Sunday, August 28, 2011

Goodnight Sweet Daisy Bean

or, "The Animals Ate My Week--Part 2".

Last week started with one of our Tri-Valley Fix our Ferals clinics. 42 cats fixed, a lower number than usual, due to many of our veterinarians and volunteers being on vacation. But 42 is 42, and I know that every single cat fixed saves lives SOMEwhere down the line that is overpopulation. But it was an exhausting clinic to pull together.

Sporty Spice headed north to grandma and grandpa's for clinic weekend, and I have to admit, it is easier to have him there during all the chaos and stress. And it nice to have just a bit of quiet when we get home that evening. The mister left Monday to get him and to do a little fishing and I had 48 hours of blissful "hookey playing". I really let myself do what I wanted, put together some scrapbooks I've been meaning to get to, napping, and (ssshhh...) I went to see The Help all by myself and did just a bit of shopping and even more napping. And soooo glad I did when on Tuesday night stuff started going sideways.

Wednesday was Sporty's first day of school and so we all went to bed early, and I was so eager to get back on SOME kind of schedule (any kind...please!). Lo and behold my cell phone starts going off about 11pm and it's one of the caretakers of a cat who came to Sunday's clinic. I'll spare you the gory details, but this kitty was in dire shape and they were at the emergency clinic. It didn't end well and not much sleep was had that night. Wednesday morning I get up all ready to be Super-Mom and make Sporty a really special breakfast before his first day of 1st grade. But before I get him up I go about my animal chores.

I get to the goats and there is no Daisy in the pasture....if you remember, Daisy is the old, lumpy, lopsided goat who was delivered to us on 4th of July. She looked so bad, I truly didn't know if she was going to make it through the weekend. With some amazing veterinary care, love and good food, Daisy has had a truly amazing 6 weeks. She perked up and spent her days hiking about the 2 acres, sitting under Oak trees enjoying her view, and head-butting her friend Isabel. And if I didn't get her hay to her fast enough in the mornings, she'd be hollering at me, with her front hooves up on the gate. That is until Wednesday. I found her on the far side of the pasture, "down", but alert, and happy to have food and water I offered her. I scrambled to get Sporty to school and immediately called the vet. She came out and we administered fluids and tossed about theories of what was going on. The vet had already uncovered "issues" with Daisy, including a large hernia that made her lopsided, but also signs of a really bad goat disease where they can get abscesses not only on their skin, but they are actually internal and can infiltrate the organs. The vet postulated that this might be the underlying problem, but her ultrasound machine was not set up to see those internal abscesses, but that they could do that at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. OR we could assume that's what it was and send her over the rainbow bridge directly. I'll tell ya, was SO exhausted by that afternoon, and Daisy was so alert and her usual sweet self lying there, having to make that decision I sat in the pasture and cried for half an hour. Finally I made my plan, the Mister came home to help me lift her into the car, I picked up Sporty and the three of us set off in rush hour traffic for a 90 minute drive north to Davis. Just me, a six year old and a goat in a Volvo. They were so kind when we arrived and the veterinarian on staff suggested we leave her for the night and they could do the ultrasound next morning. Not every kid gets a tour of the UC Davis Large Animal Emergency Clinic the first night after school starts; mine did.

The next afternoon the vet called and gave us the report: all bad--abscesses everywhere, including her liver and spleen. So I knew there was no choice and that we had done all we possibly could for her. Since she was happy, alert, eating, and not in pain, we decided to keep her there until Friday, when I could pick Sporty up from school early and drive back up there so we could be with her for her euthanasia. It is truly the one last gift I believe you can give and animal and part of Sporty and my "No Animal Left Behind" policy. We bought her her own box of animal crackers, her favorite, and she was so happy to see us. She passed away very peacefully, with the taste of cookies in her mouth (personally, it's also the way I'd like to go) and with us telling her we loved her. Contrasted with a cold shelter death she was looking at 6 weeks ago, it was all worth it. She had that and she had us and she knew it.

Goodnight Sweet Daisy Bean. You've left a hole and you will be missed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Animals Ate My Week!

I'm actually pretty lucky that my animal rescue lifestyle rarely completely obliterates my triathlon lifestyle, but this past week or so have been one of those times. What a week! It started off with Bodie, pictured above. My friend's rescue group rescued Bodie as a pup, a little over a year ago and he was placed with a family who has recently decided they no longer want him (nice). Long story short, Bodie needed an "emergency foster" for a week and like I always say, "I can do anything for a week!" Bodie is a super sweet and happy dog, but he sure put us to the test! I've always joked that I don't need a smart dog (sorry Lance), and I'm now convinced of it. At 15 months, this Australian Shepherd is a busy guy and super active. Much of the week was spent either cleaning up destruction or taking him for hours to the dog park. And to top it off, poor Bodie is deaf. His trainer taught him hand signals, and he knows them amazingly well, but it was an eye opener to have a dog you can't actually verbally communicate with. Imagine if your pet couldn't hear you praise him...and also if they couldn't hear you say "no!" to get a behavior to stop. But we made it, and Bodie is off to another foster home and soon onto what will hopefully be a forever home. Most rescues are amazing in the intricacy of the network that gets them from initial rescue to permanent loving home. I was happy we could be even a piece in the puzzle. We even managed to get to Arnold, with both Lance and Bodie in tow, for a scant but meaningful 48 hours weekend before last.

The work-week then started with the usual madness of coordinating getting Sporty Spice to his daycamps (when does school start?!?!?) and various animals to various veterinary appointments. Emmalee has chronic kidney failure and had to be dropped off for her usual tests, Cerie had an annual checkup. 40 minutes each way. Then back. Then Cerie needed dental work, which necessitated the same drive back and forth this week. Emma also needed an additional test this week, so double the drive..again.

Lance was scheduled for his second treatment of this round of chemo last Thursday but he has been having, shall we say, "potty problems", for which he has been getting me up at all hours of the night to let him out. So, after the half hour drive each way, and appointment, I ended up doing it all again on Monday morning, when he did get his chemo. He seems to feel really pretty good, but his appetite is low and he's been losing weight which has me TOTALLY stressed out.

Where are we now? Thursday? Went out to do morning animal chores and my big white bunny Mavis (below) looked a little "pokey". Off to the 40 minute away vet with her. Poor Mavas. I found her on a bike ride