Archive for October, 2011

I Kid You Not

October 29, 2011

My laptop has died. I dug out my Nook e-reader (ever typed on an e-reader?). I can type 70+ wpm, and this is pure torture on a touchscreen. Now I understand why text messages are so abbreviated and confusing. It’s hard work doing everything properly.
Repair? Or replace?

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“Sweet Remembrance, Memorial Day 1983, Poem by Margaret Kaylor

October 26, 2011

Puppy Parasite Prevention 101

October 17, 2011

When you get a new puppy, you must get it de-wormed.  So simple.

All puppies will get worms unless they are de-wormed several times about 3 weeks apart.  You can start the worming as early as 2 weeks.  The intestinal worm eggs are passed to the puppies in the mother’s milk.  So even though the mother appears not to have worms, the eggs can be waiting for the perfect environment, aka a puppy’s gut.

You wouldn’t think that a simple parasite or two could be deadly.  So you put off going to the vet to get de-wormer.  Maybe you are confident in your animal husbandry skills, and you know that you can get de-wormer from the feed and seed store, but for some reason, you don’t do it. 

Perhaps you are just plain ignorant.  So you watch your once-active puppy become lethargic, not knowing that the parasites attach to the inside walls of the intestinal tract and drink your puppy’s blood. 

Maybe you become concerned that the puppy seems to be dying.  Or perhaps you don’t, but a friend or neighbor or family member offers to take the puppy to the vet, because another puppy of the litter that your dog had has already died.  And you either don’t care or don’t have the money for a vet visit.

*****

One of the first things that an animal professional does during an exam is to lift the lip of the dog or cat in question and look at the color and condition of the animal’s gums.  It’s a quick flip, and if you are not paying attention, you could miss it.  It seems like such a little thing, and yet it gives you a world of information.

Here’s the short story:  the gums should be a healthy pink.

*****

A young woman brought her puppy, about 10 weeks old, to the veterinarian’s office where I work.  She also brought her friend’s puppy, carried in her arms like a limp rag.  The vet took one look at the limp puppy and said that one was so far gone, that there wasn’t anything he could do.  He attempted to take a temperature with a rectal thermometer, but the puppy’s temperature was so cold that it wouldn’t even register.  I put the puppy in a hot bath in an effort to bring the temp up, but the vet basically said that I was wasting my time.  I did it anyway.

Then I wrapped her up in a warm towel, and held her while the other puppy got an exam. 

The other puppy, the semi-healthy one, had fleas.  The one I held did not, for there was no blood left for them to drink.

Sick puppy. Cannot stand. Eye reflexes almost totally absent.

I offered to keep the puppy, and the young woman who brought her in for someone else called her friend, who declined releasing the puppy to me.  The young woman, who was emotional at this point and near tears, told me that she could just lie to the friend and tell her that the puppy died, and give her to me, and I said that the lie would catch up with us, and that I did not have the authority to seize the puppy, who clearly was almost dead.

White gums, jaws almost locked down, and though you cannot see it here, white tongue. That's pretty far gone, and it didn't happen overnight. This puppy has probably been ill from parasites her whole life, and they took over her body.

This puppy died about 10 minutes after arriving home.  The young woman, who was not the owner, reported that the puppy vomited, then died.

Parade?! (Part 3)

October 9, 2011

Camouflaged Packy.

 

So.  Packy and I cut across somebody’s corner yard to get away from some of the exhaust from the cars.  They had a big Rotty chained up in their back yard who was none to happy with the festivity-makers.  We cut back into the parade, taking our spot at #37, sometimes walking ahead and chatting with folks both in the parade and on the sidelines.  It was a happy group of people.

Packy and I walk right down the middle of the street. We've made the 1st turn on the parade route, and we're heading west now. We're still not at the official start of the parade.

 

At one point, the car in front of you had to pull over and the driver had to check under the hood. That's the car that was spewing exhaust. Unfortunately, they got it running again.

 

Ah, we're making the right-hand turn at the official start of the parade. The officers were taking pictures, so I took their picture, too, that being the only fair thing to do.

 

We  headed north on Jacob Smart Boulevard which is the main north-south artery.  Finally, we’re on the official parade route!

BabyBoy and Awesome Otter.

 

The Milk-Bone box was dropped, and someone came over from the sidelines to help pick up. Awesome Otter and PackettHead helped, too.

 

A potential customer!

 

 

 

 

Oops. Falling behind again.

 

 

Here's the main intersection in town featuring one of the three traffic lights.

 

Still walking, but the end is in sight. It's a little town.

 

Hank Davis gives us a big shout-out.

 

The end! The officers show us the next right hand turn, and we've almost made a complete circle as we get ready to head east.

 

A local beauty queen in high heels.

 

And as we make our way back to the grooming salon, I see what I have been attempting to photograph out my car window for days, but there have always been people out in the yard, and I know that now’s my chance to photograph a Porta-Cocker.

A porta-cocker turned into a porch.

 

Yup, a porta-cocker.  And that’s a story for another day….

Go Big Orange!

October 7, 2011

You know it's going to be a good day when the kitten on your desk turns out to be a Vols fan!

Parade?! (Part 2)

October 3, 2011

The parade set off with every vehicle revving their engines.  We had no engine, but we breathed in the exhaust of all the others.  It looked like it was going to be a long parade in more ways than one.

We fell behind really quickly. One organizer lady with a clipboard at the first intersection said for us to keep up and not to let any spaces between us and the car in front of us. That statement managed to annoy me greatly.

