Category Archives: Dog Stuff
This guy is totally awesome.
I posted this some time ago when I was going through dog trauma with our neighbours who grossly neglected their dog and I found myself in the improbable situation of regularly walking their dog while mine was being expensively shepherded about by his dog walker. Mistreatment or neglect of animals can often arise as a result of not having enough information before diving in and bringing them into your family.
Here are a few things to consider before going out and getting a pooch. Do I Really Want a Dog?
You can be a slave to your pooch too! Check out pet diets
Tessa: The other day I was at Canada West Veterinary Specialists for Reuben’s check-up. As we got close to the hospital Reuben got really excited as if he were going on a big hike instead of to the doctors. He ran out of the car and into the reception area where he was greeted by a posse of staff who all shouted, “Hey Reuben’s here.” They crowded around him and gave him big kisses while we waited for super babe nurse Jayne to come out.
As we waited for Jayne he sat there with his tail wagging and a big boner, a sure sign of happiness in my mind. There was a couple beside us and we started chatting. They had that worried, crazy look that Dave and I had a few short weeks ago. I asked them what was up and they said Princess was in for her second spinal cord surgery and I nodded knowingly. Of course. I get it. They asked about Reub and I told them about Reuben’s four surgeries. They nodded and shook their heads knowingly. They’re like our children she said.
Then when the beautiful Jayne emerged and got on the ground and started whispering sweet nothings into my sweetie’s ear, (Reub not Dave) he looked almost as happy to see her as he usually is to see me and it made me feel really good inside.
Reub and I were then ushered into one of the waiting rooms to see Dr. Enberg. He always says Trevor and introduces himself in that nice informal way but I can’t quite bring myself to say that quite yet. He’s still Reuben’s doctor and by calling him that I feel like I can hang on to that a little bit longer.
He did the usual things, felt his intestine, finger up the poop shoot and generally played with him on the floor calling him sweet things like here’s my boy. I looked at him and said Dr. Enberg have we turned that corner yet? And he paused and looked at me and without missing a beat or making me feel like I was stupid he consulted the sixty two pages of charts and medically things on paper and said well you know his surgery was then and his last this was then and he hasn’t had a reaction to the human albumin so I think it’s very safe to say yes, he’s turned a corner.
Wow. He’s turned a corner. I wanted to hug him and run out and grab Jayne and all the cute receptionists who act like Reuben is a movie star when he comes in. DID YOU HEAR THAT???? Then I realized that in a weird way I feel completely at home at Canada West. I feel surrounded by like-minded people…people who don’t give a second thought to doing everything they can to help animals.
Since Reuben has come home we’ve been confronted with different reactions. People are usually too polite to ask how much we paid for his life but it’s private health care and they can pretty much figure out half of the cost and even that makes them gasp. One person suggested that there were so many animals that needed homes from shelters perhaps we should have just done that.
I guess at the end of the day we all have to make our choices in these matters because animals don’t have the same rights as people do. Their lives are completely at the mercy of their owners and that makes me feel sick to my stomach.
I told Dr. Enberg I was going to miss them. I’m not going to miss Reuben being sick but I’m going to miss being surrounded by crazy animal loving people who get it.
Now I spend my days plotting and thinking about how I could be useful there. My mother suggested I become a vet. I think not. But it’s the kind of uncompromising commitment that I love so I guess I learned something from this experience.
My next blog will be about my mother’s visit. I can’t write it right now because she won’t let me and as it is I am only writing this one because Dave is keeping her temporarily preoccupied. Soon she will come and hunt me down and demand more attention or want me to paint her toe nails or get her another glass of wine or something. There is definitely something about distance making it possible to love some people more. But more on that next week.
Tessa and Dave: There’s that saying that it takes a village to raise a child. A parallel saying is that it takes a village to save a dog. In our case it couldn’t be more true. Whenever weird freaky things happen like your dog eats a bunch of wood and comes close to death, you never survive these things without the help of others. So a big thanks to all of you who wished, hoped, prayed, sent emails, phoned, dropped off food, made cards for Reub, and gave us a wide margin just to deal with everything. Every single last thing has been appreciated and who knows maybe it nudged Reub in the living direction rather than the not living direction.
I feel like this is a bit of an Academy Awards acceptance speech. You always wonder why they go on so long with that big long list of boring names. I guess they do that not just to nudge their careers in the right direction but because damn-it, it takes a lot of people and thank yous to make something happen. So not only were family and friends fantastic but none of any of this would matter if we didn’t have all the amazing veterinarians and vet techs who actually did the physical work of saving Reuben’s life.
Super special thanks to Dr. Uschi Craigdailie for immediately recognizing that Reuben had dehissed (intestinal wound had leaked at surgical site) the first time at the Vancouver Animal Emergency Clinic. Special thanks to Dr. Cindy Chow and anesthetist for getting up in the middle of the night and operating on Reuben. Super special thanks for not thinking he was a lost cause when you went in and saw that his intestine had completely fused together.Thanks to Betsy, Reuben’s blood donor (also Dr. Cindy Chow’s dog). She is adorable. Veterinarian hospitals like regular hospitals rely on blood donors to save animal’s lives. Many hospitals rely on the pets of family and friends for donations but Vancouver Animal Emergency actually has started its own blood donation program modeled out of one from Texas. If you have a healthy dog go to your vet and ask about it.
