Saturday, December 29, 2007

Apples and Oranges Eggs

Bean has stayed with me for the past couple of nights. Bryan's house is being repainted. It's just the outside that's being painted, so the workmen aren't actually inside the house. However, given Bean's super-powered ears and her strong instinct to bark and whine when she hears anything odd outside, we thought it best to keep her away till the job is done.

This morning I woke to find that I didn't have anymore of Bean's food here. Of course I was not about to let her go without breakfast, so I scanned my kitchen for things that would be safe for a dog to eat. At this point I realized that I have way too much chocolate in my house. But I did see a red delicious apple in the fruit bowl, and remembered giving Bean an apple core once which see seemed to enjoy. So I chopped the apple into large pieces, tossed them in her bowl, and stood back.

She inspected the apple. She smelled the pieces. She even licked one. But she would not eat them.

Then I had the brilliant idea of spreading some of the apple pieces on the floor, because of the well-known...

Canine Culinary Rule #1
The hierarchy of food desirability is as follows (in order of descending yummy-ness):
Food that humans are eating
Food left on plates by humans
Food dropped on floor by humans
Food put into your bowl because humans want you to eat it

Sadly, Bean was not fooled.

Isn't this is the same apple I didn't want 2 minutes ago?

Remembering something I read about eggs giving dogs shiny coats, I grabbed the last two eggs from the fridge and put them in a pot of water to boil. A few minutes later, while I was peeling and chopping the hard-boiled eggs, I was reminded of...

Canine Culinary Rule #2
The stinkier it is, the more delicious it will be.

I diced up the apple into finer pieces and mashed it in with the eggs, making a disgusting sort of warm egg salad.

It smells even worse than it looks.

The results? A complete success. All the pictures I got of her eating it are blurry because her jaws are moving faster than the speed of light.

Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom...

Nom Nom [thud of the bowl hitting the baseboard] Slurp Slurp...

Lick surrounding rug...just in case.

It's actually really satisfying to cook for a dog. They really make sure you know they appreciate it. However, if you are planning on making this dish for your pooch, I must warn you. The combination of eggs and ruoughage makes for some pretty awful farts. Farts that will wilt your houseplants. So open the windows.

Bryan was asleep just feet away (did I mention my place is tiny?) during this whole ordeal. Later he complained that he heard all of it, but I have evidence that he slept soundly the whole time.

Sleeping Beauty.

He later woke up because of the eye-watering dog farts. But then we lit a bunch of incense and all went back to sleep. It was a nice family morning.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bean visits Mommy's new place...and is underwhelmed

Last weekend Bryan and Bean came over for a sleepover at my new place. It was the first time Bean has really spent any time over here. She kept pacing the perimeters of the rooms, searching for "the rest of it". My place is only 400 sq. ft., and our old house (where she still lives with Bryan) is about 1500 sq. ft., with a big backyard.

When we first adopted Bean, before we were married, I lived in another small place by myself, and she lived there with me. But that was a long time ago, and she seems to have become accustomed to more spacious accommodations since then. Also, back then she was just a little puppy, so the apartment probably didn't seem as small as it was.

She made it very clear during her visit that she had no intentions whatsoever of staying here with me. She wanted to go "home" with Bryan, and kept a careful eye on him at all times, lest he should sneak out and leave her here with me.

It was really hard not to take all of this personally. I mean, I decided to adopt a dog, I picked her out, but she still is somehow Bryan's dog. Man's Best Friend, I guess. She just loves him so much. I'm sure she loves me too. Just in a different, less obvious kind of way.

"You know I'm leaving as soon as Dad gets back, right?"

Here we are, waiting by the front door just before she and Bryan left. Bryan had gone back to use the bathroom before getting on the road. That left just Bean and me in this sort of awkward silence. She sat facing the bedroom (from which Bryan was soon to emerge) the entire time, and only looked up at me when I picked up the camera.

My eyes teared up from all the love and devotion.

Maybe I should start keeping dog biscuits and treats here for her. Perhaps a special toy that she only gets when she visits me. I cannot believe I am already resorting to buying her affections.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Still here!

