HOWEVER. Just because they're 4-legged kids doesn't mean they're any less expensive it turns out. Case(s) in point:
PG, the original (we got her as a puppy from the pound when we lived in Hawaii). Surgeries to this point:
-Rear kneecap popping out, grooved the knee joint and re-attached the lower end in the middle of the bone.
-Rear knee joint out of whack, TPLO surgery (cutting away the joint and changing it's angle w/ a fancy L-shaped piece of metal and screws).
-OTHER rear knee joint out of whack, TPLO surgery AGAIN.
Sweet Pea (number 2, got her from the pound when we moved here from Hawaii. She had been saved from the "Kill list" by veto's from the workers for FOUR MONTHS when we finally got her). Surgeries to this point:
-Mass Cell Tumor removal (which can come back anywhere/anytime, so far so good on that score)
-Dental work (twice) as she has HORRENDOUS teeth. This involves putting them under general anesthesia so is somewhat costly. Multiple teeth pulled during the last round.
Sydney (our last adoption, she was in the pound for SIX MONTHS awaiting us to find her). Surgeries to date:
-Complete digestive tract blockage-emergency surgery. Cause: 3 plastic squeakers (from squeaky toys), large piece of rubber (looked like a HUGE puzzle piece), half a tennis ball, and the blockage was the 4 month old remnant from a wholly swallowed corn cob which digested down to a nice little plug that finally was small enough to go into the intestines and BAM, total blockage).
-Ruptured cervical vertebrae disc, total paralysis (in mid stride I might add...on a Friday evening). Cat-scans, etc etc and finally emergency surgery the next morning (at a Veterinary Surgical Center 90 miles away) to remove the debris and cut away some space for the disc remnants to remove the spinal cord pressure). 5 days in doggie-ICU. Months of physical therapy (here at home), as she completely learned to stand, walk, and finally run again (which she now does differently than before the damage).
-Complete digestive tract blockage (AGAIN), this time on a weekend so the only choice was the emergency vet (ie: TWICE as expensive as the regular vet). This time it was a large rubber band, the top of a plastic water bottle (looked like a shark attack ripped the threaded part off, no lid tho), and then a bunch of grass. The rubber band was twisted around the plastic bottle top, and then a pile of long grass was all twisted up in the other end of the rubber band. The bottle top was too big to go into the intestines, so just hung out in her stomach. Once the grass got twisted, it was small enough to slip into the "out-door" yet the rubber band kept it from passing. So she had a nice yo-yo-ing plug that was unable to get to the exit-hatch.
-And then on Thursday, the inspiration for the title of today's post "Oh for crying out loud!" Yes, It's ANOTHER FREAKING DIGESTIVE TRACT BLOCKAGE! Spent the day at the local vet figuring out what the prob was (ka-CHING!), and I finally ended up taking her to the surgeon a bit before 5pm (he was standing by for the EMERGENCY surgery). She was out of surgery a bit after 6. However, let me add THE REST OF THE STORY.
Tuesday was a travel day, as we returned from the farm (see previous post). We got home about midnight, and the babies were estatic to see us (we have doggie-sitters come and feed them every day while we are gone, I have a 5 gallon water station for them, and they have doggie-doors allowing access to 3 sides of the house... so except for feeding and company they are pretty self reliant).
We get to sleep about 12:30am after feeding the herd (as I, an ONLY I have to work on Weds, Jeannie is the queen of vacation days on the books...she works four 10's, so gets 3 day weekends every week...thus doesn't need to take much vacation). At 2am I am awakened by the feel of vomit on my shoulder. Yes, she up-chuked on me (I only got winged thankfully). THAT was the first sign of bad financial news. After a quick sheet-change and a shower I'm back snoozing. Until 3am when she let-go the mother load. On the bedspread. Urgh...THAT is nasty!