Vancouver Animal Emergency recommended that we send Reuben to Canada West Veterinary Specialists and Critical Care Hospital. Without their dedication to excellence in animal care Reuben and many others like him would not stand a chance.
Everyone at Canada West from the receptionists, to animal caregivers to the hospital administrator were nothing short of amazing. Special thanks to Dr. Trevor Ennberg, Dr. S. Karlyn Bland, Dr. Braun, and Dr. Kuzma. All of the people who worked in ICU helped make what was one of the worst experiences into an incredibly memorable one for both Dave, Reuben and I. I’ve never come across a more giving, gentle, smart group of people who spent 24 hours a day watching Reuben, giving him his meds, kisses, hugs and spending time with him in his pen. Big thanks to Jayne and her daughter Annabelle (who drew the cutest get well card for Reub), Fiona, Amy and Shian and all the others in ICU. Also, thanks to Sharon Brown the hospital administrator for her warm support.
When we brought him back from a visit he sat in the waiting room wagging his tail waiting for one of his girlfriends to come out and give him the love. Now that’s love!
There is one person in particular, however, that we owe the biggest thanks to because without her we would never had the resources to allow all of the above people to do their job to the absolute best of their ability. Within days of Reuben’s illness we were shocked to find a large sum of money in our bank account. Somebody had unknowingly deposited a substantial amount of funds to us knowing that we couldn’t ask but also understanding what it would really take. When we found out who it was all she said was “Do whatever it takes. He’s your boy.” When we knew it would take another $10,000 to go into the fourth operation and we were told the odds were 10% to 25% she looked at us and said “I’d do everything I could.” I don’t know too many other people like her. I don’t know anybody like her. So we owe a very big debt of gratitude and much more to Bettye who has made a few things possible for us. Her generosity and her patience at taking our manic phone calls at all hours of the day & night and explaining all the medical jargon, truly helped see us through.
The music is now playing to get me off the stage. So see you everyone and again, thanks so much.
Tessa Dave and Reuben
Dave &Tessa:Wow, just when most of you were thinking that we didn’t have too many happy things to report we’re happy to say that Reuben can come home today. He’s skinny, he’s got lots of bald patches from surgery and needles, he’s a little greyer (so are we) but he’s coming home. LET’S DANCE! After 20 days at three different hospitals and being told more than several times that our dog would probably not make it (5-20% chance) he’s fooled us all and pulled through. YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- His gorilla head.
- His ridiculously long legs.
- The whites of his eyes and how they look like diamonds when he looks at me a certain way.
- How even though he has slept on the bed for 51/2 years he never just jumps up. He waits and waits and stares and stares until we invite him up. Every single time.
- How in the morning he backs into me so I will scratch his big hairy bum.
- How he closes his eyes when I massage his shoulders.
- How he thinks when I’m drying him off that I’m trying to rub his bum so he backs into me again because he thinks this is a big game.
- How he falls onto grass from a complete standing position onto his back and rolls and rolls and rolls around.
- How when we’re at our most tired he picks up the ball and heaves it across the room at us to make us play with him.
- How he lets me spoon and fawn over him endlessly.
- How he tries to sit on my head when I’m stretching.
- How he sits on my legs.
- How he loved having me pick him up all the time when he was little.
- How he never returns the ball ever unless you say SIT six times then he spits it out at you and walks away.
- How he only catches the ball if he feels like it .
- His big skinny gangly legs in the water when he swims.
- How he loves me more than anything else.
- How he loves Dave.
- How he is an unabashed sissy.
- How he doesn’t just love anybody.
- How trusting he is.
- How he is our best friend in every way.
- How he loves snow and runs around like crazy in it.
- How he runs in crazy circles, stops suddenly looks at you with his gorilla head and then starts all over again.
- His love of jumping into tall grass.
- How he adventures but only ever with Dave.
- His soul.
- His heart.
- His unconditional friendship.
- How when he’s feeling unsure he gives you his paw.
- How he likes to talk and talk and talk.
- How he wags his tail in the gurney even as he is being rushed into his fourth surgery.
- How everyone in ICU stops by and gives him kisses.
- How he never growls or gets mean even with caregivers who are constantly prodding him with needles, IV’s and drugs.
- How he gathers our smelly socks and t-shirts and uses them to build his nest.
- How he fusses over his nest until it’s just perfect.
- How he arranges my t-shirts even in ICU so all the nursing staff talk about how he lies on the shirts or makes a pillow with them.
- How he loves to race Dave when they’re swimming making his gangle legs go even faster.
- The look of determination when he’s racing Dave.
- How he never tires of the game he and Dave play each and every time they leave the house that always results in Reub belting down the hall at full speed looking back wildly to make sure Dave’s coming.
- How he wags his tail when he knows we’re going to the car.
- How he much prefers to be driven than walked.
- Did I mention his heart? I love his big big heart and his old soul.
- I was only going to write 10 things I love about Reub but it’s impossible to stop once you get going.