Hi Guys! We are still here. I like the photo above, because Bean is chewing on a part of her lip. She does this from time to time. Don't know why...Sorry for the long delay between posts. Bean has been very busy. She has had several overnight guests. Three so far, actually. Always the perfect hostess, she makes sure each guest feels safe and comfortable by offering herself as a bed-buddy. There is nothing our Bean likes more than sharing a bed with a human. She really can be so sweet and cuddly. It is strange, because she sleeps with her head on the pillow next to yours. I don't think most dogs do that. In fact, I distinctly remember seeing images of dogs sleeping at the foot of the bed in movies when I was growing up.

I guess Bean hasn't seen those movies.

Big changes have happened. I no longer live in the house with Bean and Bryan. I have a small apartment closer to school, as I will be returning to class next week. So Bean is looking for a new roommate. Any takers? Must love dogs, of course. We are working on getting a digital camera for Bryan, since he will now be Bean's primary photographer. I will still be doing the posts.

I want to keep this blog going as long as I possibly can, because I think that some people enjoy looking at it. Even more importantly, I believe it acts as one small piece of evidence that pit bulls can be wonderful, gentle, loving pets, and that they do not deserve the reputation they have gotten lately. I believe that if you treat an animal with cruelty and neglect, then yes, you will raise a monster. (That goes for human animals too!) But if you raise a puppy with love and affection (and rules and boundaries, as appropriate), you will get an affectionate member of the family.

I am so glad we took a chance on our Bean.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Riding in the car, Bean-style.

When most dogs ride in the car, I am imagining that they are either: a) ecstatic to be in the fresh air and ride the whole way with their heads out the window, or b) underwhelmed or even frightened, and just curl up on the back seat and sleep. Of course I don't know this for sure, seeing that Bean is really our first dog. But her way of riding in cars just seems too bizarre to be normal.

She sits with her butt on the backseat, puts her front paws on the floor, and wedges her gigantic head in between the two front seats, resting it on the emergency brake. So that on a recent long car trip to Virginia, I got to see this every time I looked over at Bryan:
It just doesn't look comfortable, does it? You would think that she did not have an entire backseat to herself to stretch out on. Normally she can't do this because we have her in the seat belt, but this was during her recovery period, and I didn't want her to get her leg tangled like she does sometimes. Eventually I caved in and gave her my pillow to rest on:

I am such a good dog-mommy.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Reclaiming the Backyard

This weekend we let Bean start having limited access to the backyard through her dog door. I chronicled her first moments in this fascinating photo essay. Enjoy!

Here her eyes are glowing with the red hot glare of excitement.

She immediately ran to the gate, to see if perhaps we had left it open. Always testing the limits, this one!

Checking to see if any birds have made the fatal mistake of nesting in our gutters.

Still checking for birds, but with gusto.

Resuming her look-out post. The neighborhood can rest safely once again.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Project Recovery: Looking Back (part II)

This post is in honor of a few of the stuffed animals that served as Bean's compaions during her recovery period. Fisrt, there was the big white bear. Bryan brought him home after he cleaned out his classroom from this past schoolyear. Here is Bear, anxiously awaiting his introduction to Bean. As we will see, his anxiety is not unfounded.
The introduction....
And it seems that Bear is a little worse off for meeting Bean. One of his eyes is loose, and he has a droopy lip.
But they soon made up, and Bean placed Bear on his own bed in her recovery pen. Isn't this sweet? I came downstairs one morning and they were just lying like this.
Next up was Pig. We got Pig at the yard sale of some dear friends who just moved to Boston. (Hi Aiden! Hi Havalah!) It was one of Bean's first outings when she was allowed longer walks again. It was also her first yard sale. She was very excited when she saw Pig, and spent her whole week's allowance on him. Havalah was worried that Pig would meet an untimely death. But she let Bean bring her home anyway. As you can see, there was nothing to worry about.
Pig has been been treated with nothing but respect and hospitality.
A great big thanks to Bear and Pig!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bean the Nurse

Bryan threw out his back today. He has an appointment tomorrow with a chiropractor, but for today he is just going to lie on the floor with pillows under his legs, in excruciating pain. Just so you know, I offered to take him to urgent care, but he decided to rough it till tomorrow.

Bean has assigned herself full-time nursing duties, and has not left his side:

Or his head:

I guess she is just returning the favor from when we nursed her through her recovery. Such a good girl!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Project Recovery: Looking Back (part I)

Now that we have internet access again, I am going to post some more photos I took of Bean during her recovery. This set documents the one and only day that she got to spend a good amount of time outside during those two months.

