Wednesday, January 25, 2012

can always count on family! even if.... no, especially if.... they are a little wacko.

So, as much as I try not to be a complainer, I'm going to be totally honest. Today pretty much sucked. Not just a little, I mean it sucked in epic proportions.
I woke up today and decided that I'm really fed up with feeling spacey and not being able to drive and that it was time to cut my pain medication way down. I knew it would hurt, but I think I did it one day too early because despite already hurting, I had an appointment with Dr. Jerkface today. In case you haven't heard, I absolutely can not stand my surgeon. Most arrogant jerk I've ever met. But that's a topic for another day. (that I will try my hardest not to even share because that is giving him far more attention than he deserves) So, after leaving the hospital, where he tore my whole wound open again because it's apparently "healing too fast" (despite NO signs of infection!!) and making me totally sick with pain, I called my sister. Now, for anyone reading this who doesn't already know, people fall into certain categories. There's the reserved but wise type. I think my brother falls here. Then there's the make-everyone-around-you-miserable type. I won't name names. Of course there's Susie Homemaker types, I think Shelly might fall her. And I'm jealous of that. And there's the say-it-like-it-is folks. *cough*me*cough* and a few other types of people but among them are those who are so generous, caring, and giving they have reached a nearly unrealistic level of genuine goodness. That's Tanya's category. That's who she is. So, back to my story, I call her, and she was having a pretty rotten, terrible day too. I won't disclose her personal information on my little blog, but I will say that when people are mistreating genuinely GOOD people, especially people as caring as Tanya, is kind of puts the icing on the "this world sucks" cake and ticks me off.
So, I come home. Mad at the doctor. Mad at the people making my sister sad. Mad at the medical bills that keep coming in the mail LITERALLY by the thousands of dollars, overwhelmed at everything going on, so what do I do? I do the only thing I know to. I sit on the couch (well, I lounge. I can't actually sit yet...) and I cry. I cry into Annie's neck for a good 15 minutes or so and then I hear my phone go off. Really long, pointless story short, a giant miscommunication blown WAY out of proportion created a big falling out with a friend I consider to be really important. Awhh crap, back to being a wreck. I cried some more. It was a bad day. Then, while that was going on, my back started to just spew and drip blood for the second time today, so I'm standing in the bathroom, trying to examine my tailbone to figure out where the blood was coming from, frustrated, annoyed, and at my wits end. Have you ever tried to examine a hole on your tailbone. It's not easy. Go on, try it. I was mad I was bleeding. I was mad at my doctor. I was mad someone made my sister sad. I was mad Jon wasn't home. I was mad someone was mad at me. I was mad I haven't been able to work in 10 days. I was mad I was mad. I was just.... well, I was just flippin' mad, ok?!

Annie nudged the door open, and I yelled at her to leave. (poor annie, subject to my mood at the time) But she didn't. She play bowed, smacked my leg, and ran away, then came back and "peeked" into the bathroom again. She is so goofy, I just started laughing, and decided that tomorrow is a new day, and it would be better. So, then there I am, all pumped up and feeling good. Yeah! positivity at the end of a crappy day! It's some serious progress. So, then I did what I always do when something personal that is no one else's business crosses my mind. I posted it on Facebook!

And that's when the night REALLY turned around. It sparked the most hilarious facebook conversation I think I've ever had. I mean... hilarious. In fact, for the sake of documenting the moment, and because Tan doesn't have facebook, I've made screenshots and shall forever preserve the humor right here!

The conversation lead to the following status updates:

I guess the moral of my story is: I'm so thankful for family, including Annie. (she counts!) Even on the worst of days, when everything else is going wrong, family is there to either kick me into gear, or make me laugh: whichever is more necessary at the time. I cherish good friendships, I do, and the one(s) involved in tonight's mishaps are particularly special to me, and I'm not discounting that... BUT, you can't count on anyone quite like family. Even if they are a little bit crazy.

