Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Everywhere A Vet Vet

Reyna had an appointment this afternoon with a new vet (same practice) because of the trouble she’s having with her left leg. I liked the new vet – she took the trouble to review Reyna’s chart before we got there, she realized that Reyna’s name is actually Vereyna but that we call her Reyna (and she pronounced both correctly), and she patiently listened to my concerns. Reyna wasn’t too sure about her at first. The initial meeting was cute, in a sad sort of way – Reyna was so excited to see the vet, right up until she realized it wasn’t HER vet. The instant droopiness was rather pitiful, actually. By the end of the visit, though, Reyna had given the vet a little kiss and took a cookie from her (which is a bigger deal than you might think, since Reyna almost never takes cookies from new people). We’ll definitely keep this new vet on our list of possibilities.

The visit confirmed my suspicions. Reyna has lost over 6 pounds since her check up in November (I KNEW she was too thin), and it appears to have all come from her hips. She has almost no muscle in either hip, which is definitely a problem. She also has very little range of motion in either hip and in her left ankle. The vet put Reyna back on Tramadol for a while, to help with the pain. She also recommended that Reyna go somewhere for rehab, but I was ahead of her on that – I’d already made an appointment. Reyna goes to VetHab next Tuesday for an evaluation and rehab plan. I also talked to the vet about the fact that Reyna's been spinning into the furniture a lot lately - most frequently plowing head first into the entertainment center. The vet said there's no sign of any problems with Reyna's eyes, so we're thinking her problem is that her back end is too weak to support the spinning properly and so it throws off her balance. Poor girl...who knew that good hips were so necessary?

Reyna also has a meet-and-greet appointment this Thursday with another new vet – only this guy is less than 10 minutes from the house. I’ve heard good things about him, so we’ll see how it goes. Whether or not we stick with him will depend on several things, not the least of which is how Reyna responds to him.

Thats Just Craptastic

I called the vet’s office this morning to make an appointment for Reyna – she’s limping more and more on her left leg – only to find out that our most favorite vet in the whole world is gone. Gone! The only thing the girl was able to tell me is that he’s opening his own practice sometime soon in Durham. Durham! He’s gone to Durham! Now, the rational part of me knows he didn’t do this just to make my life harder than it already is. But darn it, that’s whats happening, because now I have to find a new vet. And I really hate having to explain Reyna’s medical history to new folks. I mean, have you seen her file? Its huge! But since the vet was the only reason I kept making the drive out to that particular practice, and he’s no longer there, I may as well find a vet closer to home. Sigh. Even Belle liked (tolerated) this guy. Do you know how hard it is to find someone Belle won’t attack? Its not easy. Urgh. And I’ll have to get copies of everyone’s files, too. Good thing I don’t have a job – I wouldn’t have time to deal with this properly if I were working.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Last week’s class was less than fascinating, but the instructor did a very good job considering the material he had to present. Now that I have my membership number, I have to submit my application, and if that’s approved, schedule the 4 hour exam. Assuming I pass that, I’ll have a nice certification that should boost my resume. The class was focused on passing the exam, and I’ve acquired a variety of study materials and practice tests. With any luck, I’ll be able to schedule the test for early/mid February. As long as I study, there's no reason I shouldn't pass the exam the first time.

The downside of the class was that the pups were extremely unhappy with my absence. It was obvious Monday evening that they’d decided I’d simply abandoned them. Duncan was particularly upset, and he still seems to be holding a bit of a grudge. I’m taking him herding this week, so maybe he’ll forgive me then.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Better Now

The really nasty head cold that attacked me a week ago has finally loosened its grip. Just in time, too, since I’ll be in a class Monday through Thursday this week, scheduled for 8am to 6pm. The class is a boot camp for a Project Manager certification exam, and if my certification application is accepted and I pass the exam, it’ll add a nice boost to my resume.

There’s not much to update…. The government has actually managed to do something right and is getting my unemployment money into my account in a timely fashion. The pups are still enjoying their newly varied diet and have discovered that they really like still-frozen fruit more than thawed fruit. Reyna seems to be having some trouble with her left leg, but I can’t tell if its her hip or ankle, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on that. We’re all so glad the cold weather has taken a break – the pups and I have spent most of the last couple of days sitting outside, enjoying the warmth. Of course, it figures that it would warm up right when I’ll be stuck inside all day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Temporarily Closed...

...due to illness. Please come back later.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Fun With Food

The pups have been trying out some different food options over the last couple of weeks. This all came about due to the need for Duncan to lose a couple of pounds and my concern that Reyna was just a bit too thin (and constantly hungry). We started with adding green beans to dinner, which has been pretty successful. To keep things interesting, we’ve been trying some other veggies. Both pups seem to like the peas and carrots combo, but they really liked a vegetable stir-fry I found that has asparagus, snow peas, red bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, and zucchini. I found out they love hard boiled eggs, and I’m still debating giving them eggs on a regular basis. Some folks say an egg a day is good for a dog. On the fruit side, the pups’ taste differs just a bit. They both love bananas (although they’re a little confused if they’re presented with half a banana – they prefer smaller pieces). They both like blue berries, but Duncan doesn’t like more than a few at a time. Reyna likes strawberries and blackberries, Duncan not so much. Duncan really like raspberries, though. You know, I tend to think Reyna will eat almost anything, as long as its in her dinner bowl. And speaking of Reyna’s dinner bowl, she has a shiny new one.

Reyna has always been a fast eater, but her speed has increased lately. Unfortunately, German shepherds are at a high risk for bloat (the stomach swells and can twist; this can kill a dog in an hour or so), particularly if they happen to be fast eaters. The other day, Reyna ate her dinner so fast she made herself sick. About 20 minutes later, her new bloat bowl was on order. It arrived yesterday and has already proved extremely effective. For the first time ever, Duncan is actually finishing his meal before Reyna. Not much before, but considering how much faster Reyna normally finishes…. She’s finding the bowl a bit aggravating, I can tell. She’s gotten pretty good at pushing it into a corner to brace it, but I saw her using her feet on it this morning. Its supposed to be unflippable, but we are talking about a pretty smart and motivated girl.

Score One For The Government

For those of you waiting anxiously for the results of yesterdays meeting, I do apologize for the delay. I wanted to make sure the website would actually let me in before I made my report.

My appointment was at 2:30, and at 3:55 (yes, 3:55, not 2:55) I finally sat down with a lady from the claims department. At 4:05, I was getting in the truck. I love those hour-and-a-half waits for less than 10 minutes. I did get results, though. The lady reopened my claim and said I would be able to file this morning for 4 weeks. Amazingly enough, she was right! If all goes well, I should have 3 weeks of unemployment money in my bank account by Friday. The reason our meeting took as long as it did was that I thought I’d only have two weeks of money coming because of severance pay. The lady said that the rule was changed back in October, and severance no longer blocks unemployment pay. She also said that I could file a request for late/back unemployment payments, since there were several weeks I didn’t file due to getting severance. Its not a bad idea, but I don’t know how difficult it would be to do that. Plus, I can’t find anything online that supports what she said. Even the ESC website still says severance delays unemployment. I’ll keep that idea in the back of my mind and ponder on it. At this point, I’m just happy the system let me file this morning.