Sunday, September 26, 2010

The appointment is made.

Sarah "Woowoo" puppy's last appointment will be on Saturday, October 2 at 9:30am.  I am still really torn about this decision.  I know that in more than a small way, it goes against my "core" animal beliefs, because I have never been one to have an animal put to sleep because it is easier for me that way....and, really, that's what this boils down to on some level.  She walks, talks, eats, drinks, barks, and I'm putting her to sleep because I can't handle her "senior dog" issue(s).  I feel guilty.

Oh--and by the way--doggie diapers.....they sound good, but they come with the same issues as human diapers--that is, there is cleanup involved with changing (i.e., wiping up).  And I don't have time to do that on a consistent basis and I can't depend on DH to do it, either.  So, once again, it's a matter of what is convenient to me.

On the other hand, when I imagine a house that smells "normal" again, and not having to wash all the towels (twice) every single day (today she used 6 towels!), I have a huge sense of relief.  And, like I said before, nearly all dog lovers would have done this much earlier than I am. 

It's been a little more difficult because "That Guy" has been here all week and I haven't been able to figure out why.  He's angry about everything, and ESPECIALLY Sarah.  He says he's taken his meds.  Maybe it's my new job--I'm not home as much now....?  Anyhow, I gave myself a week (before the appointment) because I want to carefully examine my motivations and make sure I'm not "just" doing this because he's mad.  I don't think I am, but I need to be sure of that, and not havnig DH there to talk to (because "That Guy" is there instead) makes it a little tougher.

I just wish she had cancer or something, where I could say "she's suffering".  She probably is, in the sense that she probably doesn't like all the accidents either, but truly, her discomfort seems minimal and I know it's going to be tough.  I have such mixed feelings about it, as you can tell. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I worked for the Census over the summer, if you don't remember....During the second "operation", which lasted about 3 weeks, my "boss" was an older man named Larry.  I didn't think too much of him--he argued with me a lot over stupid things and did not seem to believe that anyone could do the job well without him reminding them of every step of the process, even though we'd all attended the same training sessions.  He even added in a few steps that the Census didn't require.  I was frustrated with him, but I was able to see that he was a nice guy who just wasn't that good of a boss. 

Yesterday, I was reviewing the address book on my cell phone and I realized that since the Census was over, I could remove all of the Census folks from my address book.  So I deleted Larry, along with several others.

Today, I was reading the local paper, and I see that he passed away last week, only about two weeks after I last saw him.  He was 62--must've been a heart attack or something, as he died at the local hospital and he wasn't sick when I saw him last....

Made me feel bad for not liking him more.

Yikes.  You never know....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

An open letter to "Anonymous" (and anyone else who thought the same thing)

Dear Anonymous:

I appreciate your comments and was expecting someone to say pretty much what you said.  I do appreciate that you were pretty nice about the things you said--I know my pet threshold is higher than most.  But mostly, through all this hard stuff, they have been my reason for not giving up.  I give a lot to them, but they give me so much, too--while I would like to live as a "normal" person, maybe that's just not meant to be right now.

You may want to do some reviewing of my blog.  My dog has been to the vet and has been diagnosed with diabetes insipidus, which is a non-life-threatening disease (unrelated to the kinds of diabetes that require insulin).  It causes her body to not be able to conserve water, so she has a lot of accidents.  The medication for this illness, according to my vet, would run about $600/month (no way to afford that) and it only works in about 50% of dogs.  The vet told me that people with dogs like this either put the dog to sleep, make the dog an "outside only" dog (not very realistic considering her age of 15 years old and our location in MN) or make do.  So we ripped up the carpet and have been "making do".

But now, instead of one accident a day, it's more like 5 or 6.  Hence the blog post.

As to the 15 cats, it's not something I set out to accomplish, but I live in a very rural area where there is no animal shelter and most cats (and dogs) that have no home or get dumped off "out in the country" end up on the bad end of a gun. And I don't really fault my neighbors for solving the "problem" in this way, there's really no other alternative.  If you live in an area where this concept is unfathomable, please do a search on "cat overpopulation" and see that I am not making this stuff up.  I can't needlessly send an animal to its death, obviously (LOL--you could see that from my blog post!), hence the 15 cats.  They range in age from about 3 years old to 13 years old, and all are spayed or neutered.  My personal policy has been and still is "if the cat will die without my intervention, then I will try to help."  Otherwise, if someone is just "getting rid of" their cat or kittens, it's their conscience as to what happens, not mine.  Each of my cats has a story, and all except three would almost certainly be dead if I hadn't intervened.  The dogs, too, but I'm just defending the cat population right now!  They are as well cared for as they can be.  They all get their shots (I do them myself, as do many people in my "neck of the woods".). They all get Frontline (for fleas and ticks), and they eat Iams cat food.  They go to the vet when they are sick, and I love them all.  However if, via attrition, I ended up with two or three cats, well, that would be ideal.

You are correct that they probably don't get the attention that they should get.  There are only so many hours in a day, after all.  However, they do get attention, and love.  Believe me, if someone came along who could offer any of them more than I can, I'd happily part with most of them. (in fact, I offer them to every trustworthy person I know, but many people I know already have a cat or two from me!) I only want them to be as happy as they can be.  While I am not an "animal activist" per se, I believe that living in my house is probably, even on its worst day, more fun than starving or getting abused or killed.

