May 27, 2006

Forever Dog

There are benefits to sleeping in. I learned this on Friday. Somehow I had fallen asleep again after the alarm went off and rushed into the shower at 8:30 instead of 7:30. While hurriedly drying off and getting dressed I noticed a small red mark on the carpet. Thinking it was an old stain I touched it. My finger came away red and wet.

Immediately I flew into action, thinking that one of the cats had gotten too enthusiastic while playing or someone had torn a claw open. While checking Percy’s feet in the kitchen I glanced at The Jeffrey standing behind me and saw several red drops underneath his body. Quickly, I asked The Jeffrey to sit and lie down and began to examine him for an injury. Finally I found the source. The Jeffrey appeared to be bleeding from his…penis?

Great. Fantastic. What a way to get to know my brand new (awesome) vet I had seen once with Clyde. Fortunately, the receptionist was understanding and professional, and asked me to bring him in within the hour. I flew around the house grabbing a towel to cover a seat in the new car, rushing to the bedroom to grab socks, then back to The Jeffrey to mop up more blood. Before leaving I let both dogs out to pee and all systems appeared go.

As the vet’s (lets just call her Dr. Awesome from now on) office is only five minutes from our house and the trip was quick and non-eventful. Upon entering the office we were ushered into an examination room to speak with the vet-tech. I asked that The Jeffrey be muzzled, as his past experiences with veterinarians in San Diego always involved a lot of growling and threatening behavior. The tech offered him liver treats instead and proclaimed him, “Sweet!� I was told that most dogs seem very relaxed in this particular office for some reason, and she was right. For safety’s sake we did muzzle him for the exam, which was quick and again lacked any sort of growling or posturing. Either The Jeffrey was really hurting, or this office really did soothe the savage beast.

The Jeffrey’s diagnosis? Bladder stones. A big one moving down the urethra was causing the bleeding and minor surgery under anesthesia would be required for removal. A catheter would then be inserted to check for more stones that had moved out of the bladder and several blood and urine tests would need to be done. I didn’t look at the estimate but told Dr. Awesome to do whatever needed to be done, no matter the cost. The Jeffrey was scheduled for surgery a couple of hours later and I left him in a cozy kennel promising to return soon. I warned the staff again to be careful as he had a history of aggression with strangers, walked out to the car, and proceeded to cry for a good five minutes before driving home. Leaving any vet’s office with an unattached leash is an awful feeling.

The afternoon passed slowly and far too quietly without regular interruptions of barking at every single person who dare walk down our street. Phone calls flew every half hour between Frinklin, trapped at work in downtown Seattle, and my Mom in San Diego. Dr. Awesome had promised to call should anything go wrong and when the caller ID flashed “Dr. Awesome� twenty minutes into the scheduled surgery the blood rushing in my ears made it hard to hear. No emergency, just a check to see if I wanted to have some regular vaccinations done. I could hear again.

At four I returned to Dr. Awesome’s to pick up my pup, a little worse for wear. He was still tired from the drugs, but before leaving the receptionist shared some pictures they had taken before the surgery. There was my man-eater, shaking hands and rolling over on command. And here he is with Dr. Awesome hugging him! And here’s me hugging him! And here’s the vet tech! They played with The Jeffrey for 15 minutes before putting him under to “make sure his experience here is a good one.� I was complimented on his obedience training and “obvious� effort put into such a great dog. Maybe they had given me the wrong dog? Or maybe when he’s lunging and foaming at the mouth when strangers walk by he’s really wanting to cuddle them?

Dr. Awesome walked me through the next steps and when we should know more (next week). I saw the nasty, now crushed, bladder stone that had caused all the drama. Such a small thing, but jagged and sharp in every direction. The Doc believes that he has at least a couple more stones that she was able to move back into the bladder from the urethra. I was plied with a 23-day supply of antibiotics and plenty of doggie aspirin to keep The Jeffrey comfortable. He slept on the drive home and only barked when Frinklin arrived from work. A small, slowly eaten meal capped off the evening and he snuggled on the bed with us for the rest of the night.

(On a side note I was far more frazzled than the dog and forgot my wallet at home as well as locking both doors to the house when retrieving him. Dr. Awesome’s receptionist kindly told me to call or stop in within the next few days to pay and fortunately the Toothless-Wonder kept the house safe.)

This morning The Jeffrey appeared to be back to normal outwardly. He had his first “puppy freakout� in several days and is happily peeing blood free. Frinklin and I were both surprised when Dr. Awesome called at noon to tell us the preliminary results of the tests as her office is closed on Saturday. Now you see why we call her Dr. Awesome. Both The Jeffrey’s kidneys and liver appear to be functioning abnormally and his thyroid measurements are rather low, which may be what has been contributing to his seeming inability to lose weight. We approved without knowledge of costs the sending of the removed stone to Minnesota for further examination and more blood-work. Results should be back on Tuesday or Wednesday with luck.