It was on Father's Day, and I came home from lunch with my sister and my dad to find that Bryan had moved Bean's whole recovery area out to the back porch while he mowed the grass. She was so happy! However, you could tell that she wanted be let out so that she could chase the squirrels, instead of just watching them.

Here she is scanning the treetops for squirrel-related movement:

Here she is staring at house next door. She can hear the kids playing on the other side of the fence, but can't see them:

Here she is, sitting nicely for her momma:

What a pretty girl!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Project Recovery: Day 54

Today = Freedom!!!

Bean's appoimtment with the surgeon this morning went great. Dr. Clarke gave her a clean bill of health and told us that we could stop her confinement immediately and gradually introduce more activity until she was back to her usual routine.

When we got home, Bryan walked her inside and she headed straight for her penned-in little recovery area. She was certainly surprised when we took her off leash instead and let her walk around on her own! She walked around the downstairs part of the house all afternoon, just checking out all the rooms and sniffing all the furniture. I guess she forgot what it smells like?

Our plan is to confine her to the first floor of the house for one week. We have baby-gated the bottom of the stairs. Then she will be allowed upstairs but will be kept inside for another week. And then, in two weeks, we will take the cover off the dog door and let her have her backyard back. She will be so thrilled!

We are so happy to have our puppy back. She is putting weight on the new knee, and there is not a limp or anything anymore. It's amazing what Dr. Clarke was able to do. But what's even more amazing, what I will never forget, is how all of you pitched in to help make this happen. We will always be so grateful.
Thanks everyone! I'm baaaaaaaaaccccckk!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Project Recovery: Day 44

Sorry for the long absence folks. We have been having a bit of trouble with our internet service (Darn you, Verizon! Darn you to heck!!!). We are in the process of switching ISPs and should be back to our regular high-speed selves soon.

In the meantime, I spent twenty minutes uploading a photo for you. I hope you like it:

As you can see, Bean is continuing to improve. In fact, she now feels so good that she does not feel the need for further recovery, and is emitting a constant, high-pitched whistle to let us know that she is done, much like a little kettle. There are only three instances in which she does not make this noise: when she is being walked, when she is sleeping (which is not happening as much as it used to), and when she is chewing on rawhide. As you can imagine, we are going through quite a bit of the stuff over here!

Oh, and she has her 8-week follow-up appointment with the surgeon on the 26th of June, during which we will find out if Bean needs an additional 4 weeks of confinement, or if she will be be released early on good behavior.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Project Recovery: Day 35

Bean has a history of taking out her frustration on her stuffed animals (see previous post), so it was no surprise when we noticed the stuffies in her "cell" starting to look a little mutilated. Many of them are missing faces, and all of them are little lighter since they "met" Bean, due to severe hemorrhage of stuffing.

What surprised me was a recent, unprecedented act of kindness she performed for one of these poor creatures. I walked by one day and saw that she was allowing the gray kitty to have first dibs at her breakfast.

I can only guess that she made a deal with God - that she will start showing mercy and remorse for her past acts of violence against these innocent creatures in exchange for a speedy release from her own hexagonal prison of sin.

Well, if nothing else good comes from all of this, at least our little Bean has found religion.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Project Recovery: Day 32

This blog seems to be full of examples of sub-standard parenting these days. What can I say? We are doing the best we can in a difficult situation.

Don't judge me!!

Exhibit #352:

What do you do when the (dog's) valium is no longer working but it's too early for the next dose; you are out of rawhide chews; you can't make a peanut butter Kong because you are out of peanut butter; Bryan is hours away from coming home to relieve you of duty; and your dog is repeatedly making a sound that is just slightly more bone-chilling than that of a dentist's drill?

Answer: Give the dog the remains of the peanut butter jar and let her tire herself out trying to lick the peanut butter residue out. You are smarter than she is, and know that her tongue will never reach all the way to the bottom, and that she will fall over from exhaustion before giving up.

Uh...guys?...I don't feel too good...