 

Jax the dog scored a Milk-Bone.

 

Clearly, I have issues.

 

Heading into the first real intersection. We have gone approximately 1 1/2 blocks. This does not bode well. We are far behind.

 

Ah, some friendly faces!

 

OK, we made it through the intersection and caught up with all the cars. One car, three vehicles ahead of us, was blowing visible exhaust. I think I tasted it. PackettHead and I waited on the side of the street until it was time to go again. BabyBoy was steadily handing out candy.

 

We were so caught up that I took advantage of the wait and took a photo of this antebellum house through the trees.

 

We start off again, and come to an apartment complex. BabyBoy is really handing out candy, not Milk-Bones. After this session he learned to throw the candy towards them and not let them get close enough to dive into the candy bag.

 

We're still not at the official start of the parade, but we ARE at the first right hand turn. Packy and I shortcut across someone's yard to avoid breathing so much exhaust. Because we are exhausted.

 

And here is a very good place to end this post.  To be continued…

Parade? I’m Supposed To Be In A Parade?! (Or, Whatcha Doin’ Tomorrow?)

October 2, 2011

Things have been busy.  (Insert heavy sigh and take a vitamin here.)

So.  Sugar bought a grooming business, that we already know.  He’s still working for The Man, I’m still working for The Man, and the BabyBoy is The Groomer (you thought I was going to saw he’s The Man).  The grooming business also boards animals so this week we are almost slam-up full, plus two resident cats and a foster dog. 

This past weekend was also the Gopher Hill Festival here in the little town.  Once upon a time this area was called Gopher Hill after the indigenous Gopher Turtles, but when the railway came to this area, Gopher Hill was not considered a classy-enough name.  The name was changed to Town-That-Will-Not-Be-Named, because sometimes I trash-talk my little town, even though white woman speakum truth.  So.

One of the features of the festival, which started last Thursday night, was the Pet Contest.  The only requirement was that the pets be alive.  I suppose it would be awkward if someone entered their My Little Pony, and I can completely understand why such a rigid rule is necessary.  Anyway, here we are in the South, and as of the day before the contest, only 2 pets were signed up.  I’m from the South, just not from this area, but, again, I totally understand that Southerners are great procrastinators, and that we ARE going to get a round tuit. 

The pet contest coordinator lady drafted the BabyBoy and his dog, the Awesome Otter, to be in the Big Dog Contest.  They won 2nd place out of a large field of 3 entries.

After work on Friday, the BabyBoy and I headed over to the festival to eat some festival food and listen to the music provided by the live bands.  He saw the pet-contest-coordinator lady who apparently wears a lot of festival hats, and she told him, and I quote, dear Lord I quote, “See you tomorrow in the parade.” 

Notice I say “In”, not “At”.

It seems that we, as in the grooming business, are signed up to be “In” the parade. 

This was a total surprise to all involved (“all” being 3 people – me, the BabyBoy, and Sugar). 

*****

We have no float.

We have no banners or signs to carry.

We have no T-shirts or hats with logos.

We have no plan.  Which does not necessarily create a problem, because if we have no plan, how can we fail?

*****

The theme of the festival this year is to honor our military, past and present.  We have some clothes that have red, white, and/or blue, especially if you count the Atlanta Braves ballcap.  We have red leashes.  After that the groundwork gets a little thin, if indeed that is possible.

So.  Bright and early on Saturday morning, we pile two dogs and ourselves into Old Yeller, and we head to the grocery store to buy candy to throw at the little chirrens on the parade route.  In a moment of sheer genius, I pick up a large box of Milk-Bones.  To throw at the little chirrens on the parade route. 

We head to the grooming salon which we transform, through sheer willpower, into command central of our Gopher Kingdom.  I find one of my knitted-and-felted backpacks, bright stoplight red, and stuff it with used dog toys and collars that did not sell to hand out on the parade route (to the little chirrens).  BabyBoy finds a tote bag from the Brighter Day Health Food Store in Savannah and dumps the candy in it, along with a tennis ball and a muzzle.  Awesome Otter wears her American Flag scarf (made in China), and Mr. PackettHead wears a camouflage bandanna.  (In some of the photos, you can hardly find him because he is, ummm, *camouflaged*.)

*****

We found where the parade was lining up.  We found someone who knew something and told us that we were in spot number 37. 

We're here!

Some parade organizers had hammered tall stakes in the ground about every twenty feet or so as placeholders.  Number 36 was not there yet.  The maroon car at number 35 was some kind of local beauty queen.  The Boys and Girls Club in right behind us in the number 38 spot.  I hope the Boys and Girls Club bus driver is paying attention while he’s driving, and does not hit the occupants of number 37.

Still no one shows up to claim the number 36 spot.  That’s a lot of vehicles ahead of us.

Cowboys on the hoof.

A whole passel of cowboys show up.  But still no one claims the number 36 spot. 

Still no one is in the number 36 spot, but what about all those cowboys? Surely not.

More cowboys.

Empty. Spot. Horses. Beyond.

The BabyBoy and I talked about the logistics of walking behind a lot of horses. 

I recognized one of the cowboys.  Mr. Floyd assured us that they would be walking at the end of the parade.

Mr. Ed is the man, not the horse.

Then we saw the clean-up crew that would be following the horses.

These guys mean business.

The parade started right on time.  And that story will have to wait for another day.  I need to go take another aspirin and wrap my knees.