Friday, January 29, 2016

Half time

We are halfway through Nadin's stay here in the US.  People often ask what the most surprising thing is about her or about our experience.  Honestly, I think the most surprising thing is how easily we adapted to having another person live with us.  One of my biggest concerns about committing to this was how we would really handle having another person here all day, every day, for 10 months.  But other than my robe getting way more use than usual, it hasn't been that hard!

She's very self sufficient, which also makes it easy.  She can entertain herself, more or less take care of herself, and if need be, feed herself.  Actually, we are both so frequently engrossed in our own activities that I sometimes think I don't interact with her enough! But we try to plan plenty of family dinners and activities to make up for the times we are independent of each other.

She's doing very well in school.  She got all A's first semester except for a B in English and this was largely due to a very questionable format of the final.  Just one of the many things about the Ozark public high school that has disappointed us.

We love that she makes us laugh on a regular basis-whether it be an animated portrayal of teenage lives at the high school, her use of vivid sound effects to go along with routine activities, or just the funny stuff she says.

One of the other things we have realized is how many phrases and sayings we have in English that don't translate literally.  We don't even think about things like "ring a bell" or "off the hook" but to a non-native speaker those don't really make sense!

The dogs love her-especially Legend.  She recognizes the sound of the school bus pulling up and will go meet her at the door if we are home.  And she Legend give each other no shortage of kisses.  Lyric enjoys getting love and snuggles, but is not as forthcoming on kisses, which is typical of her.

Overall I think everyone is enjoying the experience and we have a lot more things planned for the second half.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Let's bowl

Although there are bowling alleys in Egypt, Nadin had never been.  And this seemed like a good activity for a chilly saturday afternoon.  So off we went!  Jerry and I had not bowled in years and neither of us are very good, but we did our best to try and instruct her on appropriate technique. 

She definitely improved from game one to game two-upping her score by 12 points for a career high of 49.  Jerry and I fared a bit better and I won with a score of 95.  In the second game we each broke one hundred which we both considered a success but he won by 7 or 8 pins.  

Everyone got at least a few strikes so overall it was a good success.  Although I'm not sure it was her favorite of the activities she's tried.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A helping hand

In private practice, there are actually not that many days where your direct intervention actually saves a patient's life.  In a way this is good, because these kinds of illnesses and injuries are often unexpected bumps in what is already loa busy day.  They can also be stressful to the owner, pet, doctor, staff or all of the above.  But the lack of this kind of situation can also make private practice mundane and even unfullfilling.  No one really wants to go to school seven years to give rabies vaccines and treat fleas all day. 

And so....our feel good, hero story of the week!  Yesterday afternoon as we were wrapping up surgeries at the spay/neuter clinic someone walked in requesting an emergency cat spay.  Our very patient office manager who deals no shortage of crazy people kindly explained that was not how we worked and that we really didn't have any openings this week.  The person was very distraught and said her cat was having an issue with her pregnancy and a vet had told her if it wasn't spayed right away it would die.  They then asked if there was anything they could do at home to help her.

Now, that's not a lof of info to go on, but generally speaking this didn't sound like a situation for at home remedies. I offered to take a quick look at the cat and see what might be going on and determine some options for them.

The kitty was sweet and quiet, not in any distress, not depressed and not in active labor.  There were no kittnes in the birth canal but there was an abnormal discharge, mild dehydration, and fever.  I suspected the fetuses had died and were becoming necrotic.  While this did not warrant a spay right that second it did warrant a spay in the next day or two for sure.  We initially thought we could give some fluids and send them some antibiotics to buy a little time.  But realistically I realized no full service private practice was likely to help them.  We decided to add the kitty to our already full schedule for the next day since I just couldn't send her away to potentially die over a surgery that would not likely take me more than 15 minutes.  Fortunately we have some grant money that allows us to assist people who can't afford our already reduced fees.  The owner happily paid the associated $35 co-pay and today the little momma got all fixed up!  Everyone went home happy and we got the chance to directly save a life and also help someone in need.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Fuller House

Anybody remember Reaghan?

Well, she's back.  She's very overweight, she was overdue on vaccines and your guess is as good as mine as to whether or not she was on heartworm prevention.  The couple who adopted her also had a laundry list of issues they were having with her.  So apparently, even careful screening cannot weed out all people who are inept at pet parenting. 

One of the main issues they had was urinating in the house, both in the form of excited/submissisve urination and purposeful urination due to unknown causes-marking, stress, dominance, UTI? 