I realize that this is equivalent of me posting a picture of my toddler passed out on an empty jumbo-sized bag of Cheetos. I am not ashamed. If I had any such pictures, I'd post them too. But we are years away from having a baby other than Bean. So for now, she will have to bear the brunt of my poor parenting skills.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Project recovery: Day 25

I am almost ashamed to admit this one. Given that I have several years of medical training under my belt, you would think I would have figured this out much sooner. Let's see how you do:

Say you had surgery (let's call it knee surgery, for the sake of this example) that would decrease the amount of your daily physical activity by over 90% for about 12 weeks. Say that after said surgery, you continued the same caloric intake that you were eating pre-operatively. You would expect your weight to:

a) decrease
b) remain constant
c) increase
d) explode exponentially

If you chose "d" , then congratulations! You are smarter than we are! We noticed a week or so ago that Bean was looking a little ....well..."husky." She was also getting way too tired after even the short 5-minute walk she gets three times a day. Then one day, while we were watching a movie in the living room where her dog-prison is kept, she sat up to reveal an unmistakably rounded belly. After laughing for a few minutes, I jumped up and got the camera. Here is Bean's first fat photo - a milestone in any girl's life. I am so proud of my baby!

We have since cut back on the amount of food we feed her.

I am NOT fat!! I am just big boned.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Project Recovery: Day 23

Forgive the lack of posts this past week. Things have been going so well with Bean, I actually got to catch up on my non-Bean life. That's progress! I did take some very cute pictures of her which I will be posting here over the next few days. They are too cute to post all at once. So you'll just have to come back, won't you? :)

As you can see from the photo below, there are two things that we no longer have to deal with. Can you tell? No more diapers and no more E-collar! You would think that this would make Bean happier. And for a day or two it did. But now it just seems that all of her attention is focused on the last obstacle, that final frontier of this whole process - the confinement.

What can I say? She wants out!! And if I dare to open the back door (which leads out to her "room" - the fenced in backyard) she starts crying so loudly that I feel like an asshole for rubbing it in her face and I immediately shut the door again. It's just like a teenager shrieking, "Moooooooooommmm!!!!!!!! Stay out of my rooooom! .......... GAWD!!"

But seriously mom, stay out of my room, OK?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Project Recovery: Day 14

Things have improved drastically in the past week. Out of the 3 things that were making our lives suck, I am thrilled to report that we have made serious progress on all 3 fronts:

1) Diarrhea
Gone! Our vet cured her. She is down to one poop a day (two if it's a big day). The process of deep cleaning the first floor of our house has begun. I wonder if you can buy Soft Scrub by the case?

2) E-collar
The staples came out on Monday, but since Bean just can't leave well enough alone and was licking at her incision, she has to wear the E-collar until Saturday. But then we will be rid of it! She has been clumsy with it on (understandably), and can't see where she is putting her front paws. She has twice now accidentally stepped in and overturned her water bowl. But I am not complaining. I would much rather clean up spilled water than poop!

3) Confinement
Bean is two weeks out from her surgery, and the doctor says she can now have three 5-minute walks per day. This means going to the end of our street and back. At the end of the street is a little grassy area, which we spend some time in before heading back. Bean, the little angel, has figured that we want her to poop and pee here on this area if she can. So we have had no more poops in the house, and only one pee. We can increase her walks by 5 minutes in 2 weeks.

Things are looking up! Thanks for the kind words during the rough patch. And keep checking for updates.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Project Recovery: Day 7

Things here are really hard right now. I am feeling a little desperate. Issues include:

1) The diarrhea.
It's still here. We have switched antibiotics. We have de-wormed her (did I mention the worms? No? Well, that was for your own good then.) We have given her bowls of Kaopectate. We have done 5 loads of laundry a day. There is still poop everywhere.

2) The E-collar.
She still needs it. She still has her staples in over her knee, and what's worse, she tends to lick her butt if it's off. Her butt, which is now absolutely raw from the non-stop pooping. So we have to keep the E-collar for the next week at least.

3) The confinement.
The sedatives she was sent home on weren't cutting it. Yesterday she was switched to valium, but last night was just as bad. She wants out. She doesn't understand why she can't run around in the backyard and have unlimited access to the house. She doesn't understand why she has to spend all day in a little hexagon-shaped plastic jail. She voices this frustration (literally) by wailing and crying at all hours. Bryan and I switch off "sleeping" downstairs on the couch next to her. It doesn't matter though, because she still cries and neither of us gets any sleep.

For all of these reasons (and probably more, I can't think right now. no sleep) I have had to take Bean to our regular vet almost every day this week for day-boarding, so that I can get some sleep, and make some progress on laundry and de-pooping of the house. Then Bryan picks her up at night, and we start another 12 hours of sleepless, poop-y misery. I feel so guilty for not being able to take care of her myself. I am sitting here in tears as I write this. I didn't know this would be so hard. I definitely would have waited until Bryan was out for the summer (he's a school teacher) before having the surgery done.

