It's been a rough few days, all due to this crazy girl.
Penny is our rescue English Setter. We found her in the shelter we volunteered for, where she had been picked up as a stray. She was skin and bones, extremely underweight, but full of hope and love. All she wanted to do was find that home that would take her with them and treat her well.
I had just gone through some hard losses myself, and was struggling. But when I saw Penny, I knew she belonged with me. Her soulful, sad eyes peered at me through the bars of her kennel, where she would press as closely to them as possible, to be closer to people.
So I brought her home with the intention of fostering her, but then quickly realized the only home good enough for her in my opinion, was my own. She put on weight, and soon began to come out of her scared shell, getting into all sorts of mishaps and mischief.
She's been slowing down some now, with more white on her face than red, but still has that same spirit - so stubborn.
Then on Saturday night, Billy and I came home from just a few hours out, and it was obvious something was wrong. She couldn't walk or stand up without losing her balance and falling over. She was turning in circles over and over, and her head was tilted to one side. We decided to keep her still and calm for the night and see how she was in the morning. Well, after a sleepless night by all of us, morning came, and Penny seemed about the same. I was heartbroken. I called my brother and sister-in-law, told them what was happening, and asked them to please come over. I thought we were going to have to say goodbye to this sweet girl, and I needed Devin and Chrissy with us. They agreed to come with heavy hearts - then bounced through our door minutes later. Chrissy had found that dogs who suffer a stroke usually recover pretty completely within a short period of time. She said to just give it time, and take her to the regular vet the next day. Of course since I didn't really want to have to make a hard decision, and even in the short time she had been up had shown she was doing better, I agreed quickly.
So after a Sunday of watching over Penny, helping her walk around obstacles, up and down stairs, being carried down them when Billy was home, we noticed she really was improving. The next day, I made a vet appointment, and throughout the day I noticed she kept improving.
At the vet, we got the official diagnosis of Canine Vestibular Syndrome, which is apparently an inner ear disorder that sometimes just happens, no rhyme or reason for it. There is no treatment but time, and the vet said that Penny was already ahead of the curve, and improving quickly. The vet also told us that she should recover 95-100%, with maybe only her head tilt remaining, although he said that could go away as well. He said the hardest thing with the disorder is actually convincing the owners to give the animals time, because it looks so horrible, and they think their pet is suffering. Just like we did. I wasn't hard to convince, maybe because I am an optimist at heart. Maybe because I know my dog is a tough old bird(dog) who has been through her fair share and come out the other side. And so we have our girl still, shaky and unsteady, but getting better everyday. We keep her confined at night, as our biggest battle we are fighting with her is keeping her from jumping on the couch in her condition. She loves the couch, and doesn't want to give it up. So when Billy gets home, she gets a little couch time, where Billy lifts her onto the couch, and when she is ready, he puts her back down safely on the ground.
It might take a little time, and of course we are more than happy to give that to her, and to help her however we can. She has given us so much love, that we could hardly do less. We love her too.
I have to run into my doctor's office to leave a deposit of my blood for a quick test.
It's my anniversary! I need to get a few surprises in place before the hubs gets home.
I also have homework to start, as well as a few other general errands.
It's a busy Tuesday, and it is only 9:15 am.
But I am still sitting here in my pajamas, working on my last cup of coffee for the day. I spent some time looking out the window, along with my cat Maggie who kept me company. We were both watching for birds, but I am sure for different reasons. I was surprised none showed up while I was there - I am going to blame Maggie for that.
It's a lazy morning on a busy day.
I know that soon I will have to get a move on, and get out the door.
I just can't make myself do it yet.
And that's ok, right? I think we all need to take time this, to not rush hither and yon, or at least if we absolutely have to do that, that we at least take moments for ourselves in the day. Whether it is before, during, after, making time for ourselves is necessary. It's not really lazy. It is healthy, therapeutic. For me, this will set the tone for my day. I might have a lot to do in a short window of time, especially now before the afternoon nap threatens to overtake me, but I am going to make the best of all the time I have.
