Category Archives: Pets

Another Full Weekend

"Elegance" Block of the Month for April 2014
“Elegance” Block of the Month for April 2014

We had another full weekend, but luckily this time it was all good things… no doggie emergencies. Eddie seems to be doing well, although he is still a bit squinty. He has been tolerating his eye drops (3x a day) surprisingly well, and he has been gobbling up his pain killer and steroid laced pupperoni without issue.

Since this was the first Saturday of the month, I had my sewing class for the “Elegance” Block of the Month, and Sean had his Animazement meeting. Of course these things overlap in time, so it means finding a babysitter. It is worth it though! Three hours of uninterrupted sewing before the baby’s bedtime is a rare luxury. Heck, lately any sewing time has been rare.

I think this month’s block is my favorite for the whole quilt. The class was more about guided sewing than learning as usual, but I did pick up a helpful tip for getting my patchwork squares to line up. There wasn’t as much chatting this time, most people were heads down this week. Although some of the conversations pointed out exactly how much of an age gap there is for me and the majority of the others that attend that class. During one of the quiet spells when 7 or so sewing machines were running, one of the ladies remarked that it reminded her of “the war” when all the girls were making things for the soldiers. And another spoke about her husband (I assume) and how in school he had to knit squares that were joined to become throws (blankets) for the troops. Sigh. I think I am about the only one south of 60, although there was one lady that came this time who appeared to be in her 40’s.

Sunday we got another sitter and went to see the Captain America sequel. I think this was only the second movie I have seen in about a year. When I was pregnant I didn’t really feel up to it most of the time, and these days the opportunity is harder to come by. Plus there haven’t been too many movies that looked worth the hassle.

Overall it was pretty good, although I am trying not to think about it too much. If you think about it, you may fall into a hole. Like, I guess their buddy Iron Man was busy? The Bugs Bunny escape holes were a little too much for me. And I am so tired of catwalk fights and last second-of-the-countdown saves.

Poor Doggie

It has been busy/crazy around here the past few days. It started Friday night when we ran a couple errands after work, which we rarely do because of the baby’s bed time. But there were a couple things we had to do. While we were out we made a poor choice in restaurants, so it took forever… and the baby had a minor meltdown from being sleepy, but luckily it was so noisy no one was bothered. Once we finally got home and got her to bed for the night, we were so exhausted we didn’t even get up with her during the night. We both vaguely remember her crying a couple times, but she settled herself back down because we were too zonked.

Saturday we had some things to do around the house in the morning, then headed to Washington (NC) for my cousin’s 4th birthday party. That is about a two hour drive. Anna did pretty good on the way down, we were nearly in Greenville before she got cranky about being trapped in her car seat so long. So, we stopped at a gas station in Greenville to change a diaper and let her get out of the car for a few minutes. After that she was fine for the last thirty minutes of our drive, aside from a couple short moments of irritation.

Anna did great at the party too, and didn’t mind being passed around the entire time. Audrey (the birthday girl) was so sweet and gave her hugs and held her for a little while. She was also very impressed that Anna is crawling now, and asking to see her crawl was nearly the first thing she said to us when we walked in the door. We had been there probably about three hours when Anna hit her cranky (screaming) over-tired point, but there was too much going on to get her to settle down and sleep. So we exited hastily. I think we were in the car about two minutes before she fell asleep, and she stayed asleep until we hit Raleigh. We were somewhere on 540 when she woke up crying, but she settled down again after a few minutes. In all, she did pretty good for being on the go all day and stuck in a car for so long.

When we got home though, we noticed Eddie’s right eye was shut. I thought maybe the cat had finally scratched him, but when I pried his eye open (the little he would let me) I didn’t see any scratches or blood or other apparent injury. I did think it might look a little off, but I couldn’t figure out in what way with just the little bit I could see. I would later realize that it looked cloudy.

At that point it was pretty late, so we decided to just go to bed and check his eye in the morning. Well, the next morning (Sunday) it was still shut, and he barely left his bed all morning. I knew that eye things in dogs were typically bad, but I was still thinking it was just a scratch and wasn’t too concerned. Regardless, I thought I should call the emergency vet number just to see if it was okay to wait for office hours on Monday to bring him in.