This is not a one-person job.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Project recovery: Day 5

I haven't posted in a few days. Why is that, you ask? Well folks, although I will explain in further detail below, the reason can really be summed up in one short word.


Poop everywhere. Magical Poop that defies the laws of physics as I had understood them up until this point in my life. Poop that can separate itself in order to fly through the small holes in the walls of a dog play pen and then reform into one giant ball on the electrical socket of the far wall. Our lives these last few days have consisted of little more than laundry, wiping dog butt, laundry, sleeping in shifts, and laundry.

We now know the reason for this. When Bean was discharged after her surgery, she was sent home on an antibiotic called Cephalexin to prevent infection of her surgical site. Apparently, somewhere along Bean's intestinal tract there is a small faucet. What Cephalexin did, basically, was to get into our dog, locate that faucet, and switch it to the "on" position.

On Saturday night, it was so bad that she was just leaking poop up to 5-6 times an hour. At 3:00 am we took her to the emergency clinic, which is no more than 4 miles from our house. She pooped twice in the car on the way there. The doctor there stopped the Cephalexin and switched her to another antibiotic, Metronidazole. They also gave her IV fluids because she was so dehydrated, and switched her to a special diet of bland canned food for a few days.

I am thrilled to report that she is improving, and the worst seems to be over.

We have learned several new and highly marketable skills during all of this. I myself now have a spooky ability to tell when she is about to poop, even before she goes into the telltale "squat" position. We also can both put a diaper on a dog while she is walking away from us. Didn't know they made diapers for dogs? You lucky, lucky thing. Yes, they do. And yes, they have a hole for the tail to poke through. I used to see them in Petsmart and giggle to myself, thinking what kind of sad person would actually diaper their dog. Not me. Oh no, I'd just let the thing run around in the back yard till it felt better, then hose it down before bringing back in. Well, I am here to tell you people, Karma is a B.

A diaper AND an E-collar? What fresh hell is this?

Please tell me you are NOT going to post these on the internet!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Project Recovery: Day 2

I know I should post an account of how last night went for Bean, but the truth is, I don't really know. The reason? Because I have such a wonderful husband.

Let me explain. I didn't sleep a wink the night that Bean spent in the hospital. I was just too worried. So, soon after we brought her home yesterday, I became exhausted. Bean hates the e-collar, and had forgotten that she can lie down while wearing one. The poor thing was almost falling over from fatigue. Her eyes would start closing, and she would get closer and closer to the ground, but as soon as the rim of her collar touched the blankets, she shot back up. This went on for-EVER.

I finally got into the pen and lay down with her, trying to soothe her to sleep. This didn't work either. Eventually it was time for her nightly dose of sedative. We gave her that, and she fell right asleep. At that point, I was so tired I couldn't see straight. Bryan told me he would watch her and I should go ahead to bed. Which I did, and I slept like a rock.

When I woke up this morning, I was surprised to find that he wasn't in bed with me. That's when I came downstairs to find this:

How cute is this? He opened the little fold-out futon couch and incorporated it into the recovery area. If he is half as good a dad to our actual human baby as he is to Bean, that will be one lucky kid.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Project Recovery: Day 1 (Welcome Home Bean!)

Well, we just brought Bean home from the hospital, and she is pitiful!!! She has a shaved leg, about 15-20 staples over her incision, an e-collar (cone) on her head to keep her from messing with the incision, and a fentanyl patch for pain. She is most miserable about the e-collar. We know this from previous experience. All she does so far is stand still in her "recovery area" and cry a really, really sad cry. It's kind of like a chirp. I got some of it on video, but it's too dark to see anything. It's really too sad to even post.

But she is home!

Oh, and you know how I was freaked out about the 8 weeks of this I have to look forward to? Turns out I needn't have worried about that, because is not 8 weeks of recovery. It's TWELVE WEEKS. That's 3 months of this. Someone help us! Please keep us in your prayers. Bean will miss the whole summer at this rate.

I am going to lay down in the pen with her now, and see if that calms her down any.

Whew! Now for phase II - Healing.

Thanks again everyone!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Project Bionic Leg: The Big Day! (update)

I just spoke with Dr. Clarke. He said the surgery went well, and Bean tolerated the anesthesia as expected. She is awake and in recovery. Thank God!!

