Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Second Canine Spontaneous Pneumothorax

I have been working out of town (an hour away), so both dogs have been sleeping all day in my cubicle at work, with exceptionally wonderful coworkers keeping an eye on them. On Friday, when I dropped them off, Pupgirl hacked twice like she was trying to bring up breakfast. I sat down and waited 10 minutes, but she lay down, appeared comfortable, and was just resting. When I got out to the job site at 7:15 am., I called the lab director, who arrives about half an hour after I leave, to ask her to keep an eye on the girl. She checked immediately and told me Pupgirl was sleeping comfortably, and was all happy and perky when she saw Lisa. However, I later learned that another coworker in the lab next door heard her cough about half an hours earlier than that, about 9 cough in a row, and had gone in to check on her.  At 8 a.m., the lab director called to tell me that she was coughing again. I immediately called the vet hospital to authorize Lisa bringing her in for me, and called Lisa back to tell her that she should take Pupgirl in. Lisa said she had thrown up her breakfast and was very perky and comfortable and to stay out there. I didn’t; I came in, took her to the hospital, so she was seen by a doctor only 3 hours after I first saw her cough twice.

They removed a half a liter of air, but both lungs were leaking. After 48 hours, she has not had to have another tap to remove any more air, although the emergency room vet thinks she is still leaking a little as she was breathing a little rapidly last night at 9:30 (but today, st 8 a.m., her respiratory rate was normal--I'm hoping that means she's sealed the hole). But the vet was comfortable with not taking another x-ray Saturday. She thinks it was a small bulla that burst, and not the large one (plum-sized) we know is on her right lung because in her own words “ the big one will kill her when it bursts.” 

I went to see her Saturday night and she cried. She cried. She first made this sound when the first pneumothorax happened, and again last night when she saw me. She cried, a high pitched sound that wasn't a bark, wasn't a howl, wasn't a yowl, but a cry. I think it's her telling me that she wants to go home, don't leave me here, I feel funny, I want to go home. I didn't want to cause another pneumothrax, so I visited just a couple of minutes.It's weird--she looks great, except for breathing a little rapidly. And between episodes, she was fine--healthy, perky, active, alert, wanting to wrestle with Mr. Big, her normal self

I am, of course, terribly upset. Is this going to happen every two months now? That’s not fair to her. But I know that I am not ready to put her to sleep when we have no idea when this will happen again. However, I am terrified of her suffocating if and when the large bulla erupts. I am stuck in a horrible position and have no idea where to go except that I can’t make any decisions now while it’s happening.

Hug your furbabies tight for me and Pupgirl tonight.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's Stripey Girl's Adoption Day!

Yes, back in 2004, Miss Pistol was adopted from our local Humane Society. The card on her cage read "very friendly, affectionate, okay with dogs," and you know how I love striped cats. I didn't want to adopt another silver tabby so soon after losing Miss Camille, but this cat was brown, and medium to long haired, so I thought that would be enough of a difference to make it not seem like I was replacing Cammy, who was irreplaceable. So I adopted her on the 29th, although she came home the next day, the 30th (they were going to spay her, except that they found after she was shaved that she was already spayed).

Friendly? Yes. Affectionate? Well, yes, when she wants it. Where was the warning "This cat can be a pistol?" She is a stinker sometimes, which means she fits in perfectly with the rest of the human/canine/feline denizens of the nest. She was wary of the dogs for 4 weeks, refusing to leave her bedroom. But by week six, after a couple of quick forays out and mad dashes back, you could see her watching George stroll past the dogs and thinking "Well, they're not eating that cat, they may not eat me." Once she ventured out, that was it, the fear was gone. This first photo was taken the day she came home. I'll add a more recent one later.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pupgirl Turns 10

It's Pupgirl's 10th birthday today! We have nothing special planned, although she and Mr. Big will celebrate it in my cubicle at work, where they are staying during the day while I am out on a project. They get walked every two hours, and treats at 11 a.m., and there is plenty of activity, so by the time they come home, they are exhausted and snore the night away.

It's hard to believe ten years have passed already, and she continues to act just like the puppy she always was. She is beautiful and sweet and outgoing and fearless, and I love her very much.

Happy barkday, baby! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mother of Mossy Leaves the Nest

That's right, Mother of Mossy, a.k.a. The Snowbird, has flown the coop, left the nest. She got a good send off of some of the best food the Old Pueblo offers yesterday: Rosa's for lunch with my coworkers, dinner at El Guero Canelo with M and T. Adios, and vaya con Dios.

And she took my Clover J hook! And one of my Tom Bihn bags!

The only good thing is I get my OttLite back again. She hogs it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mossy Turns 1

We missed celebrating the first anniversary of The Mossy Nest because, frankly, The Old Pueblo has not been in the mood to celebrate. But a year has passed, and a new one begun. New years always have great promise. Let us begin afresh and renewed.

And so, here's The Mossy Nest's nest, complete with quail eggs, received from Sister of Mossy for my birthday last year.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What To Say

I almost titled this "In Which We Are Sad, So Very, Very Sad." I haven't written because I'm at a loss for what to say after last weekend. I, and most of Tucson, are still numb. We're all thinking "This could have happened to me. And how could this have happened to us?"

