Thursday, July 31, 2008

Successful trip to Gainesville- YAY Dr. Apelt!!!

Well yesterday's trip to Gainesville turned out better than I anticipated. I was so relieved to have Dr. Apelt take the wheel. He was pleased with her range of motion and the one spot that I thought was infected was actually the place where the pin is and it is trying to come through the skin. So, the action taken was to take out her stitches and put another bandage on (Dr. Apelt was kind enough to do hot pink again, he knows she has a fan base), and to make her rest more. No more antibiotics or anti- inflammatories, thank God- so she's eating well again. AWESOME! So, here is a picture of the two things Pica does. She is either in her crate with a heating pad or taking a walk in the yard on a leash. She does have bed privileges with Mama when I nap and she lives for that. I think Dr. Apelt was truly happy to see her and see how she was doing. He is all the things someone wants in an orthopaedic surgeon- intelligent, intuitive, compassionate, handsome, and very skilled in his area of expertise. (The handsome part is just a bonus.) :) We discussed her next surgery and he was more than helpful about that as well. I left there feeling like a million dollars and so did Pica. I hope we were a bright spot in his day as well. We go back next Friday to see if the skin is healing around the pin better- I hope we see good things. The other thing I love about U of F is they have these lovely ladies there who are volunteers and their job is to greet people and their dogs and help you with any questions you might have. A lovely lady (can't remember her name) with dark hair and bright blue eyes yesterday fawned all over Pica and made me a cup of coffee because my hands were full with Pica. That is just such a nice thing- when you drive that far, it is so nice to have such friendly and warm people taking care of you. It really makes me not dread the trip. So on to the next part of life- another young female named Daisy comes in today- we'll see how she is. Always something around here. :) I LOVE IT.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back to Gainesville- agggggggghhhhhhhh, I am so tired- I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!!!!

Here is Pica snuggling with Daddy at the beach.
Oh my gosh, this is getting so old. After two days on her new antibiotic, Pica is once again not eating and acting yucky. So, I called her surgeon and he wants to see her tomorrow. I will feel much better after seeing him, I am sure. He has the ability to instantly access a situation and know what to do and makes you feel very at ease. I hope he offers to keep her until she is completely healed, the stitches are out, and she can run. ( I can dream can't I?). Other than her tummy bothering her, she is fine- she's walking on all legs and acting like a million bucks. Crate, leash, crate, leash, crate, leash. Poor little sweetie pie. I feel for her. I'll keep you posted after I get home.

There's dog food in my lingerie drawer- and other top hits at the Trinkle house!

Note to reader- after this blog, I skipped the real world and vacuumed and dusted EVERY SQUARE INCH of this very large house- just in case you were worried that my standards were slipping. :)
Well, this morning something happened and I said out loud, " Boy is that blog material or WHAT?" (With this many animals, someone is always hanging on my every word, trust me.) If I didn't love this job so much, I'd hate it. I mean it. If it wasn't for the smiles on the faces around here, some days I would cash in my chips. Today was so TYPICAL that I had to share so you all would sigh and realize how easy and non complicated your own lives are- I am such a giver, huh??? :) I got up and my dear husband had done the morning let out and feeding of bones to shut everyone up. He and the girls headed to Wild Adventures today with the youth group. So I got up, helped them gather what they needed for the trip and then I started about my morning routine. First to clean out the water and food bowls of all the birds- no problem. Then to feed the dogs, who by now have realized that the Milk Bone they got was NOT BREAKFAST. So I mix the food- warm it up (thanks to my parents for letting us borrow their 30 year old, 100lb, Panasonic "Reggie Jackson" (long story) microwave as ours mysteriously died while we were at the beach). I then head into the bedroom, as Quinn and Trego have their feeding stations in our bedroom and bathroom. So, I have the sea kelp for Trego's skin condition on my dresser. WHY?? I have no idea- I brought it in there and it just stayed. So, I am scooping out sea kelp into the bowls and mixing like a mad woman and a piece of dog food flies out and lands where? In my lingerie drawer, specifically on one of my silky nighties. I took a picture so you could see what I am referring to- the dog food bowl is on the right, the sea kelp is the white container with green writing and the nightie is the melon colored thing in the drawer. I just laughed, grabbed it, and thought, now that's blog material- how typical. I fed the dogs, changed their water and promptly went to the computer.
This job requires so much of a person and of a family- a sense of humor being the top priority. You cannot take ANYTHING too seriously around here. Nothing is sacred and our belongings are just that- stuff. God uses our animals to show us that we ought not "lay up treasures on earth where moth destroys, rust collects, or in our case, dogs vomit water on it." (That's not a direct quote from the Holy word of God, but it fits.) Emily came down today and said, " GROSS!!! Everything in THAT basket smells like James' pee." (James is Jules' hamster.) The old me would have asked WHY and HOW DID THAT HAPPEN, and rip into Julianna. The new me just sighs and says, " Ok, I'll take care of it." It's just too much work to figure out what happened, why, and lecture someone about "if you leave your clothes out and let the hamster play on them, he's going to pee on them." Now MIND YOU, I don't think a clean pile of clothes was used as James' playground- these were clothes that were left in the hallway for God only knows what reason. And they didn't smell like James' pee- they smelled like wet towels. Sort of, with a hint of rodent urine. I know some of you are laughing your fannies off- and the rest of you are totally grossed out. The second group needs to quit reading right now- the rest of you get ready to laugh some more. (My college friend Stephanie, my church friend Donna,rescue friend Christa, and my bird friend Becca are about to wet their pants, right now, I bet. Those are my real friends.) So I walked to the laundry room and threw them in with bleach and detergent and came back through and discovered that Trego had drunk her new clean water (DOGS LOVE NEW CLEAN WATER!) too quick and had "urped" it back up- on the wood floor- no biggie- grab a dirty towel, mop it up, and throw that in with the hamster clothes. This does not phase me in the least. On to the next "thing". Pica pooped on the dining room floor- she doesn't do that often, but since she's been on restriction to the house, it has happened a couple of times- so am I ticked that she pooped on the floor??? NOOOOOOOOOOOO! I am overjoyed that it was on the wood floor for once and HOORAY her poops are firm again- YAY YAY YAY!!! My day is made. (The prior antibiotics tore her little tummy UP.) Now, on to triage duty. What is that you ask? Well, triage here is deciding which animal(s) need medication, love, or food and in what order. Freeman the blue quaker is absolutely angry and screaming to me from his perch and he has not had much attention, so he is first- he gets to sit on my shoulder while I type. Then on to the dog with the auto-immune disorder who is on Prednisone and another drug- yesterday she didn't eat at all and slept in my bed (reserved for the sick dogs) and I need to know if she's feeling better today. Yep, Bianca is hungry. YAY. I feed her and move on to Houston- who has had diarrhea for a week due to Trego chasing him. She was a racer on the track and evidently Houston bears some resemblence to a bunny and he's much faster. Poor Houston- now that we know what's causing it, we don't allow the biggies out with the littles and my WONDERFUL VET tells me what to give him, how much and asks if I have it on hand. (I had to take another dog in yesterday for an ear infection and I asked about Houston then.) I should have a shuttle to my vet's office. I LOVE MY VET. So, Houston is given Metronidizole and given his first food in 24 hours- he eats- YAY!!!!!!!!!! This is a GOOD DAY HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A very good day. I know, you are shaking your head. The biggies need to go out, and then I check on Pica- she's not eaten- dang. Then the biggies need to come in and I am thinking, " This stinks!" And there is Quinn at the door, with a huge smile on his face and I think, " I LOVE THIS!!!" Back to the computer to write some more.
Now, as an example that I have not dragged my dear hubbie and children into this kicking and screaming, look at Em's face, holding Dudley. TRUE LOVE. He is in breeding season and he has chosen Em as his mate. He is crazy over her. He snuggles with her, throws up for her (highest form of flattery) and chases off anyone who wants to come near her. (No, Kito is not neglected- he is always taken out first and played with more.) Jules came running in yesterday, breathless with joy. "Mama, Mama, Freeman LOVES ME NOW!" "Oh hooray Jules, you did it!!!" Freeman is "my" bird and he wouldn't let anyone but Jon hold him and Jules was just determined that the bird should love her too- so every day she would try to make friends with him. The look on her face was PRICELESS. My kids aren't thinking about boys- they're thinking about BIRDS. Awesome. Cool. Hope it stays that way. Oh dear, I have to go- the real world called (I hate the real world) and told me that there is a 1:00 opening for a teeth cleaning and that I NEED TO TAKE IT, as it's been a year since my last cleaning. I'd rather do hamster laundry.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pica's drama