He also said that when he went into her knee, he saw that she had both the patella problem (which we knew about) and a torn ACL (which we suspected). He was able to fix both at once only because all of you have been so generous. If we had not been able to raise enough money to cover both procedures, we might have had to have the two surgeries separately, and that would have been awful!!!

Why? Because now we are in for a long, hard 8 week long recovery process. We haven't even begun it yet and already I know that it is something I don't want to go through more than once. Thankfully, soon school will be out and Bryan will be home to help me with her.

Tonight we are going to go get supplies and come home to set up her recovery area in the living room, to which she will be confined for the next 8 weeks, excluding bathroom breaks 3 times a day.

Tomorrow we get to bring her home! I will post pictures of the homecoming, of course.

Thanks again!

Project Bionic Leg: The Big Day!

I dropped Bean off at the surgical practice this morning at 8:00 am. She was so excited to actually be on a leash, leaving the house, that she didn't pay me any attention at all. She was looking out the window and licking the glass on the way to Cary. It was a nice enough morning, so I let the window down. Then she stuck her head out and "smiled" at passers-by in other vehicles. Now, to a non-dog-lover, a pit bull smile can look terrifying, and more like an attempt to show all their teeth before they eat you whole. So we got some scared looks, but mostly she got smiles in return.

By the time we got to the clinic, she was so excited her entire body wiggled from head to tail. I anchored her leash to the check in counter to register her and take these pictures. She had a smile and a squeal for everyone that walked by, and the vet tech who came to take her back was almost overpowered by kisses and licks.

All this made it easier for me to stand leaving her there. She looked like I had dropped her off at Disney world, not like she was going to go have painful joint surgery. But still, as soon as I got back to the car, I started crying.

She is probably having the surgery this very minute. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. My sweet little Beanie-Baby. Mommy loves you so much.

Today's photo:
Where are the toys? My doggie camp, the one where I get to spend holidays while mommy and daddy visit their two-legged relatives, has lots of toys. And a pool. Maybe the pool's behind that door over there....

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Project Bionic Leg: 1 day till surgery

Ding Ding Ding!! We did it! The goal has been reached (and then some!!)

There were times in the beginning that I thought, "man this is a long shot!" But we did it! I still can't believe it. I am amazed at how many people from all over the country got involved in this. And now you all get to sit back and watch the results of your generosity. I will be documenting both the surgery and the recovery on this blog, so please keep on reading. I predict that in 2 months you will see a picture of a healthy, happy dog being taken on a real honest-to-goodness WALK, outside of the house!!!

Thanks again everybody!!!

Today's photo:
Ughhhhhh. I am soooo bored. I remember back when I was younger, years ago I think, mom and dad used to do this thing where they would attach a stringy thing to me and we would go patrol the neighborhood together. Man, that was fun. I guess that's just history now. But I remember. Je me souviens!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Project Bionic Leg: 2 days till surgery

It's kind of like the calm before the storm around here. After some very helpful comments folks made to yesterday's post, I am much more ok with the idea of Bean staying overnight in the hospital. I am sure it will be the safest thing to do. We are going to spend Thursday night (the night she will be in the hospital) setting up her "recovery area" in the living room. I want to have everything ready for when we bring her home on Friday. Today when Bryan got home from work, we all hung out on the front porch for an hour or so. Bean enjoyed watching the neighborhood, Bryan read, and I cleaned. You would be amazed to know how dirty a front porch can get! I don't think ours has ever been cleaned before. At least not since we moved in.

As far as fundraising goes, we are sooooooo close, at 98% of the goal. If you are reading this and you haven't donated yet, now is the time! YOU could be the one to put us over the top!!

Today's Photo:
I love hanging out with my dad. He is the coolest dad ever. I'm not even scared of his new rocking least not anymore.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Project Bionic Leg: 3 days till surgery

I am starting to get nervous, y'all. Not about the money (thank goodness!!). We have 97% of what we need, and I am sure the rest will trickle in. But, I just got off the phone with the vet hospital where Bean will have her surgery. I had called to make sure I understood her pre-op instructions. You know - when we should stop her food and meds, what to bring on the day of surgery, that kind of thing. The lady on the phone was really nice. Everyone there has been very nice, which is comforting. But when I asked what time we could come back and pick up our Bean, she informed me that Bean will have to be dropped off on Thursday morning, and picked up on Friday afternoon.

Can you spot the problem? Anyone??