The Jeffrey is currently relaxing on his brand new bed and enjoying a brand new rawhide bone. Pray for good news next week.

New Bed 1.gif

Whenever a puppy is born on earth, a guardian angel waits nearby to welcome
the puppy into the world and take it under her heavenly wings.

The guardian angel makes herself very small and snuggles in close to the soft, warm fur, telling her puppy how much it is loved and that it has come into the world for a special purpose. Even though the puppy's eyes are closed, it feels the fluttering wings by its heart and knows its guardian angel is there.

All puppies come into the world with unique gifts. As time passes and the puppy grows, the guardian angel helps her puppy to understand what makes it so very special. Whether they are destined to become fast runners, soulful singers or peaceful sleepers, each puppy is perfect and the angel loves it just the way it is.

The day comes when the puppy must go into the world and start traveling down
its own special path. Sometimes, the path leads to a loving home, where a family is waiting to take their new four-legged friend into their hearts. And the guardian angel is happy, knowing her dog will always have friends to play with, bones to chew on and someone to cuddle up next to at night.

Angels like to visit when their dogs are dreaming. You may have seen a dog's paw moving while it is asleep. Perhaps it is on a high hill in a faraway place, dancing with its guardian angel. All dogs bring the gift of love to the world. In that way they are very much like angels. Dogs will share their love with anyone. They don't ask for anything in return. But if someone takes a moment to scratch a dog under its chin or tell a dog how special it is, you can be sure its guardian angel is smiling.

From time to time, when a certain person and a certain dog meet, something
happens that is just like magic! It is as if they have known each other before. Each knows what the other is thinking and feeling. They will be together always. And the two with love, knowing their dog has found its forever person and the person has found its forever dog.

A forever person and their forever dog will share many experiences over a lifetime, like listening to favorite stories and taking vacations together. They will watch hundreds of sunsets from up on the hill.

But the greatest gift these friends will share is knowing what is in the other's heart. Side by side, looking up at the sky on a starry night, a forever person and their forever dog will share all the secret hopes and dreams that are only told to a very best friend.

A dog can never really be separated from its forever person. Neither time nor space can ever come between them. So when the dog comes to the end of its earthly life, and must go on ahead without its person beside them, the guardian angel becomes a loving bridge that connects the two friends for as long as the person remains on earth.

Sometimes dogs will cross the angel bridge and visit the earth while they are waiting for their forever person to join them. You can never be certain where they might turn up. You may feel four paws padding along next to you when you are in the park. Listen carefully, and you might hear a familiar voice joining in when you go holiday caroling. So if you see the blanket rumple softly after you've curled up for an afternoon nap, it's every possible your forever dog has come back to visit and is napping beside you.

Nothing brings your forever dog more joy than knowing you are happy, even if that means bringing a new dog companion into your life. Your forever dog lovingly remembers the special place it had in your life on earth, and is delighted to know another dog will get to share all the love you have to offer.

Your forever dog may even come back and help your new dog discover the best
spots for burying bones and show them where to watch for your return at the
end of the day. So don't be surprised to see your new dog racing through
the house as if it's playing with an invisible probably is.

As the years go by you and your dog may find yourselves going more slowly as
you take your daily walks. The time may come when your dog leaves your side
and crosses the bridge to be with your forever dog. In fact, there may be many animals who will share your life during the time you are here on earth. One day, the angel bridge that your forever dog crossed so many years earlier will appear to you. And with the happy heart of a person who is going home, you will cross the bridge and find yourself welcomed by all the animal friends you made when you were on earth.

In the middle of all that love, your forever dog will be waiting for you. It will be like the day you found each other on earth. You will know you have been together before, and nothing will ever separate you again. And the angels will be happy, knowing a forever person and their forever dog have found each other once more.

--Exerpted from For Every Dog An Angel by Christine Davis

Posted by Ensie at 10:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Before I get into the veterinary adventures I had on Friday, I thought I would share some pictures of our new kitty, Clyde. I metioned him some time ago, but what with grandmothers dying, new car buying, back problems, work that is eating up my life, and the rest it's been hard to get time to take pictures.

