Archive for the ‘This Ceases to be Funny’ Category

The Charter School

July 31, 2012

There’s a charter school coming to this county.  You can read more about it here.

There was one small problem.  There was no school campus.  The charter school was offered the use of an elementary school campus that was abandoned, and it would need to be renovated.  Sugar had heard that the building had been vandalized and stripped of things that could be resold, like air conditioning units and copper wiring.  We were out and about a few weeks ago and took a side trip to look at the new campus.

It turns out that the old buildings were in such disrepair that they could not be brought up to code in time for the school year to start.  So trailers have been brought in.  Sugar said he thought that the trailers were cheap, but I reminded him that the trailers were possibly better than some of the homes the children live in. 

Here’s a little photo session of the past and the future.

Yes, all these photos were made out the car window, thankyouverymuch for asking.

We Interrupt This LawtonFest Due to Thievery!

June 8, 2012

We’ve been a bit busy lately, what with the long Memorial Day weekend, I had a job interview, and we were planning for the upcoming LawtonFest.  Suddenly it came to our attention that ALL the downspouts from the gutters at the grooming & boarding business were gone.  Ripped right off the building, brackets and all.

That’s right.  Gone.  Missing.  AWOL.

This is a poor county.  We all know that our economy is struggling right now.  Folks have resorted to making extra income by selling scrap metal.  Copper is especially valuable, which means that air-conditioning units are being stolen at record rates. 

Here’s the weird part:  the spay/neuter clinic next door still has their downspouts intact.  And none of these are copper.  They are ordinary, run-of-the-mill metal downspouts. 

I really have nothing more to comment about this except *WOW*.  Just wow.

Precious Paisley the Problem Cat, Final Chapter

April 24, 2012

Paisley went to the vet yesterday for observation.

Sugar and I were concerned that her motor skills and behavior had changed.  She still continued to pee and poop in and out of the litter box, in spite of the high-powered antibiotic, which usually makes a dent in a urinary tract infection.

Her behavior was so erratic that I made two short youtube videos two evenings ago, which can be seen here and here.  She was clearly declining, but why?  The vet had no clear answers.

Paisley had presented with one basic issue:  inappropriate litterbox habits, which usually means not urinating in the box, but with Paisley the issue was bigger than that.  She would not consistently use the litterbox for either urination or defecation.  A secondary issue was a flea infestation, and I thought once the fleas were resolved, the litterbox issue would resolve.  A third issue was severe skin allergies to flea bites.  It seemed clear to me that the underlying cause of her issues were flea-related.

We did these things for Paisley:

  • A flea bath (following the CapStar that was given at the shelter).
  • A test for feline aids and feline leukemia, both negative.
  • A rabies vaccination.
  • An FVRCP vaccination.
  • A leukemia vaccination.
  • An AdvantageMulti flea, heartworm, and intestinal parasite monthly prevention.
  • A Profender treatment to kill tapeworms (fleas are the intermediate host).
  • A professional exam.
  • A CBC (complete blood count).
  • A GHP (general health profile blood test).
  • Urinary health food.
  • A urinalysis (showed an infection of unknown source).
  • A pH test (normal).
  • A round of Baytril, an antibiotic.

Also included was constant monitoring and cleaning-up-after, brushing, petting, and general running and fetching for the Paisley.  Her beds were soaked with urine and sometimes feces, even though she might have also used the litterbox. 

We could have opted for an x-ray, and then possible surgery if she had stones, or a possible ultrasound if stones were not apparent, but.  Her behavior seemed neurological, and she seemed miserable.  The veterinary professionals could offer no clear path, but rather one of trial and error. 

What if she had a brain tumor or neurological disorder?  We opted to let her go. 

Good night, sweet Paisley. 

 

Getting Up and Going On

March 27, 2012

Before you read any of this post, you might as well be warned that I will lapse into a remembrance about a pivotal point of my life.  So if you don’t want to read any further, then don’t.  Nobody is paying you to be here, unfortunately, and neither is anyone paying me to chatter on, so proceed at will. 

Not to sound cold or indifferent to your presence, but rather to say that I’ll just put an invisible pen to invisible paper and record these words for what it’s worth.

Eleven years ago, I moved to this part of the country with my husband, my daughter in college, and my son in high school.  The weather had turned cold, much like it is this week, and we arrived at night with all our worldly goods in a rental truck towing a car, and a pickup truck towing a Uhaul trailer.  The next day we found out that our mortgage had not been processed, had indeed not even been begun, and we had nowhere to live.  Because we had nowhere to live, we had no address, and could not prove that we lived here, and could not enroll our son in school. 

The move had not progressed well, and there was problem after problem, but I had no idea of the problems that were about to happen in a year.  Almost exactly a year to the day of moving, my husband announced that he was leaving, and he packed up a few things and left in 45 minutes. 

Forty-five minutes.  He drove away, his black pickup truck making the turn out of sight like a black snake sliding away.  None of this made sense.

Over the next few weeks, I worked on preparing the paperwork for April 15.  I started finding alarming evidence.  He had cashed in two life insurance policies and his IRAs, and he had depleted the checking accounts, the savings accounts, the college savings fund that had over $45K in it, and his investment accounts.  He had gotten a second mortgage for $25K on the house we had sold in NC, and had forged my signature.  He had gotten a loan at the local back, and had the monthly repayment drafted from the personal checking account, the account I now had in my possession, and because my name was not on the loan, the bank would not release any information about it, even though the repayment was drafted out of an account with my name on it.  There was a credit card in my name with an unpaid balance, even though I had never applied for a credit card.  There were other credit cards with large unpaid balances.  And he left all the paperwork behind.  Am I forgetting something?  Probably.  It was a lot to deal with.

*****

So now I’m ten years past the separation.  The divorce came 2 years after the separation.  I have an awesome life now. 

I love puzzles, and genealogy is a puzzle to me.  When you are applying to join a society that is based on heritage, you have to provide “proofs” of your lineage, like a census record, a baptismal record, or a court record.  Divorce papers are a great example of a court record, and it will be forever recorded that the judge confirmed that my then-husband was guilty of adultery with an illegal Hispanic woman who worked for us.  Never screw around on a genealogist. 

*****

After he left, I knew that I would need extra income, because there was no way that I could pay the household bills on one income alone.  I got a part-time job at a luxury boarding kennel nearby.  Every Sunday morning I went to work at 6:30 AM for an eight hour shift.  On Tuesday and Thursday morning, I went to work at the kennel from 6:30-8:30, went home, cleaned up, and went to my regular job at 9 AM.  One of my responsibilities on the morning shift was to walk the dogs, then feed them.  Some of the dogs were nervous, or anxious, or whiny, or worried.  I found myself talking to the dogs like someone needed to talk to me. 

“You’ll be alright”.

“Stop worrying.  Here’s your breakfast.  You’ll feel better after you eat something”.

“It’s not going to do any good to cry about it”.

“It’s not the end of the world”.

“If it makes you feel better, cry about it.  But it’s really not helping anyone else, and you might as well get over it”. 

And that little job as a kennel tech led to a promotion to assistant kennel manager then kennel manager.  Then I went back to college, and cut back on my hours, and then I found a job closer to home at the veterinarian’s office.  And now I’ve finished college, and I still get to work with animals, and I’ve helped open the grooming business, and I’ve established a feral cat colony, and I’m finalizing a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal rescue organization. 

I learned if you curl up and die, you lose.  There were times when it felt like it would be easier to stay down.  But in memory of those ancestors who went before and paved the way, really, you have to get up and go on. 

Because you might just end up on somebody’s genealogy tree someday, and Lordy, won’t those proofs look good.