I have to leave my baby all alone in the hospital overnight!!!!!!!!!!! I am a little freaked out by this. The woman on the phone assured me that she would be fine. There is an after-hours pet Emergency Center that is run out of the clinic at night, so she will not technically be alone in the building. And they will check on her. And I am sure they are all qualified and professional and everything, but they are NOT her MOMMY! I swear, if they would let me bunk down on the floor beside her crate in there, I'd do it. I mean, wouldn't you?

Today's photo:
How could you leave me all alone and afraid? How?! Don't you know what that will do to my sense of security? You DO want me to grow up to be well-adjusted doggie, without "issues", don't you?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Project Bionic Leg: 4 days till surgery

We really are almost there folks, both in terms of time and money. 4 days till the big day. And all totaled up we are at 96% of the goal! Even I am shocked that we have come this far. Just a little more to go before the surgery is paid for and over. Then the healing begins. To be honest, I am more afraid of the healing than the surgery. (I am sure Bean would disagree!) I just don't understand how we are supposed to keep her from putting weight on her leg for EIGHT WEEKS?? It just doesn't seem possible, unless they put her into some kind of coma and keep her in the hospital. But instead, she will be partially sedated, and will be at home with us to look after her. There is a lot riding on her recovery. If she puts too much weight on it before she is ready, she may very well undo all the work the surgeon has done.

There is NO way I am going to let that happen after all that you guys have done to help make this surgery possible. I will sit on her myself for the whole 8 weeks if I have to!!

Today's Photo:
What??!! I can't run for 8 WEEKS!!! Just WHEN were you going to tell me THAT part, mom? Huh?! What else don't I know about this "surgery" thing?? By the way, I've been meaning to ask...what exactly is "surgery" anyway?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Project Bionic Leg: 5 days till surgery

We are in the home stretch here, at 91% of the goal (that's including the off-line donations as well). But please don't stop yet! If you have been planning on giving, now's the time. And any money we raise in excess of the surgical costs will go to Bean's post-op meds and rehab. And also a doggie playpen like this one, to keep her confined while healing. Doctor's orders state that she is to be confined to an area no larger than 3 times her body length. That's about the size of a small bathroom. She will be unable to walk on slick floors, and of course our house is covered in hardwoods and vinyl. My plan is to make a "safe area" for bean by laying down blankets, then putting this playpen on it. If we set it up in the main room, she will not feel so isolated, and we can keep a close eye on our sedated little princess. Of course, there will be very frequent photos of her recovery posted here!

Today's photo:
I'm practicing my "sedated" face. How does it look?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Project Bionic Leg: 6 days till surgery

We are at 84% of the goal today - not a huge increase from yesterday, but I have faith we'll get there in time. We didn't come this far just by luck!

Surgery is less than one week away, and we have started to make preparations.
Phase 1 = the last bath.

I do not think we will be able to bathe Bean for some time after the surgery. She had started to smell a little fishy, which is odd because 1) we don't live near the ocean, and 2) Bryan has adamantly denied rubbing her down with cod fillets while I am out.

The last bath went much like any other bath, and consisted of the following steps:

Step 1 - The capture.
Bean will not willingly get into the bathtub. She must be caught and carried into the bathroom, then lowered into the tub. Since Bryan is the only one with the upper body strength to accomplish this, he is the designated dog-bather. (Don't feel too bad for him though. I am the designated tub-cleaner afterwards.)
Step 2 - The bathing.
This part is not so bad. Bean actually quite likes the taste of the shampoo. She doesn't like getting her head washed though, and tries to keep it over the edge of the tub as much as possible, hoping we will forget to wash it.

Step 3 - the toweling off.
This is a most crucial step, and must never be skipped. Bean has other, much messier, ways of drying herself off if we don't do it for her. Mainly they involve running to the nearest piece of upholstered furniture and doing a frantic, whole-body shake until said piece of furniture is sopping with dog bathwater.

Step 4 - the brushing of the teeth.
After the bath, Bean smells like peaches and the foulness of her breath becomes even more noticeable. At this point it is wise to brush as many of her teeth as she will let us. During this particular session, Bryan chose to focus on the tiny little bat-like teeth in the front.
No walks, a hurt knee, AND a bath?!! This is the worst month of my whole life so far. I wonder what's next? I mean what could suck more than this? Bone Surgery??? But no, not even the humans are that cruel. Right?