We thought it was another of Oly's 'dog coughs'. She's had one before, and it's a whole lot more retching sounding than coughing in my book, but the last time we got some pills, they made Oly seem like she was high, Adam and I laughed at her when she stood looking at the wall for 15 minutes swaying softly, and that was that.
Suddenly it was back, but I knew the drill. Vet, pills, bill.
Except, it didn't go away.
In fact, there was a lot of vomit instead. Sorry. How's your breakfast sitting this morning?
Suddenly we were back in the vet, and this time Oly was going to go under to see if there was something lodged in her throat.
I love Oly, and I want her to be healthy, so even though I was wringing my hands at the possibility of a 300 dollar bill for sedation and films, I said, "Fix her," and they went to work.
Except there was no stick, or toy, or jerky stuck in her throat. Instead there was what appeared to be a piece of cloth in her stomach obstructing her intestines, thereby causing all the retching. And cleaning of the retching.
Then the vet hit me with my 'options.' Keep her at our vet overnight, and perform abdominal surgery the following morning to remove the cloth toy. Two more days after that to recover, and a bill somewhere in the region of 900-1700 dollars.
Cue me falling over dead.
OR we could take her to a specialist 30 minutes away and they could try to pull the toy out of her stomach via her throat endoscopically.
BUT, if the obstruction was hard and unable to come out with the scope, they would need to perform the surgery as well, leaving our total bill somewhere in the ballpark of THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
Three, comma, zero, zero, zero.
Cue me falling over dead, rotting, coming back to life, going back in time, and stealing all of Oly's toys from her and burning them in a bonfire.
People, I sobbed. There is something so very cruel about veterinary care when you don't have pet insurance. You essentially weigh the importance of your pet against the money in your bank. I had to sit down and take a long hard look at my financial situation and realize that if the worst thing happened I could very well max out my credit card, empty my emergency savings account and still be standing there unable to pay her full bill. That moment of really evaluating my financial situation stopped my heart. Of course I was going to do everything in my power to help this dog, fix this dog, but holy WOW if the idea of that final bill didn't leave me dry heaving on the floor of my office as I contemplated my next move.
Luckily for Adam and I our vet suggested we take the risk, avoid the surgery and head to the specialist. Where we spent the next 6 hours waiting to see what in the world was causing all this financial and physical anguish.
In the end, after a grand total of around 1,300 dollars (kill me now) we found out that the item causing Oly all this pain was none other than around 5 casings from a summer sausage.
Can you imagine our faces when the doctor walked into the waiting room with a paper towel, opened it and revealed none other than SAUSAGE CASINGS?
I wanted to be like, "Hah! Funny! Where's the towel? Or chew toy? Or pair of underwear for crying out loud? Show me something BIG, and EVIL, and STOMACH CLOGGING!"
1,300 dollar summer sausage.
SAUSAGE CASINGS YOU GUYS!
I wanted so badly to sit down with Oly and have a little conversation along the lines of, "Oly, remember at the beach house when you and Macy were fighting over the trash can? Growling over who would go for those casings we'd mistakenly thrown away right in front of you, and you lunged and ate them all in one big heroic swoop? REMEMBER THAT? Because you should have let Macy eat them. Seriously."
Sadly, dogs don't have the same comprehension we do.
Very, very, very sadly.
All in all, this has been a most traumatizing, and eye opening experience. Oly is still not 100%. Her throat is a mess from having tubes down it for two hours, she was put under twice on two separate occasions and is still shaky on her feet, she can't eat anything for another 12 hours, she's on a strict diet, meds, the whole works. And, we're still not 100% sure that the whole cause of all her misery was the stupid sausage casings. If she doesn't resume normal non vomiting protocol in the next week, back to the vet we go!
What I've learned more than anything throughout this whole experience is that the decision we made a year ago, where we sat down and decided we were paying in more to pet insurance than we were getting out, therefore convincing us to start a savings account for Oly and cancel pet insurance, was the WORST IDEA WE EVER HAD IN OUR WHOLE LIVES.
2011 will hereby be known as the year of renewed pet insurance (Hi TruPanion, where have you been all my life?) for our little adventurous eater, and the year where I try really really really hard to get myself out of this mountain of debt.
Be warned dog owners.
Sausage, is surprisingly expensive.
Ugg, returning from a vacation and going straight back to work is seriously lame.
All vacations should come with a readjustment period of additional time off at home before returning to work.
OR all companies should give employees the last two weeks of December off paid. No questions asked.
I like it.
Here's to hoping it catches on.
So, our mini vacation to Long Beach with Adam's family has come and gone, but it was everything I wanted and more.