So far she has excited urinated three times since being here.  All in the first 24 hours when being let out of her crate or x-pen.  Since then she has done great-even after a long night or several hours during the day.  She did purposefully pee in her bed at the clinic the day the tranport volunteer dropped her off.  So we have not allowed her access to bedding in her kennel, or on soft surfaces when she is loose unless we know she is "empty" and we are gradually increasing the amount of time she gets out of her x-pen.  She was also treated for a UTI while being boarded and waiting for transport.  It didn't seem like it was all the way gone based on her lab results so I am doing another round of antibiotics at a higher dose.  

I think she didn't have a lot of rules or structure at her home.  They refused to crate her and she was allowed on all furniture.   She was also loose in the house with the other dogs furing the day and we don't really know what went on between them. So we are instituting rules and structure for her.  

They also said she snapped at another dog that visited the home.  She will growl if my dogs come close but this is mainly a personal space/territorial issues.  She responds well to verbal correction and I think this will improve.  She's not outright aggressive to other animals as they portrayed-she plays outside with Trace and is fine as long as no one invades her personal space in the house.  So I think she will get over this eventually with time and consistency.  She will chase and bark at cats but that's not really new so we continue to work on it.  

And of course we have her on a diet!

She's still the sweet, little love bug that she was before, just needs a little retraining in the right direction.  

Tomorrow Trace will go back to his own foster home and our house won't be quite so full.  It's been a busy weeeknd of juggling dogs!

Sunday, January 24, 2016


The house pets did not want to be left out of the picture taking.  Or maybe they did.  But doesn't matter, I got them anyway.

 This turned out cool.
 The lighting wasn't so great where Twix way laying.  I'll have to work on getting some better ones.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Ponies having breakfast

You can't get away with just looking at dog photos.  Here are the horses having their snowy breakfast on Thursday.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Dogs in snowland

Naturally we got had to get some photos of the dogs in the snow yesterday. Not surprisingly, Legend's were amazing.  She just really couldn't be any prettier.

This one is my favorite

 Spicing it up a little!

And she had to put up with this annoying little guy

But he is pretty cute.

Lyric wasn't so impressed, but did allow a few photos

Zodiac doesn't pose so well anymore, is not interested in balls and can't see treats so I didn't get many of him.  I'm saving the ones I did get for a special upcoming event!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter, traditional style

Unexpectedly, we had real snow last night.  Only a few inches, but it means we all stayed home today.  Nadin got to go out and have a more complete snow experience.  Which she thought was beautiful, but cold!

I don't know how many more snow days we might get this year, so I haven't told her about make-up days yet!

Because I did all the housework yesterday, I've gotten to play with photos all morning.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Winter, Ozarks style

Yesterday the forecast called for any variety of freezing precipitation to fall during the afternoon and evening.  I left work at 3:00, before it got "bad" and it took me an hour and a half to make the normally 35 minute drive home.  Luckily for me the truck did great and only slipped once as I turned on to our street.  Others were not so lucky and I even saw Nadin's school but stuck on a hill, but it managed to get on over and she arrived home only a few minutes before me-about double her usual bus time.  Conditions continued to deteriorate with some people having 3 hour drives home!  Jerry missed his window to get out of town before the chaos and has a brand new car.  Lucky for him a former coworker was in town at the hotel near his work so he stayed the night there and the three of them got to use the Pizza bowl tickets that we were supposed to use.  Nadin and I settled for whatever I could cook at home.

And then the most exciting thing that can happen to kids in the winter occurred-we got the call that school was cancelled for today.  And she got to enjoy her first "ice day" since we really didn't get any snow.  Shortly after that Springfield called off school and that meant I got to stay home today too!

I spent most of the day giving the house a good cleaning and bathing and brushing Zodiac.  Both things that were very much needed.

I did find a little time to spend outside and take some pics of our house guest.  We are puppy-sitting this MOKAN dog for Cheri while she soaks up the sun in Costa Rica.  His name is Trace and he's about 5 months old.  He's a pretty good boy but likes to play with his food bowls and is quite interested in cats.  Also loves herding Legend and belly rubs.
 I don't know why they always to pull her hair.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

First snow

We were at my parent's this weekend and woke up to about a 1/2 inch of snow.  Not enough to hinder our drive home, but enough for Nadin to say she had actually touched and seen snow.  We hope to have a "real" snow for her to play in before winter's over.  But this is something anyway.