Thursday, February 26, 2009


The week has just blown by. My toy poodle, Pepe (accent on that last e) started having similar symptoms as a dog with a foreign body blockage by Saturday evening. In January he had a similar episode and we thought he’d chewed on and swallowed and piece of sheet rock (long story). Well, I don’t think he ever had any blockage but everything presented that way. Distended bowls, inability to go #2, lethargic, no appetite, vomiting, and some discomfort in the abdomen. That last symptom was pretty minimal so he didn’t fit the “profile” 100%.

Fast fwd to today and he is having major surgery at 11am today at the Vet School. He’ll have a team of Vets, his own anesthesiologist, and the head of soft tissue surgery in the room plus I am sure a few extra 4th year Vet students to boot. His assigned student has been wonderful. I am happy he will have such great care but I am a nervous wreck that he has to go through yet another major surgery.

His last was in ‘06 when he had to have a ruptured salivary gland removed. When he came into our rescue he suffered from a condition that should have been the size of a quarter but was instead the size of a grapefruit. Probably due to someone hurting him, possibly kicking him. Yea, his past is pretty awful and he also has a very gruesome scar along his side where we think someone burned him so bad that it destroyed the skin follicles. No hair grows there.

When he first arrived we had no plans of keeping him but rather finding him a wonderful forever home. Big dogs and German shepherds (GSD) was our breed of choice to work with not a toy poodle. Still we took in Pepe because he came with a GSD who was close to starving to death named Apache and had some major fear issues. The more we had the pair the more I fell for Pepe and when he finally decided to trust someone it was me that he picked. That is how I have GSD’s and a toy poodle. His buddy was adopted by a great family in my hometown and 007 helped him get over his fear issues. He's a fantastic family dog and has three kids and doggy sibling that he adores not to mention his new folks.

Anyway, a local vet who’s a rather skilled specialty surgeon did the removal of the ruptured gland (duct?). I talked with him this morning to let him know what’s up and bring him up to speed in case the surgeon for today wants to talk with him. I also wanted to be sure he had done well under anesthesia.

To back up a bit Pepe started presenting on Sunday evening, called Dr. L and by morning I was at the clinic doing x-rays, blood work, more fluids. We repeated x-rays Tuesday and Wednesday and noticed something showing up in what we thought was the colon and so we gave it until Wednesday AM. Upon palpation Dr. L determined it was outside the colon wall but still in the pelvic canal. Great!

So off to the Vet School we went and sure enough he has all of radiology stumped and everyone is just dying to get in there to see what the hell is going on. Hopefully it is encapsulated and can be easily removed. There is some kind a of mass and it could be intestine that has worked its way down to the pelvic canal which is extremely rare, he could have a double colon (yea I want to know how too), it could be an abscess, or a tumor, or something else nobodies thought of. Great!
So surgery is risky b/c of all the bad bacteria in that region. Yea, I am a wreck mostly b/c I don’t think it is fair to him to have yet another problem and I can’t get over how small surgery site will be.

But I am thinking positive and since he has the best possible team available to me in the state I am confident but since I won’t be in the room I can’t stand it! Can you imagine if I have a kid I’ll have to go to medical school!

To be continued…

An update! Pepe did great through surgery. They found a piece of his intestine had some how made its way to his pelvic canal and was stuck. It had pinned his colon so nothing was getting through it. The amazing part about all of this is its been a condition for sometime. I first noticed he had some pain associated with his lower abdomen, groin area, and seemed to pick up his right back leg when he ran. My guess was a sprained hip/leg/ankle maybe some arthritis. Dr. L guessed possibly hernia but bloodwork, x-rays and palpation reviled nothing significant. So we started him on a join supplement. That was in October. I think some of his blood work was a little elevated but nothing alarming. We'll go over that on Monday I am sure.

Then in January he had a similar bought as mentioned above with what we thought was a foreign body but x-rays revealed nothing. Well, now we know all of these conditions were linked. Wow, its just crazy to think about and man I am pumped that his surgery is over. He is doing great in recovery but has some pain. They are giving him meds and will updated me again around 6am or so.