You see, Tucson is the biggest small town you will ever meet. We all know each other, or know someone who knows the other, works with the other, went to school with the other, dated the others sister...

Don't believe me? I am not involved in politics and am out of the whole school-based web, but here's how tangentially connected I am to this horrible event.

Gabby Giffords lived around the corner from me while she was in our state legislature and her first year in Congress.

T's friend T used to go running with Gabby's father. Their mutual friend T (a third T) is reportedly the one who finally tracked Gabby's sister down.

Gabby's office is half a mile from my house. The Democratic office is two blocks from my house.

The Bishop listed my parish as one of the two parishes the judge belonged to.

Pupgirl and I volunteer at the hospital at which the murdered aide's fiancee works.

My church is directly across the street from UMC.

I drove past that shopping center for nine months working on the park project. This is a nice part of town, middle class, in a quickly growing part of Tucson. It's not a dangerous part of town. It's not a hotbed for anything but dry cleaners and doctors offices. 

I cannot fathom why this happened. How one can think this kind of action is an appropriate behavior at any time. How one cannot be appalled at what happened. How one can do no soul searching after things like this happen. I understand the hermit impulse now, to hide away from society.

I'm so worried and scared about leaving Pupgirl alone when I have to go out in the field for 2 weeks in a week or so,and leave her alone for 10 hours. So worried and scared that Monday I started having palpitations. Me, a Victorian-era middle aged spinster with the vapors. Me, who did a half-marathon exactly one month ago. This is all not helping. There was someone out shooting where I was working in the field on Dec. 1 when Pupgirl had her pneumothorax. I half-joked about being scared to find a bush to use. It's not a joke.

I don't like fear at all.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Out With the Old, In With the...Same?

After an unknown number of decades of delayed maintenance (read, more than 15 years of the assumulation  of dirt and dust and who knows what else), my boss decided to paint all the offices, and re-carpet and re-tile at the end of 2010. My office, which had been tiled, opted for carpet after my excellent arm-twisting. "Really, don't you think the cleaning guy will be able to keep it cleaner by vacuuming than by swishing around the dirty water we've all seen him use on the tile?" My not so secret agenda was to hide the cracked linoleum tile that was in my cubicle and no one else's (from the building settling as its two cement pads moved--like plate tectonics). I hated that dang cracked floor. It didn't bother anyone else, but then again, they didn't have to step on it every day at least five times. You can just see some of the broken tile in the fourth photo.

I decided that I'd re-arrange as best I could and get rid of some of the kitschy stuff and have a big girl office. My only regret? That pink plastic bag you can see hanging from the board in the first photo was from Cambodia, and it had a happy, jumping child on it and said ""If you be happy, you be...If you be sad, you be..."disintegrated after I took it off the corkboard. If I be sad...  Actually, I am sad as the only thing I can't relocate is a photo from the corkboard of my sisters and me. Where could it be?

Messy = Creativity!!

At one point, I had streamers made from those different colored flagging tapes hanging from my ceiling. Festive!

No visible pink hard hat. Sorry. But gingerbread cookies on table--yum yum.

I only used about 35 boxes to pack all my stuff. My coworker S, on the other side of this cubby wall, stopped counting after 65.

Look, desk now on opposite wall, bookshelves slid down and moved, and carpet!  Yes, ugly, industrial grade carpet, but quiet, non-dirt showing, uncracked carpet! And clean walls!

S' cubby, she of the 65+ boxes. I'll break this photo out in a few months to remind her of the downside of acquriring stuff, even wonderful stuff like books.

See clean desk. See clean table now next to desk.

See fancy new magnetic wall board to hang vital scientific data on to inspire Great Thoughts. Actually, that's a leftover remnant from the Great Scientists Who Have Great Thoughts in the lab next door, but it could help, you never know.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cheesy New Year!

Cheese! Er, cheers!  Er, both! We had a cheese fest here in the Nest to eat out the old and eat in the new. Mini cheese souffles and brie en croute were the cheesy pre-midnight offerings. They were eaten alongside grilled flat iron steak mini sandwiches (T was in her backyard grilling when it barely topped freezing temperatures that day; how's that for a good guest?) with cheese atop some, horseradish beneath others. M brought rice and hopping john, a traditional Southern dish served on New Year's Day (she left us some so I could eat it on the first and hopefully garner whatever good thing hoppin' john consumption is supposed to bring to the consumer of same). I made an egg nog cake for dessert, while T brought mini chocolate cream puffs. Cheesy! Mini! Finger foods!  Downed with Pimm's cups (my Pimm's was still good even though I bought it in Belize in 1998, which I figured then was probably going to be my last trip to Belize). Yummmmm...............

Then, as MoM always says that whatever you do on the first is what you will do the rest of the year, I had to cook something new and good for the first dinner of 2011. After all, I ate leftovers for breakfast, to hopefully herald good planning and home cooking throughout the new year. Naturally, there was lots of cheese. Cream cheese and cheddar cheese, to be specific, to make creamy, cheesy chicken enchiladas. MoM thought they were delicious, even with a smidgen of green chili which I was afraid she'd pick out and not even try.
Happy eating in 2011! May your dishes be spicy, tasty, and healthy, with nary a burnt mishap in sight.