Monday, December 15, 2014

Hot Chocolate St. Louis

We decided to run another Hot Chocolate 15k again this year, despite not really being all that prepared!

But we had a good trip, of course eating at the Cheesecake Factory and doing a little shopping, mostly at pet stores. We are very predictable. 

We had pretty decent weather for STL in December. Unfortunately none of us felt well race day morning-even though we all had something different for dinner. But we seemed better before or partway though the race and were able to enjoy our chocolate at the finish!

And this year we even got finisher's medals. Cool huh?
 And, our pre-race photo

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday photos

I'm not much for decorating.  I don't care that much for dealing with Christmas trees.  We have a kitten.  So we went the easy route this year and got a baby tree.  No transportation hassles, easy to get in the house, already came in a stand and a snap to decorate.  We didn't even have to move any furniture!
And here is said kitten with tree.  She has actually been quite good with it.
This is my favorite ornament.  I don't even hang it on the tree, I just set it out so I can see it.
And here is the cute new ornament I added to our collection this year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The blessing and the curse

Three weeks I put to sleep my best friend's heart dog, and agility partner of many years.  Seven years of college and 10 years of practice do not prepare you for this.  I understood her pain.  I've been there.  Someday, whether I like it or nor, I'll be there again.

 But this time it wasn't just about understanding their pain.  This time I knew the dog lying before me.  I had watched her blissfully run countless agility courses.  I had shared hotel rooms with her.  She had shared the back seat of my car with our girls.  She stayed at our house.  I had fed her cookies to distract her from barking while her sister was in the agility ring.  I watched her run and fetch and tug her leash.  She had fluffy black fur so soft you had to pet it, even though she didn't want you to.  She made us laugh at her funny faces when she was trying to be tougher than the other dogs, even though she wasn't.

And it saddened me to see someone I cared about in such pain and knowing there wasn't anything I could do to stop it.  In fact, the one thing I had to do,  I really didn't want to.  But despite an overwhelming argument from my heart telling my I couldn't do it, I did.  And I held it together almost until the end, but finally tears streamed down my face as the little black dog crossed the rainbow bridge, leaving broken hearts and fond memories behind her.

Half a lifetime ago, I decided to become a veterinarian.  No one told me this might happen.  It's not their fault, they didn't know.  But in the end it didn't matter,  I never would have said no.  I would never have sent them to a stranger, or someone who didn't care, or understand.  This is the blessing and the curse not only of my profession, but of life, friendship, and dogs who never live long enough.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tis the season again

Despite my denial that summer is over, it is, in fact, that time of year.  Merry Christmas Grandma!  Happy reading.

Monday, December 1, 2014


I have not abandoned this blog.  We were on vacation (yeah, I know, again!). We decided to take another cruise but to make it easier and cheaper we sailed from New Orleans since that is only a one day drive.  We also wanted to try out Carnival cruise lines and see how we liked it.  We were also limited in our travel dates so with all those criteria we didn't get much choice in our destinations, but we just wanted something warm.  It was a good trip, but I can't really say awesome, but some things were our of our control.

Anyway, we got up early and drove to New Orleans on a Saturday so we would have a little time to see the city.  We stayed overnight near the French Quarter and walked down to Bourbon street to have dinner and do the whole tourist thing.  This place is crazy.  I couldn't believe how busy it was on just a random Saturday in November.  I can't imagine what it's like at Mardi Gras.  And I knew it was a historic area, but I just expected it to be bigger, but mostly it's like a dirty alley full of drunk people.  But we did finally find a not too loud place to enjoy dinner, which was actually the best food we had the whole trip.  Sunday morning we explored more of the French Quarter, which is a lot of the same kind of stores and restaurants all over and then headed to the cruise terminal.

I didn't take any pictures of the ship but if you are interested we sailed the Carnival Dream. We liked the decor of the Carnival ship more than Princess, and we really liked that it had a comedy club with multiple shows almost every night.  They also had a greater variety of lunch options (except that at lunch you are usually off the ship or too full from breakfast to eat much).  Overall though, we did like the food better on Princess.  That said, I would not describe either as excellent, just good.  The crowds on Carnival were younger and livelier, but that also means a certain number of them were somewhat "trashier."  Also, lots of kids, partly because this is evidently a popular time to take a family vacation and partly just a difference in cruise line.  Other than that, the experience was pretty much the same.  I would not choose a future trip based on cruise line, but on price and destination.  Also I liked the Princess website better when shopping and planning our trips.

The first two days were at sea and were warm, sunny and windy so no real issue there.  The next day was our stop at Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras.  We chose to take an excursion to a highly recommended snorkeling beach.  But it was a little cool, rainy, and very windy that day and so snorkeling was pretty much out.  We relaxed on the beach, enjoyed the music and some reading and then headed back to the ship. I was also coming down with a cold by this point.

Thursday we were supposed to stop in Belize, but there is a coral reef in Belize that prevents cruise ships from docking so they send smaller tender ships out to get you.  But the winds were too high for these ships so they had to cancel this day.  No big deal to us because we didn't have anything planned but it was a cool, windy day on the boat too so we spent it inside-which we can do anywhere.  Friday was a really nice day for Cozumel.  Which was perfect because we had splurged on a dolphin encounter excursion with an all you can eat and drink buffet and included snorkeling.  First stop off the boat though was to get some cough drops!

The dolphin swim was really fun.  We all got to touch and interact with them, get kisses and do a belly ride.  We enjoyed watching the performances and other interaction groups while eating and Jerry did some snorkeling, but I didn't really feel like it.  By the time we got back to the ship I was beat and needed a nap before enjoying evening activities.

