Friday, November 23, 2007

On Soaking a Swollen Foot in Breakfast Foods...

Zydo came in to the barn limping the other day, which is never a good sign, and always a sign that hundreds of dollars are to be imminently spent on veterinary care.

My dad headed out to the feed store and bought himself some bran, which I thought was pretty wierd. I mean, if the horse hadn't gone to the bathroom in a couple days, I can see picking up a fifty pound bag of bran. But it was his foot that was ailing him, not his ass, so I was a little confounded.

Wisely, I chose not to question the methods of Steen, and dutifully stood by every day as he mixed up water, epsom salts, and bran into a thick plastic bag which he then tied to my horse's foot. Zydo was quite good, put up with these shenanigans quite well, I have to say, because if you tried to tie my foot into a bag of freezing cold, uncooked porridge, I'd probably take out all of your front teeth. And if I weighed fifteen hundred pounds? I'd likely stomp your femur into bone dust for good measure, as well.

Because he was receieving this treatment, he and Tia had to stay in for four days consecutively, and by this morning, both horses were literally climbing the walls of their stalls and trying to kill each other through the chain link that separates them. I took them out myself, something I've been scared to do without assistance (And to be honest? Dad was in the yard, and mom was right behind me) and watched them frolic and play.

Zydo was like a kitten with a ball of yarn outside, hopping through the snow on his hind legs, bucking and gallavanting around like he hadn't a care in the world. He did several flying changes, a little bit of piaffe, some passage, and some rearing up like a bronc in an old western flick.

And so, once more, the skepticism I usually hold of my dad's methods was proven wrong, and my horse is happy and sound once more.

Although I still think it is really, really strange that soaking a foot in bran mush, of all things, worked to solve his problem.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Updating on Dixie and My Perpetual Laziness...

I've neglected my blog lately not because I'm a total LazyAss but because I've been drowning in work and school. I've even been pretending to be someone who puts on clothes and gets out of the house to be social.

I did that last weekend, put on a forty dollar tank top and eighteen pounds of makeup, styled my newly-cute haircut, and walked through a perfect mist of perfume before I went out. I ended up in a bar where most of the patrons were wearing Jogging Pants. And I spent the whole night thinking, Like, where was this bar when I was all depressed and couldn't get out of bed? Because no matter how much my life reminds me of a giant pile of ass, I think I could ALWAYS make room for a public facility that promotes drinking alcohol in one's jammies.

As promised, a picture of Dixie looking hilariously pathetic in her lampshade collar. Unlike when Copernicus had her surgery, I DID NOT invite my friends over to laugh at Dixie while she got stuck on the furniture around the house. I really have matured that much in the last two years.

Dixie feels like I do about the mornings, and the Thursday after she got home, she was not pleased to be greeted by me toting a camera. She didn't have much to say to the camera, other than a pathetic, beagle-y little look that said "Please, Dear God, why didn't you shoot me behind the barn rather than subject me to this humiliation?"

She is feeling completely back to her old self again, and once more lives to lie unconscious on the couch with me. We take a nap every day together, Dixie and I, and that is how I justified a dog being worth as much money as we spent on her. I figure, hey, I never get out of the house, or go out to dinner, or take myself to a movie or buy new clothes. I come home and nap with my dog. And really, if I can get four more years of napping with my precious little Muppy Wuppy (And yes, I do call her that, out loud and often, and frequently in the presence of others) then it is an amount of money worth spending.

Here is a close-up of Dixie's incision and how beautiful it is. I've been on a farm my whole life, and I've been privvy to many an incision. And I know how my mom told me to quit calling her surgeon an ass on the Internet, and after I called him an ass a few more times, I vowed to stop.

But, we were discussing him the other day, the stupid fuckwit that he is, and I realized, Hey! It's been a long time since I called him names on my blog! And my mother and I were admiring Dixie's incision as she lay stretched out on the couch, and my mother said "Wow, that's a perfect incision. It's beautiful. I only wish my scar looked like that."

Yes, that's right. A frickin' VETERINARIAN made a better scar on my DOG than a surgeon managed to make ON MY MOTHER.

And I have to say that I'm quite glad that Dixie was in such capable hands, and that if we ever have to deal with cancer again in this family?


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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More About the Hair... And Dixie...

I styled my hair ALL BY MY SELF this morning, a feat I am quite proud of. I think it would have turned out better if I had some shine spray, and if I had used the straightener instead of the curling iron, but you have to work at these things over time. I can't simply go from a girl who ties her hair up on top of her head to someone who knows what she's doing with a blow dryer IN ONE SINGLE DAY. OK? Are we clear? I am not a master of the hair-fixing appliances. NOW STOP LAUGHING AT ME.

Dixie is home and well from the vet's office. When I came home tonight, she was laying in her kennel, all pathetic and beagle-like, looking up at me as if to say "Please. Please make that visiting Basset Hound puppy GO AWAY because it keeps smelling me and if I could muster the strength to growl, I would, BUT MY ABDOMEN WAS JUST SLICED OPEN and I'm not quite a hundred percent yet."

