Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Dog/House/Docs/Like Mother, Like Son…

1. Dog

Car-riding in balmier days…

So yesterday afternoon we schlepped the ailing dog out to his Regular Veterinarian, way to he!! and gone on the northerly reaches of Paradise Valley.

Charley is much improved, and yesterday made a Great Leap in terms of recovery. He’s certainly not cured by any means, but yesterday was walking around a little more normally, despite having to struggle to get up and down. He’s even getting up enough zing to take up one of his favorite activities, counter-surfing.

Day before yesterday, M’hijito discovered a large, strange wound that seemed suddenly to have appeared on his back. Son was beside himself: we did not know where this came from or what it could possibly be.

Actually, I had a theory: First day back from the vet hospital (a.k.a. hole in the ground into which to pour money), Charley levered himself to the floor in the kitchen while we were fixing food. When he got himself down, he was laying with his back jammed up against the sharp corner of the cheap Home Depot cabinetry we had installed in that house. I thought at the time he must be getting jabbed, but elected not to try to drag him away from it for fear of injuring him more. So he could have scraped himself while in that position.

We cut away as  much hair as we could and washed it, but since we already had a vet appointment there wasn’t much else to do.

The vet did a much better job of removing fur all the way around the thing, cleaning, and applying a med. He opined that it’s a hot spot.

I said “how can he have a hot spot, since he can’t reach the middle of his back to lick it?” My dogs love to create hot spots, but these always appear on their legs, which are convenient venues for lick-fests. These create fine festering wounds.

He said a hot spot can start as a bacterial infection. He says they’re very common in goldens.

So now poor Charley is bald on the belly (where they shaved him to do an ultrasound of his abdominal cavity), on his front legs (where innumerable IVs were inserted), and on his back.

However, the vet said he appears to be significantly better and held out some hope for a complete or near-complete recovery.

He also discovered that in X-raying the dog’s chest, the 24-hour veterinary had found a couple of ruptured vertebral disks.

Well, holy sh!t, would that ever explain a lot. As you may know from your own experience, disk pain is pretty damned excruciating. It certainly can cripple you up. And it can cause you to feel extremely stressed.

So if he was already in pain when he was placed in the Hated Car, the combination could have stressed him enough to give him a neurotic fit, as it were.

And you simply would not believe how this dog behaves inside a vehicle. He truly is totally panic-stricken.

Yesterday I rode in back with the dog while my son drove the car. All the way across town, Charley huffed and puffed and gasped for air and tried to burrow in behind my back to hide. There’s no question at all that he was terrorized.

The vet thinks the Thunder Shirt idea is a good one. He says a lot of people swear by them. If you read the reviews, about 75% of users feel they work well or at least adequately to calm their dogs’ anxiety. So my kid is going to order one up. But we’ll have to wait until the hot-spot wound on his back heals up before wrapping him in Velcro and nylon. Also the maker’s site says not to put one on a dog when the weather is over 90 degrees — it’ll be a month or two before temps get back down into the 90s hereabouts.

Anyway, this guy is really a great vet: like Young Dr. Kildare, he combines a great deal of expertise with that rarest of all commodities, common sense.

2. House

So I bought a gallon of gray paint to re-do the orange hallway. I’d very much like to get started on that, but it ain’t gonna happen today. Or tomorrow.

This morning I’ll run up to the Depot, where I figure I can get the rollers and a couple new paintbrushes cheaper than they sell them at Dunn Edwards.

However, it must be said that when I rolled into Dunn Edwards the other day with no paint on my face and engaging my usual long, space-covering hiking stride (had to park on the far end of the lot to get the car in the shade), I looked pretty lezzie. The lone clerk personing the counter was a distinctly mannish-looking woman, and she instantly took a liking to me. Amazingly, that led to her establishing a tradesman’s account for me! So I got the paint at a deep discount.

Ordered just a quart of the white trim paint, since I figured all that would be needed would be some touch-up. But when I arrived to pick up the paint, I learned they couldn’t get the color (which is long out-of-date in the style department) unless they whipped up a gallon. Incredibly, the guy dispensing the paint gave me the whole gallon for the cost of a quart!!!!!

Hot dayum!

The trim in my son’s house is the same color white. Our honored painter screwed up quite a few things in that house. Among these: he painted the hall cabinet without sanding the high-gloss lead paint already on it, and then — get this — after he finished painting he pushed the drawers shut! Not surprisingly, the paint just peeled right off the first time my son opened the drawers.

Painter dude also applied some of the wall paint carelessly and slopped it on the trim around the kitchen doors.

So with this excess of white paint, I’ll be able to repair the paint at M’hijito’s house, whenever I get around to it.

3. Docs

But that will not be soon: I can’t even work on my own house today.

Have to prepare a presentation for tomorrow’s 7:30 a.m. meeting, and from there go straight out to the Mayo, there to begin the (undoubtedly freaking endless) process of figuring out why my body is still afflicted with whatever struck on March 1. Still coughing and gagging, though it’s slowly getting better. But…this is August: whatever the ailment is has hung on for five and a half months.

Young Dr. Kildare referred me to a lung doctor.

I called this guy’s office during office hours and was instantly shunted into an aggravating punch-a-button phone tree. Okay…so get used to it, right?

Don’t think so. This was an aggravation on steroids. By the time I got to the sixth level of “listen carefully for our menu has changed,” I thought oh fuck it! and hung up.

Now this outfit keeps calling me on the phone and leaving messages for me to call and make an appointment. This after they sent me a letter to that effect; I wrote them a note in reply explaining that I gave up after reaching the sixth punch-a-button put-off and that I feel a business that treats its customers this way reveals its lack of consideration.

And I believe that is exactly so. In any setting, when you put off someone who wants to do business with you by sending them through a long, annoying run-around, you’re really saying you care so little for your customer that you won’t even be bothered to hire a minimum-wage clerk to listen to messages left on a voicemail that answers at the first or second level. When your callers are sick people, for chrissake, that is true in spades. How hard is it to plug in a voicemail system that says “Please leave your name, your number, and a brief description of your concern and we will get back to you soon”?

So this is not a medical practice with which I wish to do business.

Called the Mayo and reached a human on the second hoop-jump. Made an appointment. Unfortunately, it’s for 9:10 in the morning tomorrow. So that is going to make tomorrow a bitch of a day: starting out with a 40-minute drive into the rising sun and a presentation whose subject I have yet to dream up; then racing to the Mayo (another 30- or 40-minute drive from the meeting). And presumably, knowing the way my life goes, downhill from there.

4. Like Mother, Like Son

{chortle} I was tickled to learn that a certain retrograde cast of mind runs in the genes. After we returned from the veterinary expedition, M’hijito went off to a favorite Thai restaurant and retrieved a bunch of take-out.

So we’re sitting around after dinner finishing our beers and reading. M’hijito has turned on the lights…and he apologizes for their dimness because, says he, “I hate those new lights! I hate that blue cast they put out…they hurt your eyes!”


So I was moved to make a confession: when the last administration decreed that incandescent bulbs would be taken out of our sticky little hands, I hoarded boxes of real light bulbs.

Heh heh…if he’d heard about that when it happened, I’d have had to listen to any number of lectures about how foolish that was.

But like his muther, he tried the fluorescent bulbs and tried the LCD bulbs and found them…amazingly wanting.

So when I croak over, he’ll inherit a lifetime supply of lightbulbs that don’t hurt your eyes or make you grit your teeth.


Why? Because endlessly annoying Facebook will not pick up the image you want to illustrate your post. It wants to pick up the banner image, which, if it’s generically the same day after day, quickly bores readers or makes them think today’s post is a repeat of yesterday’s. So the only way to force FB to use an image that has anything to do with your post is to change the banner image to fit the subject of the day. That means today’s banner image (a historic photo of four Nazis, for example) bears no relation whatsoever to the topic of yesterday’s post (ruminations on power outages, for example). So annoying.



Author: funny

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  1. Funny, at the clinic we used an old t-shirt to wrap around a dog that had a drain in, etc. You might try that as it would allow you more control over the tightness. Then just knot it at the bottom. Might be a good alternative until the thunder shirt comes. Glad to hear Charley is making progress. I am sorry to hear about the disks though. Poor guy.

    • Ahhh! Good to know about! Thanks!

      Whether the disk issue has been what ails him (partly? mostly?), he appears to be rebounding. Regular Vet remarked that he thought Charley would recover even more than he already had…and this morning M’hijito emailed to say the hound seemed even better this morning than he did yesterday evening.

      It’s as though he’s suddenly on an accelerated mend. How that’s possible, I do not know…but if that’s happening, we’re sure not complaining!

  2. Is it possible that “Charley the wonder dog” has a pinched nerve as a result of the vertebrate problems? Might explain a lot of things….Maybe Charley needs an appointment with a chiropractor….

    • That surely could be possible. The vet thought that in time, if indeed part of the problem is back pain, it would pass. Don’t think he expected it to pass this soon, though…

      • I really like the chiropractor idea. Please have your son consider that….
        Dogs are more prone to vertebrae misalignment than humans. This can cause a myriad of secondary health problems. (Of course, I don’t go to a chiropractor, but for my pooch, I’d do near anything to make sure she is feeling good and in no pain.)

  3. Whoa did I miss a lot while taking a break! The whole Charlie ordeal sounds horrible. I’m sorry you and your son had to go through all that, but am glad to hear that Charlie is on the mend.

    My dog is old (14 1/2) and has something wrong with her back near her hips. It could be arthritis or it could be a disc issue. Since the treatment plan is pretty much the same, I haven’t bothered to get imaging for a definitive diagnosis. In addition to that issue, she has elevated liver enzymes. This means she is in pain, but we have limited options for treating the pain. Standard NSAIDs can hurt the liver, and when we tried her on them they sent her ALT sykyrocketing. She’s on lots of supplements and some prescription meds for the back issue (gabapentin and a new NSAID called Galliprant), but the thing that seems to help her the most is acupuncture. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive.

    I’m sure with more rest and time Charlie will get even better. Let’s hope he doesn’t suffer any more injuries.