But I still hate my doctor.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What a Pain in the Butt

What a week!!
Monday I woke up with an achy tailbone, which I didn't give much thought, it happens somewhat frequently from a previous injury.
Tuesday It hurt all day and by evening I was pretty miserable but not too concerned really.
Wednesday morning I woke up early to a stab of sharp pain coming from just below my tailbone. Any time I moved it just felt worse and hurt more so I woke Jon up and asked him to take me to a doctor. I absolutely hate doctors and hospitals and all that they imply, and I generally refuse to go even when Jon thinks I ought to. Luckily, Jon had already looked up doctors in our network and read reviews a few days prior, so we already had numbers to call. We went in and after a very brief look at my tailbone area, he referred me to a surgeon...and the next available appointment wasn't until next Wednesday! Well, that wasn't happening.
Thursday I woke up in more pain than I've ever been in my entire life. I could not move. No position gave relief at all and the lortab given to me was not giving Any results. I called Jon, who was at work at the time, and begged him to take me to the emergency room before I totally lost my mind. You know that moment when you become temporarily overwhelmed with pain from a 'dead arm'... Well it was like that only it didn't end. Jon got ahold of the surgeon office that I was supposed to see, and they agreed to see me that day. Grandpa came to my house and he and Jon gave me a priesthood blessing and then Jon took me in.
I felt like a total idiot as I stood at the desk trying not to sob. Jon had to fill out all the paperwork, my hands were trembling too much from the pain. My doctor was a complete arrogant jerk. He was mocking a gay patient of his to me, and seemed quite amused at my pain. Jon didn't like him either, which says something. He would not do surgery that day because I had ONE BITE of cheese to take medicine with and made me wait until morning.
Thursday was a very long day. I could not move by myself at all, I had to have constant help. And there way no way to choke back the sobs of pain that came every couple minutes with any movement. Even on Percocet the pain was overwhelming.
Friday morning I was not allowed to take Percocet or lortab, or drink anything, including water. I was miserable and dehydrated when we arrived at the hospital. After waiting around for far too long, they prepped me for surgery. The male nurse who prepped me did not numb my wrist and totally failed at getting the IV in, so another doctor had to come do t. He got it after the first attempt, and numbed me, too!!!
I'm home from surgery now. I have an open hole, about the size of a golf ball at the end of my tailbone that has to be cleaned and packed twice a day for eight weeks. A home help nurse will be by to do it in a half hour and honestly, I'm scared out of my mind. Otherwise, I'm out of work completely for 2 weeks, (they said 4 but I just don't see that happening...) and have to rely on help getting around for the time being. That's the worst part. Well, and boarding some of the dogs because I'm literally incapable of taking care of them this week.
I'm so blessed to have such an amazing husband who has been so helpful. I'm sure helping your get on and off the toilet isn't the most fun thing ever, but he's been a good sport. My mom and sister have been more than helpful too. I love my family. I'm so glad we have such amazing staff at Ruff House who have all stepped up to cover shifts for me this past week, and who I know will keep things running smoothly while I'm out.

So what was wrong in the first place? A coccyx cyst that got infected. Gross, and painful.
I've gotta go mentally prepare myself for this nurse now... I've been dreading it all day.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Just One More.....DOG

Ten bucks says you are reading this because you saw the title and thought, "oh no they didn't!!"
Relax, its just a cute poem a friend of mine came across and posted on a forum.

One Dog Is No Trouble And Two Are So Funny The Third One Is Easy, The Fourth One's A Honey

... The Fifth Is Delightful, The Sixth One's A Breeze You Find You Can Live With A Housefly With Ease

So How 'Bout Another? Would You Really Dare? They're Really Quite Easy, But Oh Lord, The Hair!

With Dogs On The Sofa And Dogs On The Bed And Crates In The Kitchen Its No Bother You Said

They're Really No Trouble, Their Manners Are Great What's Just One More Dane And One More Little Crate?

The Sofa Is Hairy, The Windows Are Crusty The Floor Is All Footprints, The Furniture's Dusty

The Housekeeping suffers But What Do You Care? Who Minds A Few Nose prints And A Little More Hair?