I got the vet’s voice mail, which said she was in church and would return the call later. Since we had a busy day planned, we went ahead and left the house when she still hadn’t called at noon. Of course she called not long after, and said we should bring him in right away. Still thinking it wasn’t going to be anything major, I delayed a little so we could finish a couple errands and grab a bite to eat. It was around 2pm when Sean took him in to meet the on-call veterinarian.

It turned out that Eddie had acute glaucoma. Sean had him at the vet for over two hours while they tried to bring the pressure in his eye down. The pressure reading is normally around 25, Eddie’s was 65. By the time he got home with him, they had only gotten the pressure down 10 points. So, it was back to the vet with him Monday morning.

At the follow up his pressure was back to normal, but he was still in pain. Our vet referred us to an ophthalmologist. Yes… a doggie ophthalmologist. They had an appointment available at 5:30, which worked out well since we had Anna’s 6 month check up at 2:30. Full day!

Anna’s check up went well… 16 pounds, 5 ounces… Then it was a quick snack at home for us and for the baby.

The doggie eye doctor appointment was kind of like a the next level of vet. The office was nice, the service was fast and friendly. The same lady that checked us in was actually the nurse (not just a tech, but actually called a nurse) and she was friendly and knowledgeable. She did an exam, explained some things with an eye model, and then explained that we would see two doctors. The first doctor came in right away (they called her a resident) and did a more thorough exam, and explained her findings. Then we had to wait a bit for the main doctor, but it wasn’t too long before he came in and confirmed her findings and went through the prognosis and treatment options.

Apparently this is a very common genetic ailment in rat terriers. The fibers that hold the lens in place break down, and eventually the lens breaks free and becomes displaced. The lens then pushes forward and blocks the drainage ducts at the front of the eye, causing pressure to build. The pressure causes the glaucoma and if it isn’t caught right away the dog will go blind within a couple days. The lens in Eddie’s right eye was displaced, and the fibers in his left eye were about 50% eroded.

The only options for treatment were to a) let the dog go blind and then remove the eye to stop the pain or b) remove the lens to release the pressure from the optic nerve in order to save the sight.

Option B is very similar to cataract surgery, and leaves the eye very farsighted. At the moment he is very near sighted in the right eye due to the clouding of the lens, so it will be a big change for him. Once the eye stabilizes in a few months, they would be able to go back and replace the lens to help restore his vision. The doctor said most people opt to replace the lens when they go back to operate on the second eye.

For his “good” eye, the doctor said he would be blind by July without medication to slow the progression. With medication he has maybe a year. Then we will be in the same place with left eye as we are now with the right eye.

So, Eddie has an appointment for surgery in the morning. We will have the lens removed in order to give him the best shot we can at saving his vision. We also have drops for his other eye that we will be using to try to slow the progression of the disease. I need to ask the doctor if we opt to have the other eye’s lens removed before it is an emergency (as it is with the right eye), if we could have the lens replaced without the need for a second surgery later down the road. I know that with cataract surgery they replace the lens at the same time. While it is tough to stomach the vet bills, I feel like we have to do this if it will save him from going blind. I don’t know if we could really afford to pay for two more surgeries, but if they could do the other eye and replace both lenses at the same time… it would be great to have Eddie’s vision fully restored. I know some people would just let him go blind since he is just a dog, but I would feel awful knowing I could have saved him from that and didn’t. I want my little buddy to live a happy, healthy life. And I can tell he is in pain right now, and there is no way I could carry on knowing he was in such pain and do nothing for him.

UPDATE: Eddie’s surgery went well; his follow up appointment is next Friday morning. The vet said that he has a 10% chance of going blind in the eye from retinal detachment, as that is a risk with all interocular surgeries. It will take a little time for him to get use to his new limited vision. Sean had to help the poor guy find his food bowl last night. Although he certainly didn’t seem to have any issues finding the treats I offered him, nor the ones that hit the floor. So, for now, we wait through his follow up appointments and keep monitoring the left eye. Hopefully the meds will keep that eye good for a long time, but it could be anywhere from months to maybe a year before his left eye goes as well. We are still struggling with the thought of spending $2000 to have his other eye fixed and both lenses replaced. If I can take a 100% certainty of blindness down to a 10% chance for the little guy, I really want to… but that is a lot of money.