Saturday was also a  nice day, not really hot enough to swim but warm and sunny enough to enjoy the day outside before heading home to winter.

We got more pictures this year too.  We liked the ones we got last year but I think Carnival did an even better job.  If you are ever on a cruise take advantage of this.  They will do pictures several nights, maybe all and have multiple backgrounds.  You can go to them all at no cost and only buy pictures if you like them.  Here are a few of the ones we got.

Our drive home Sunday took 13 hours with road construction and stops for food, gas, and kleenex.  I was really glad I didn't have to work today and with the freezing drizzle on the roads Jerry decided to stay home too.  Back to the real world tomorrow.

And, I almost forgot-the towel animals made by our cabin steward!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Texas was cold

There is not a lot of NADAC around here and we get tired of the same trials over and over again so months ago my friend Linda and I decided we would try something new and head to Texas for a trial put on by someone we know that we had also heard good things about.  It's a 7-8 hour drive so our initial plan was to travel Friday and Monday so we would not have a late drive home.  But I guess we didn't set this is stone and Linda couldn't get off work Monday so we were just going to leave early enough Sunday to make it a reasonable trip home.  This was all before the arctic blast of winter weather descended upon us.

Anyway we headed out Friday morning and made a pit stop at the Pink Pistol in Oklahoma-the girls are big Miranda Lambert fans, as are we.  This necessitated a purchase of boots and a T-shirt as well as this photo-op.

Then, it was back on the road and we settled into the hotel around 8PM and ordered pizzas for dinner.  Good start.

The trial site is a horse farm, which was very pretty, but cold.  Like unseasonably cold for November in Texas.  Made for fast running dogs though!  We have done literally zero agility since our last trial in August but Legend managed to pick up 6/12 Qs including two of the most amazingly perfect Chances runs of her life (7 more to NATCH 2).  Who needs training?  Lyric went 5/6 and wowed everyone with her cuteness picking up several new fans I'm sure.  She also finished her O-TN-E. We got to see some different dogs run and meet many new people. Overall a very nice group and fun little trial.  Saturday we enjoyed dinner out with the group and tucked ourselves into bed early.

Sunday, a winter weather advisory was issued for home and much of the route we needed to drive was covered in snow during our proposed drive time.  So we decided to go ahead and stay for all runs and just spend another night in Texas.  Linda was able to get her shift covered at work since the snow had also wrecked her co-workers plans.  I had only recently volunteered to work at one of my regular jobs on Monday to give the boss an extra day off, but had to back out thanks this early winter weather.  But all ended up ok. We ate leftover pizza for dinner, Texas shaped waffles for breakfast and headed on home.  We hope to return in the spring when the weather should be warmer.

I took a few photos of this cool horse whose pen was adjacent to the arena.  I like this one, but you can tell where I was taking out part of the fence and another horse.  I should have worked on it more before I finished.
 These three are all the same but I didn't know which one I liked better.

 This guy just looked cute.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cool, but not cool

In the midst today's chaos I saw a cat with a grossly swollen front leg complete with bloody drainage and lesser injuries to all his other limbs. 

After administering sedation and pain meds we cleaned and evaluated the legs. In addition to the very swollen front limb the other limbs all had puncture wounds with small amounts of swelling, edema and cellulitis. What seemed odd about this is that a cat usually only sustains injury to one or two areas of the body in a fight-typically once they get bit good on one leg, they don't hang around to get bit on all the others. Since there was so much swelling in the bad leg it was impossible to evaluate the bones so I decided to take an x-ray to see if there was any bone damage or infection. 

This is what we got. 

Yep, gunshot wounds. The bullet spray must have also hit the other legs, just to a lesser extent. There are multiple fractures here in case you are wondering. However, with the amount of swelling and drainage we can't splint it. Also, there is a chance that there will be collateral damage from the swelling if blood supply or nerves have been damaged. Sloughing of skin or permanent nerve damage is not out of the question. There is also the possibility these fractures will never heal adequately-but this is a cat so we are hopeful. There are worse fates than amputation. 

While there is no shortage of buckshot in rural missouri animals, most of the time it's just an incidental finding on an x-ray, not the actual issue at hand. So I have to admit I felt a little like I was on a cop show today when I got to diagnose the infamous GSW. 

This x-ray was pretty spectacular from a pathology standpoint, not so much for the cat. Such is the case with most things in medicine-the more abnormal it is, the "cooler" it is. Normal just ain't fun, sadly, my inner pathologist says. Unless it's my pet, then normal is just fine. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

This week

Not a lot going on here.  Just working, doing some tracking and hanging out.  We have had family in and out of town the last few weekends so have been doing all the requisite tourist stuff and eating out a lot.

We had several applications for Shea, all of which have lost interest apparently so I updated her bio in hopes of attracting new attention to it.

All the dogs got their senior bloodwork done and everyone looks great.  Hopefully they all stay that way.

Twix said she wanted a turn on the blog.  So here she is-5 months of totally spoiled cuteness.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Horses and Ponies Fall 2014

The whole herd
 Socks is a woolly beast right now.  It's hard to get a picture because he keeps following me around wanting petting and cookies.

Then he got wild and was running all over the place.  If I had a better camera these would be really good, but this is as good as it gets for now.

And finally, pretty boy Squirt, with his "I got in the cockleburrs" haircut.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Zodiac Fall 2014

Such a handsome fellow.  But so gray!  I hardly recognize pictures from when he was young and black!