So Let's Keep A Puppy, You Can Always Find Room And A Little More Time For The Dust Cloth And Broom

There's Hardly A Limit To The Dogs You Can Add The Thought Of A Cutback Sure Makes You Feel Sad

Each One Is Special, So Useful, So Funny The Food Bill Grows Larger, You Owe The Vet Money

Your Folks Never Visit, Few Friends Come To Stay Except Other Dog Folks Who Live The Same Way

Your Lawn Has Now Died and your Shrubs Are Dead Too Your Weekends Are Busy, Your Off With Your Crew

There's Dog Food And Vitamins, Training And Shots And Entries And Travel And Motels Which Cost Lots

Is It Worth It You Wonder? Are You Caught In A Trap? Then That Favorite Comes Up And Climbs In Your Lap

His Look Says You're Special And You Know That You Will Keep All The Critters In Spite Of The Bill

Some Just For Showing And Some Just To Breed And Some Just For Loving, They All Fill A Need

Winter Is A Hassle But The Dogs Love It True And They Must Have Their Walks Tho' You Are Numb And Blue

Late Evening Is Awful, You Scream And You Shout At The Dogs On The Sofa Who Refuse To Go Out

The Dogs And The Dog Shows, The Travel, The Thrills The Work And The Worry, The Pressure, The Bills

The Whole Thing Seems Worth It, The Dogs Are Your Life They're Charming And Funny And Offset The Strife

Your Lifestyle Has Changed, Things Just Won't Be The Same Yes Those Dogs Are Addictive And So's The Dog Game

-author unknown

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Anti-Breeder

I’m fairly involved in internet forums. I lurk several, post on a couple, and am active almost daily on one. Ranging from parenting to fertility, to dogs… it’s just nice to be able to converse with like-minded people.  On any forum, there are “hot topics” that without a doubt will get heated.
You know how they go, someone posts a question/ opinion that everyone knows is a huge can of worms, generally followed by a few posts something to the effect of “Here we go again!” or “this will be good….” And without fail, someone will post the little popcorn smiley. You know, that little guy that is a simple unspoken "I'm just going to sit here and watch this one unfold."
Breeding ethics are absolutely one of those topics. It's also one of those topics that I have incredibly strong educated opinions on. Other people do too. Most of them are wrong. W-R-O-N-G. Wrong. And when these topics come up, out crawl the anti-breeders....

"Breeders are to blame for the pet overpopulation epidemic!"
This is annoying. Mostly because it's wrong. The overpopulation epidemic is because of stupid people, now granted some breeders ARE stupid people. The first problem is that dogs are over bred. Puppy mills all over the place churn out hundreds and hundreds of puppies per year, which the peddle off on various online websites, or sell to pet stores. (we will get to that topic soon. Actually, it might need its own post...) Also, idiot pet owners will throw two dogs together, often times of different breeds, without health testing, genetic history for the sole purpose of making money on them. They generally have no idea how to properly care for a pregnant bitch, whelp a litter, or the proper care of a litter of newborns. The puppies are often times unvaccinated, full or worms, or plagued with skin issues like mange, and sold far too young. But, what makes these kinds of operations so "successful" in the area of money? There's a market for it. Hundreds of uneducated people BUY these dogs. Almost always sight-unseen, without seeing the parents, without asking or being asked many (if any) questions. AND without even thinking about the most important thing: "Are the parents health tested?" Sometimes these puppy buyers mean well, and these kinds of operations have gotten really good at putting on a fantastic front and playing on the general public's lack of knowledge, and the first one with cash takes the puppy and the communication and contact ends there. 
GOOD breeders health test. They put thought into their breedings. They don't produce a bajillion litters per year. Not every single good breeder is on the same page, but they educate themselves, their buyers, and they care. More importantly, they care where their puppies end up. They ask you questions, they expect you to ask them questions, and they'll always take a puppy back before it ever ends up in a shelter.
If people would EDUCATE THEMSELVES more on pet ownership, and what breed of dog is right for them, and knew what to look for in a breeder, all the shady operations that peddle puppies off with only their wallets in mind would loose their market. The answer isn't in stopping breeding, it's in being educated and knowing exactly WHAT kinds of ethics and practices you're supporting when you hand someone cash in exchange for a new pet. 

"All breeding should stop until there are no more dogs in shelters"

This is dumb. Mostly because it's wrong. Too many years, and existing dogs will be past their breeding prime, when it's healthiest and most ethical to allow reproduction. That means no more purebred dogs. That's really freaking dumb.

"Purebred dogs don't matter, all dogs are the same and having different breeds is damaging to dogs as a whole."

This is dumb. Mostly because it's wrong. Purebred dogs exist for a reason, and it's important. While it's true most dogs are purchased as companion only, there are hundreds of thousands of animals that do important jobs every single day. Hunting. Police work. Search and Rescue. Tracking. Weight Pulling. Therapy. Guide. And of course there's the various sporting activities that many pet owners enjoy doing with their dogs. Agility. Flyball. Obedience. Dock Diving. Agility. Rally-O. Take all of those activities away (which would be a tragedy to begin with) and take into account that everyone's lifestyles are different and dogs are simply NOT a one-size-fits-all commodity. A Boxer, for example, needs extensive exercise or they can become depressed, destructive, and an overall menace, but in the right home that fits their needs are amazing dogs. Border Collies are brilliantly intelligent, and if need mental stimulation to be mentally sound. Every breed is different, and every family, home, and lifestyle is a little bit different. That's not a mistake. The right dog should fit your family like a glove and provide many years of happiness. The wrong dog will make your life Hell. Many people obtain animals that are entirely wrong for their lifestyle, which ultimately ends up in necessary surrender of the animal, thus perpetuating the overcrowding issue in shelters.  This goes back to why GOOD breeders make sure the homes in which their puppies go to are educated on the breed and it's requirements, and that they understand what owning the breed entails, rather than sending off a pup to the highest bidder. 

"There should be strict laws and hefty licensing fees implemented for all breeders!"

This is dumb. Mostly because it's wrong. (notice a trend?) SO far, there have been several different things proposed that are supposed to put more restraints on breeders, and deter every Tom, Dick, and Harry from shacking up their two dogs to make a buck. They include things like:
Licensing Fees
Puppy Taxes
Specifications on how large kennels must be. 
This sounds great in theory, right? Wrong. 
While these things might alleviate situations that are truly bad, they also make it impossible for small "hobby" breeders (I use this term for lack of a better one) that are not making a ton of money.
For one, insane licensing fees and permits are not going to be doable for small time breeders who aren't in fact doing it for money, because they won't be able to afford to. While I can strongly agree that if someone is breeding to make a living, they are doing it wrong because it is most certainly a labor of love, they also shouldn't have to go into extreme debt just to preserve whatever their breed of passion is. GOOD breeders don't have money to pay for such things, unless they happen to be really wealthy outside of breeding. Like they're married to a rocket scientist or something. Same logic applies to puppy taxes. Kennel specifications only promote kennel-type living in the first place, and for good breeders, their dogs don't live in cages in the first place, so why have them? 
But the big operations? Oh they can fork over thousands in fees, permits, etc. and still line their pockets in cash. It doesn't stop them.
The point is that there is yet to be anything proposed that works in favor of ethical breeders, and against millers. Sad, but true. 

Many other things are said on online forums and otherwise that are simply the product of the anti-breeder. I am a strong advocate of animal rescue, and adopting out of shelters, but the reality is that's just not the right choice for every family and not every pet owner is up to the challenge of taking on a total wild card dog. At least when you buy from an ethical, good breeder you for the most part know what you're getting into, and when issues arise, you have breeder support: someone who knows what they're doing, who knows the breed, and can help you. Your relationship with your breeder shouldn't have to end at the time of sale. 

If you want to know where your pet came from...
If you want the comfort of health tested parents....
If you want predictability from your new pet....
If you want to have breeder support when questions arise....
If you know what you're looking for in a pet....
Please, educate yourself and seek out an ethical breeder. If some of these things are negotiable for you, look at rescues and shelters where there are hundreds of awesome animals looking for forever homes. 

But people, there is never, EVER, a reason to purchase from or support the practice of puppy mills through buying from pet stores, or money-greedy breeders perpetuating the overpopulation problem. You are truly doing a disservice to the animals when you do, and setting yourself up for many vet bills later. 

Because when you hand over that money, and take home a warm, cuddly, happy new puppy, you are supporting: