Warm Cookies With A Whiskey Chaser

The Perfect Mix of Comfort and Shenanigans

Blogroll Me!
100 Things About Me
Tinmen Don't Dance
Humble Sandwich
A Son from Another Mother; Matt
Auburn Pisces
Splenda In The Grass
the bokey chronicles
Jeffrey Ricker
Rocket Man
The Beauty of All Things
No Milk Please
A Life In The Day
Shadow Footprints
Scott B Blog
Seth Hancock Photography
Famous Author Rob Byrnes
Watersea's Ocean Bloggie
Cheap Blue Guitar
Does This Mean I'm A Grownup?
Upside Down Hippo
Loose Ends

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Because She's Worth It

Dammit. It's pancreatitis. We lost our Shanahan five years ago to what began as pancreatitis and progressed to more painfully tragic issues. It was long, and painful and many of you were with us through it. I'm still so grateful for your love in those awful days. Imagine my horror yesterday when the vet called and said that what he had hoped would be a negative on Ellie's pancreatic tests was, indeed, positive. It was only eight months ago that we had her in the hosptial for kidney stones. I really thought when we took her in on Thursday morning that that's what we were going to hear again. But her symptoms were so much different this time. The hours of vomiting were so reminiscent of our ordeal with Shanny. I didn't want to think it, so I didn't let myself. She wasn't lethargic like Shan, in fact, she was walking around, she wagged when one of us approached her, she licked our hands, but she was tired and very drooly. I left her with the vet, waited for a call, and prayed. When the doctor did call a few hours later, he said that she had what appeared to be a hairball in her stomach. Not common for dogs, but he wanted to keep her on IV hydration and see if whatever was in there would pass on its own.

When he called the second time and said that whatever was in her belly had passed, but that her test proved positive for pancreatitis, I lost it. I tried to be strong because I was at work, but my boss could tell I wasn't gonna make it the rest of the day, hugged me, and sent me home. I couldn't believe it. What is it with us, our dogs, and this damn pancreas thing? Our vet, who was with us throughout Shanny's short life, assured us that pancreatitis is not uncommon. Despite our best efforts at providing Ellie with the best diet, absolutely NO table scraps EVER, daily exercise, etc. in an effort to avoid what we had gone through before, here we were again.

I called Charlie. I was so afraid. When we put our girl down before, it was Charlie who held her, grieving quietly while Averie and I bawled our eyes out. "Never again." He said. "I can't do this again. No more dogs." We did all we could with Shanahan. Her treatment went on for nearly a month. When it was clear that no more could be done and any more lengthening of her life would only make her suffer, we agreed to let her go. When all was said and done, we ended up making monthly payments for nearly two years on a dog that was no longer with us. All I could hear when the doctor told me about Ellie's treatment and stay in the hospital was Charlie saying "Never again." You all know how long that lasted. Now, I'm worried about what he will say this time. So when he answers the phone, I simply ask him to please call the vet. I didn't think I could tell him without crying and I knew he would want to ask questions that I couldn't answer. He told me not to worry and he would call the doctor.

When Charlie called me back, he said; "Listen, Ellie's going to be fine. This isn't a Shanahan scenario. We caught this early, the doc thinks she's a very healthy, strong dog and she'll pull through. She'll have to stay in the hospital until Sunday, they will watch her, calm the pancreas down by not feeding her, keep her on IV fluids, and we will see. She hasn't vomited once since she's been there, she's alert and active. It looks good."

I asked him about the expense. He laughed and said; "I swear, you, the kids, you guys all think I'm gonna just tell them to put her down?" I told him I didn't, but money has been a worry. The kids have all offered to help us pay her bill. He said not to worry. "I love her, I told them to do whatever they think is necessary. She's going to be fine."

Last night, we did a ton of research. Learned more about what we should avoid giving her and what would be beneficial to the health of her pancreas. We both found recipes for diets for pancreatic dogs and decided that we were going to make her food from now on. This morning, we went shopping and got all we needed. I roasted two chickens while Charlie cooked 3 pounds of ground turkey. We boiled sweet potatoes, broccoli, and winter squash in fat-free chicken broth. I steamed 5 cups of rice. We found salmon oil and Vitamin E to replace essential fatty acids. We mixed, weighed, portioned, and when we were done we had 30 portions of three different meals:

Turkey, Rice, and Sweet Potato
Chicken, Oatmeal, and Squash
Chicken, Rice, Broccoli, and Cottage Cheese

Next time, we'll be doing some fish and lamb recipes. Change things up a bit for her. She isn't home yet. They tell us hopefully, if she accepts food today and is able to keep it down, she can come home tomorrow. When she does come home, we'll be ready. My fridge and freezer are full of homemade dog food. I'm tired. But it was worth it, because she's worth it.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


So now comes the attitude of gratitude. I know it's seriously overdue. I also know whining can be tiresome. My apologies. It bothers me to say this now, since I've been such a grump-ass for the last two months. The strain of getting through the hell that is graduation season, which ironically is supposed to be a very happy and joyous time of year (if you're not a lei-maker), was, as you well know, taking a toll on me. Now that I've had a week to decompress, I'm grateful. Grateful to have survived. Grateful to be out of pain. Grateful to have a job. I find it embarrassing to say these things now. But I'd be even more embarrassed if I whined all this time and never looked behind me to say, at some point, how grateful I am.

With that being said, there are some other things I'm really grateful for. I'm grateful for awesome family and great friends. Sometimes, those things turn out to be one and the same. For example; Charlie and I consider my sister Lokelani and her hubby Phil to be our best friends. This isn't news, I know. It's just that we haven't had as much opportunity to spend the kind of time with them that we'd like to. Our lives have changed in the sense that both my sister and myself now have these jobs that interfere with our fun. They aren't your typical 9 to 5ers with weekends off. She works weird-ass vampire hours which sometimes include weekends, and I have been working Saturdays. Not to mention she lives 95 miles away. As one of my demonstrative children would eloquently say; "That sucks donkey balls."

However, here comes the weekend. Along with it comes a brief glimpse of our independence. How perfectly perfect! Kids have plans, and lo and behold, so do we. I am SO out of here. My brain checked out of the OC yesterday. At precisely the moment my boss said to me; "So do you have big plans for the weekend Pua?" To me, I took that to mean that she did not need me to work on Saturday. I had been hoping, but my deal with her is that she has "first crack" at my time on Saturdays.
You know that chicken-skin feeling you get? That adrenalin rush that gives you goosebumps? That sensation that happens when...okay, okay, you get the idea. Well, that's exactly how I felt the second my boss asked about my weekend plans. I actually needed a cigarette. ::wink::

The cherry on the cake is that not only do we get to see our best friends, BUT the Lokelani-Phil package comes with a bonus. Rick and Trent are Loke and Phil's "besties". They let us borrow them as our BFFs too. Most weekends, when we're in Sandy Eggo, we have at least one day where the six of us get together. This weekend is a special weekend for the boys because it's their birthday weekend. I don't know if they already have plans, but I hope we're part of them. If so, my gratitude meter is seriously off the charts. Happy Birfday Boys. We love you and I hope I get to give you birthday hugs.

So, Happy Independence Day everyone. Hope it's safe, fun, and you get to spend it, in joyful gratitude, with your best friends. Oh, and thanks for putting up with my bitching since May. In the spirit of freedom...I release you!