And as far as the odor from 15 cats....it's NOTHING compared to the dog pee smell.  The litter boxes get scooped every day.  You might be surprised to learn that the cat "accidents" in my house are extremely minimal and usually signal a medical issue, which can be taken care of rather quickly.  The point of me mentioning the cats at all in that post was to point out that the cats, as many as there are, don't smell up the house like this one dog (and it's very easy to tell the difference, too, as to who is creating the odor)--whom I love, too.  We have a stack of rags that we use just for the dog "accidents".  They get washed every day, twice.  But it's getting hard to keep up.  I'm frustrated because I don't want to live like this, but other than this problem, she's pretty healthy.  That was the point of my blog post.  It's not a normal thing or a natural thing for me to put my wants/needs ahead of the life of a living thing, who happens to be a family member.

Anonymous, I love all of my animals.  And I certainly am not shocked by your sentiment.  I think that the reason so few people commented is that most people feel the same way as you and didn't want to seem judgmental.  I do understand, though, too, because you're right--15 cats is really too much for anyone.  But either I have too many cats in my house, or a bunch of animals end up dying just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I hope that someday, things will change so that I won't have to post things like this any more. But until then.....

I'm not going to defend my animals beyond this post.  Those readers who have been reading for quite some time seem to have an understanding that this is who I am and that's how it is.   I'm probably not going to change my core beliefs, and, if you have a huge disagreement with how I live, well, you're probably not going to change yours, either.  The point of my post was only to point out that I am troubled by the possibility of having to put a relatively healthy dog to sleep just because I can't live with it.  That's all.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Sarah (the Woowoo dog) is getting worse.  She's not losing weight, she still can walk just fine, but every morning now, there's not one, but three puddles to clean up, and sometimes a solid "present" too.  Sometimes I wake her up to go outside and she can barely make it to a standing position before she can't "hold it" any more.  It's sad.

And in case any of you have ever thought about it....right now there are 15 cats in our house.  And you know that Woowoo's messes are making the house smell worse than if the cats ALL refused to use the litter box on the same day.  I never knew dog pee could smell so bad--it smells worse than poo....or maybe it's just "elderly" dog pee that smells that way?  I don't remember any puppies that were related to an odor like that, and I think if people had to endure that smell, nobody would ever try to housebreak a dog.  I'm totally embarrassed to have ANYONE over, and even considering having Christmas in a hotel room so that people will actually stay long enough to have a conversation....

So is it time?  I know most non-animal lovers and even quite a few animal lovers would say yes.  But....she still gets happy when she sees us....still wants to go for walks (although they're only about 50 foot walks, LOL) and is eating and drinking fine....still snaps at the other dogs (that's her stupid way of showing affection), and still begs to be petted.

When I think about putting her to sleep, I feel selfish.  I know that we're dealing with a lot more ick than most dog owners, but....it's the only life she has, too.....

It's agonizing for me.  Sometimes she sleeps so soundly....I just get a little teensy bit hopeful that maybe she won't wake up and I won't have to think about this.....

My new job

I think I made a good choice.  Except for the commute, it all seems good--the people (so far anyhow) are nice and don't seem to complain....the culture seems to be a little more laid-back than the corporate one I left, that's a good thing, too--and the training so far....very thorough.  I guess I'll be "in training" for the next few months.  (!)

I don't mind the commute as much as I minded the commute to/from the last job--riding the bus for an hour each way does make it a lot easier!!!  But the fact is that basically I've had a lot of time off this past year, and adjusting to being gone from home for 12 hours a day is tougher than I would like to admit.  And trying to fit my animals and my mom into that schedule....it's going to take some practice!

Right now my plan is to keep the part time job and work two nights a week (Friday and Saturday).  My ideal plan is to put the paychecks from that job into a savings account, and see if I can do without them--if I can, then I can do without that stupid job, too!  If working two extra nights a week on top of the full time job proves to be too much, I'll drop a night.  But I've been with that company for over 5 years, so I don't want to give it up unless I'm sure I really can do it.

On another note....got a phone call from the place where DD is--apparently she ran away last night at 9pm.  I thought that she would be back quickly, because she's not sophisticated enough to come up with a plan, and she's too much of a "country bumpkin" to know what to do on her own in a city, so I was surprised that she did not come back until after midnight (!)  After I finish this, I'm going to call and see what the staff there have to say about that--i.e., what kind of consequences she would be getting....I'm plenty angry....and I was angry before that started, because last week, she had requested that I or DH bring several things from her room at home to where she is now.  I did remember, and I brought what I could find.  When she realized she didn't get everything that she wanted, she started yelling at me.  When I told her I was not going to listen to that and was leaving, she got mad at me for that.  I told her "too bad", I won't be treated like that when I am trying to do something nice for you!  Haven't heard from anyone since then, so I'm kind of wondering about that, too.

I wish I had internet at home.  There's so much to say.....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I'm doing better....

I knew it wouldn't stay like that for long...and Sarah (Woowoo dog) seems a little peppier, too--she even chewed a little on a rawhide, which made me smile....I'm thinking she's totally blind, though, because she keeps falling off the side of the wheelchair ramp on the deck :-(

DH had a rough night at work, and I'm feeling kind of bad that I wasn't very tolerant of his drama (it really wasn't as bad as he was making things out to be).  But then he did call me back and tell me that he knew he was being dramatic(!) and that was shocking!

Sunday, after I get off work at 8am, we have a family reunion and I have to bring my mom (and pick her up at noon).  I wasn't planning on telling her about it, because I think it's going to be extremely difficult for her and for me to pull this off, but my brother asked her if she was going, so then I was kind of stuck. Argh. He's not the one who has to do all this on no sleep!  Of course my mom wants to go.  And she is remembering it.  So there's really no getting out of it, and I probably shouldn't even be thinking that way, since I don't know how many more family reunions she'll get to go to....

Just rambling today, I guess....