Thursday, December 30, 2010

Saylor comes aboard

When I get back from my Texas trip at the end of January, this little guy will be joining our family. My friend Desiree is a frequent caretaker for Saylor, and as Des leaves for her new life in Portland, Saylor needed a new life of his own. Luther and I visited with him today and decided to invite him into our family, and Saylor's dad agreed to let us be the retirement home that will better match his needs.

Saylor is a Boston terrier about 14 years old, who lost his lower jaw to cancer several years ago and also has some spinal and neurological problems. Luther and I visited with him for awhile today, and that was enough for us. In truth, sparks didn't fly - partly because it will take me a while to learn to read his partial-face which is pretty expressionless. The whole situation reminds me very much of Piper, who was going to be a short-term medical project, and then became a precious part of our family for the 16 months we had. I made the decision because he's sort of a little train wreck and I can deal with that. We can wait for the love to grow.

And if you want to know more about oral cancers and how dogs live without their lower jaws, visit my friend Phyllis's article at Veterinary Partner...which happens to be illustrated with photos of my own little Courtney, who had the same surgery several years ago. (Saylor's amputation is much more extreme.) I am looking forward to getting his medical history, setting up a full re-evaluation, and asking Dr. Ron to take on another effort at making the best of this little life that we can.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The house begins to fill with hearts

Five of the holiday boarders are now here, with several more to come. It feels a little like the land of the lost tonight as everyone has some little angle to their story. Next week's arrivals will bring a little more life and laughter to what is right now a rather somber collection. The two tiny-littles have an ailing mom, recovering from surgery, and dad is gone for work for the next few weeks. One of the bigs is here until flight arrangements can be made for her to relocate out of state as her home has just broken. Another is recovering from ortho surgery while her mom is traveling. Luther still isn't talking about his backstory, but at least he appears to be over his intestinal distress.

And my love, Tess, is here and she is doing very, very badly. I long ago crossed over a professional line with this dog and have been in tears much of tonight, especially when she fought through her sedative-fog to drag herself off the nice ortho bed I'd set up for her, and struggle the 7-8 steps it took just to get to the bare floor at my feet instead. We don't deserve dogs. We really don't.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One miracle of the season

So this summer when I was housesitting for Tom and Annie, I was introduced to a cleaning product that changed my life. Now, understand...I thought I'd seen just about everything that's out there for cleaning of pet errors of the biological kind. As far as that goes, I think I've seen just about everything out there that IS a pet error of the biological kind. (Dear Santa, if that could just be a true statement I would be happy for every Christmas to come.)

Anyway. The stuff is Folex and it's probably at your neighborhood grocery. No frills stuff, in the cleaning section it'll be at the far left, lowest shelf where your eyes never look. Buy every container you see. When the apocalypse comes, I will have the hoard and I will hurt you if you try to take it away from me.
Now, as I said, I first encountered this in cleaning up the few accidents that happened during that summer housesit. But then the reality of Holly's death ended up all over their beautiful master bedroom carpet. This family has had the worst luck with housesitters, with tens of thousands of dollars of damage to their home in irresponsibility and destructiveness. This was not the impression I wanted to make my first time out. With tears of grief (and worry, and culpability, and more) I got out my little steam cleaner and gave the Folex an exceedingly grim test for something I thought possibly could not be fixed, at all. But with slow, careful effort, that whole scene was erased except from my memory.

Back at home this fall, I had my fave carpet guys come and do my little patch of house as usual. They weren't able to remove a couple of bad stains in Nana's bedroom and I'd never had any luck with them either despite some years of trying. Disappointed that the pros couldn't fix it, but again, maybe some things just can't be fixed. A month ago in making up the guest room for my brother's visit, Folex straight from the spray bottle got rid of all of it in under six seconds.

So today, I came home at lunch to find Luther had been quite ill. Although I block off my upstairs when I'm away so any guests don't wander around the house, I never do that when it's just Luther. So he chose the only carpet in the house to destroy.
Have I ever mentioned that I am a renter.
But at this point I am rather cocky. I am the owner of many bottles of Folex. Not to put too fine a point on it (and not to give you a wide angle shot which would be....really not nice):

That's part of the stain... and that's about 30 seconds later

DO NOT EVER TELL ME WHAT IS IN THIS STUFF. It's not labeled, I can't find an authoritative source on the formula, and Googling only brings up guesses. I want to believe in the magic.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Holiday bling

Luther got his holiday picture at our annual client portrait session at Dog Tired a few weeks ago. Handsome fellow.