He may have to have a second surgery to repair a possible hernia if there is one caused by the bowel needing to go somewhere. We are not sure as the whole region is inflamed and his doctor didn't want to aggravate this situation but rather give it time to calm down to be sure there is a hernia. She did resection his bowel removing about a centimeter of bowl that was necrotic that had been pinched and then the part of bowel that was stretched out going all the way to his pelvic cavity. It wasn't much removal and a good move to insure that he only has functional tissue. However, we are not out of the woods yet.

The critical days for a bowel resection I am told are days 3-5 post opt. So I'll be a nervous ninnie and I've already talked with Dr. L and the vet that did his surgery. He is spending the night in ICU, yes they have these even for pets and I am grateful. So the bottom line is he's on the mends and it was probably the best case scenario as far as these things go. He also caused quiet the stir at the Vet School. I wonder how I can work that into my interview next year (assuming the ask me back again).

Yea, I want a be a vet again! Go figure.

Pepe and Apache

A closer view of Pepe's ruptured salivary gland. Typically this condition is the size of a dime to a quarter. Because of the size it is believed that he lived with this condition for a long time prior to coming to the rescue. We had it removed as soon as we found a great Vet who was confident he could handle the procedure. He's a very skilled Doc and also a large animal vet in a rural community. Yea, I think he walks on water!

Post surgery and with a new haircut.

Hanging with Mom riding in the truck, one of his favorite things to-do.

If I receive any photos from his latest surgery I will post them, but I am not sure what they will give me back. He sure is one heck of a guy and I can't wait until he is home again!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday naps

Is there anything better than an afternoon nap? When the sun is beaming down through the window and it warms ya as you snuggle in to all your blankets. Ah...

Maybe I'm part cat.

I just can't tell ya how much I love my Sunday naps!

Of course working so dang much maybe why I love my nap time. It recharges me, refreshes me, and I don't feel as much like a fool for working this hard when I wake-up. Granted I will have a different view tomorrow morning at 6am... make that 7am.

Hope everyone had a great week and enjoyed Valentine's Day on some level. Its not my favorite holiday but 007 is getting me to the point of liking it. He picked me up from the zoo with chocolate covered strawberries! He claims he made them but I have my doubts. They are so freaking good! Yes, I shared them but only a few.

Then we went and spent sometime with my Grandma and took her some flowers. For starters she is doing amazing. I have to let you know she is something and one heck of a fighter! She was up and in the dinning hall refusing to eat when we got there. She is back to her feisty self and even made a face (sticking out her tongue at one of her CNAs) when I took her back to her room. Once in her room she promptly requested a sugar cookie that the church group had dropped off. She cracks me up. We talked about KU basketball, the zoo, she teased me some and of course she spent sometime with Pepe. It was great to have her in such high spirits. As we left she requested that I bring back apple pie with my next visit. Sure thing!

I think 007 summed it up best as we headed home. I had asked him what do you make of the past few weeks with her. He remembered a quote and it summed it up well.

The Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. by Mark Twain

I was smiling from ear to ear! Happy Valentine's Day for sure.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oh the pondering I do..

Why is it that since my rejection letters have come in the mail I feel as if I've been given some odd vacation or reprieve? Its strange and maybe it has to do with 007 finishing up school come May. I honestly can't figure it out.

However, I do feel a huge since a relief, that come August I won't be leaving the ranch and heading to school to be bombarded with material that I need to have memorized yesterday.
Just so you know I am still taking the classes I need to improve my application for next year but I keep wondering is this feeling going to change?

I also wonder is it a by product of rejection or is it for real. Maybe it's just because I love our new place so freaking much. Keep in mind it is a royal mess right now, the trees have no leaves, and it's raining so there will be lots of mud tomorrow. However, I love it and I can feel spring just around the corner. I am just bursting with anticipation over it. I can't figure out why!

Maybe, I bounced around so dang much that its nice to put down roots or maybe its because this place is "new" to me. Its hard to really put my finger on it. So most of the time I push it out of my mind and do what I need to do so I'll be a better candidate for next years cycle. Still these thoughts just won't go away.

To add insult to injury, I have crazy moments like this one recently where I got to help with an exam of a Lion! Yep, a lion it was his annual exam and he got his rabies and 4 in 1 vaccines.

Those are the moments that I then return back to wanting to be a Vet. Some days though I am perfectly happy with being the assistant. So I sit and I ponder as the rain comes down what does it mean to find a balanced life? A life where you get to enjoy your job, have time at home, and a few silly hobbies. To have those things do I need further education or is being just the assistant good enough.