If you really wanna know what you're made of, take your dog for patellar surgery. AGH. We took Pica to the beach with us and she did GREAT. Her incision was looking better each day and then 24 hours after we finished the Baytril, it looked inflamed and yucky again. So the day I left the beach, I dropped off the perishables at home and went to the vet. Now we are on Clindamyacin and Metacam (something like that- anti inflammatory). She is going Wed to U of F to have x-rays. I am so tired. She is now hating the crate, hating the collar, and ready to play with her IG friends. She is walking on all four legs and doesn't seem to be in any pain, but this one place on her leg just will not clear up. She ate like a pig today after a dose of the antiinflammatory, so that's good. I need to unpack my suitcase and clean my house and I am exhausted. I know this will all end soon. I SO DON"T WANT TO DO THIS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! But she does look cute in that soft collar, doesn't she?? In case you are wondering, that is to keep her from licking at her sore spot. It's so much kinder than the hard plastic ones. She can sleep in it. Pray that this antibiotic works and that Wed's visit to U of F is a good one. Yawn. Where's the bed?????

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The beach makes me SICK!!! We had a great time anyway!!!

Here is Jules with Zippy, the "come back to life hermit crab.

Here are the three baby ducklings. To the right is Matthew, our cousin, with the girls. The bottom picture is Jon with Em's bird, Kito on his head.

I haven't learned the art of moving pictures, so if the captions are totally messed up, figure it out. :)

Every year, our family goes to Crescent Beach for a week in the same condo. We've done this for seven years. It is the highlight of our year along with our trip to visit Jon's folks each summer in Virginia. It is one of our most important family traditions. Well, when the kids were little, it seemed that one of them always got sick that week- ear infections, bad cold- you name it. Now they never get sick, but 24-48 hours after entering that condo, I get SO SICK with what I think is a cold- which then rapidly turns into a sinus infection. This year I carried antibiotics with me- thank the Lord. I think seriously there is mold or something in that unit that makes me sick. I was in bed for three or four days but the rest of the time we had A BLAST. (Jon and the kids had seven days of great fun.) We had lots of visitors this year- Felicia and her family came on day one and we always love seeing them. Matthew, the girls' cousin came down for a couple of days and they had a great time- playing with hermit crabs and drawing Pokemon. Then the girls' friends Katie and Abby came. The Clarks came and spent the last day with us. Mike and Sari, good friends were great to have there too. We spent alot of time on the beach and did have some inside time to visit as well. WE LOVE THE BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I am starting drugs before I leave next time. ) :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pica rejecting suture material- please pray!- updated Friday night and Laurel's surgery went well!