We ate some more.
Adam's parents walked Oly and the troop of dogs to the beach every morning in the rain, and I got to sit by the window watching them.
Oly ran, and ran, and ran some more.
Adam's mom read.
Adam's dad read.
We were like a fricken commercial for the power of literature I'm telling you. It was all sorts of nerdy up in our vacation rental.
We exchanged gifts lovingly selected for one another and oooohed and ahhhhhed when we watched others open items they'd been hoping for.
And most of all, we laughed at the GOD AWFUL DECORATIONS.
Fucking weird right?
The most hilarious part about that wall was that Oly thought each and every plastic fish on that net was a chew toy lovingly displayed for her. She spent the first half hour we were there sitting on the couch just looking at the wall. I tried to get a shot of it, because it was just too damn funny, but each time I'd go for it, she'd move. It's like she knew we were making fun of her.
There were other awesomely outdated features in the house, like the 70's green couch which only Oly loved,
My skin is still crawling from sleeping on 100% polyester sheets for three whole miserable nights.
The listing for the rental said, "linens included," not, "the most fucked up creepy, silky, slippery, messed up sheets you've ever had to hold against your body for three whole nights in a row included."
But you know what made up for the weird layout, the sulfur smelling water, the rough towels, the shitty beds, the ugly decorations, and the world most terrifying dishwasher?
Beach house, you were weird. Very very very weird. And I hated your sheets with a passion I didn't know was in me. But you let us be together, cook wonderful meals together, stay in from the rain together, you let the dogs run free, you allowed us to walk to the beach, and even catch some glimpses of the waves, so I guess I still like you.
Hope you all had a lovely weekend.
And that no matter where you were you didn't have to sleep on 100% polyester sheets.
OH THE HORROR.
And yes, I think he was super weirded out when they arrived at first.
And when I asked him who he wanted to send them to he only picked his parents.
But then, then when we got cards from some of his other family members suddenly he realized our card was darn cute, and as I was filling out all the ones I was sending out he piped in about wanting to maybe send one to so-and-so and I had to remind him he didn't want to send cards to anyone originally so HA I was sending them out to all my peeps instead and before I knew it there he was wishing he'd not been so quick to hate on my cards and instead sent them to more of his family.
No, you're right. This isn't a competition.
But I was still right.
Merry Christmas you guys.
I love you. Each and every one of you who takes the time to read my website, comment, send an email, befriend me on Facebook (Oh! You should do that if you haven't already!), or just plain lurk around in the shadows.
You make this worth while and make this big o'l world feel just a tad smaller.
Yes I just made up a word.
Tiss the season!
Hey, remember when I wrote that rant about trying to find a dog friendly vacation rental for Christmas?
Why don't I refresh your memory.
Ah, the joys of completely misplaced anger.
So, turns out that rant was severely immature seeing as later the next day I managed to lock down this lovely beach house.
It's located in Long Beach, WA, a coastal town about an hour and a half from Olympia. We camped there last Memorial Weekend and spent the majority of the time trying to stay dry.
So, this time we decided to go the whole indoors route seeing as the forecast for Christmas weekend in Long Beach is rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, with some more rain.
This time though I'm 100% ok with the forecast. I've been told we have a wall of windows of the living room where we can relax, watch the storm rage and marvel at the power of an angry winter sea.
Whatever you celebrate this season, I wish you happiness, a complete and utter absence of stress, tons of fantastic food, that you'll be surrounded by people you love, and that your liquor cabinet never runs dry.
Although, maybe that last one is only my Christmas wish...
I would really like to keep the holiday cheer going, so share your post (words or pictures, I'm not picky!) about what Christmas (or even the holidays, EVERYONE CAN PLAY!) looks like to you this year and share the links.
I've never done this before, so to add your post to the holiday list below click on the link that says, "Click here to enter," to fill out the title of your post and the url.
Who knows. I might have set this up all wrong.
But who cares, it's almost CHRISTMAS!
If people really play along I'll do a round up of some of my favorites on Christmas.
If I'm not in a food coma that is.
I make no promises.
One of the hardest things about having a very very very very energetic dog is dealing with exercise needs. Equally difficult? Meeting her exercise needs in the winter, while living in western Washington, when your dog HATES HATES HATES rain. Oh, and also has the coat thickness of a small hamster.
I think you get the point. My dog is crazy, and the weather gets in the way of keeping her at a manageable level of nuts.
Recently though with my new 4 day a week working from home schedule I decided I was going to take matters into my own hands.
Meet Ashley's Homestead Doggy Daycare Program!