Out of the Mouths

February 18, 2012

I’m in a unique position in that I’m involved with several businesses having to do with animals.  I work for a veterinarian’s office here in this little town, and the BabyBoy is the groomer for Sugar’s grooming business.  I consider myself sweat equity at the grooming business even though mostly what I do is the banking and ordering and taking photographs.  I’m at the grooming business for a bit in the morning (sometimes) before I go to work, at lunchtime, then again after I finish at the veterinarian’s office.  At the vet’s office, we refer people to the grooming business for grooming and boarding, and at the grooming business, we refer people to the vet’s office for vaccination updates and medical issues that are noted during the grooming/boarding session.

Last week a six-month-old West Highland Terrier named Louie was at the groomer’s.  I saw him at lunchtime.  His grooming session was finished, and he was playing with some of the other dogs in the lobby area that the dogs use for playtime.  I went into the cat room, which is next to the lobby foyer, to tidy up and check on Gladys the Guinea Pig whose cage enclosure is with the cats, and I heard Louie’s owners come in to pick him up.  I heard a man, a woman, and a small child, all very happy to see Louie.  The child was chattering away, although I couldn’t hear what she was saying.  Louie went home and all was well.

*****

The next morning a man called to make an appointment for his Westie who could not use his left rear leg.  He said that he had let the dog out earlier that morning to go to the bathroom as usual, but had not stayed with the dog, and when he went to let the dog in, the dog was on three legs.  The man brought the dog for an appointment, and, yes, it was Louie.  An xray revealed a broken leg.  I called the BabyBoy while the dog was in xray, and asked if he was limping or favoring his leg during the grooming, and had the owners commented on his leg?  He confirmed what I already knew.  The dog was fine when he went home.

Louie’s leg was repaired and splinted, and he was due to come in one week later for a re-check.

*****

The following week, the man and a little girl brought Louie back for his re-examination.  The little girl was a darling little child, perhaps 2 1/2 years old with the face of a cherub.  She chattered away to me, while the owner and the vet examined the dog on the table.  The owner and the vet were engrossed in conversation over the dog, and did not hear the child say to me, “Daddy hurt Louie really bad.”

 

Everybody’s Got One

November 12, 2011

Everybody’s got one.  Or two.  Or more.

Dirty little secrets.  We’ve all got something that we wouldn’t want to tell, at least right now.  Maybe someday, but definitely not now.

And what do you do when you know someone else’s dirty little secret?  Keep it?  Tell it?  Blog about it?

I lived in an area, right before moving to my little town, where there was a booming economy about ten years ago.  Lots of new people moved into the area for work and a new opportunity.  I learned over time that people might be a new situation, but they have generally packed up their problems and their problematic personalities and transported them right along to their new situation where they proceeded to repeat history.  We all have personal issues that we can’t, or won’t, change.

Here’s one for you.  When we moved to this area in 2001, I was married with a child in her first year of college and another child in his first year of high school.  One year later, my husband of 23 years packed his things and left in 45 minutes.  It was three weeks before April 15, and we hadn’t finished our tax return for 2001, and I pulled myself together enough to start gathering information for the tax return.  Over the course of several weeks, I found disturbing information in the files.  The checking account when he left had $321 in it.  The money in the college fund for the children only had $3000 in it.  All the savings accounts were gone.  He had cashed in two life insurance policies.  He had also obtained a loan from the bank that was being repaid from automatic draft from our checking account, the one that had $321 in it.  He had gotten a credit card in my name, charged a bit on it, and never paid on it, and that showed up as a charged-off account on my credit report.  He had charged a Christmas gift for his father on a Sears credit card, and never paid the bill.  I found checks written on his business account for large sums of money, $8000, $3000, etc., and the checks were written not to himself or another person, but they were written to the bank and he cashed them.  No paper trail.