Update as of Thursday evening- they think that with a few more days of the antibiotics and moist heat 3 times a day that Pica's swelling will go down. The good thing is that she is not running a fever and she is putting weight on the leg. She stayed at the vet all day so that was a relief to me- and they didn't charge me anything. :) My bird sitter called- her dad has Alzheimer's and he had put her cell phone in HIS POCKET and didn't tell anyone. The battery went dead so it didn't ring and she didn't know where it was. I laughed my head off. She came with her hubby and they were delightful and the birds really liked her. So the day went as it should have, thanks be to God. And more importantly my friend Laurel had her surgery and everything went well- she won't know the biopsy results for four more days so keep praying about that. Thanks to you all for praying and writing- it made me feel loved and supported.
The picture on the left shows how I feel. I feel like I am going to scream and throw up. The swelling on Pica's leg hasn't come down the way Dr. R expected it to and she's concerned that her body may be rejecting the internal stitches or that she may have an infection in the joint or the bone. I took her in today - she was supposed to go back in anyway but this morning when I saw her leg, I felt like a bowling ball had dropped into my stomach- I have this amazing gut when it comes to my children or animals- it is amazingly accurate - I can look at my oldest daughter and know 2 days beforehand that she is getting a cold. I am the same way with my animals- it's a blessing from God and a curse at the same time. ANYWAY, I left Pica with Dr. R and she is going to consult with Dr. Apelt at University of Florida about what to do. Possibilities include- exrays, stronger drugs, and I don't know what else- I guess it COULD mean a trip to Gainesville and them opening her back up but I AM NOT LETTING MYSELF GO THERE. In the meantime, my bird sitter won't call me back (we leave in two days, she needs to come and meet the birds) and we leave for the beach in TWO DAYS. I am going to puke. No, I am going to pray and trust that God will work this out. All of it. I will rejoice that the beach is 40 minutes from our house and that if a trip to Gainesville is in the cards, it's only 1 and 1/2 hours away. I will thank God for what He's done so far. So pray for these things

that Pica will get better with minimal invasion

that my bird sitter will call

that my gut will settle down- I am taking Jules' prevacid right now

that everything will work out so that noone has to make trips back and forth to Jax or Gainesville, and if we do that they are minimal and will have little effect on our family's time together in Crescent Beach.

Thank you. I ask for prayer because I KNOW THAT IS HOW GOD WORKS. I am confident that when I ask for prayer, that things change for the better.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pica's progress- small bump in the road, but she's better now!

Pica has done very well since surgery but I was concerned with some slight swelling and a spot less than the size of a tack head that was starting to look infected to me- she was supposed to get her stitches out yesterday (July 15th) but my vet Dr. Renee Rockefelller looked and said, " She is developing a small infection and she needs something for the swelling." She looked back in her records and we had all completely forgotten that she had a similiar reaction to the suture material during her spay surgery when she was eight months old. SMART VET!!! SO, she's on Baytril and Deramaxx- the first is good antibiotic and second is like Motrin for doggies. OH MY GOSH- after ONE dose of both meds, six hours later she was like a doggie on crack- ate like a horse, wanted to walk and walk, wasn't wanting to sleep anymore- was like, " OK WORLD HERE I COME!" It was an amazing transformation. She wanted to jump on the cats, Julianna and any other friendly looking soul. So we are taking her to the beach with us on Saturday and I am sure she will enjoy walking on the beach and having a change of scenery- she's clearly sick and tired of the crate, but has to be in it for FOUR MORE WEEKS. And we'll do it - we don't want to compromise that precious and very expensive leg for anything. I just wonder who is going to have her energy while we are gone- might need to up my Adderall. HEE HEE HEE!!! (ADD meds that give you energy.) Thanks, Dr. Rockefeller for being such a good diagnostician and detective. I'll bring her back for stitch removal and YOU can take her home and entertain her. Hee Hee. Other note- Quinn's stitches are removed from his missing toe and he's walking much better- again, Dr. Rockefeller put him on Deremaxx and a different antibiotic and he was a different dog- he has this wide gap where the toe used to be and we call him our "velociraptor". I will miss him alot when I go to the beach- he's my love bunny.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Off to the beach, finally!

Thank the good Lord we are leaving Saturday for the beach. I am plumb wore out as the old folks say. Having 3 or more animals on meds and having one that needs special care (Pica) is almost too much at one time. But God is faithful and when I start feeling like it can't be done, he sends me a message through my mind, my kids, the Bible or one of the animals. And then I laugh, realize how great it is that I am doing something important with my life and go on. Today, for example I dropped a 10 pound cage tray on the top of my foot , sharp edge down. (Is there a dang foot curse going on around here or what??) I thought I was going to pass out. I came in the house and sat down and started to cry- I never cry from pain- NEVER. The girls were on me in a flash- Jules elevated my foot, Em grabbed yogurt and Motrin and water (I can't take Motrin on an empty stomach) and they put ice on it. I couldn't move- I was sweating and according to the girls, WHITE AS A GHOST. :) Thank you God for these little girls who have doctored so many animals and have been doctored so much themselves that they know what to do when Mom is incapacitated. What a blessing and how precious to me.

So, Pica and Kito, Em's bird are going with us, they are both ill- one with a leg and the other plucked and gets so depressed when away from Em, we felt he would be better off to go with us. The rest will be in the care of the Spauldings- a wonderful family who cares for our zoo as well as we do- better in some ways because there are so many of them and so few of us. :) We couldn't go on vacations without this family so we are so grateful for them. We do have a bird lady coming in to take care of the birds- some of them are persnickety and would bite the Spauldings. We will go for walks on the beach, watch hermit crabs maneuver sand castles and mazes, sleep (my favorite part of the deal) and all play games together at night or watch movies. The one very sad thing for us this year is that for the first time in seven years, our neice Elizabeth and our nephew Matthew will not be going with us. They will be doing Power up Clubs, and that is helping spread the gospel of Jesus' good news to kids who need to hear it, so we'll forgive them. But we sure will miss them ALOT. We love you two. Very much. I won't be blogging from the beach (WOW) and will only take my cell phone for emergencies and to talk to Laurel and Becca and Donna. (My three best friends.) There is ALOT to be done before we leave- so the kids and Jon and I are busting our tails daily to get it all done. But then it's seven days of sun, rain, Wings, hermit crabs, waves, sleep and coffee on the beach with my dear little Julianna the early riser. Thank you God that we can go. We need the rest.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

IT WAS A SPLINTER, NOT CANCER- it's coming out!