A program where I invite my neighbor's dog over to the house and take two dogs that are best friends with too much energy and let them romp and play all over my house thereby completely exhausting one another and enabling both households to relax.
Who needs to pay $21 a day to have my dog play at the local doggy daycare when I can just invite the neighbor's dog over and get both of our pups exercise and social needs met for FREE?
I mean sure, being on a conference call with these two romping around in the background is a little uncomfortable, "Oh that? Oh it's nothing, just the coffee maker acting up again!" but I solider on.
Because at the end of the day, the tired dog sleeping at my feet FAR outways any uncomfortable explanations regarding the noise level of my workspace.
The entire time I was going through the anxiety of "will we move?" I felt like I was being cheated of my ability to express myself on my blog. I would lament to my therapist how much it ached that I couldn't just talk openly about my fears, my anxiety, my issues, hopes, dreams, my constant flowing river of tears with you all.
Because when shit gets hard sometimes the only thing I have, well besides friends, loved ones, therapy and medication of course, if you.
I assumed once I was out of the woods, once I could spill the beans about my silence the words, the FLOOD of words I'd been holding in my lap patiently would spill forth and drown you all.
In reality, it's been about a month since the big 'he didn't get the job' announcement and, and, um, where are the words?
The entire time we were waiting and wondering if Adam would get the job I thought I wanted nothing more in the ENTIRE WORLD than to move to city option A. I thought it was the answer to all my problems. I fully believed that if Adam didn't get the promotion in city A I was going to physically break in half. That the bone crushing despair I felt when I left Seattle because of unemployment was going to be NOTHING compared the to pain I would feel if Adam didn't get option A.
Then on a quiet Tuesday afternoon he said the words, "I didn't get the job."
Instead of sobs, shaking, or my head spinning around and around while green vomit splattered the walls I heard myself say, "I'm sorry babe. Are you ok?"
That weekend we got ready for bed in our home. The home that would still be our home for an indefinite amount of time. Knowing that the "Must Do Before We Move Out To-Do List" would be put on hold. Knowing that projects we wanted to do, gardens we wanted to plant, dressers we wanted to save up for could once again be dreamed about. This was still our home sweet home and no one could make us pack up and leave.
We turned to look at one another, our lives the same as the week before, month before, year before and I heard myself once again say something that shocked me, "I'm happy we aren't moving."
"You know? Me too," he whispered.
Since then my mind has been clear.
Maybe it's the medication.
Possibly my clarity is simply the result of the over a year in therapy working to deal with my anxiety.
Or maybe, just maybe I never wanted to change this life of mine. That constantly looking for something better never truly made me happy. That all I needed was to have what I considered to represent 'happiness' taken off the table so that I might finally accept this one option before me and finally love this life I lead.
This wonderful, beautiful, amazing life I call my own.
I guess more than anything I just want to know if you'll still come here and read my words if my life isn't always on the edge of complete and total disaster?
Where will the fun be in being HAPPY?
Too dull right?
I'll start thinking of something dramatic to complain about this weekend...
Makes a girl want to curl up in bed with a glass, or twelve of wine and a bad movie until Spring.
No wonder my pants are getting snug.
Damn you winter.
I want to hate you, but I love wearing scarves and boots too damn much.
You lucked out.
I remember the days of being a renter. Calling an office number and leaving messages that your dryer wasn't working any longer, that the bathroom light was out, asking if someone might be able to come over later and unclog your bathroom tub drain. There was a problem, and thankfully someone else was going to handle it.
Homeownership means that when the dryer is acting up Adam has to crawl inside it. When the bathroom light is out, we replace it, and when the bathroom tub is clogged I nearly DIE from the horror that is pulling out a softball sized wad of my own hair from the drain.
But really, homeownership really isn't all bad.
At least now I don't have to deal with some letchy dude tinkering around in my bathroom while I'm trying to watch reruns of Gilmore Girls telling me how much he likes my shower curtain while he gives me more than a once over with his bloodshot eyes.
Now if Adam starts getting fresh I can throw something at him and tell him to get back to work already and fix the damn dryer so we can finish our laundry already.
So yeah, I guess I'd call that progress.
|I heart Stitch Fix. At my request my stylist sends me a box of five lovelies to try on at home. So far I've kept at least one item from each box, and what you don't want you just send back! LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.|
|The only headphones I've found that have good sound quality, stay in my ears while I workout, don't hurt after long periods of time AND aren't expensive. Basically, they're perfect.|
|I cannot get enough of BaubleBar right now. From their daily deals where they mark a single necklace off to $10, to the stunning amount of new releases, they have beautiful statement jewelry down.|