Keep in mind, all posts are stream of conscious entries with little or no edits or rewrites.
We did. We braved the wacky world to take our five year old to a BAR where she would get to see and hear Irish music performed live. At night. I'm of mutt pedigree with enough racial diversity in every drop of my blood to make me wonder how my current family could be so racist when obviously our ancestors weren't. The parts I know about are Jewish, Irish, Cherokee, German, English, and Chinese. I identify with the Irish, Cherokee, and to a certain extent, Jewish. My husband hails from Scotland, England and that's about all he knows, but as we know from Braveheart, the Scotch and the Irish see themselves aligned if not kin, so we both wanted Nila to feel the ignition of her Irish coding on this Irish holiday. This morning we took her to see children Irish dancers perform at the children's museum and loved watching her head bob in time with the music, her face showing rapt attention in the tribal moves of the children's feet.
Tonight we hoped to get a chance to practice some of that dancing at a local bar where it was rumored irish music would be a playin'. We were brave to think of leaving the house with a five year old after 7 pm at night, but it's been one of those confidence inspiring days. A good day, with no temper tantrums and we're nearing the end, I'm hoping, of battling the mange. Fortunately for us, the mites you catch from Dogs isn't quite as pernicious as the human form of scabies, but this has been a week from hell, none-the-less. Though, I went for a hike yesterday and as I perched on the highest rock I could climb using good reason, and soaked in the sun, then sound of the birds, the different hues of green on each individual pine needle, I reflected on the events of this past week. Finding out we had caught the mites from the dog, taking the dog back, finding out how hard it was going to be to get rid of these bugs, feeling the tide turn in our favor...saying it's been an emotional roller coaster just doesn't really even cover it. Imagine knowing you have little bugs burrowing under skin and laying eggs...Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Here's the thing, though. We've been wondering the whole time if we should keep that dog. He's been sick since we brought him home with illnesses that could be transmitted to us (unbeknownst to us at the time, obviously), but since we already had him for three weeks and had become rather fond of him and wanted to pull him through, even if we decided he wasn't the right dog for us. And he wasn't. He was already too big to play with Nila and once we pulled him over the threshhold of death's door and his energy renewed, he accidentally hurt her every time he tried to play with her. He chewed constantly and couldn't be trusted to be left alone, even for a few minutes, and several other issues. For over a month Darren and I had several, intense conversations trying to figure out if we should keep him, but we just couldn't come to a decision. it didn't help that every one of these conversations occurred under the watchful gaze of his doleful eyes.
it had actually gotten to the point that I was so conflicted and confused that it was causing a lot of agitation and one night I prayed, intensely, begging God to help me make a decision one way or the other. Then the thing the vet said couldn't happen, happened. First I got the mites. Still wasn't sure I should get rid of the dog. Darren got the mites. Still, we just weren't sure. Nila got the mites the next day, he was out of here and i took him myself, which I would never have thought I could do. So when i was atop my rocky perch, I thought about the battle with the scabies mites and all of a sudden it hit me: Without this final plague, I wouldn't have been able to do it. I wouldn't have been able to take him back to the animal shelter (don't worry folks, it was a no-kill shelter and he's already been re-homed). Then I remembered my prayer and I just started laughing. God answered my prayer! it wasn't in something as sweet and subtle as a message in a dream, that wouldn't have been enough for me. I would have second guessed the hell out of that. But giving us all mites? Giving my daughter mites?? Oh there was no question after that.
so from that experience came the freedom I desperately wanted, the out of the pet relationship, we all really wanted, but felt to guilty to admit. And i have more writing material and the beginnings of a book I've been thinking about writing.
Humph. That's my thousand words and my honey of a hubby is over there waiting for me to join him for a movie, so I have to wrap this up. That's kind of the bummer of stream of conscious writing: sometimes you never get around to saying what you originally planned. But here's the flip side of that: Sometimes you say something even better. TTFN.
So I missed yesterday's workouts. My commitment is to work out my body for at least 30 minutes most days of the week and to write, if no where else, then here, 6 days out of 7. Yesterday I didn't get either of my workouts. why? Was I out partying down or biking some epic trail? Climbing some incredible mountain? Nope. Neither. I was visiting the doctor to confirm my suspicion which was that my family and I had been invaded by mites compliments of the cute little doggy we rescued from the pound a month and a half ago. Yep, mites. itchy, itchy mites. Argh! When we adopted from the Boulder Humane Society we did so because everyone had told us that they do a great of taking care of their worms and other ailments before they put the dogs up for adoption, even spaying or neutering them and it's all included in the $200 or $300 dollars you pay for your pup. Well, out of everyone who told us that, none of them were officially employed or even volunteering for BHS. We made an assumption and what do assumptions get us?