I am so excited that I am shaking. I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT. Jules swam in the pool twice today and she just came in and said, " MOM, the black spot is GONE!" I looked and there, in it's place was white flesh with a tiny black stick in it. So now all we have to do is get the black stick out of her foot (she screamed and said she'd rather have another MRI and an IV- she is hysterical about splinter removal which is probably how this nasty little stick never got reported to us!) I told Jon that I felt like with it was changing daily and becoming closer to the front of the skin and that the body was indeed trying to push something OUT and he totally agreed with me. And we were right. So sorry, Dr. Hahn, we WON"T BE SEEING AN ONCOLOGIST- it's a DANG SPLINTER just like the original MRI said. (The original MRI said it was consistent with a "foreign body lodged in the foot.") WOW. Jules said to tell you thanks so much - that she loves you all!!!!! Thank you for praying- I knew somehow God would heal this foot- I really did believe that. Thank you so much for praying- we can now go to the beach and RUN on that foot without pain. Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PS. Jules just ran in here after I posted and said, " MOM THE STICK IS GONE- there's nothing there but a tiny hole where the stick was!!!!!!!!!!!!" So praise the Lord again- no stick removal tonight!!!!

Hermit crab resurrections and hamster discoveries!

Well sometimes I just marvel at how God works around here. Don't get me wrong, we've had our share of deaths, sadness, and parakeets that drowned in the pool (just one). But lately we've had two pretty unusual and if you ask me, miraculous events. The first involves Zippy- the hermit crab with the purple shell that is on the left hand side of the blog- Jules' crab. Well, hermit crabs die. It's a fact of life. And when they die, they often are found in parts- legs, body, claws- all seperate. We bury the parts, say a prayer, Jules or Em shed a few tears and then the next time we go to the beach, we buy another one. We are aware that hermit crabs molt as well. They lose legs and then grow new ones. Well, months ago Zippy died. Jules brought all the parts to me, crying. We were just going to bury the parts, but Jules said God told her to bury the shell too, and put it on top. So we did, (I am not going to argue with something my kid said God told her to do.), we made a cross and buried him. While the kids were in VA two weeks ago, I came home late in the afternoon from shopping and went behind my van to make sure the cat water wasn't hot or dirty. I caught something moving out of the corner of my eye. I looked up and there was a hermit crab crawling across our driveway, more specifically a purple shelled hermit crab. I almost choked. I called Jules very quickly on the phone and said, "Jules, I want you to think and answer this question. Which crab died most recently and what color was his shell?" "Zippy, MOM! And he was purple with spots underneath." I said, " I am holding him." "WHAAAAAAAAAT?" I then went on to tell her the story- well our front door is a good 100 feet from our driveway. She went crazy- Mom, there has to be a mistake- he was DEAD, MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! " I know, honey." So I said we should name him Lazurus. You can say he just molted- but I saw the PARTS. I don't know what happened, but he's alive. What are the chances that I would see him on the driveway before he disappeared forever into the grass? Pretty darn slim. I saw that as a sign of encouragement from the creator who made him.
Last night, James, Jules' hamster escaped from the ball. Around here, a loose hamster is not a good thing- most of our dogs would stand over him until we got there, but some of them might eat him. (Trego most specifically). Well at ONE TWENTY IN THE MORNING, I was awoken by something and I got up to eat and drink something. I was walking back to the bedroom and Jon was getting some milk bones for the dogs out of the laundry room closet. I was passing the laundry room, looked down and there was James, just sitting there, looking at me. And there were all the dogs, completely oblivious. I was so stupified and sleepy that the only words I could get out were, " HAMSTER HAMSTER, GRAB THE HAMSTER!!!" Jon whipped around and picked him up and he is safely in his cage. What are the chances of me being up and he and I being in the exact spot where the hamster was- or did the hamster COME TO US??? We'll never know, but again, I found it nothing short of a miracle- this is a big house and I counted that hamster as gone forever. The above images are not our animals- just ones I found on the web. :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Beauty and the beast!

I enlarged the original picture of Emily so everyone could see just how GORGEOUS this child is- and her insides are just as gorgeous- she has her Daddy's coloring and sometimes she takes my breath away- God is so good to give me such wonderful and beautiful and SMART kids- sorry I am bragging- I don't normally do that, but I just had to today. I LOVE MY KIDS-

This is Emily my beautiful older daughter with her most loved thing in the world- her Senegal parrot, Kito. Kito had an infection and an allergy of unknown origin and was on meds and then we stopped the meds when we were supposed to and I woke up to THIS. His pretty orange feathers were in a pile on the side of his cage and he was frantically hopping all over. Poor baby. So we are back on the meds and the benedryl, because OBVIOUSLY he wasn't well yet. Some birds pluck for behaviour reasons, but it follows a certain pattern and his doesn't fit that. The doc says he may be on Benedryl for the rest of his life. So she is treating him like a king today and giving him his special medicated baths and I am being the evil medicine giver 2 times a day. :( Poor little mite. We'll have to come back a few days for a few hours while we're at the beach (40 minutes away) because he gets real sad when Em is away. We would love to sneak him in, but they're already allowing us to bring Pica- don't want to push our luck. :)

Frustrating morning, need new doc, but we're headed for the beach!

Soleil with Jules- who knows what it is???

Is this child beautiful or WHAT??????????

Well, I have to say that this morning was a COLLOSSAL waste of time. No, this is not me being negative. This was a case of

#1 idiot doctor (no name)

#2 long wait for idiot doctor

#3 idiot doctor suggesting insane things

#4 idiot doctor who doesn't listen

Here are the highlights of our trip. Doctor can't find report from MRI radiologist. Reads it and reads it to me, " Most assumable is granuloma developed from foreigh body in foot." (In English- a while back she may have (probably did, does all the time) gotten something stuck in her foot like a thorn or a splinter, that has caused the body to put protective or rejective tissue around it. He asks if we have had an x-ray. Yes, we have. He orders another one which is OF COURSE, negative. He says that he wants another BETTER MRI because he has never seen anything like this and he has no idea what it is. (He's an orthopedist). Now, the picture you are looking at is NOT what this started out as- it started as a lump under the skin that has now shrunk and looks like a black almost flat spot. So he starts asking about her health- has she been tired or sick alot or has she been running a fever- NO NO NO. He then says, " Well, I think what we'll do from here is get another MRI and then refer you to an ORTHOPEDIST ONCOLOGIST." I said, " WHAT?" He then goes on to tell me that more than 30 years ago they did a survey and found that the MORTALITY RATE for patients whose biopsies were done by regular orthopedists was much higher than the mortality rate of those patients whose biopsies were done by orthopedic oncologists. I kept my mouth shut (YAY ANNIE). How we got from this is something minor like an old splinter or thorn to it might be something an ONCOLOGIST needs to look at is beyond me. I am spitting mad now. So then he says, I think your daughter should get out of the boot- I don't think she has Sever's Syndrome anymore. "Why would you say that?" (Jules mouth dropped open like, " WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT, MY FOOT IS KILLING ME!" He said, " Well she showed no reaction when I palpated the foot. " "Do it again and this time, Jules don't hide your pain and tell him on a scale of 1-10 how much it hurts." She did, it was an 8 or 9. "Oh, I guess she does." (Did he ever ask her if it still hurt??" NO. She is used to not jerking her foot out of a doctor's hand- she would consider that disrespectful. So she grits her teeth and lets them mash and prod and doesn't say a word. If they don't ask, she doesn't say, " HEY THAT HURTS!!!".