Baby, Pets, Quilts, etc

The past week has gone by very quickly, which is surprising considering how slow work is right now. This was mom’s first week as nanny, and she seemed to enjoy the job. Anna has been happy too, but it is getting harder to leave her these days. Anna is now at a point where she is getting excited to see me come home, which means she must miss me when I am gone. At work I find myself wishing I was home, and constantly contemplating asking if I can work from home until she is at least eating food… but I know I need to be in the office too. And I am afraid of asking, since I spent pretty much all of last year working from home half the day, and then a few weeks working from home full time before taking three months’ leave. And these days I get in at 10am all too often just because it is difficult to get out of the house when Anna needs me… she is usually hungry about the time I should be walking out the door.

There were a couple eventful days this week, and this weekend is going to be pretty busy as well. I can’t remember if it was Monday or Tuesday, but somehow Jack managed to rip his leg open. Mom sent us a photo of his wound around noon, but it was pretty blurry so I couldn’t tell how bad it was. I thought it was just a quarter sized raw spot. I made a vet appointment for him anyway, and Sean took him in at 4pm. The poor dog ended up with four staples… apparently what I took for a raw spot in the photo was actually a gaping wound. If I had known it was that bad I would have made his appointment earlier in the day! Jack is doing well with his staples so far, hopefully he will continue to leave them alone for the next couple weeks.

We also had Anna’s 4 month check-up and shots today. The doctor seems happy with her, and she is a little over 13 pounds now! She is still on the small side, falling in the 25th to 50th percentiles for height and weight… but I did too when I was a child. She is still charming strangers too. I swear that at least four people have commented on her “mohawk” in the past week alone. Today one of the people at the pediatricians office asked if it was a haircut or natural… ugh, yes, like I would give my baby girl a mohawk.

The only other notable stranger stories lately are: 1) on New Years Eve we were standing in line at Boston Market, Sean was holding her in her carrier. I noticed the man standing behind Sean was bent over paddling his hands at her and making faces. 2) We were eating at Chili’s. A couple waitresses had to coo over her, but one walked past and asked to hold her. I use the phrase “ask” lightly. It was more like she held her hands out and expected us to just hand her over.

This weekend is going to be pretty full too. In addition to the usual weekend errands, and the serious need to clean our house, Saturday Eddie has an appointment for shots and I have a hair cut. Seems like there is some other stuff going on too. And Sunday I want to go check out a quilting guild and see what it is all about. They have a two hour meeting at Spoonflower in Durham, which coincidentally is in the same location Motricity occupied on Meridian Parkway… so in addition the checking out the guild and getting to see Spoonflower’s headquarters, it will be interesting to see the space again.

I will have to post photos of Baby Quilt #2 soon… it is nearly done. I just have to finish hand-stitching the binding.

Our Spoiled Doggies

For a while now we have been looking at the big dinosaur Tuffy toys at Unleashed, thinking it would be fun to see our dogs play with them. We weren’t sure they would though, since they are practically the same size as Jack. Recently we got a few 20% off coupons though, and decided to try them out.

Originally we were going to get the purple stegosaurus, but we chickened out and bought the smaller, cuter (cheaper) pig instead. Jack had a ton of fun with the pig! Eddie tried hard to play with it too, but it was hard for him to get a hold of it. A few weeks later I talked Sean into getting the dinosaur with our remaining coupon.

They absolutely love this toy! It is so much fun to watch little Eddie try to shake it, or get shaken by Jack. I am glad they are enjoying it, especially since Jack doesn’t really play much anymore. Considering the price tag of this thing we only let them play when supervised, but I think it was definitely worth it!

Jack Turns 4

I am making an effort to blog, see? Really I am. It isn’t my fault if this is boring! I just decided I should come up with something to write about, so here goes.

Yesterday was Jack’s 4th birthday. No, we aren’t the type that makes a huge deal out of our pet’s birthdays… but I have always thought it would be cute to put a birthday hat on Jack. So, we did :)

It is hard to believe he is already four years old. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that we were carrying him down the stairs at our Cary apartment because he was too small to go down on his own. He definitely isn’t small any more though!

For his birthday Jack got some new treats and a couple toys. Jack seems like a tired old man these days though… he played with the toys for a few minutes before losing interest and just letting Eddie have them. Jack doesn’t seem to care much about toys these days unless they have food stuffed in them.

Welcome, Eddie

I am so tired! I had to work for a few hours early this morning, so I didn’t get much sleep… but that didn’t interrupt today’s plans. Pancakes were had, and then we headed to Sanford for Eddie.