Fast forward to 2009.  I was working for a veterinarian, having moved home and job to my little town.  The vet had been acting distracted and erratic for months.  He couldn’t concentrate on anything.  One day his wife and their 4 little children came to the practice, an air of anticipation hanging about all of them, although no one said anything.  No one, until the oldest little child, about 5 years old, said to me when no one else was around, “Have you heard?  We’re moving to Myrtle Beach!”  I said, “Good for you!  You’re going to have a good time!”  And waited to have a good time with this myself, for Myrtle Beach was not less than three hours away, and it would appear that the vet wouldn’t be commuting.

It’s a small practice, and the only other person besides the vet and myself was a woman who by her own admission has anxiety issues and should be on medication but cannot afford it.  That night, I mentioned what I had heard to Sugar, and while we were still talking on the phone, I did a simple search for “vet practices for sale in SC”.  And there it was, right there online.  The very place where I worked was for sale, and had been for some time.

After a few days went by, I told my office-mate that I needed to tell her something and that we were going to have fun with the information.  She did have a little anxiety attack, but she held it together even though she was in denial, and I showed her the website that listed the practice for sale.   It was clear that something was afoot, but at least we knew about it and would not be caught unawares.

One day, the vet, as usual distracted, left the office, and thus, left his computer, which was also the server.  My office-mate had reason to use the server and found on the monitor displayed a sales agreement between the vet and a buyer.  I copied the buyer’s name and did a search later that night at home.  I did not like what I found.  It seems that the buyer, who was also a veterinarian, had been disciplined by the state veterinary board in another state in the early 1990’s.

The sale went through, and the new folks took over in early 2010.  I started using another vet in the area for serious medical needs for my animals.  My employer does not know this, and I’d say he’d let me go if he knew of it.  He doesn’t know that I know his history, and indeed, it seems that people do not change, they just pack up their issues and move on.

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.

What Goes In, Must Come Out, Part 2

September 22, 2011

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Almost 1 week after being shot through with a target arrow, he’s on the road to recovery.  An X-ray revealed that one lung is collapsed.

What Goes In Must Come Out

September 16, 2011

A hysterical woman called the vet’s office where I work.  It seems that her dog had been shot clear through with an arrow. 

I really don’t even have the words to express how I feel about this, so I’ll just show you some photos.  There’s nothing too grim, but still.  Shocking.

In.

Out.

In and out.

Out.

The authorities were called and they found the guilty party.  A six-year-old boy.

[Edited later the same day:  the hysterical woman, still in a panic stage when the officers made their report back to her, heard them say “six-year-old”.  The true age of the child is “six-teen”.]

Ticked Off, or Not for the Faint of Heart

August 19, 2011

Hundreds of ticks on the tile floor. The bloody-looking substance is, ummm, *blood*.

A fellow stopped by the vet’s office today so that his new hunting dog could get a rabies vaccination so that he could hunt her the next morning.  He had just gotten her that very morning, and apparently didn’t look closely at his purchase.  Also, the vet inoculated her without noticing that she was covered in ticks. 

I was doing paperwork at the desk, while the hunter and the vet chatted about hunting, and one of them commented on the small black specks of dirt on the floor.  The small, black, MOVING specks of dirt.  That popped when you stepped on them like peanut hulls on the floor. 

The vet grabbed a bottle of flea and tick spray, sprayed the floor, and the bloodfest began.  Ticks began to pop and die on the tile floor. 

The hunter made his apologies for bringing the dog into the building, and he began to ruminate about where the dog had been and what she had infested with her tickiness.  “She bin in my truck box, but she ain’t bin with my otha dawgs.  I keepum reel clean on concrete flores.  I’m shore sorry I brung her in.  You ownt me ta sweepum up for ye?” 

We said, no, no, that’s fine, we’ll sweepum up, which was code for “get the dog out of the building”.  I looked at the dog, uncertain as to how two grown men missed the tickfestation, and I saw clusters of seed ticks, like tiny clumps of grapes all over her body, in particular her face and ears. 

I started to scratch MY head, Pavlovian-like, in response to seeing all the ticks.

Thank goodness I had already eaten lunch.