Monday, July 30, 2012

Shock Treatment

A month ago, Cooper's back legs became paralyzed due to a ruptured disc that was pressing against his spinal cord. He had surgery to fix the problem, but his back legs remained paralyzed for weeks. Slowly but surely, he began getting movement to his back legs. Mostly his right leg, but his left leg is coming along. Yesterday, this is how he was moving about:

He does this little bunny hop when he wants to get around quickly. Like I said, his left leg is not moving as well as his right so Cooper compensates with the right leg. It works for him.
The strength and movement will come back to his left leg eventually. The ruptured disc was pressing the left side of the spinal cord, so it is taking longer for that side to recover.

He has been going to physical therapy 3 times a week. I really feel like that is helping Cooper. They offer a weight loss program for fat dogs in which I have seriously considered enrolling Charlie. Did that sentence make sense? I was trying to avoid ending it in a preposition.

Any-hoooooo, grey skies are gonna clear up. Put on a happy face!

In other news:
I just found out that Kelley Anderson (Darlin) has left Those Darlins to pursue other musical projects and what not. This happened back in Feb. You can read all about it here.
I really loved Kelley's  vocals on Who's That Knocking On My Window and Cannon Ball Blues. She is a good musician and an excellent entertainer, so I know we will see her again. Still, I will miss her in the trio.
Those Darlins play the Mohawk in Austin on Sunday, October 7th.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Snow White of the Flies

I had a delightful solo-lunch on Wednesday this past week. Just me, my book, and my iphone. Whenever I dine alone, I prefer to sit outside.  I ordered the special of the day and was overwhelmed at how good it was! Look here:
the sauce is a watermelon reduction

It was even better accompanied by the wine I was enjoying. I had one glass of Erath Pinot Noir and decided to make it two.
Within minutes of the arrival of my 2nd glass of vino, a fly thought it would be a good idea to take a dip in my pinot. Don't you hate that? I scooped the fly out and put it on the table to dry out.
The waiter came by and I asked for another glass of wine, since the former had been contaminated. I pointed to the fly on the table and told him what happened.

He was surprised that I had saved the fly and was allowing it to dry it's little wings on the table. He looked at me and said, "you are like snow white of the flies."

Not the titile I would have chosen for myself, but I'll take it!

In other news:
I cut my hair super short. Check it:
That was yesterday....fresh from the salon.

This was this morning:
Fresh from bed. This cut gives way better bed head than my long hair did.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Do Not Have Doggy Munchousen By Proxy

Charlie dog

As I was getting ready to leave the house Tuesday morning (10 a.m.), I noticed my bag of macadamia nuts and my bag of dried mango on the kitchen counter. I love these two snacks and buy them from the bulk section at the grocery store. They taste great together…especially when washed down with some coconut water. Mmmmm.  
It’s like a tropical vacation in my mouth.

I made a mental note to remove the bags from the counter and put them out of Charlie’s reach.  Both of my dogs have been known to scale the couch, and hoist themselves up and over the counter top. First, I had to get Cooper situated in his crated area, then I forgot my purse in the bedroom, then I could not find my phone...etc, etc. By the time I had everything together, the thought of moving my delicious snacks had left my mind. * poof 
I got back to the house two and a half hours later and  found my bags of snacks shredded and nearly emptied. The mangos were all gone and the macadamia nuts were mostly gone. Before Charlie got to them, there was probably at least a cup of nuts in that bag.  

Charlie’s already ample belly was  now quite gigantic. Other than having a big belly, he was fine.
Or so I thought……

Around 10:00p.m., I was in the bedroom with Cooper and Dale was with Charlie in the living room. Dale came into the bedroom and told me that he did not think Charlie felt good. He said he was really lethargic.  I got up to check on him. He was on the ground, covered with a blanket. His eyes were black and still. I removed the blanket and noticed that his back limbs were twitching. My first thought was that he had slipped a disc (just as Cooper has recently done). Shit.

Then he started twitching all over and licking his mouth repeatedly. With great effort, he hoisted himself up and started to gag. I put a rag on the ground in front of him, and he proceeded to vomit onto the rag. Good aim. I could see the macadamia nuts in his vomit.  The were still mostly whole, like he didn’t chew them.

I told Dale that I was going to look online to see if either the mango or the nuts were poisonous to dogs.  I entered “macadamia nuts dogs” into google  and boom: the first page displayed links to pages that all described how macadamia nuts were toxic to dogs.