Turns out Eddie was born Aug, 3rd, so I guess that means he is four and a half months old? I haven’t had much luck with good pictures yet, but I will try to get some cute ones in the near future. Check the Photo Archive link up top for a few more pictures.

He did pretty good in the car, hardly whined at all. We could have forgotten he was back there! On the way home we stopped by two pet stores. I don’t think he was use to a collar or leash at all, since Sean’s grandmother reported she took him to the vet in a carrier and said he refused to walk when she put his collar on. Although, the collar she had for him was very large. He seemed to do okay on the lead though, he only refused to move a few times and I think it was because he was uncertain. With a little coaxing he would start moving again, and it all worked out well; he just needs practice.

Because he is so small it was a bit of a challenge to keep an eye on him though… we constantly had to make sure he wasn’t in anyone’s path because he was so easy to miss. And Petsmart was incredibly crowded. There were quite a few times he nearly got stepped on! Of course everyone wanted to pet him and ask how old he was and gush over the cuteness. While we were at the check out at Petsmart, even the girl behind the Banfield (vet) counter was talking to us across the store about him.

I was kind of hoping that since we have a purebred dog this time people wouldn’t be asking silly questions about what it was. With Jack everyone wants to know if it is a boxer puppy for some reason, although now that he has white around his muzzle that doesn’t happen as much as it use to. And we always have to explain that he is a boston terrier miniature pinscher mix, which can be annoying by the tenth person that asks. I was looking forward to the simplicity of a dog with only one breed. However, not much luck on that one! Everyone thought Eddie was a Jack Russell.

It was difficult to find a collar to fit his tiny neck, but we did manage to find one that looks okay on him over in the petite dog area. For some reason most of the petite collars have silly rhinestones or flowers attached to them, or are pink. He hasn’t been messing with it or rolling around like he did with the other collar, so I think the size of the collar might have been the issue before.

When we got him home, and unpacked all of the various treats, we decided to give teaching “sit” a shot… even though we really didn’t expect anything to come of it. Surprisingly he learned it in just a few minutes! It looks like he might be a smart dog. The picture up top is of both dogs sitting for treats. We’ll give sit a few days to really sink in, and then see if we can’t try “lay down.” I guess we should enroll in puppy classes before too much longer.

Eddie is sure going to be a handful, but I think he will get better as he learns his manners. Because he is so short, Eddie constantly stands on his hind legs and puts his front paws on your leg for attention. Before teaching “sit” that is what he would do every time you had a treat in your hand, and would grab at your hand for the treat… it was amazing how big of an improvement just that little trick made. He is already starting to catch on that he won’t get anything unless all four feet are firmly on the floor. Now we are just working to teach him the same thing goes for attention.

At least he seems to like his crate, so that is a good thing. It will definitely help in the house breaking. One good thing about him is that he is not as licky as Jack. But Jack isn’t that thrilled about it I think. He keeps putting his head down for Eddie to lick his ears, like he does with the cat. But Eddie just doesn’t get it… then Jack gets annoyed with him. Kitty seems to get along with Eddie though… except when he tries to catch her tail.

So, it looks like there is quite a lot of fun in store for us. That statement is only partially sarcastic… I am sure it will be fun at times, but it is going to be a lot of hard work too. It should be interesting around here with three critters. I kind of think two critters was probably a much better number, but Eddie needed a good home.

Introducing Eddie

So a couple months ago Sean’s grandmother got a puppy. The above photo was taken when we went to visit the puppy shortly after she got him. Eddie is a toy rat terrier, and is about 4 or 5 months old now. Eddie hasn’t been a good fit for her at all, so yesterday we agreed to take him.

Tomorrow we will have our pancakes and then head to Sanford to pick him up. After that it will be off to the pet store for our obligatory “new puppy” shopping trip. I am not even sure the dog has a collar! We will definitely need a crate and some small chew toys. I already set a vet appointment for him on Monday afternoon… ah, the fun of another pet is already beginning.

Did I mention Eddie isn’t house broken yet? So that is going to be fun. Jack was easy to train, but we got him at 7 weeks. I really hope Eddie does well with crate training. We had already planned on taking all of next week off of work anyway, so at least we will be home with him for that time to work on it.

I will try to take some good pictures of him soon. We have only met him once before, and at the time I only had my phone with me. Since puppies don’t sit still long it was hard to get a good picture of his face with the camera on the phone. He is pretty cute though, but then I suppose most puppies are.