The part I always go back to is the idea that this place is "new" and for me these experience in Vet Med are new. Basically I'm in the honeymoon phase and I am beyond fortunate to have some really cool Vets to learn from. However, what happens when they retire (mind you it'll be like 20+years) would I get so lucky as to find other great Doc's to work for. Or does the job pass to me?

I also wonder about my rescue and realize that wanting to be a Vet came out of that in the first place. I can't expect others to want to run a non-profit clinic/rescue, but I can expect it of myself. I am sure I could find someone with a similar view and a DVM behind their name to partner with or hire but would it fit or would I be (gasp) jealous? I can't say I am jealous of the Doc's I work for now so I wonder if my direction has been misguided and what I have been meant to-do is assist/manage. Hmmm?

Doesn't help that I have two job offers to work as full-time techs even though I don't have my RVT. I can even hold out until May when 007 graduates and gets a real job. I just can't fathom cashing in my cushy gov job for something that to me is a bit of a gamble. I mean I could get laid off, fired, etc. Keep in mind I haven't experienced any of those ever and I've worked for one Vet going on 5 years and the other 2+ years in part-time and/or volunteer statuses. I guess I always had an out though and they were jobs for learning about the world of Vet Med not something I figured I would do to make a living.

With 007 graduating I feel like my world just opened up and now I have to many freaking options! You see I have stayed in my cushy, stable did I mention BORING gov job while 007 was in school to guarantee we could pay the bills, maintain a non-college lifestyle, etc. With graduation I don't have to "worry" or whatever it is I tend to do and I can be more daring.

Still it's hard to let go of a salary gig for hourly and low paying hourly at that. Still what is the value of loving what you do? What is the value of not working 7 days a week, which is what I'm doing so I can do these things in addition to my cushy job. I really wonder if I can break out of this mold of gotta keep my steady gig going and take a risk!

Could I really learn to enjoy my free time and have a BALANCED life? Funny how that word came up in my interview. At the time I thought I fielded the question well. Maybe I just said what they wanted to hear but now I want to figure it out!

If not I may just drive myself insane.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Saturday Night Fun

This was written last night but by the time I got home I was to tired to post it... Still I figured it made for some amusing reading.

It’s 8pm and I’m at Lowe’s again. Ugh! He’s in the story and I’ve found a wireless connection in the parking lot. When will the remodeling be over with? I also was informed by 007 that he will have to pull the toilet out to complete the tiling. Yea, I realized this would happen but I didn’t realize that it would be for a number of days! I think Pepe and I are going to go and stay at the house we are trying to sell b/c I require indoor “services” so to speak. I could so use the break from all the dust that comes with remodeling. I try and clean things up and then I come home and there are power tools everywhere! This afternoon 007’s tool box or should I say one of many was just open on the back porch.

I was annoyed because the dogs were also outside so thoughts of Rocco with a foreign body quickly run through my mind. Then explaining myself to Dr. L crosses my mind and then I feel justified in asking 007 what the hell he was thinking leaving it out there open like that. He had no real response just, sorry my bad. To sum him up completely would be to call him the absent minded professor. He gets so focused on whatever “project” he has going on that the rest of the world i.e. reality just kind a fades away. Isn’t it ironic how someone can be so dang smart and so clueless at the same time! I kind a picture him in our golden years as the scientist from Back to the Future and if he invents a time machine I’ll let you know, sure hope it’s the steam engine one.

So 007 just came out and has informed me that now we have to go to Home Depot. Why, you might ask? Because we bought the freaking tiles at the OTHER STORE! Fantastic! I love late night shopping. The sad part about this tale of woe is that the tiles he’s picking up are 2X2 little squares for accents in the floor. So the fact that we are bothering is highly ridiculous on our part. The fact that BOTH of us failed to realize which store we got these at is just par for the course these days. Someday we’ll look back and fine all of this funny. However, I can’t imagine when that will be!!!

Maybe I should go in the store with him… nah.

Back at home on Sunday this is what the tile looks like so far. The places where there is a small 2X2" diamond shape missing is where the illusive tiles from Saturday night are going in at. That wood box thing will be a shelf soon and will also block my view of the toilet from the tub. It is coming together!