In all actuality, they do a really great job there and as far as pounds go, they're pretty awesome. They honestly care about the animals and it's a no-kill shelter. We felt good about supporting them instead of buying a dog from a breeder, you know the win-win for everyone, and probably a year from now, or maybe even sooner, we'll feel like it was a win-win. But today? Not so much. As it turns out, while they do spay or neuter the pet and administer a wormer, they can't really guarantee the pet has a clean bill of health because for the most part, the animals are with them usually less than 3 days of observation. The BHS has an astonishing turn over rate. Most animals have a home waiting for them as soon as the stitches are tied from their spaying/neutering. Apparently, statistically, Boulder County absorbs A LOT of animals. People out here just plum love animals. So with such a turn over rate, they don't get a chance to see every hitch hike an animal might have on board. And that's what happened to us, though we were under the assumption (remember what those get) that every animal was free and clear and carried nothing that might invade your household, intestines or dermal layers. We assumed wrong, and I have great idea for an additional document to be added to the little folder they give you when you adopt your pet. This document would begin: " Warning! While we have done our best to ensure a healthy pet for your family, your pet may still have some health concerns that you should be aware of, some of which may be transmitted to you, your family or other pets."
I plan on writing this up for BHS and sending it to them, not just for them, but for anyone who adopts a pet. People should know exactly what they're in for when they adopt a pet. We were completely ignorant, and I hold BHS partially responsible for that. Over the last month and a half we have battled pernicious little round worms, (contagious to humans and other pets-I found that out 3 weeks after the dog had been licking my daugher's face-since these are fairly common this should be listed as a bullet of average issues animals may face) that took over a month to kill off. The first month we had our dog, he basically slept all day, every day. We think he was dying. About 3 weeks after we had him, i discovered two bald spots and pointed them out to the vet who took a skin scrape and determined he had a demodex mite infestation--basically the mange (ever wonder where that term "mangy mutt" came from? this would be why. As a child I remember my mother often shrieking "Don't touch that mangy mutt!" whenever a strange dog came up for a pet). We were guaranteed that these were not contagious to people and was easily treated with Ivemectin, and anti mite med. Give them the meds and come back in two weeks for another skin scrape. In two weeks, we went back for a skin scrape and yep, still mites. Medication raised. Then I found out they were no longer covering the cost and that he would need to come back every two weeks for further skin scrapes until the infestation was contained, possibly two more months at the tune of $40 to $60 a pop.
Well that was unexpected. But what was even more unexpected was when I started having an intense itching in my own ears that started keeping me awake at night. One night it got so intense I woke up at 4 am with my ear pounding from pain. Off to the doctor's I go. What was it? Inconclusive, though :"there might be a connection to the new dog in the house. Try these drops and let's see what happens." The drops were $278, and they did work for my ears. But then two days later I had a rash around my hairline, on one arm and...well, that's all you need to know. Off to the doc's. Guess what? i have mites. My doctor is fairly certain they probably came from the dog...who just came from the pound and was already being treated for his own mite outbreak.
Now here's where it gets contentious. The vet at BHS assures me that the dog didn't have a mite that could be transmitted to humans. That she saw no other mites in the scrapes she examined. My doctor says that you can get mites from your pet and prescribed a cream to cover the whole family (everyone has to be treated at the same time) and to basically go home and fumigate the whole house. The vet calls me and again reiterates that she doesn't think they came from the dog. I would prefer to just stick the vet and the doc in the room and let them battle it out with their respective books of knowledge, but I don't really give a shit. i just want the mites gone and so far, the implication, scratch, scratch, scratch, is that you can in fact get mites from the dog. If not the dog, then where? And what a coincidence that I should have mites at the same time that my dog has mites. Hmmmmm...I think I'm going with the MD on this one. As of yesterday, we have steam cleaned carpets, upholstery, cars, and currently washing the Mt. Everest of clothes and bedding. Our exterminator is coming on Monday. Can't wait for this to be over. Kind of pissed. Perhaps litigiously so, though it's a good organization and I think the vet is a good one, just closed minded. Perhaps I would be too if I worked with animals all the time. Still. I'm pissed. An that concludes today's rant! On the plus side, the dog is fabulous, sweet and super smart.
I know that you think your other blogs love you like I do, but seriously - who brings you stories like this besides me?
Evan and I were hanging out at my place last night. The neighbors were having a party, as they often do, and we could hear it in my room. For some reason I can never hear the blaring music, but it sounds as though the "clip clop" of the hot girls' stilletos are in my place.
I normally don't really like parties, but my neighbor has transformed his condo into a high end club, complete with hot tub on the roof and large granite bar. He always has at least two girls to every guy, and the girls are always pretty. It's tough not to like that party.