Desperate Race Against Midnight

So it seems that I’ve slipped up today. I planned to continue trying to actually write somewhat less than random words today as the  beginning of this week had proven quite fruitful in terms of fodder for this blog. Imagine! I managed to get three days worth of blogging from a late night vet trip and the aftermath the next day. But tonight after dinner and some wine, we retired to the couch to finish up season two of Downton Abbey and as we only had three episodes remaining, we pressed on despite the hour growing late and my blog deadline drawing near.

I’m afraid that I’m rather disappointed with Downton Abbey season two. We thought season one was quite good and that the show was off to such a nice start. However, it’s hard to imagine that the same person wrote both seasons! The second season’s plot lines were often highly unoriginal, sometimes right from the pages of a bad soap opera, and too often drawn out in ways that sucked the drama from them like a hungry vampire sucking the last drops of blood from an anemic victim. There were times when I felt embarrassed for the actors involved in a few of the scenes. Despite it all, the shows still watchable. I just hope that the writer got some fresh ideas and better execution of them for season three otherwise this show is or shouldn’t be long for this world.

It’s sad to see formerly good shows turn into shadows of themselves. For this show, it took but a season (and seems like a sharp change to us as we only just first watched season one over the last two weeks). For others like our once cherished Dexter, the writers managed a good five seasons of high-caliber writing before season six descended into lots of bad writing with season seven resurrecting some good writing while killing off some bad plot points (but doing so in a jarring way that showed that either the writers changed their minds and the writers were changed themselves) and still running up against plotting landmines. I’m glad that poor Dexter will be put out of his quality misery next season although we’ll still be watching it because we want to see how the writers tie things up and the quality was enough to keep us watching the characters and actors that we had come to love watching.

Breaking Bad is one show that I’ve watched where there was no discernible decline over the course of its run. I’m thankful that the show will be coming to what will no doubt be a satisfying end this year because although I will miss such an amazing show, how can it be possible to go on and maintain such stellar quality?

So looking at the time, I appear to have slipped from Friday night to Saturday morning. Ah, but it’s close – so very close. And after all, it’s still January 12th somewhere in the world. So I’ll consider myself as having fulfilled my blog entry for Friday and remain in keeping with my 2013 resolution. Phew!

Fun With Dog Vomit – Part III

I was given the choice of having Perrin undergo surgery to remove the remaining Kong toy pieces from his stomach and intestines or waiting to see if things became more clear about whether or not pieces remained and/or were passing successfully through the gi tract. The trade off was that waiting would cost more money as I would have to leave Perrin there hooked up to an iv and have more X-rays performed – while these hospitalization costs would get rolled into the cost of surgery. In other words, if it turned out that the wait and see approach failed, the overall costs would probably be higher than if I just decided to go ahead with surgery.

I decided though that I wanted to take that chance because it would be overall less risky for Perrin himself if we could avoid surgery.

I left him in the hands of my excellent vet and headed in to the office where I found myself feeling rather frazzled and unfocused as I waited impatiently for four hours to pass by and to hear word about what the next step would need to be. I grew more and more anxious that Perrin would have to undergo surgery and dreaded the two or three day period afterwards where the healing incisions into the intestines might open with failing stitches. I also did not look forward to the prospect of Perrin having to where the cone of shame for ten days.

Finally, after what seemed like all day, I received a call from the vet and she informed me that our fears seemed to have not come to pass. The gas pattern in the stomach that had suggested a foreign body was no longer there and the pattern in the intestines had changed locations and been reduced in size, suggesting that if there was a foreign body behind the gas pattern that it was moving through Perrin’s bowels successfully and that surgery would not be required.

We were able to pick up Perrin that evening and take him home for monitoring. He was on orders to receive bland food instead of his usual dog food, and we had to give him a tablet dissolved in water to line his gi tract and protect it  and aid in the passage of the possible foreign body. Thankfully, he did not throw up again that evening, and we were able to sleep through the entire night without any disturbance.

The next morning we brought Perrin back to the vet for another X-ray to make sure that things still seemed to be progressing. Thankfully, they were. Perrin’s behavior that morning was much better. He cheerfully greeted the vet when I brought him into the room and he seemed full of his normal energy.