I'm glad that my dog and I have this kind of mind reading relationship. Its called non-verbal communication and I've spent the last FIVE YEARS learning about it in accredited post-secondary institutions. So don't fuck with me on the non-verbal stuff, OK?

I don't yet have a pic of her wearing her ridiculous lampshade, or the bag of gravel that was removed from her bladder. I'm not sure how well those pics will turn out, because I don't really want to take them out of their baggie. Like, I'm all for checking out cool and interesting things, but the rocks the size of my thumb that came from inside my dog's urine storage unit?

Yeah, not so hot on digging through those.

Regardless, the stones are very fascinating to look at because they are, quite literally, stones. The gravel-y bits, you could place about thirty bazillion of them under your child's swing set. No joke.

Hopefully I'll have pics of the terrifying nastiness to put up tomorrow.

Until then, I need to end my time as an upright and conscious person because I'm frickin' tired.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow...

Dixie managed to make it through her surgery successfully, and she gets to come home some time tomorrow. I'm scared for her to come home because our house is a very busy one, and she tends to get pretty excited and run around quite a bit. Having just had abdominal surgery, I'm sure it can't be too good for her to take flying leaps off the couch and try to jump up and kiss my nose every chance she gets. Clearly, we should sedate her. And everything around her. Sedation for everyone!

While my precious Little Muppy was under the knife, my afternoon class was cancelled. So, I did the only rational thing I could think to do. I went to a fancy-schmancy hair place in The Big City and had all my hair chopped off. Fourteen inches after it was braided, to be exact.

Here it is, a picture of my hair. As soon as the final snip was done, a woman in the salon burst into applause and everyone gave me encouraging smiles. The girl handed me the braid of hair, and I wanted to throw up because it was just so gross. It felt like some kind of dead rodent in my hands, and I was repulsed that A) it was seconds earlier HANGING OFF MY BODY and B) that someone would touch someone else's old, nasty, yucky, dead-rodent-feeling hair to make wigs out of. Brave souls, those wigmakers are.

Here, you'll see a pic of it from the back. LOOK HOW SHORT IT IS! I've been growing my hair for the past three years. I'm not sure why I started growing it: At first I wanted to see how long I could get it to go in three years. Then I was going to cut it, but it was my best friends' wedding. Then my mom got cancer, and I decided to donate it. It was a bit of a process, this hair growing thing, but I managed to see it through.

Here is the glorious side view. I took a head on one, but I'm not wearing makeup and no one needs to see THAT on the Internet. It is very, very short in the back (I'm talking, an inch and a half long) and goes to a few more inches than that in the front, on an angle, with longer angled bangs on the front.

I have to say that I absolutely LOVE this hair cut. I know that a lot of women are traumatized after losing their hair, they miss it and they feel awkward and they want it back. I say, the only way to cure that? TO GROW IT FOR THREE FRICKIN YEARS. By the time you've saved up enough money in your bank account to finally get it all cut off, you'll feel delightful. I feel about fifteen pounds lighter (Even though it kind of accentuates my giant head, and my face now looks sort of fat. Sigh. The Berry Queen suggested that my face does not look fat, just cheeky like a cute little chipmunk storing away peanuts for the winter time. Sigh.)

When I came home, I displayed the dead rodent feeling hair for my father to see, while Kami the Bird Dog leapt around the kitchen howling and trying to eat it. After I did that, I went out to get the horses, and Tia jumped and ran to my father. Following that, Copernicus stood on top of the fridge and howled for about ten minutes straight. I'm not sure what to make of the animals' reactions to my hair. I'm hoping they were jumping and howling their pleasure... but one can never be sure.

Now all I have to do is learn how to blow dry, straighten, and apply the perfect amount of product each morning.

Here's hoping.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Dixie on the Mend...

My parents took Dixie to the vet today. They brought her in without me and discussed treatment without me which tends to drive me batty because I need to know everything, and I need to know it now. I NEED DETAILS and without details, the exact, explicit words or actions from the vet himself, I feel like less of a human being, incapable of making a decision because I can't picture the expression on his face or the way he held his hands, or did he adjust his glasses ever? Because that could totally mean something.

Dixie, as we suspected, has bladder stones. I think they are like kidney stones or gall stones, only they have actually grown such that they take up the entire volume of her bladder and there is no room for pee in there.

The men I've talked to seem less than concerned about this condition, and I think that's mostly because men very rarely suffer from urinary tract infections. Imagine, if you will, wandering around all day with razor blades stuck in the place you pee from, wherever that may be. Then, imagine that every time you need to pee, someone pours a salty solution of vinegar and lemon juice onto that very surface. Occasionally, the feeling clumbs up into your abdomen and lower back, making it nearly impossible to walk, thing, sit, stand, lay, or otherwise do anything that requires your body to touch the surface of anything else.

Damn this whole gravity thing. It makes living with a UTI so much more difficult.

Dixie will be having surgery tomorrow. They are actually going to cut her bladder right open, remove it, take out all the stones and stone gravel (Gravel. My frickin' dog has GRAVEL in her bladder. Those are the vet's actual words.) and then place it back in.