After taking way, way too many pictures in a couple days, I managed to come up with a few good ones. There is a lot of siamese in his breeding, something I never really liked, but find adorable in him. He's a pretty intense cat, which I think shows here. He loves to be picked up (from the front only, lest you want to suffer some serious wounds as he twists around) and "hug" your neck while rubbing his head against yours. His purr is definitely the loudest I've ever heard. At some point I'll try to get a good shot of his claws as they are frighteningly large and he knows exactly how to use them. I think he's missing his calling being in a house without mice.

According to his surrender papers at the Humane Society Clyde had been passed around several neighbors for various reasons, the most prominent being "tearing open and eating food on the counters." His most recent owner noted that he should be adopted by "someone who will train him to stay off the counters." How about if we just don't care? Would that work for you? Our cats are fed on top of the fridge, so they are actually required to walk on the counters. We have, after the loss of a loaf of bread that was stored in a ziplock bag, moved all tempting items into the cabinets.

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Clyde 2.gif

Percy and Clyde have become fast friends, much to the delight of the two older cats who had grown very, very tired of sneak attacks in the form of orange fur.

Percy Clyde Sleeping Small.gif

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May 22, 2006

Casualties of the Backyard

The Jeffrey has turned into a killer.

A few weeks ago he scared the crap out of Frinklin by attacking a full-grown opossum that happened to be in our backyard when he went outside before bed. Frinklin told the story here. Fortunately(?) the opossum survived and after playing dead for ten minutes it wandered away. We haven't seen it since.

Despite the fact that word must have spread by now throughout the oppossum community that ours is a house of death, we are still seeing baby oppossums regularly. Unfortunately, we are only seeing them dead. Yesterday while I filled out paperwork for the new car Frinklin ran home to pick up the title for our trade-in. He let The Jeffrey out for just over a minute which is apparently all the time it takes to maul a small opossum.

I've double checked with the vet to make sure that The Jeffrey's rabies vaccine is up to date. Fortunately rabies is not a problem with opossums in the area, only with birds and bats. I really can't take anymore bodies in the backyard though.

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May 21, 2006

New Car


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May 19, 2006

The Flu and My Back Update

The flu appears to be gone. But then, just when you think it's safe--I have been running a low (just under 100 degrees) fever all week. Looks like another weekend of lying on the couch coming up. Wheee!

When it comes to my back, I decided the first thing to do was switch doctors. It's not that my old doctor was bad, it's just that he didn't seem to have a terribly great bedside manner. I much prefer women doctors for whatever reason, and when it comes to bedside manner, women usually spend more time listening to their patients. I know I'm biased, but women seem to understand women better.

First Dr. Woman confirmed what I had thought all along regarding my numb hands--I have carpal tunnel. Duh. Dr. Man had sent me to have lab work done and the cervical spine X-ray, all of which came back perfect. The braces Dr. Woman provided have elminated the pain and tingling that was waking me up at night. Follow up in a few weeks.

Secondly, Dr. Woman confirmed that I likely pulled a muscle in my back. Gentle movement, heating pad, and Advil. And finally, she found a pain point on my spine which warranted another X-ray, this time lumbar. Now I'm waiting on those results.

My body is going kicking and screaming out of my twenties. I turn thirty in less than three months.

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May 15, 2006

The Flu and My Back

I feel like all I've done lately is apologize for not posting. But I have a note from my doctor!

Is it possible for the flu to cause back problems?

On Friday morning I woke up feeling ill and by 10 AM I was on my way home to sleep for seven hours. A fever of 102 degrees was capped off by a round of vomiting at 1 AM. During the long nap, my back started aching. By the next morning the fever was gone, I was unbelieveably stiff, and it's only gotten worse. The pain was bad enough that I had to cancel two meetings today and worked from home, typing on my laptop from the prone position.

The earliest my doctor can see me is tomorrow. Pray it's not a herniated disk, just a strained muscle or something. I just had a cervical spine X-ray recently to try to discover the reason my hands are going numb constantly. Think the lower back pain and the numb hands are related? Hopefully I'll find out tomorrow.

Posted by Ensie at 06:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It's Called FICTION, People

Lying on the couch this afternoon watching the evening news (and yelling at the President) I started seeing several stories about the coming "Davinci Code" movie. I'ts not that I haven't thought about it before, as I work in a bookstore. However, with the upcoming release of the film, things seem to be reaching a fever pitch when it comes to the factual legitimacy of the story. If you listen to the Catholic Church, or several other religious organizations, Dan Brown is going to show up at your house, abduct you, and force feed you the story of Jesus' marriage and mortality.

What is it about this book that keeps people from seeing the "FICTION" sign above? Is it because it's a (fiction) best seller? A (fiction) best seller about Christianity? I didn't see anyone protesting when the (fictional) Left Behind series was everywhere (including Kirk Cameron's resume). Or even Left Behind: The Kids!