MY plan of action is to see my brilliant pediatrician Monday and then ask her if perhaps a dermatologist should take a look before we go running off to the oncology dept. I am not saying that it possibly couldn't be that (my kids read this) but based on the appearance and presentation of this, I doubt it is a melanoma. It looks like a blood blister now and honestly, Jon and I believe that it WAS a foreign body and that in another week, that black blister is going to open up and release something or it's going to go away. If it is an oncology deal, we'll deal with it head on, but I want a second opinion especially after seeing THIS GUY- what a piece of work. SO WE ARE GOING TO THE BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hooray.

Dudley the dog food dork and why I blog!

Well I am short on time this morning as we go to see Dr. Hahn about Julianna's foot today- pray that he has good news like we can go to the beach, the foot has been healed by God and that no surgery is neccesary. :) Yesterday I had a huge bowl of dry food getting ready to be mixed with wet food for the big greyhounds. Dudley was on the counter- I walked out of the room and heard this sound that sounded JUST LIKE him throwing food out of his bowl- that's what parrots do while their looking for their favorite food in the dish. I walked back in and this is what I saw. I laughed so hard that I wasn't even mad that half of the eight cups was on the floor. He actually nested down in it at one point- it's breeding season for macaws right now. Now he did not EAT any of it- even though it wouldn't have hurt him if he did. It was just a hoot.
People say to me ALL THE TIME-"I don't know how you have the time to blog." I don't have time to blog. If I was a perfectionist, I wouldn't blog. But it is one of the few things I do that bring me pleasure that I can do alone- no dogs, no birds, no kids. I have always loved to read and write. So, if I was the type that couldn't blog unless the house was clean, or the dishes were all put away, I wouldn't blog. But I have to escape the house, zoo, and world sometimes and this is how I do it. I watch NO TV, I play NO GAMES, I do nothing for sheer hedonistic pleasure except this. :) And I refuse to deny myself one of the few things that I do JUST FOR ME, as my job description is doing everything for everybody and everything else. I am not egotistical- I don't think for a minute that all of you get up every morning just waiting to read my next entry- I do it for ME. But it is a nice way to keep all of you updated on our family without having to send a long email every day. I know my folks and my inlaws enjoy it- LEAVE SOME COMMENTS PEOPLE!!! It's not hard- just go to where it says, " 1 comment" in blue- click on that and it will tell you what to do. Thank you Donna and Belinda for leaving comments- it makes me feel like someone is reading this silliness. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pica's unveiling!

Well today was the big day for Pica's pretty pink bandage to come off. I took her to Dr. Prince, one of my vets here in Jax. Pica was a perfect angel until he got to the surgical tape that was further down the leg- then she bared her teeth and growled- she looks ferocious in a pitiful way, doesn't she? The incision looks pretty good- it has some granulated blood on it that will come off with daily warm washcloth baths.(No, Dr. Apelt, don't freak- I am not bathing her- I am just letting that dried up blood get warm and then gently abrading it- Dr. Prince's orders. ) :) We start physical therapy tomorrow- YUCK. I have to basically push the leg up for a hold of 30 and then push it straight for a count of 30. (All within her comfort range of course, I am not going to make her scream in pain.) She hasn't needed the Tramadol up until now, but now we're going to give it to her 3 times a day. (That's the pain killer.) The photos above show her pretty face, Dr. Prince doing his work (Chris, I left you out dear, as you requested), Pica's incision site, and her snarling at Peter when he got to the ouchie part. Now she is in her crate sleeping off the horrible stress and letting the pain meds take effect. Precious baby- Eric, I sure miss that hot pink bandage- she looked so CUTE in it!!!! Maybe I need to get her a wider hot pink collar. :) Thank you Dr. Apelt for a great surgery- I'll see you in late July, I hope! Thanks, Dr. Prince and Chris for your help today. Hey, Dr. Prince, what is that mark on your dog's side???? When did THAT HAPPEN???? Where were you when it occured? (WINK WINK- this is a private joke.) I LOVE MY VETS AT AUGUSTINE LORETTO ANIMAL CLINIC. Thank you Dr. Bouchelle for referring me to University of Florida- I was SO IMPRESSED! I also want to say a big thank you to Renee Rockefeller who removed Quinn's toe- she did a SUPER job and he's healing nicely- I LOVE ALL OF YOU AT ALAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love, Anne

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

For my friend in Texas

If you are blessed, you have a good friend. A great friend. Someone who loves you NO MATTER WHAT. Someone who will answer the phone at four in the morning. Someone who will tell the truth about yourself. A person who will really understand when life is handing you a hard blow and will hold your hand until you can stand up on your own.
I have that. I have a friend in Texas that I met through a dog adoption gone wrong and we instantly KNEW EACH OTHER. It was amazing. Now, it does help that we both have minor, itty bitty, tiny mental health issues. But truly, she is one of the most beautiful people I have ever known in my life and my life is a more wonderful place to live in because she is on the other end of a phone. She is off the scale smart, intuitive, brave, compassionate, loving, gutsy, and MEANS WHAT SHE SAYS. I love her like I've known her my whole life. No, she's not perfect and maybe that's what I was drawn to- she's a screw up just like me- she cusses when she cuts herself ( mine is when birds bite me), she likes to stay home and be with her kids and her animals, and she thinks most people are idiots. One time in my life she wrote me the dearest email- at a time when I was hurting so much and I will never forget that kindness. She is having surgery on a papilloma in her breast next week and I wish that all of you would pray for her, that it is benign , and that her recovery would be rapid and without complications. I wish so much I could be there for her, but like all my soul mate friends, she moved after we had known each other THREE months. But she knows I think of her all during the day and that I love her like crazy. I love you, L. I wanted you to know that. Look at the rainbow- it is hope. Love, me

Can I please have a boring day??? PLEASE?????????

This is Pepper, a male Congo African Grey, and the green bird is a severe macaw named Dudley. They were both obtained from a divorcing family and we living in dirty and dark and sad circumstances. We will probably rehab and rehome one or both of the birds.

Author's note to reader- I elected to do this work. I love what I do and so does my husband and my kids. But like any job, some days are worse than others. Every once in a while I have to rant and let you know that NO, I am not crazy, but YES, I have every reason to be. I would not trade any of this for another job, so I am just venting, not saying, " I HATE THIS." Everyone rants once in a while about their job, I think.

I don't know what is going on, or what phase of the moon we are in, but something is very wrong around here. Maybe I am just spoiled from the last six months of relative quiet and "non disasterousness" (yes, I made that up). Well the last few days have ended THAT little nice spell of quiet. Yesterday and today were great examples. Yesterday, I decided that the two newest big bird rescues, Pepper and Dudley needed their wings and beaks trimmed. That started the cosmic roll down the hill. I did Dudley- no problem. He's the severe macaw. I forgot his feet, but I got his wings and beak done well by myself. (For those of you non bird people, this is quite a feat to do with a NEW BIRD by yourself.) Then I got Pepper- I should have been clued in by the sheer STRENGTH of this bird that somehow something would go wrong. I mean, I have never felt a bird that strong and he's smaller than the macaw. He was SO ANGRY. So I started dremmeling his beak and he decided to eat the dremel head. Not safe. So I changed to a bigger barrel and coarser grit. I have used this on other birds with no problem, but not with a new angry bird. Not smart. I took too much off his beak and he began to bleed. (Mind you, I have never overdremmeled a bird before). I was running all over the house looking for the styptic powder (stops bleeding) and telling the kids, " HELP ME HELP ME!" (In a calm panicked voice as I didn't want to stress the bird out more.) That's an hard voice to do, by the way. So we got the bleeding stopped and put him in a sink and ran warm water over him to help his blood pressure come down and relax him. I put him in his cage, watched him for an hour and then went out with the kids for a nice "buy gifts for the triplets and the baby", eat lunch, relax outing. So we did, and had a great time. I dropped them off at the triplet's house to go to Adventure Landing and went home ALONE, thinking, "I'll read or watch TV or just sleep." I came in the door and I heard gurgling. More specifically, gurgling coming from Pepper's chest. For those non bird people, gurgling in a bird's chest could mean several things, most of them emergencies and only one that's "NO BIG DEAL." I take him out and towel him to make sure that is what I am really hearing and YES, it is GURGLING AND IT"S WORSE. I calmly get the bird carrier (I haven't even peed yet, from my shopping and lunch date by the way) and call my new vet who hasn't even seen me. I pray that she's on that day and that they'll see me. Betty comes on the phone and says, "Is it ok if she works you in?" I almost screamed and cried with joy, " YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!" So I go, beg to use their bathroom, and Dr.Curtis listens and says, " He's wheezing and you did a number on his beak." I said, " I know, and I swear I have never over dremmeled a beak before- I am NOT AN IDIOT!" I was not yelling but gosh, what a great first impression on an avian vet- "Duh, I am a moron and cut the heck out of my bird's beak." So, she said, " Let's rule out blah blah blah" ( I am so tired I can't remember- it's spread by bad peanuts and flares up during stress- it's a fungus...........dang, my brain is toast. 30 minutes later, I remember- aspergillosis. (My brother the bird expert and Becca my bird expert friend read this. ) So they draw blood and give him a nebulizer treatment, put him on antibiotics and send us home. As for the beak, she says, " He'll get over it, don't give him any more pain meds." (I medicated the poor dang bird as soon as I got the bleeding stopped.) "If this was water in his lungs from the shower, it will resolve by tomorrow." She sends me home with INJECTABLE antibiotics (twice a day thank you) and once a day antifungal. I get home at 7 to 17 frantic very hungry dogs ( I was supposed to feed them right after I peed when I walked in the door from shopping three hours prior, remember?.) Then I stayed up until MIDNIGHT sending out thank you notes to all the gracious souls who sent checksfor Pica's surgery by mail- I had thanked online donators with email thank yous. I normally go to bed at nine or ten, so I was PUSHING IT.

This morning I got up at seven, fed all 1,000 animals and medicated the ones who take it and then went back to bed until 11:30- I about died when I woke up and saw my watch. Honestly, my first thought was, " That has to be a TYPO!" (I know watches don't have typos, but that is what my befuddled brain thought.) Jon was home and he had gotten up around eight, so he woke up to no animals needing to be fed and he promptly ate, drank his coffee and cleaned the bird cages (do I love this man or WHAT?) and let me sleep until ELEVEN THIRTY. I so love him. So today, Bianca, who has pemphigus- (look it up) won't eat. This dog would eat your HAND if you aren't careful. I think, OH NO, PLEASE GOD, NO. So I take she and Quinn in to Dr. Rockefeller (one of my amazing vets at Augustine Loretto Animal Clinic) and she decides that Quinn's stitches on his absent toe aren't ready to come out yet, (damn- means another trip) and that Bianca needs antibiotics b/c she's on prednisone and is immunocomprised and calls in Amoxicillin to Publix b/c I can get it for FREE. ( I LOVE MY VETS). The visit cost me $30. MUCH less than the avian visit yesterday. So I get home and guess what? Pepper isn't wheezing. PRAISE THE LORD, I think. But we go ahead and give him his meds (Jon assisted greatly this time.) and leave him alone- he has this look on his face like, "Can I just have some time to be LEFT ALONE?? I am tired, my beak hurts, and I just want to sleep." And I sang " Jesus loves me" to him (his most comforting song, must have sang it 20 times to him at the vet) and said, " I know JUST how you feel buddy." EXACTLY. So tonight, my sister in law took my kids to spend the night it was SO her turn) :) and I took my sleeping meds, covered all the birds at 5:30 and said, " TONIGHT, we are ALL GETTING SOME SLEEP!" I need it- Pica's bandage comes off tomorrow,Samson our thirteen year old Greyhound has been carrying his left back leg for a few days and probably needs to be on arthritis medicine, and who knows what else will happen. Sigh. On the up side, this means that soon we should be due for another six months of quiet. ( I am still going to cross my fingers and knock on wood.)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I was a track dog.........................

