Friday, February 27, 2009

The Tooth Fairy Comes Tonight

This morning we dropped Sky at All Creatures. He needed a root canal on his broken tooth. I didn't really know a lot about how root canals are done so the staff was great about taking pictures and explaining just what the steps are in the process.

They called me at several points during the procedure to let me know how my boy was doing and now I'll share just what happened today.

No food or water for Sky after 6PM last evening. That made for some very unhappy dogs at bedtime when there were no cookies. This morning Sky had to be at the hospital at 7:30 for blood work and and some pre-op sedatives and pain meds.

His tech set everything up for the procedure .

Sky was intubated for his anesthetic. His heart and blood pressure were monitored and he was given fluids throughout the procedure.

Here is the broken tooth.

The top broken part is cut off. Holes are drilled in the tooth and a probe is put in. X-rays are taken to make sure the probe is all the way into the tooth. All the pulp must be extracted so they need to be sure it goes as far as it can go.

The pulp is extracted and an anti-microbial agent is put in to kill any bacteria in the canal. Then the canal is flushed over and over to be sure everything is out.

Once the canal is good and clean, a filler is injected to completely fill the canal.

The filler is cured with a light.

Finally the tooth is rounded and smoothed.

This is the finished tooth. It's a little shorter than before, but is safe now and won't let harmful bacteria into his system. The procedure took approximately three hours.

Sky came home this afternoon with some pain meds and will be on a soft diet for a few days. There must be no chewing of hard objects and he goes back for a check up in a week. He's still pretty groggy and is resting in the office for the evening. The little blue bandage was where his IV was inserted. I'm sure by tomorrow he'll be feeling good as new. I want to thank Dr B and the staff who not only gave Sky great care, but also took these pictures so I could better understand what happened today.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Good News, Bad News

Last week Nicki located an old x-ray and sent me a photo of it. Who would think a two year old x-ray would bring me such happiness? This one was the first glimpse we all had of Samba's puppies. Up till then we had no sign of life, Dr B couldn't feel any puppies and there was no visible sign of movement. This was taken just a few days before they were born.

If you look carefully, you'll see nine little round heads with backbones attached. They were all crammed in there pretty tightly. I was really happy to get this picture to put in the front of their baby album.

Early today the New York Times ran an article stating that the Obamas are getting a Portuguese Water Dog in April after a family vacation. People Magazine tomorrow is running a cover story on Michelle Obama with the same information. Later today the LA Times ran the story, but shortly after that the Chicago Tribune claimed that a White House Spokesperson said a decision hasn't been made. MSNBC tonight also had a segment on the new First Dog, claiming it would be a PWD.

There have been a lot of rumors in the Portuguese Water Dog community for several months about this matter and most of us have mixed feelings. I'd like to see the breed I love and have lived with for so long recognized for it's great attributes. I'm also very worried about what the publicity might do to the breed. I've seen fame damage other breeds and I don't want to see it happen to my beloved Porties.

What the PWD community knows that the public doesn't is this. Several weeks ago Senator Ted Kennedy, who has two adult PWDs, Sunny and Splash, took possession of a new puppy called Cappy. We all wondered about the timing because the Senator is so ill, but the rumor is that he took the puppy with the intention of presenting it as a gift to the Obama girls when the time was right.

This is Amigo's Captain Courageous. He may some day be living in the White House.

This afternoon we made a visit to Dr B. Sky broke his tooth over the weekend and I was hoping it wasn't serious. It was. The tooth is snapped off and the pulp is exposed. Our options were an extraction which could weaken his jaw or a root canal which is more difficult, more expensive and doesn't prevent the tooth from being damaged again in the future. Great choices, right?

Here's Sky listening to the Doctor explain the options.

While Sky and I were talking with the doctor, Rob and Morgan were in the waiting room chatting with the techs and other clients.

Morgan enjoyed watching the other dogs getting out of cars and being dragged into the office.

I was leaning toward extraction, so we wouldn't have to deal with this again, but Rob felt strongly that we should do the root canal. He didn't like the idea of weakening the jaw.

Friday morning Sky will be having a root canal.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh Oh!!

Monday was a sunny but cold winter day. The dogs chose to spend it enjoying one of their favorite group activities, chewing sticks.

Samba started the whole thing when she brought this stick to me to throw. She would put it on the ground in front of me and stand there looking at it, as if she expected it to move. We wouldn't throw it because she has injured her leg chasing thrown objects and we don't want her to do it again. She tends to run too fast and jump in the air to grab the object or slide to a stop to grab it off the ground. A few years ago she tore both her dewclaws sliding to retrieve something, but she still does it.

Once she decided to lie down and chew her stick, everyone found a stick and a place to settle in and a group chew started.

Norma Jean loves to turn sticks into mulch and does it very quickly.

Noah picked out a very little, thin stick. I guess he didn't feel like working too hard on this project.

Tess, on the other hand, chose a nice big stick that would last for hours.

Lola joined the group, too.

Fudge had to come show me his stick before he could start chewing.

Then he found a spot near Morgan and joined in.

Tess was restless and couldn't decide on which stick she wanted. She would start chewing one, then leave it and go find another.

Even Tsar joined the game and found a small stick to destroy.

Tess still couldn't decide and finally went back to the wood pile to look for the perfect stick. The one she chose was too big for her to lift.

Now for the 'oh oh' part. Last night while I was watching The Closer, Sky put his head in my lap for a snuggle. Something caught my eye and when I opened his mouth, I saw that his lower left canine tooth is broken. The top is snapped off, probably from chewing sticks. On Wednesday he'll be going to visit Dr B to see how much damage has been done and what we can do to repair it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday At Home

Yesterday was sunny and cool, perfect weather for playing in the yard. We have an old hula hoop that we used when the pups were little. I'd hold it touching the ground and they'd walk through it. As they got a little bigger and more coordinated, I'd raise it an inch or two off the ground and they'd step over it. My idea was to get them to the height where they were jumping through it. I'm not sure who lost interest first, but the hula hoop has just been lying around and no one pays any attention to it.