I'll be sure to post pictures of her in her lampshade thingie, because Lord knows there is nothing like making fun of a ridiculous looking beagle on the Internet.

Not that I need to get out more, or anything.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Drawn to a Close...

Deer season is now over for me, and I have to say that I'm a little sad because I didn't get to shoot my fancy new gun at anything. I contemplated taking out a squirrel or two, or maybe a road sign on the way home, but my redneckedness only goes so far.

Davey shot his first deer this year, on Saturday while we were all out together. Dixie, my wonderous Little Muppy, brought the deer to him just as she is supposed to do. I have to say that I'm more than a little pissed that she didn't bring the deer to me, because she is after all MY DAMN DOG. He hit the deer with a perfect shot, right where all the experts say you're supposed to hit it. We ended up having to track it for a period of time through brush and prickly ash that tried to take both the eyes right out of my head a large number of times.

While we were out with Dixie, I noticed that she was peeing quite frequently, a sign that is not a good one because in 2003, Dixie almost died from having bladder stones. Several hundred dollars later, she was restored to her chipper old self. She wasn't acting like herself yesterday, and today when she came home from hunting, she laid on the couch with me feeling quite feverish and looking very pouty.

I'm taking her to a vet tomorrow to see what they can do. The surgery will cost over a thousand dollars, and while I really can't put a price on my love for Dixie, I can't make a thousand dollars spring from my ear next Tuesday, either.

I'm very scared at this point in time because if the condition is worse than it was last time, there may be nothing we can do. I fear that it has gone to her kidneys because she has an odd swelling on her back. It could just be backfat, because she is a bit of a pudgy little beagle, but I'm scared that it indicates something much more serious.

My irrational self wants to sell a lobe of my liver on the black market and fly her to some fancy schmancy surgical unit like they do on the Discovery Channel. My more rational self knows that this just isn't possible.

As soon as we get to a vet, we'll have more information to work with. I wait with baited breath until then.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Look Here, Bambi....

I spent a collective eight hours outside in the freezing cold this week, before the sun was up and while the dew was still frozen on the grass. It seems, though, that Bambi and his ilk have chosen to stay out of the woods lately, and other than a mink, I didn't see any glorious wildlife creatures.

Dixie has not been speaking with me lately, choosing instead to look at me with forlron, beagle-y little eyes that simply scream "You assholes went hunting without me and now I am going to pout in this kennel until --". And it would have been a complete thought, I swear it would have been, except that at that moment, my Dad took out some kibble and she forgot entirely about mad. For the time being, anyhow.

I took a nap today after work, and I woke up an hour earlier than expected, which is a fairly odd occurrence for me. I woke up because something was not right, and as I sat there on the couch wondering why my slumber had been cut short, I realized that it was not a problem with my attire, nor the arrangement of blankets, nor the temperature of my body; it dealt entirely with the fact that Dixie was not sleeping on my left shoulder, causing it and my left arm to lose the totality of their mobility and sensation. Waking up like that, with complete function in my left arm, was such an odd experience. When you add to that the fact that not only did I wake up with sensation, I woke up without a face full of beagle hair and not smelling like dog, I think part of my heart broke off and shattered into a million pieces.

The good news is that Deer Hunt 2007 will continue on Saturday and possibly Sunday. I finally have a FULL weekend off work, and of course, the only thing I can think to do with my time is to get up at four a.m. and head out to a freezing cold bush to sit in the elements with a gun, dressed in blaze orange.

Not a lot of people's dream vacation time, I know, but one that works for me nonetheless.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Guns! And Deer! And Blaze Orange!

Deer season was off with a bang today, and the 'rents and I were out in the bush before six a.m. to see it through.

Before I went hunting, however, I had to run to the barn at four and feed the horses. I love how Zydo and I are more and more alike each day. Every time I run down to the barn to visit him, he's napping. When I get there in the middle of the night? Wide awake. Oh, insomnia-pony. How I love thee.

The road into the bush has been fixed up by the logging companies this morning, to I only had a medium case of whiplash once we off-roaded our way in. My father is now concerned because if the road gets much better, soon every city person and their Aunt's Honda Civic are going to be in there, and the deer will all run away. Apparently, someone fixed up the roadways through his friend's hunt camp, and that happened to them. (And not to have anyone thinking that I'm picking on Honda Civics, I'm sure there is a great number of Mazda Proteges in there, too.)

At any rate, there was only one or two boring little water holes to go through, whereas usually there is a veritable pond or two awaiting us. It is usually around pond time that SuperNan starts screaming and clinging to whatever she can get her hands on, including but not limited to the barrel of a gun or two. Fortunately, we are very safe and sober hunters, and our firearms are locked up tight until legal shooting time. Oh, being a law-abiding citizen. How I love thee.

I didn't manage to shoot a deer this year, but on Saturday and Sunday the whole gang is coming out, including the wonderous Uncle Dixie and her deer-finding powers.

I'm pumped. If I shoot a deer this year, expect many gruesome pictures of myself, my trusty skinning knife, and a pile of intestines right here on my blog.

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