So NOW I'm scooping up the entire bedspread full of foul 3 hour old stomach contents and running it into the shower where I proceed to do my best NOT to toss MY cookies while I scoop and shower away the icky vile goo from the bedspread so I could then toss it in the washer. THEN I get to scoop up all the kibble still left in the shower and get that into the toilet. After wiping down the floors of all my drippings, and yet another shower I'm back in bed. Syd obviously isn't a very happy camper at this point as she is starving and I'm guessing doesn't feel very well on top of that.
The next morning as I'm getting ready for work (only doing a half day I decided, low vacation be damned) the voimt-queen is drinking some water, and moments later chunks that on the floor. THAT is the for-sure sign of bad news if they can't keep water down. Time for a call and visit to the vet, which Jeannie took care of. By the time the radiologist had confirmed the worst it was quitting time (which was GOING to be ride time for me) so I got to zing home and pick up our sick baby and get her up to Arroyo Grande where the surgeon and his staff was waiting.
Anyway, the prognosis is "all is well" (the surgeon called about an hour after I got home, surgery was already done). Another list of various inedible stuff this time...some sort of plastic tubing all globbed together, MORE rubber bands, what appears to be parts from stuffed-doggie-toy squeakers, and some other unidentified 'stuff' (which I might peek at, if I get brave and can get past the smell....(might have to put the entire baggie of stomach contents into a bucket of water and dissolve all the icky stuff, and see what's REALLY in there). We joked (or not) about having a zipper put in. Sure wish there was such a thing. I'd pay extra for that. Again.
And so...she spent the night at the surgical clinic, and came home today (Friday) where she begins another few weeks of recovery. Her food will most likely be all-gruel (blended up dog food into a smooth easy to digest paste) for at least the next 2 weeks, not that she minds in any way. In case you haven't put 2 and 2 together, she's not very picky about what she eats. I'm not kidding when I tell you that she will eat pretty much ANYTHING (obviously).
Food-wise, I've not yet found a single thing she won't gobble down. Grapefruit...GONE. Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, lettuce, carrots, GULP! In fact, we learned real quick NOT to hold ANYTHING she might even remotely identify as a food item up in the air, as she attacks it from below like a Great White Shark (and there is always collateral damage when this kind of attack happens, namely she will chomp your fingers WICKED-HARD leaving you in tears holding your hand inventing new to the English Language swear-words). She's part Pit Bull, so that gives you an idea of her jaws (the other part we believe is Basset Hound, making her a very interesting mix). However, she is the single-most loving dog I've ever seen, and even when she was totally paralyzed her attitude was amazing. Her tail goes like an airplane propeller, and even when she couldn't move a limb that tail was singing away anytime ANYBODY would come near her. She LOVES everybody (I secretly believe this is a ruse and she's just hoping they have food in their pockets for her).
And so. I purposely didn't tally up ALL the damages over these last 10 years, as you'd think we are insane (note: we believe they are all three around 10 years old, though PG is the only one we know for sure cuz we got her as a puppy). Maybe we are crazy. I just know there's a few REALLY NICE bikes in that amount, or a pretty nice car (maybe not quite brand-new). Not that we're into those things (well, I admit a few really nice bikes would be rather cool!) As for the new car, I'll keep my 03 VW Jetta TDI wagon until they pry it from my cold dead fingers....(it's a 5-spd diesel and gets FIFTY MPG on the highway if I keep my foot out of it! I routinely run 800+ mile tanks on it's 16.5 gal tank!) Jeannie drives a 21 year old Dodge (which she will until it no longer is able to pass Calif smog w/ out putting a ton of money into it). After that it will be another used car for her too (I bought my Jetta used, still it's the BEST car I've ever had!)
I just can't help but wonder what happened to having a dog that goes to the vet for Rabies shots and otherwise just lives it's life without all this drama and cash outlay.
Oh well...easy come (NOT!), easy go. Sei la vie, sayonara, bye bye, see ya later alligator to another chunk of our hard-earned-cash.
And life goes on. I will say the house sure seemed lonely without Syd around last night. Our babies are the glue that binds our family together.
Have a great weekend (and btw: get pet insurance before it's too late! Just tell-em Matt & Jeannie sent you, they might give you a volume discount!)