It was a close call!

We have since this incident removed all Kong toys from the house and will think twice about picking up another “indestructible” toy. In fairness, the particular Kong toy may not have been for “powerful chewers” like Perrin. There was a classic Kong toy in our house that was made for “powerful chewers” and probably is fine, but it was old and we didn’t want to risk the possibility that it may have begun to wear down.

We really would like to avoid another trip to the vet for foreign body ingestion!

Fun With Dog Vomit – Part I

So we had some friends over for dinner yesterday evening for dinner and games. As has been the case for several months now, we had a few dog toys laying around that my dog Perrin enjoys chewing and playing with from time to time.

One such toy is a Kong’s Genius Leo Treat Dispenser.

Perrin has had this toy for several months, and it showed now signs of wear or tear. At the first such sign that one of the chew toys is going the way of the dodo, we pick it up and throw it in the trash and then make a mental note to stop by the pet store at our earliest convenience and pick him up a new toy.

This toy is large. It’s roughly a foot in length, and at it’s widest point it is a little wider than my fist.

That why we and our guests were quite surprised to find that at some point in the evening between nine and eleven, Perrin had somehow managed to devour three quarters of the Kong toy while laying innocently under our dining room table (which also serves as our gaming table). We were rather alarmed.

We had had an earlier scare on Saturday as when we came home from our dinner outing, we found that Perrin had stolen a small picture frame from a book shelf and shredded it – cork back, wood frame, glass, and all – across our living room floor. We hastily tried to reassemble the glass shards and convinced ourselves that we had managed to account for 98% of the glass. Also, as we were handling the glass pieces we found that they were not that sharp and upon examining Perrin’s mouth we saw no signs of cuts. In addition, some online research suggested that we could afford to wait and see how he was. As it turned out, he was completely fine.

But we seem to have underestimated just how much Perrin wanted to go visit our vet Dr. Miller and even get reacquainted with the fine folks at the Cobb Veterinary Emergency Clinic.

So there we were as the clock hands approached eleven and our guests were calling it a night. Melinda had read some disturbing information online about the possibilities of consumed rubber getting blocked inside Perrin’s innards, and we determined that this time we couldn’t afford to wait until our vet opened in the morning, but instead we needed to rush off to the emergency vet. We packed up the tiny remains of the partially consumed Kong toy (now a pitiful thing the size of my fist instead of the grand source of hours of amusement that Perrin had known for months), and we each brought an eReader with us in anticipation of a long, unpleasant wait at the emergency clinic.

We arrived and mercifully there was only one other dog in the waiting room, and he wasn’t gravely injured – there were no severed limbs, no badly misplaced eyeballs dangling from their sockets, or similar horrors from the Kafkaesque treasures that sometimes await poor souls at odd hours of the night in either emergency clinics for pets or ones for  humans. Perrin was quickly ushered in and then we proceeded to wait by ourselves with Jimmy Kimmel on the tube and our smartphones in our hands. I immediately decided that my mind was too frazzled with worry to focus on anything like Anna Karenina. Instead, I browsed through my Google Reader and found an article on the economy of Vietnam to keep my mind occupied while we waited. I would occasionally glance at the TV in glazed amusement mixed with hopeful and fearful anticipation of the nurse coming at some point to invite us back to meet the vet.

When the time came, they led us to what seems to be the clinic’s only patient room. It’s the same room where over half a decade ago, we were given the grim news that our dog Bodie would need to be euthanized. It’s not a place with pleasant memories for us.

Presently, the doctor came in to tell us about Perrin’s condition. She was very friendly and not a note of gloom or doom dotted her eyes or streaked her kind face. She told us that they had given Perrin an injection and induced vomiting. In no time, he had vomited up a shocking amount of purple rubber toy chunks. Struck by a morbid curiosity, we agreed to allow the staff to show us the tray where they had collected the vomit and toy pieces. Like stunned characters in a murder mystery, we calmly identified the missing Kong carcass. I told myself silently that surely that was all of the toy…

To be continued…