Another fictional book that made a big fuss in 2005, "A Million Little Pieces" has also been denounced. I can actually understand the furor around this somewhat better as it was sold as non-fiction. However, given the fact that we sell non-fiction as well as fiction, does it make a big difference? A story is a story. I dare you to do stringent fact-checking in every single memoir ever written. I guarantee you will end up with a string of inaccuracies, omintences, and "changes for the sake of consistency" or some other such BS. So the book moves from one shelf to another, who cares?

My point is--books allow you to imagine and encourage you to think. When you start taking fiction too seriously and non-fiction as gospel, problems start to arise, especially since they rely so much on imagination and/or membory. Books are books, not weapons to hurl at eachother. It's disappointing to me as a bookseller and an American that anyone would want to ban or censor a book. It's especially disappointing as a Christian, considering the number of places Christians have fought to have the Bible allowed into religiously oppressive areas of the world.

Posted by Ensie at 06:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 02, 2006

Because I have a few extra minutes

Found at so anyway....

Are you spoiled? You are if you can bold 40 or more of the following:

Do you have.....
* your own cell phone
* a television in your bedroom
* an IPOD
* a photo printer
* your own phone line
* TiVo or generic digital video recorder
* High-speed internet service
* a surround sound system in your bedroom
* DVD player in your bedroom
* at least one hundred DVD's
* a childfree bathroom
* your own in house office
* a pool
* a guest room
* a game room
* a queen sized bed
* a stocked bar
* a working dishwasher (finally!)
* an icemaker
* a working washer and dryer
* more then 20 pairs of shoes
* at least 10 things from a designer store
* expensive sunglasses
* framed artwork (Not lithographs or prints)
* Egyptian sheets or towels
* a multi-speed bike
* a gym membership
* large exercise equipment in home
* your own set of golf clubs
* a pool table
* a tennis court
* local access to a lake, pond or beach (the ocean?)
* your own pair of skis
* enough camping gear for a weekend in an isolated area
* a boat
* a jet ski
* a neighborhood committee membership
* a beach house or a vocation house/cabin
* wealthy family members
* two or more family cars
* a walkin closet or pantry
* a yard
* a hammock
* a personal trainer
* good credit
* expensive jewelry
* a designer bag that required being on a waiting list to get
* at least 100 dollars in your possession right know
* more then two credit cards bearing your name
* a stock portfolio
* a passport
* a horse
* a trustfund
* private medical insurance
* a college degree no outstanding student loans

Do you...
* shop for non-needed items for yourself (Like clothes, jewelry, electronics) at least once a week (note: shop doesn't mean buy)
* regularly grocery shop at high-end or specialty store (Oh how I love thee, Metropolitan Market!)
* pay someone to clean your house, wash your dishes, or launder your clothes
* go on weekend mini vocations
* send dinners back with every flaw
* wear perfume or cologne (not body spray)
* regularly get your hair styled or nails done in a salon
* have a job but don't need money OR stay at home with little financial sacrifice
* pay someone to cook your meals
* regularly pay someone else to drive you
* expect a gift after you fight with your partner

Are you...
* an only child
* married/partnered with a wealthy person
* baffled/surprised when you don't get your way

Have you ...
* been on a cruise
* traveled out of the country
* met a celebrity
* been to the Caribbean
* been to Europe
* eaten at the space needle in Seattle
* been to "The Mall Of America"
* been to the Eiffel tower in Paris
* been to the Statue Of Liberty in New York
* moved more then three times because you wanted to
* dined with local political figures
* been to the Alantic and Pacific coasts

Did you ...
* go to another country for your honeymoon
* hire a professional photographer for your wedding or commitment ceremony
* take riding or swimming lessons as a child
* attend private school
* have a sweet 16 party thrown for you

Posted by Ensie at 05:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Coming Soon...

I've been MIA for the last several days for a couple of reasons. First, Frinklin's grandmother passed away on Friday. Second, against all better judgement, we adopted another cat - pictures to come soon.

So this has been a rather emotional weekend, what with frantic phone calls, long discussions with Frinklin's mom about the proper ettiquete of funerals and introducing Clyde to the rest of the family.

I really don't mean to make light of the passing of Grandma Alyce. She always made me laugh, the few times that I spent with her, although she wasn't a terribly nice person. I have heard countless stories about various family members being cut out of her will, being added back in, then removed once again when they pissed her off by slighting her dog. She was always lonely, missing her husband who had died four years earlier. I hope that they are together now, which is what she's wanted to for so long.

Two separate services will be held Friday and Saturday. Expect things to get back to normal after this weekend.

Posted by Ensie at 04:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack