Why would anybody want a puppy?!

You will have zero personal space

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Or privacy

Sleeping alone will be a thing of the past

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Nothing is safe

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Especially shoes

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It’s a good thing they’re so damn cute and cuddly.

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*Super awesome bonus: Your house could become infested with fluffy sharks*.

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*Pearl clutchers need not worry about the pup’s safety. Our 11 year old, Thorin, is super gentle with other animals. But he’s getting old, has sore hips, and sometimes wants a break from playing with the puppy. Sprocket knows he’s a total pushover, even when he is showing off his awesome, grown-up teeth. Sprocket, the blur, was merrily licking Thor in the mouth at the time of the photo. The no personal space applies to everything here…

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…except the cats. Sprocket still hides under his bed when the cats are prowling. 😹

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Hello, insomnia, my old friend

One really nice thing about having a hyperactive puppy is I’ve been sleeping like the dead all week. Alas, not the case tonight.

It also has the unfortunate side effect of waking up the little buddy. I have no clue how my husband could sleep through all the noise, but my solution was to throw the puppy into bed to get him to go back to sleep. He learned, very quickly, that the human bed is the best for naps.

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He had his big vet checkup yesterday. Our vet was very impressed with his behavior and how docile and friendly  he was – tail wagging, licked the vet through the whole thing, even the shots. I suspect it’s because Sprocket saw the cat in the waiting room.

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For some reason, Sprocket is TERRIFIED of cats. He won’t even look at them, even though our three have mostly ignored him and generally love dogs. Tesla and Joule are both still avoiding contact with him…but Sagan is curious and likes to snuggle in my lap during the day, which is where the pup also wants to be. It’s making things a bit interesting and forcing a new, all dog, all the time, perspective on my world.

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He’s 20 pounds now, knows several basic tricks, and is almost finished house training. If I could train my husband to recognize the puppy’s pee signs, he’d be done completely – he only pottys outside during the day and can make it through the night…but in the few hours hubs watches him, he goes at least twice on his training pads (by evening, pup is tired from rough housing all day and wants to pee after waking from every nap…it shouldn’t be that hard!) Ugh. We’ll get there.

With hubs, I mean. Sprocket has been great.

 

 

Calm day

Sprocket is being a calm baby today so I actually had time to do things.

I vacuumed!

I washed dishes!

I ate a hot lunch!

For the first time since we’ve had him!

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Ignore the fact that my finger is absolutely in the photo. ^_^;

Since hubs is hellbent on Sprocket being HIS buddy forever, I’ve been taking a hands off approach when he’s home. The pup bonded pretty hard with me at first because I’ve been the one here when he’s awake. Sprocket sleeps through the night now, which I’m incredibly happy about.

Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, hubs complained he hadn’t had time to do anything he wanted to do this weekend because he had to keep such a close eye on the puppy. YUP! Sprocket still managed to get my book off the dining table and eat it under his watch though…

We did have a night out to go see Trevor Noah’s comedy show. It was a fun and nice to have a bit of a break.

And since my last post I did something incredibly adult-like. I established with a primary care doctor. Of course I had a panic attack while there BUT unlike the last doctor who said it was asthma because I’m fat, this doctor recognized it for what it was…and she started me on some medicine to help control my epic anxiety. So far no side effects but dry mouth and I can live with that.

 

We have the puppy back! 🙂

The weather was awful. It took us twice as long to get home as it should and we saw 3 trees down in the road and 9 wrecks. There were more on the way up but it was snowing so hard it was scary so we were more focused on agreeing where the road was vs counting cars in ditches.

Sprocket was a live wire wiggly butt when we got him home. He was soooooo excited!

Thorin was happy for the fanfare – I made pancakes tonight to celebrate and the dogs always get one with peanut butter on it and a bite of bacon! Mitzi quickly fell back in love with the nugget and they played most of the evening then napped together. It was precious.

Hubs is sulking a bit because the puppy  wants to hang out with me more even though it’s “his” dog. I spent the more time with Sprocket before, playing and training, than he did…that’s really all it boils down to.

I have to admit I felt a little proud when the SPCA bragged on how well Sprocket behaved and responded, even though we’d only had him less than a week before he got sick. I’m glad sitting for food and loves really stuck with him! He’s going to be a big, friendly dog so the more gentle he is, the better. 🙂

They also insisted, again, that we owe nothing even though they sent him home with two bags of food and three medicines. The owner said we’re the type of pet owners they dream of for the puppies, which I think made hubs feel better. We take the pup back next week for some vaccines, on them again…and I think Sprocket will be making a donation to help the puppy with the heart murmur tomorrow.

