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.
Keep in Mind, all posts are stream of conscious entries with little or no editing or rewrites. There's my disclaimer.
It's been several days since my last post and the little writer within is pissed off at me for not letting her out to play, even for the ten minutes I spend to type up one of these babies. I have to explain to her, and to any of you who wondered what happened to that commitment I declared last post, that I would have loved to have been dancing on a keyboard with my fingertips, but I was too busy washing every bloomin' thing in my house: Every. Damned. Day.
Every morning after seeing my daughter off to school, I come back home, strip the house of fabric and either stuff it in the washer, bleach it or steam the hell out of it. If you're just dropping in then you don't know that we recently rescued a dog from the pound who had demodex and sarcoptic mange that he passed along to me and my family. Yay!
So there hasn't been any time to write, other than a few strongly worded emails laced with the subtle threat of litigation to the Boulder County Humane Shelter, though I know they are just trying to save as many dogs as they can and in their haste, a sick pup makes it through the system and into some unsuspecting families home, turning the joy and excitement of bringing home a new best friend, into a nightmare.
There are good things that have come from this experience, I suppose, as all hard experiences are laced with gifts, though we don't often recognize them. In our case, we discovered that we're not really ready for a pet. Not ready, and possibly never will be ready. My five-year-old may have been scarred for life against dog ownership, though she is eager to try a cat next. It's the independence thing. I love, love, love dogs. But when it comes down to it, I guess I'm more of a cat person, though I didn't know it til just this week.
On the last day of my last trip to Thailand, I learned about two things that I could have done if I had more time: pet a tiger and swim in a shark tank. Ever since then, I've been looking for an excuse to go back.
My excuse came this year when I discovered that flying from Tokyo to Berlin would cost about $600 one way, but that a one way ticket from Tokyo to Bangkok and another one from Bangkok to Berlin would cost $500 combined. I wasn't getting a free trip to Bangkok-- I was getting paid to stop there.
Bangkok has some amazing malls- the apparent king of them being Siam Paragon, at the Siam skytrain station. Besides a movie theater with fold-nearly-flat leather recliners complete with pillows and duvets, a Lamborghini dealership stocked with cars, and one of the best food courts I've ever seen, it also has an aquarium. A big aquarium.