "Office Meeting, whatever date, no need to attend since Dr. Insane will be talking to herself with no one listening anyway."

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