When I get to the polls this morning, I will pay attention to the moment. I will probably wish I had gotten there sooner if there is a giant line, but I am still going to be mindful of what I am doing.
I think a lot about the state of being mindful, to be in the moment, to think about the needs of my body and mind, its rhythms, its ups and downs. I find that by doing so my normally frantic, anxious demeanor slows down, and I am calmer, happier, nicer.
So I am going to sit here in my red flannel pajamas with scotty dogs on them, finish my coffee, watch for some birds. At least for a little while longer.
It's Halloween! I love Halloween, it's my favorite holiday of the year. I love the costumes, the creativity, the scary stories, and of course, the candy. When I was a kid I had to miss a lot of Halloweens because I was always sick this time of year, but I would remember the excitement of trick-or-treaters coming to the door. I also remember my own mad dashes around the neighborhood, with my full pillowcase thumping against my legs, usually on a wet or chilly night. Streets were lit up with porch lights, as everyone had them turned on, and the sidewalks were so crowded that you often had to wait your turn to get up on a porch, as there would always be a group ahead of you and one behind you as well. Trick-or-treating seemed to last forever, until you finally couldn't carry anymore (or your parents were tired of traipsing around), and you went home to dump your booty all over the living room floor. When I was a kid there were these stories of poison candy or razor blades stuck inside, so police stations would scan your candy, or your parents would just go through your stash with a fine tooth comb, and if anything looked slightly sketchy it went right into the garbage.
Now, I love handing out candy. I love seeing all the kids in their costumes, and you can sense their joy, and sometimes shyness, with this holiday. I always overbuy candy, in hopes that the huge crowds of yesteryear find their way to my doorstep, but for some reason, they don't come in droves, but in trickles. I am not sure why this has changed, as it is my generation, the generation who grew up owning the streets on Halloween, parading their kids around. I am already looking forward to next year, when my little guy will have his first Halloween. He will not be a year old yet, more like 6 months so I am sure we won't trick-or-treat, but a costume will still happen. I already have one in my mind, but that is subject to change, a million times I am sure.
I think when passing out candy though, there are a few things to remember. First, not every kid is the same. Some have special needs that change their Halloween - my nephew is one of these children. He is nonverbal although gaining more words everyday, and has a difficult time saying Trick-or-treat. And he is not the only one. I found this graphic that I always like to pass on every year.
I also read an article earlier this year, and thought what a great perspective about those older kids who come to our doors, half dressed in costume, half not. Check it out here. One last thing - this is a time of year when many pets get lost or injured, So keep them safe as well this year. Here are a few tips to keep them safe and sound.
So while I wait for the time I can take my son trick-or-treating, I will keep on passing out candy to all comers, big or small, one and all. This is a holiday for everyone, a time for imagination, creativity - a time to dream and pretend, and most of all, a time for fun.
Things for us run rather unorthodox, and have from the start of this journey. That being said, our phone rang yesterday morning around 9 am, while I was making my breakfast and the husband was running around, trying to get ready for work on time.
It was the doctor's office. Our results were in.
Due to my age, I had to take a test called the MaterniT21 test. Well, I didn't have to, it was recommended but our choice. We chose to take it, and I had been biting my fingernails over the results for days now.
But the wait was finally over. The nurse on the other line told me everything came back negative, which always sounds bad but isn't, then asked if we wanted to know the gender.
Heck yes we wanted to know! She checked to make sure we were sure, then revealed - it's a boy! You could have knocked me over with a feather! I was totally convinced I was having a girl. I am happy with either gender, of course, but I was thinking it was a girl, as was everyone else we know. This kid just keeps on surprising us.
But now, I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. With a girl, I felt more confident, mainly because, well, I was a little girl once. I know what to do with a girl. But a boy? That is traveling into unknown territory!
But I guess really, when you get down to it, as a parent I will be doing the same things with either a boy or a girl. Loving them, supporting them, showing them the wonder of this world, teaching them to love the world around us and our fellow man and all the little creatures too.
I recently read this and it struck something deep within me.
That is really what is important. The rest will come easy, after that.