Yesterday I rolled it down the hill and Tess ran after it.

She tried to catch it, but once it dropped, she left it there and came back to us.

Morgan, even with all her mental problems, is a fierce competitor. She walked down the hill, grabbed the hula hoop and dragged it back up the hill.

She stood there playing with it and suddenly everyone became very interested in the hoop. Maybe we'll get back to practicing with it.

Once everyone was tired out from running and playing and ready for a nap, Rob and I, and Morgan, went out for lunch.

We each had some left overs for doggy dinner, so Morgan saw two white boxes heading for the car.

Rob had a burger and fries.

I had broiled chicken and veggies. That means the dogs get 'coop and turf' for dinner. I'm in the process of switching them from one brand of dog food to another, so everyone gets a mix plus some chicken and beef topping. Yum.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Human Back Scratcher

Everyone occasionally has a spot on their back that itches and it's impossible to reach. That's what spouses are for. Some people have made fortunes by designing back scratchers for the single person to use to reach the elusive itch.

Dogs have a spot just above the tail that they can't reach. Every dog I've ever known has enjoyed having that spot scratched by a friendly human. Even dogs that didn't have a whole lot of interest in being social would stand close by to get that spot scratched.

Tess asks daily to have her back scratched. From there she usually asks for a belly rub. Today the back was the important area. Rob is a good back scratcher.

Fudge saw Tess getting a scratch, so why waste that other hand?

Noah needed a scratch, too. I like how they back up to you to let you know what area needs attention.

Fudge moved away, so Norma Jean moved in for her turn. Rob needs another hand.

Norma Jean doesn't want him to stop. She's still begging for another scratch.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Girls Day Out

My friend E used to live across the street and we saw each other daily. If one of us went to the store we called the other to see if she wanted to go, or just needed something picked up. We didn't have to plan ahead.

Then E and her other half moved about twenty miles away. We still talk on the phone at least weekly, e-mail each other and if we can get ourselves together, we'll start videoconferencing this weekend thru our Macs.

We make a point once a month to get together and have lunch, then go shopping or some other fun activity. Sometimes our friend Les goes along if she has the day off. Hubbies stay home and dog sit. Yesterday was our day out.

After settling the dogs, I grabbed a cup of coffee with Rob while he had breakfast. I skipped breakfast in anticipation of a special lunch. The tulips that Rob brought home have opened.

Tulips are so fragile. Once the flowers drop we need to keep the leaves going to build up the bulbs for next year. I'll keep them in the garage until fall, then set them outside for the winter.

With any luck they'll come back next year and give us some hope of spring again.

We have a problem with moles around here, so the bulbs have a chance of becoming mole food over the winter. We'll hope for the best and tell Tsar to watch for moles. That's his favorite activity and he's good at catching them.

My elderly Christmas cactus is still flowering. it starts in October and usually flowers till May. The plant is about 35 years old and looks a little beat up. In it's prime it was over four feet wide and resembled a small tree. Over the years we've had to amputate limbs when they started to die off, so now it's oddly shaped and not as full as it once was, but it flowers faithfully every year and it's traveled around the country with me, so it will always have a home here no matter how ugly it gets.

After breakfast amid the flowers, I gathered phone, camera and jacket and E and I took off. First stop was All Creatures to say hi to Les. After being there daily in December, we've all stayed pretty healthy and haven't needed to make an appointment recently. We usually stop by once a
week anyway to check in with everyone.

Lots of interesting stuff in the waiting room.

This is the display my dogs are most interested in. Samba can show you where the treats are hidden in each room of the place. If someone doesn't offer her one fast enough, she'll hop onto the counter and help herself. I know, her manners leave something to be desired.

There's a pretty display of collars and leashes. Thanks to Nichole, we're good in that area.

There's fun stuff, too. Squeaky toys and soft fleecy blankets that Dr. Nicki makes up.

When we couldn't convince any of the girls to play hooky and leave with us, we continued on to a cute little tea room that we discovered last winter.

This place is cozy and comfortable, but the best part is the food. It's sooo good.

It was a beautiful sunny day so we sat on the enclosed porch. I had a generous scoop of chicken salad with big chunks of chicken, cranberries and bits of mandarin orange and apple. Surrounding it were strawberries, melon chunks, grapes and blueberries. It came with a mini loaf of homemade bread. It was wonderful. E ordered crab salad and I tasted it. Next time I may order that. It's one of those places where I want to try everything on the menu.

After lunch it was on to the yarn shop. Our timing wasn't good today. There was a class in session and a lot of people were there. The shop is in an old house and the rooms are small. Each room is filled floor to ceiling with knitting supplies and there are big chairs and tables all over so one can sit and knit in comfort. I suffer from claustrophobia in some situations and this was one of them. Too many people in too tight a space. We did our business and left quickly.

Next stop, Hobby Lobby. E has recently finished a couple projects and was looking for inspiration for her next ones. She found just what she was looking for and we discussed her plans and what supplies she'd need. She picked up what she needed to get started and then we wandered around looking at all the stuff.

I bought a couple Christmas gifts. Yes, I'm Christmas shopping already. Actually, I'm about a month late this year. I also found this paw print ribbon to use as trim on a pillow. The stamp is for a big project I have planned for this summer. When I get to it, I'll do photos as I go along. It should be fun.

I returned home to a big crazy welcome. The dogs were happy to see me, but they were also a little anxious. It was 4:00, time for doggy dinner. I'm sure they felt great relief when they saw me walk in.