I had a small freak out.  Dale may or may not have told me “Sarah, you have to get it together. Keep in control of yourself.”

Many of the websites said the same thing about macadamia nut ingestion.  Here is an example
"When dogs eat them they get a toxic reaction called Macadamia Nut Toxicosis. Within twelve hours of eating the nuts theys start to develop symptoms such as inability to stand, ataxia (walking wobbly), depression, vomiting, muscle tremors, hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), weakness, and elevated heart rate.“

Charlie had eaten a lot of the nuts, so I knew we had to bring him into the emergency vet. Before we could do that, he began to make the noises that occur before puking. I put another rag underneath him and he hit his target for the second time. This emisis was more substantial than the last one. I folded the rag over and moved it to the side as I tended to Charlie while Dale got the car ready.

A minute later, I had a mini stroke or something because what happened next is just ridiculous. I saw the rag on the floor (the rag full of puke that I had just folded over and moved to the side) grabbed it and brought it up to my body. The contents of the rag (Charlie’s macadamia puke…which was still warm) emptied all over my leg.  Ugh. I had to leave it there until Dale came back in the room because I had Charlie and if I moved my leg, the vomit would go all over the pl
 It was pretty dang gross.

A few minutes later, Dale came back in and helped get the puke off my leg. He then took Charlie to the emergency animal hospital. This is the second time we have paid that clinic a visit within a 12 day period. Not cheap, my friends. I stayed home with Cooper and worried. Cooper whined for his brother.

At the hospital, the vet induced more vomiting, gave Charlie some charcoal, and called poison control to make sure they were giving Charlie the best treatment. After a few hours, Charlie was discharged and sent home with Dale who was given directions to take Charlie’s temperature every 2 hours. If it were to go over 103, we would have to bring him in for iv treatment.

Have you ever had to take your dogs temperature? Yeah…it goes in the butt.

Poor Charlie was still very sick when he came home. He continued to have muscle tremors throughout the night. All we could do was comfort him and wait it out.

That was on Tuesday. Today is Thursday and he is back to normal. Thank God.

If you are a dog owner, I strongly suggest you follow the link at the bottom of this post and read about the foods that dogs should never eat. It could save your furry friends life.

Foods to Avoid Feeding your Pets

***the strangest thing about this story is that the night before, I had a bad dream in which Charlie was poisoned. I woke up on Tuesday morning, still upset from the dream, and told Dale all about it. Spooky. I promise, I do not have some sort of doggy Munchousen syndrom by proxy. I'm just a little psychic, I guess. I'm going to start paying more attention to my dreams from now on.***

Monday, July 09, 2012

Waiting for Walking....Dead

At first glance of the title of this post, perhaps you thought "oh geeze, Sarah is going to write up another piece about her disabled dachshund. Here we go." If you thought that, not only are you wrong but you are an asshole. 

(psst...I don't really think you are an asshole.)

Nope. This post is about the best show on AMC. It's about The Walking Dead! Season 3 premiers this October and I can't wait. My favorite character, as of now, is Daryl Dixon. The definition of "bad ass."
He kills them zombies with an arrow shot from a cross bow. 

I have a feeling that I am going to like the new character introduced to us at the end of season 2. The lady bad ass, Michonne. 
Michonne with her pets

I believe that if you are to survive a zombie apocalypse, you have to be hard. You gotta be tough. You gotta be a bad ass. Put your sissy emotions aside and kill some zombies. 

Speaking of Michonne, Val Kilmer looks like he is taking fashion advice from her these days:

; )

Thursday, July 05, 2012

How I Spent my Fourth

What is a girl to do when she is home with a recovering dog during the Fourth of July? She can't go to the lake, a BBQ, or the fireworks show. She can't go to the parade, the party, or the river to float. Nope. She CAN make a strange video. A Franken-video. She stitched together various clips of footage to create the debut video of My Metal Pony (the band in which her two nieces are the only members).


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper

We have Cooper back in the house! We picked him up from the animal hospital on Monday. They had him in an exam room and when we walked in, he looked so sad. His color looked slightly different, and for a moment he just looked at us without any reaction. Once we started talking, he started to whine. We swooped in and gave him kisses. The vet had to teach us how to do his passive and active physical therapy, and how to stand him up with a sling. He is still not able to use his back legs. We are confident that that will change. As the swelling goes down, he should be regaining his motor coordination.

He extended his leg all on his own the other day. You would have thought it was Christmas morning around here when he did that!

Here is his scar:

And his little bald head:
I assume that they had to shave that patch for electrode placement.

