August 2008 Archives
A few weeks before we bought our first house in Petaluma, we came home late on a Friday night (ah, those carefree weekends without kids!) to find our website's namesake, Tiny E, listless and glassy-eyed on the couch. He was unresponsive and not his usual sassy self.
After some deliberation (could it wait until morning? what vet is open at midnight on a Friday?) we decided to call our vet and were referred by their answering machine to the emergency veterinary clinic, only a short drive from our apartment. Based on our description of his symptoms they advised us to bring him in. My memory is hazy now but I believe they kept him overnight, ran some blood tests and determined he had Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), something akin to kidney stones but potentially life-threatening. We picked him up the next morning with orders to change his diet, paid the extravagant bill and went home.
Eliot was fine until the following Friday or Saturday night, when we came home to find him in the same condition. Rinse and repeat, cha-ching. Little by little over the course of several weeks, thanks to Eliot's impeccable timing (he couldn't get sick during regular business hours?) we wound up spending an enormous amount of money on emergency vet visits and eventual surgery to correct his condition - just as we were eating ramen and scrimping every penny to make the down-payment on our first house.
Everything worked out in the end of course (Eliot is still alive and well, and thanks to the efforts of Kevin, Kim, Piper & Presley enjoying our time overseas in the lovely environs of Ithaca, NY), but it sure made for some sleepless nights back then. We both consider ourselves animal lovers, but also practical blue-collar folks who don't spend that kind of money on our pets. In the end it wasn't much of a debate - we found a way to make it work, sucked it up and went on.
Eula must have been paying attention those ten or twenty times she's heard us tell this story, and decided she'd have to outdo the little gray b*stard once and for all. Shortly before we left for New Zealand she developed an occasional limp in one of her hind legs: it was minor enough at first for me to think her leg had just fallen asleep from the awkward position she was sleeping in (expert in veterinary science that I am). Of course I was wrong, and it got worse after we left: a few vet visits and a trip to the specialist later we found out she had a torn ligament in her leg, possibly due to a fracture when she was a puppy. There's a good chance it can be corrected, but it ain't cheap - ironically, just about the same amount of money we spent on Eliot all those years ago.
Thankfully she is in good hands, and the staff at Camp Nagapapa know how to spoil a dog. With any luck she'll be "golfing" (the specialist's analogy, comparing her to an injured NFL player who may never play football again but should be able to tee off) soon and her care-free self again. Eula will have her revenge and prove that she is just as important as Eliot, and I'm sure will someday smile in her sleep to hear us tell this story about her.
This is our biggest concentration of birthdays at the Ranch, and probably the one week (other than Christmas) I most want to be home. My entire family converges onto Camp Nagapapa for what is usually the final bash of the summer, and the most continuous use of the pool all year.
At least one campfire is involved (with requisite smores) and at least two or three runs for Friendly's ice cream (with the world's best peanut butter sauce). Spiedes, sausages & peppers, corn on the cob, salt potatoes, coleslaw, tomato & basil salad, guacamole & chips are all usually consumed by the truckload, and any leftovers mysteriously disappear from the fridge overnight (with a trail of crumbs leading to a certain upstairs bedroom).
Happy Birthday to Uncle Anthony, Aunt Lauren, Grandpa George and Aunt Sarah: may your birthday weeks be as good as we're imagining them to be!
We've fallen behind a bit in updating the girls' photo albums since we've been here, partly because we've wanted to group all of our experiences together rather than split them into separate areas. I guess it's a sign that we're finally feeling more settled to just have everyday photos to post again.
At any rate there are some real beauties in here, about three pages worth for each: mostly they're the result of my lovely wife's excellent photographic eye (and of course her ability to make beautiful babies!)
Sophie's New Pics
Josie's New Pics