…and since I can’t sleep, I saw this Q&A over at NothingButKnit’s blog (I’m fumbling and mobile so will edit to link it tomorrow if I remember):

— edit — As things have a way of doing the last question, #10, goes a bit dark. Don’t read that answer if sad things are upsetting for you.

#1 Do you spend too much time on the phone?

— Yes. It’s the first thing I reach for in the morning and I have a magnetic case so it sticks to my metal bed frame at night. I rarely use it for calls, though. Texting is where it’s at.

#2 Remember the old wall phones? How many phones were in your house , growing up?

— Growing up…just one for years. We had two later on when we got dial-up internet…not phone lines, just phones. My Grandmother still has a rotary phone and, believe it or not, my great granny had one of those old crank type phones. I don’t think I ever made calls on that one.

#3 Did you parents make you answer the phone a certain way?

— Nope. Just a greeting of some sort. They probably regretted it later because my sister and I would try to come up with bizarre company taglines to answer with. Like “____ Roadkill Cafe. You kill it, we grill it.”

#4 Did you have to wait to call your friends until 8 other people were done with the one phone line in the house?

— Nope. We weren’t allowed to call anybody after 9 p.m. or let the call ring more than three times. If it needed to be rang more than that, the person was assumed to be busy.

#5 When the phone rang in our house, there was a mad dash to answer it.

— Not ours. My sister usually was the one on phone duty and liked answering. I didn’t like talking in them even as a kid.

#6 My mom loved her friends, but one talked a blue streak. Rosalie. She’d say , ‘Oh boy. Rosalie just called and was on for an hour.” My father had us say, “Just a moment , I’ll see if he is home” and we’d cover the mouthpiece, tell him who it was and go from there. He’d mouth NO! if it was someone he couldn’t talk to then, or Give me the phone and we’d go from there.

— My mom would talk A LOT on the phone. Still does.

#7 Did you know any switchboard operators?

— My Granny Boo was. It’s why she was recruited for the WAAC/WAC during WWII. She became military police but still ran switchboard during the war in North Africa because she took a year of French in high school. Can you imagine?!

#8 Remember dialing O for the operator. For you youngsters, this is what you did if you didn’t know a persons phone number. The operator would give it to you. Most times.

— Thankfully never had to dial for information.

#9 Kids played phone games that were kind of mean. It basically was bullying by phone. They’d call you, or you if you were bad, called them, and you would say nothing when they answered and then hang up. You would do this over and over. The person would say, “Kathy…..is this you? IF i find out its you! This is so mean” Usually there was giggling heard in the background and you realized you’d been had.

— The worst I would do was this girl would call me and then call a boy in our class in a three-person call. Both he and I would go dead silent until she thought she’d lost us connecting the calls and hang up…then we’d talk instead for a few minutes. I don’t know why he and I just never called each other directly!

#10 Did you ever get a phone call that changed your life

— Both made and received. As most quick life changing things go, they aren’t happy. I had to call 911 when my sister passed away. The operator knew us and cried on the phone the entire half hour it took for the responders to show up, so that didn’t make it any easier. …and years before when I was a teenager, I was in a really dark place and planned to just end the problem. A guy I barely knew read something in the messages we were exchanging (reread them a hundred times and still don’t know how) and he panicked. He called everybody in town with the same last name (a lot of us since that’s where the common ancestor settled in 1750) until he found one that knew which number was mine so he could call the house…at like 2 in the morning. The anger at him almost waking my parents up snapped me out of it.  That was 15+ years ago; we dated briefly, broke up for the stupidest reasons, lost touch, secretly stalked each other for years, and then reconnected a several years ago (anybody here long enough to remember that? I think that was one of the first times I was candid about suicide idealization and attempts). He’s probably my favorite person in the whole wide world…and is the reason my phone is the first and last thing I reach for every day – we text daily, mostly about drama in our lives and to share photos of our critters. He still magically gets me through my dark days (and claims I repay the favor), often just by existing. No harm on either part since we’ve reconnected. ❤

Seriously, if you’re thinking of someone or miss them or are worried about them…reach out. It can make all the difference. Sometimes it even changes your life.