BTW no kittens yet, but she has been nesting quiet a bit so soon probably. As of Sunday @ 2:22 still no kittens but she is so about to POP!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

We are expecting!!!

Relax... not me. 007 picked up a cat that was hanging around at the end of our drive. He claims that he NEVER brings home strays only I do that. Yea right.

This time (and he claims it's his first time he's brought home a cat) well the cat is expecting kittens! We took her into the clinic for a well-cat exam. Joking! I wanted Dr. L to have a look at her and do some lab work. She's negative for feline leukemia/feline aids (FeLV/FIV) which is great news. She does have some intestinal parasites but we can't treat her for those because she's too far along. When I say she is too far along I mean she is about to pop! So we should have some new fur babies in about a week if not sooner. Once they are here we'll be able to treat everyone for the parasites. I am curious how soon we will be able to do that as she'll be nursing. I am very excited as you can imagine!

Since this is Ben's cat he got to name her and picked Amber. This isn't a great photo of her as she is hard to hold in her current condition, but it sure shows how prego she is.

Yep that is the proud midwife holding her. Wonder what the male version of that word is. Tee hee!

I'll post new pics when the kittens arrive. When they are all old enough we will find everyone homes through the rescue. This will include Amber and we will also have her spayed as she is VERY miserable and I so wouldn't wish this experience on any cat. She is probably having sextuplets. Can you imagine! I've tried to listen for the heartbeats but can't over her purring. I sure wish we had a sonogram at the clinic. I know a vet that has one... maybe I'll bug him. This is so very cool for a wanta be vet.

So please remember to spay and neuter your pets. Amber is lucky as she wondered to the right home but this could have easily been an outside winter delivery which would have been really awful for all. Glad we have the rescue and we can "fix" this situation for all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

All in a Days Work

I’ve been meaning to write oh, every day this week but then something comes up and I never get to it. I hate that feeling. Its kind a like my school work feeling…dread for not putting forth the effort I should be. It’s going ok, just a bit mundane but what would one expect for basic courses.

So I have had a very odd day, yes odd. I tend to have more odd days than normal days probably because I am trying hard to fine the humor in the ordinary. It changes your perspective.

Today we had one of our former employees return. She’s a total trip and stopped in so that a few of us could all go to lunch. Let me explain how unique my co-workers are. First the three ladies that I went to lunch with are first in their mid 50-60’s. They have been there, done that, and stole the t-shirt. They are far from boring and really embrace life.

I am pretty sure one gal who goes by the nickname of Bunny has started a few revolutions in her time. I would never cross her in a million years and she is constantly telling me to be nice to 007. Then there is Brown Sugar keep in mind I did not come up with that nickname she did and one of our work release gals who was nicknamed Tattoo (how could I make this stuff up). Brown Sugar is the employee returning. Miss Sugar as I love to call her is this feisty 4’3” spitfire of a woman who works half days and provides endless hours of entertainment for the entire office. She’s very motherly and always brings in food which keeps our sometimes grumpy maintenance guys happy during the cold winter months around here.

The third party to our lunch time outing was Mrs. B who is one tough cookie in her own right. B played softball in college, was in the army reserves, has spent a great deal of time working within the prison system, and just bought a 20 acre farm about 15miles from me! She’s ran a work crew of women cons that would refurbish run down homes that would later be turned over for HUD housing and she has a heart of gold for rescue pets. I claim that she is a key member of the rescues executive board as she is very level headed when it comes to the stress and complications and lets me whine to her.

We are a motley crew of silly woman and boy do we get loud! My goodness we probable offended half the folks at the local fast food joint. Because anything is game for discussion when we all get together from the current economic situation, to our new loved president, or Mrs. B’s new neighbor who informed her that he lost his prized part in an electrical accident. Yea, I’m not joking! These gals crack me up;)

So that was my lunch. They made this young’en blush big time and laugh so hard my sides hurt which sure felt good.

What I love about this group and my network of friends that stretches far and wide is the variety. No one is the same and everyone has a very unique perspective on the world around them. I would say my “family” is comprised of a patchwork of folks from so many varying walks of life and experiences. When you take a moment to look back it can really shock you and you begin to realize that “family” is what we make it and that is a wonderful thing!