We are in for a couple of months recovery time. He will have his stitches removed in a week or so. At that point, I may sign him up for physical therapy. They have this underwater treadmill that works wonders. The dog is not completely underwater...that would be crazy.

I was going to post a picture of the underwater doggy treadmill, but something crazy is going on with my photobucket. Just google that shit.

Happy 4th!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Dachshund Down

St. Francis of Assisi's prayer for sick pets:
"Heavenly Father, please help us in our time of need. You have made us stewards of Cooper. If it is Your will, please restore him to health and strength. I pray, too, for other animals in need. May they be treated with the care and respect deserving of all Your creation. Blessed are You, Lord God, and holy is Your name for ever and ever. Amen. "

This past Thursday, we were woken up by a sharp yelp from our dog Cooper. We are not sure what happened. He either jumped from the bed or his brother jumped on him. Either way, he hurt his back and began having back spasms. You could actually see the musculature of his back twitching. He was also walking very slowly and stiffly. It was very unsettling, but I had seen it before. Right away, I gave him a round of meds left over from the last time he had back problems. Back in April, he experienced muscle twitches and had a hard time walking. With meds and bedrest, he got better in two or three weeks. It was like nothing had ever happened. I called his vet and told them what was going on. I did not want to bring him in, because I knew it might make things worse. The last time I brought him in for back problems, he shook the entire car ride over. He continued to shake in the waiting room of the vet's office. The shaking caused him to go from bad to worse in a matter of minutes. That was the last time. This time, I asked if I could just refill one of his medications that I was running low on. The vet agreed to refill his anti-inflammatory med and advised me to bring Cooper in if he did not get better or if he got worse. I figured we would beat this just like we had the last time with bed rest and medication.

On Friday, Cooper was already looking better. He was no longer having spasms and had full use of his back legs. He looked so much better that I decided it would be ok to join my husband at a co-workers house for dinner. As I was getting ready, I made a terrible mistake. I let Cooper out of his crated area for just 10 minutes while I ironed my dress.

10 minutes was all it took. As my husband pulled into the garage Cooper took off running for the door. I did not see what happened next, but I heard another yelp. Maybe the running hurt him, maybe he jumped, or maybe he got into a playful tussle with his brother. Whatever the cause, Cooper's back got worse. A lot worse. His walk went from looking just fine to drunken walk in a matter of seconds. It was as if his nervers were not able to coordinate with his back legs. I scooped him up and put him in his doggie bed and began to cry. I might as well have just run over him with my car. This was my fault.

Cooper acted as if he were fine. He ate his dinner, wagged his tail, and did not whine. My husband went on to his dinner and I stayed with Cooper, afraid that he might get even worse and require surgical care.

I lay beside him and after about an hour, he began fidgeting a little in his doggie bed. I gently pulled him out placed him on my mattress. Cooper pushed up on his front legs as if trying to stand. His back legs did not comply. They were paralyzed.

My vet told me that if this were to happen, I needed to get him to the animal emergency hospital right away. I grabbed Cooper, called the hospital to alert them, called Dale to inform him, and off we went.

Cooper had a ruptured disc that was pressing on his spinal cord. When we got him to the hospital, they did an exam and found that he could still feel pain in his back paws. This was a good sign, but one that might not last much longer. We could treat him with meds and bed rest only and face a 50% chance of recovery or we could opt for spinal surgery and face a 90%-95% chance of recovery. We went with the surgery. That night and the following day, I feel like cried more than I have in my whole life. I kept telling myself to be strong, but the emotions took over and simply overwhelmed me. Dale was a rock. He was my anchor. Without him, I would have been lost in sorrow and guilt.

Cooper is still in the hospital. The doctor called us this morning and told us that Cooper could still feel pain in his back paws but was not yet moving his back legs. This is ok. Healing takes time. Shoot, I had spinal surgery myself. I know what's up. Cooper is urinating on his own, which is a great sign.

We may be able to bring him home tomorrow. We have already prepared his crated area and fenced off a small area in the yard for him to use the bathroom. He is to be on bedrest 23 of the 24 hours in a day for a month.

Dale and I are no longer going to have our dogs sleep in the bed with us. We love them so much and enjoy the cuddles, but we have to think about their health and safety.

I know now that the disc that was causing the problems was probably going to rupture sooner or later. If this is the case it is best that it happened now, while I am on summer break. I will be with Cooper most of the day. If he needs it, I will take him for physical therapy and additional treatments.

I will have him walking again.