Consistency is key

If you make a mistake on one side of the cowl, make the same mistake on the other side of it too!

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Completely on accident, of course.  Yarn wrapping from the wrong side won’t kill me and I’m not fixing any of it.

I am quickly approaching the end so I’ll be happy to get this off my needles and move on to something else.  Then again, brioche feels like it takes a day and an age, even when you have the pattern memorized.

I have no clue what my next project will be.  At all.

Any suggestions on finding inspiration for your next project when you’re just not feeling any of it?

Bit of knitting

Look at me, finally getting in a bit of knitting!

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This cowl was started as a large triangle and it kind of self binds off as the joined corners fill in to form the full rectangle.  I’m not super in love with the way it looks when reducing but considering it’s my first brioche project, I’m still mostly okay with it.  You have to start somewhere and I’ve decided I do like brioche quite a lot (IT’S SO SQUISHY!!!) and have another pattern for a much more interesting shawl, the Tourist Shawl on Ravelry, that I’d like to try in the near future.  All is not lost. =)

As for other stuff: the house is completely sanitized now.  We’re ready to bring home Sprocket on Friday!  We call that morning to set up an appointment to get him — he’s still on some medications and they just want to walk us through the rest of his care.  Apparently parvo can be contagious for 6 weeks after symptoms so we have our work cut out for us…but still excited!

I also received a neat little package from Germany today!

Back in September, hubs and I went to our favorite music festival.  We really like to support the bands we enjoy, which explains why most of both of our wardrobes are dominated by black band t-shirts.  The progressive metal band, Tomorrow’s Eve, didn’t have any merch as it all got caught up in our ridiculous customs.  The band was fantastic, though.

“Give us your address and we’ll send you something!”

I figured they’d forgotten or weren’t serious, but guess what showed up today!

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I’m super stoked ’cause that’s actually a long sleeve shirt and a size both hubs and I can wear.  It’ll be great for some of our cold weather concerts!

Update on puppers

Good news!

The vet took Sprocket off of the IV today and started him on oral medications!

We were warned that pups sometime develop refeeding syndrome when they’ve been that sick but that didn’t happen to our little fella!  He gobbled down two big meals today and kept them down. He’s very food motivated so I wasn’t surprised in the least that he was happy to snarf down food given the chance.

He’s still having a little bit of an issue with the tail end of things but it shouldn’t be anything to worry about at this point; his system is still recovering.

We talked to the shelter and they’re going to pick him up from the vet tomorrow and keep him there a few days until he’s completely better (most puppies take a week to fully recover if they do, so he’s on the right track!). They’re not far from the vet and have her personal number should something happen so we’re fine with saving them some costs since they’re being so generous with covering his care.

…and mostly we’re just excited that they think our little buddy can come home on Friday!

Kind of funny bit that happened along the way: our mini schnauzer, Mitzi, is alpha and was having the worst time adjusting.  She was very bossy and possessive.  She would even take treats right out of the puppy’s mouth.

…but when Sprocket became ill, she went full-on mommy dog and slept by his side all night.  Saturday morning, she had a grooming appointment (she was locked in the groomer’s salon once all night so it’s always an adventure) and we dropped her off before taking Sprocket to the emergency vet.  We didn’t know how dire things were then and her groomer usually keeps her all day, mostly to play.  In the past she’s even asked us to bring her by on certain days so she can help the shelter pups she grooms for free feel calmer.  Who knew that our little brat was sweet when we weren’t around?!

Unfortunately, the groomer had somewhere she needed to be that evening so the appointment didn’t take nearly as long as it usually does and our trip with Sprocket took much, much longer.  Solution?  Groomer did us a massive solid and toted Mitzi around on errands all day and then home with her.  We picked Mitzi up that night at the groomer’s house (where she was sweetly playing with the five dogs that live there) and when we brought her home, she ran through our house looking for Sprocket, then settled in front of his crate and started whining. She’s since checked it every morning when she goes downstairs.

It’s amazing how quickly he integrated into our lives and how much his absence is felt.

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I love that the shelter is so invested with what happens to their pups — I, without a doubt, would happily adopt any future pets from them…and since they said they were covering the costs of his care (they have a deal with their vet so doesn’t cost them much but it saves us a fortune), we were trying to think of ways to pay it forward.

We’ve tossed around a few ideas beyond just donating cash or supplies (and of course offering to pay what the vet charged them for Sprocket’s care).  We both really like the idea of helping out another animal.