This is my tribute to ex-track dogs everywhere.

I was a track dog. I am eight years old. I am white with brown spots. I was a brood bitch. That means for eight years, I was forced to mate and give birth to puppies for the track. I was a good momma, I loved my puppies. I nursed them and licked them and took good care of them. And they always took them away from me. I was never allowed to keep even one of my babies. My babies either became racers, breeders, or were put to sleep for not being fast enough or not being able to put off enough pupppies of their own. I am old now and I am tired. The hair is worn from my backside and I have various old wounds. A wonderful lady named Kay came and rescued me from that terrible place so I wouldn't have to live there anymore. I am a good listener and I come when I am called. I am a lady and I don't pee in the house. My new mom gives me baths and tells me that I am important and that she knows I loved my puppies and that she is really sad that they were all taken from me. I know she means it. I live with other old track dogs and I am frightened during thunder storms. Mom holds me and tells me that it can't hurt me and I try to believe her. She tells me that I will never have to worry or hurt or be scared again. I will live with her until I die. Soon I will be happy, but right now I am still sad and a bit confused. Soon I will learn how to play with the other dogs. I will be all the things my mommy says I am already. My name is Trego.

I was a track dog. I am thirteen years old. I am a dark brown brindle. I raced for six years. I was fast. I don't have any front teeth because I hated being crated all the time and I tried to chew my way out of the crates. I just have gums in the front but I can chew in the back. Then my hip started to hurt and I was adopted to a good family. They kept me for a while and then they gave me to another family. Then they gave me to another family. Then that family moved and I was put on Craigslist. Mom saw me on there and knew that not many people would want an old greyhound- we don't live much past 16. I came and I was thin and covered with fleas- Mom gave me a long bath and told me how beautiful I was. I slept for two days and didn't get up except to eat and pee. Then on the third day, I felt so much better that I got up and I RAN- I haven't run in a long time- I was in a small back yard in my old home. My hip hurt after that and Mom gave me some special medicine that helps her arthritis and she and I have both hurt on rainy or cold days and she gives me my medicine then. I am such a soul, Mom says. She cries sometimes because she wishes she had gotten me when I was much younger and says that she loves me so so much. I love her too. I sleep most of the day, I go out to go potty, I love the other dogs and I am a very gentle soul. I know I have a home here until I go to the Rainbow Bridge. My name is Samson.

I was a track dog. I am five years old. I am a very pretty and flashy black and white dog. I was in some races and then one of my front toe shattered and they said something was wrong with my front legs. Noone ever took care of my toe and it really hurt. I was taken in by a rescue group in Daytona where a lady named Debbie and Ronnie took very good care of me and loved me very much and then Mom got me. I had sores in between my feet (Ronnie didn't know or she would have taken me to the vet) and when Mom tried to look, I growled VERY VERY LOUDLY and it scared her. I was so sorry to do that, but she didn't know about my toe. Afterwards, I licked her face to tell her I was sorry. She said, " Quinn, I am not mad, I know your foot must hurt very badly, baby." A good vet took me to the x-ray room and called Mom- "The toe was shattered a long time ago- it's arthritic and calcified- the toe has to come off." So they took off my toe and I am so relieved- I don't hurt when I walk anymore. I love my new mommy and daddy and I like to climb on the couch and I love visitors. I even try to get in people's laps, but most of them say, "Get off!" Mommy and Daddy love it and let me. I love my children, Emily and Julianna, and I wag my tail so hard when they come home from school. I am so happy here and Mommy says I have a home here forever. I am so glad I don't have to run anymore unless I want to- I had to run on my broken toe and I didn't do well in my races and people were mad at me. I know what real love is now. Real love is being worthy no matter how fast I run or how many toes I have. My name is Quinn.

Poop, poop, and alot of work!!!!

Well, up until now, I have made this a very Godly and upbeat place to come. But today, I just have to tell you that it's not all flowers and roses around here. It's a lot of work! I know, you figured that- DUH, right? Well, I just thought I would give you a close up view of what our day looks like at Pharaoh's Haven. The above picture is a "morning poop". Every morning, birds deposit all the contents of their gut at one time- not unlike most humans. Well, most of our birds are trained. We say, " Do your poop!" when we get them out of their cage and they hesitate, back up and do their business on the table, we wipe it up with bleach or whatever and that's that. Sometimes, however, we miss the big event and it winds up on the floor- 99% of the time, the wood floor, thank goodness. So we are all well versed with finding a baby wipe, cleaning up the mess and moving on. We used to have an issue with the kids- we'd say, " So and so pooped." (Meaning, "your bird pooped, clean it up.") The kids began to actually examine the deposit and then claim that it "WASNT MY BIRD!!!" So we decided that the new house rule is "you see poop, you clean it up, regardless of who did it." We actually cheer for the girls when they say, ' I just cleaned up some one's poop." We feel it shows a huge sense of family togetherness. Thank goodness, although bird feces LOOK HORRID, they don't smell bad and are easy to clean up. Much easier than dog poop.

