Jacob and I are spending a quiet Sunday at home while the rest of the family is at church. We have nasty colds. Fortunately, I know how to manage my snot flow, but Jacob hasn't mastered that skill yet. His face has been a study in the various phases of mucus drying for the last couple of days.
This girl was a "Poodle-skirt Dancer" in the 5th grade music program. I must say, I was proud that she did so well. Honestly, I thought she'd get up there and realize, "Holy Crap! I'm scared! I don't want to be doing this!" But she wasn't scared, and she didn't get nervous! Yes, sometimes I am wrong about my kids. I think I know them, but then they surprise me.
This is another one of my daughters (you thought you knew me, but then realized you didn't know me! Don't worry, I know the feeling). Allison spends a lot of time at our house, and she fits right in with the family, except for the fact that she's sweet and mild and a peacemaker. Other than that, she could be a Peton.
This one? There's no question. She's a Peton.
So, over the last little while, we've noticed Abby's right eye sometimes isn't looking where it should be looking. At her kindergarten physical, she failed the eye exam, so we were referred to an eye doctor. Several appointments later, glasses and a 3-4 hour per day eye-patch, we're waiting for an additional referral to a pediatric eye clinic at OHSU to see how her errant eye is progressing.
I no longer hold the title of "most medicated Peton." That honor now goes to the dog. It's bad enough that I spend more on her hair than mine. Now I spend more in medicine for her? This arrangement does not make me happy. I love that dog, I do. We all love that dog. She's kind and patient and obedient and happy and loving. But once she's gone, Neal and I have made a blood-pact that we will never EVER get another pet. Not even a fish.
Let me share with you some of my experiences with pet-ownership the last couple of months. First of all, fleas love the Oregon climate, and they thrive in it's wet, mild environment. All pet owners know that you must keep up with the once-monthly Frontline-style flea treatments. For a dog Molly's size, that's about $75 for a 3-6 month supply, depending on where you buy. Well, Costco started selling their own Kirkland brand of flea treatment. Of course, it was only a fraction of the cost of the Frontline. Duh! Of course I will switch.
Come to find out, through experience, and then later verification with the groomer and vet, Kirkland flea treatment does not work. At all.
The last 2 months have been filled with vacuuming, spraying, shampooing, medicating, vacuuming, bug-bombing, dog-bed-replacing, yard-treating, vacuuming, brushing, washing washing washing madness. It's been such a psychological event for me! Just knowing there are fleas on the dog is enough to make me go crazy-er. On a normal day, I'm one step away from mild breakdown, so to add this to the mix has been a little stressful.
Then, the dog fell down the stairs a couple of weeks ago. She falls down a lot lately, like randomly as she's walking outside or something normal like that. She's really not herself. We've always known she has hip displacia. She has had that issue since she was a puppy. But the falling down has been weird. We won't allow her upstairs anymore because she can't get herself downstairs. Neal has to carry her. And since Neal is rarely home, I can't have her trapped upstairs. I tried carrying her downstairs a couple of times, but it's a disaster waiting to happen. Her bed is now downstairs, and that hurts her dog feelings that she can't sleep in Sarah's room.
Last week, the vet confirmed the hip dispacia as well as arthritis. As well as a skin infection and allergy to something mysterious (perhaps my flea extermination techniques?). Currently, I'm giving her antibiotics twice a day, pain medication and a dog NSAID twice per day, a claritin pill, and her dog-incontinence pill twice per day. Airedales have the biggest teeth of any dog breed, and I have to shove the pills down her throat. At the same time Molly's health costs have gone up so much, so has our family health care bills. Holy crap, I cannot believe what we're having to cough up for crappy medical insurance now - but, that's a story for another day, and not a story for this blog. I only share my political leanings and opinions with my book club, Neal, and my Dad. No one wants to read about that.
This is madness.
And I am doing an awful lot of complaining. Sorry.
One more dog thing - it's a little life-lesson, I think. Obviously because I'm the mom, I do the bulk of Molly's care - the washing and feeding and medicating and appointments (usually not the poop. The kids do the poop. It's the least they could do). You'd think that with all of the money and time and energy I've been pouring into that dog the last couple of months, I'd hate the little creature. The opposite is true, actually. I love her more and more. It must be true that you love those you serve.
But, she will not be replaced when she is gone.
Nice bum, where you from?
This was me last Sunday, 15 minutes before church was about to start. The garage door wouldn't open. I eventually had to figure out how to open it the old-fashion way. But now, I have a whole new garage door opener that doesn't shake the whole house when it operates. It makes me happier than it should, I think.