Our favorites right now are either “secretly” pay for the adoption cost of whichever animal has been there longest (as in the family wouldn’t know it until they went through the process and were approved) ooor we were thinking we might be able to pick up the medical bill for another puppy that’s Sprocket’s age…he’s not one our boy’s siblings but he is one of their “A” puppies that came from TN at the same time. Sprocket was Andy, this puppy is Albert.  Albert has a grade 4 heart murmur and they’ve been trying to raise money for a specialist visit.  It’s a decent chunk of change but it’s at the same hospital we take our Mitzi for neurology (she also has a low grade heart murmur and her neurologist had the cardiologist take images and consult for us when she needed a MRI) and we have a line of credit that works there so we could, theoretically, pay for his workup (~$500) without it hurting us overly much…and it’s way, WAY less money than we would’ve had to pay for Sprocket’s care without their help.

Sad, stressful day

We’ve had a really stressful and sad day here.  Not sure if it needs a content warning but we have a very sick puppy — so if you’re sensitive to that sort of stuff, might want to skip this post.

Here’s a picture of the cutie pie from yesterday before I get to the content:

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The spunky little pup started vomiting last night.  It was late but I happened to be up and caught it.  Woke up hubs and he said he saw Sprocket eat something on his night walk…so we were thinking maybe it just didn’t settle right and things would get better.

He kept vomiting for three hours, about every twenty to thirty minutes.  No blood, just foamy, mucus type of puke.  He was understandably exhausted and passed out hard around 3 this morning.  Breathing was normal, he was still responsive and mobile, just tired.

He had normal stool and pees for me.  Lots of pee.  That puppy never stops peeing!  But it was the right colors and consistencies.  Puppy was also still agreeable to drinking but didn’t want food.

…but I knew something was wrong. I’d been worried about it all night when I was staying up with him and even have a screenshot about it from a conversation with a dear friend as he was getting up for work and I was going to sleep.  Friend is the person that keeps me as sane as possible most days and had asked for updates on the puppo.

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When I had to crash and go to bed, hubs moved downstairs and slept on the couch with the puppy just in case. When he took the dogs on their first walk this morning, he noted little guy had diarrhea. He brought him back inside and thought he was still just sleepy from the tough night.

Puppy was downright lethargic. He’d lift his head if you said his name but just kept wanting to go back to the couch to flop down.  He was a ball of energy up until his first puke so you can imagine, combined with the other symptoms, my alarm bells were SCREAMING.

Took Sprocket to the nearest vet that was open today and lo, sometimes I hate it when I’m right. The chonky nugget tested positive for parvovirus.

“Mortality can reach 91% in untreated cases.”

The hospital there started reacting like they had an ebola patient — full plastic suits to transport him to an isolation ward, a special nurse that couldn’t interact with other dogs, etc.  There’s nothing that can actually be done to treat parvo, it’s very much treat the symptoms and keep them hydrated and hope they don’t go into shock or septic.

Estimated hospital bill?  SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS.

At least they thanked me for being proactive and carrying the puppy and keeping him away from other dogs, furniture, etc.  I’m a biology major and the queen of washing my hands until they’re red and chapped (like they are now after hours of catching puke), if I can do anything, it’s keeping contaminants contained.

Hubs called the SPCA we adopted the dog from to let them know he had parvo — incubation periods indicate that he caught it in their care and was incubating it when we adopted him.  We just wanted them to know so they could let the other adopted babies’ families know to keep a watch out.  But, honestly, they were amazing.

They said if we could get Sprocket to them, they’d take him to their emergency hospital and comp all of the care for him.  We’d still have to pay the crazy bill from the visit this morning to the other place ($500, so way better than $6000!) but we were fine with that — they’d figured out what was wrong and got the puppy some antiemetics, stuff to protect his stomach and intestines, IV with fluids and some glucose to replace what he’d lost, etc. It was a start.

So we turned into a little ambulance and drove him the hour north to the SPCA where somebody was waiting on us to transport him to the hospital.  We won’t really know much for the next 72 hours but they said they’d update us if things changed. It’s very much a watch and wait and hope he’s spunky enough to make it through this ordeal.

Hubs got to hold his little buddy on the way up and cried the entire trip.  He’s going to be a mess if Sprocket doesn’t pull through.

It’s going to be a miserable three days of waiting.

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