Now, I know I am pushing the envelope here, but for you fellow dog owners, you will SO COMMISERATE. We have four full sized greyhounds in the house right now. (Don't ask, I won't tell you the truth anyway.) One of them is leaving in three days. Anyway- someone has an "upset stomach". That is as big a clue as I will give, for the respect for my in laws who may read this. :) Well, it could be Trego, who is new and is adjusting to the new diet here, or it could be Quinn who is on antibiotics for the missing toe, or it could be Prime, who is very upset during thunderstorms and fireworks- of which we have had a lot of lately. We have eliminated Samson from the lineup, because he has NEVER had bowel issues. After waking up to a disaster of greyhound proportion, we decided that every suspect should be put in a crate of their own and everyone should get Immodium. (Yes, it's safe for dogs.) So, I gave everyone 1/2 of an Immodium and thought, " Well, that's over with." I went to Costco to buy 80 lbs of dog food and came home to a disaster of greyhound proportion in the MIDDLE OF MY BEDROOM FLOOR. On my carpet, specifically, NOT on the tile in the bathroom, of course. Can I just tell you, I can DO ANYTHING regarding dog poop, but I almost cried at the impossibility of this sight. Remember how when you were in school and someone vomited, the janitor had the magic powder that absorbed the worst of it? WHERE IS THAT MAGIC POWDER?????????????????? WHERE IS IT SOLD???? I managed to get it up, use the little green machine and pray that the residual stain would come up with our next rental of the Rug Doctor. (We should own one.) My husband was at the beach with the girls and I am so glad- he would have passed out at the sight. So, when I left the NEXT time, all full sized dogs WENT OUTSIDE AND STAYED THERE. Of course, I am sure they didn't DO anything in the GRASS. They were empty. So, I gave all suspect a WHOLE Immodium and prayed that I wouldn't give the innocent dog a bad case of constipation. Are you laughing yet? I was. So today, no one is very hungry and all look a bit tired and run down- I am frantic- is it the Immodium or are they just tired from one late night of fireworks and then another late night of UFC with Jon and his buddies from church? Who knows. If I knew WHO it was, I would surely have the vet take a look under the microscope and tell me EXACTLY WHAT IT WRONG. But I am not in luck. No one is talking.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Princess is home!

Anne drove happily to Gainesville to get Pica today and Mark, our wonderful student who has kept us apprised of her progress had wrapped her in hot pink just for pictures! :) She is doing very well- she doesn't seem to be in alot of pain but does get worn out after a short walk and wants to go in her crate- very unlike her to CRAVE HER CRATE. She has eaten since she's been home and peed- still waiting for the other. (In case Mark is reading this.) I never thought working with the people about her surgery would be a pleasure, but it WAS. They explained the whole surgery again today, showed me the x-rays of before and after and were just PHENOMENAL. Thank you again, Dr. Apelt, Mark and anyone else involved in her care. As you can tell from the photos, we were thrilled to have her home and she was thrilled to see us!!!!

Quinn and the missing toe- graphic- sorry!

I wanted everyone to know how brave Quinn has been for his missing toe operation. Here are some photos of him, his missing toe, and him licking his missing toe. :( He's such a good boy- he's in much less pain now than he was before the surgery- for those of you who didn't know the story- Quinn was a rescue from the track- five years old with a shattered front toe that was swollen and making him very uncomfortable. The toe was broken years ago but noone at the track did any vetting on it, so it just got bigger, arthritic and calcified- thus pressing that toe against the next, the next, and the next- dominoe effect. He would never hurt a fly but when we first tried to look at the toe before we knew what was wrong with it, he sounded like a LION, and I am surprised I still have my nose- no joking. We thought it was an abrasion, but I took him to the vet to be muzzled and sedated- ( I am not a fool). When they did his neuter, they took the toe too. Poor dude. My thanks to Debi and Ronnie of Second Chance Rescue for this beautiful and sweet baby. He is 85 pounds of pure love and affection. He actually tries to climb in your lap. (Not now, but before the surgery he did.). Once his foot heals, he will walk and run normally and be in LESS pain than he was before. I know that is hard to imagine looking at it now. He loves kids- but is afraid (terrified) of wood floors so we had to get berber runners from our living room to the bedroom- when someone comes in the front door, he stands in the living room and whines for them to COME SEE ME, I CAN"T COME THERE!!!- It's kind of sad in a funny way. He's on pain meds and antibiotics for a while. WE LOVE OUR QUINNY BOY!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Jules surgery consultation is July 11

UPDATE- We think we are going to cancel our week at the beach, and push surgery to be sooner, as her foot becomes more painful each day- she is far more important than our week of vacation. I'll keep everyone posted. I am going to call for a sooner date of evaluation today while I drive to Gainesville.
Julianna, our youngest daughter goes for her surgery consultation on July 11. She has a soft tissue growth on the bottom of her foot and it needs to be removed. We are hoping for surgery in August. I'll keep you posted- pray that she is not still in pain by the time school starts. Thank you. Here is a picture of our brave little soldier. For those of you who don't know, she suffered a 12 week long stomach virus this spring, to be followed by a diagnosis of Sever's Syndrome of the foot- temporary but painful- here's a link to it-

She's been in a walking boot for 3 weeks and will probably be in it for another few months to protect the new surgery site. She's been through the ringer, but she has been a brave little soldier. If any of you would like to send her good wishes, her email address is This is a favorite picture of hers- it's her with Dudley- a severe macaw we rescued last weekend. She got her ears pierced and she's really thrilled!Love, Anne


Sorry I didn't update you yesterday- it was a rough day for me. The vet talked to Jon and everything went as they had hoped it would. I pick her up Friday. They ended up having to do a echo on her heart- heart murmur and it affected how they did anesthesia. She had gone down on her spay surgery a year and a half ago and body temp went down fast (for non dog people this means her heart rate rapidly dropped and so did her body temp), so that's the reason for the echo and the extra precautions. I cannot say enough WONDERFUL THINGS about the staff there- they have called us several times a day about EVERY SINGLE STEP and would not proceed until they got the OK from us. I had heard great things about U of F, but I have to say, they have exceeded my expectations- I highly recommend them if you have anyone who needs serious surgery and you live here. Thanks for all your prayers- We have needed them and we truly appreciate them. Sorry no pics yet- I am taking Quinn in to have his removed toe site checked and I am in big hurry but knew all of you would be checking today and concerned. Love you all- Anne for Jon and the zoo crew. PS. Jules' consultation for the growth on the bottom of her foot is July 11. She'll probably have surgery on the bottom of HER foot in August. Love you all. Anne