Psalm 23:4 - Pit Bull Translation

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for I am the baddest dog in the valley"

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Stuff Nightmares are Made Of


Doesn't she look innocent.  Like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.  In previous posts I've referred to her as Houdini.  A nickname that will have to change due to an addition to our clan who now bares the name.  Even though her nickname will change her ability to escape, sadly has not. 

Saturday almost became her last day on earth.  I don't know what was going through her head when she pushed the fence out and slipped away but it was almost a fatal mistake. 

If not for the persistence of three very tenacious children she might not be with us today.  One of whom got an ambulance ride to a local hospital for the effort and Malka who got a ride in a fire rescue truck for her part.  Yes, it was a very interesting day.

As most "interesting" days it started out as any other routine Saturday.  The Engineer and the kids had chores to do and errands to run.  They returned home around four in the afternoon.  Someone let the dogs out and about 15 minutes later the entire course of the next 10 hours changed dramatically. 

It's cold outside and Mickey does not like cold weather.  It took him fifteen minutes to burn off a little energy, do a perimeter check for errant squirrels and bunnies and do his business.  His latest trick is to jump up and ring the door bell when he wants to come in,  when we answer the ring both dogs are usually standing there patiently waiting.  That was not the case yesterday.

Only Mickey greeted The Engineer when he answered the door.  A few minutes later when Malka hadn't returned he started calling her.  The beginning of hours of yelling her name.

Faithful readers know this isn't her first escape.  The few times she has gotten out she returned after we called her.  When she didn't come this time the kids bundled up and started walking, calling her name.  The Engineer got in his car and started driving.  I was at work unaware of the drama playing out at home.

Later on when it became obvious that she wasn't coming back I received my first of many panicked phone calls and text messages from the kids.

As darkness fell along with temperatures the wind picked up and our hopes for finding her plummeted.  We notified local police departments and a large veterinary clinic in the area (the only one open late on a Saturday).   Her tags are up to date and she's micro chipped but that was little consolation with the weather and her lack of street skills.

At 11 PM The Engineer returned home to heat up some soup for some frozen kids who refused to give up.  About fifteen minutes after he got home the kids, who insisted on staying out looking, heard a dog bark.  A quick phone call to The Engineer and all four of them were slogging through a swampy field in the direction they thought the sound came from. 

The wind was whipping across the field so hard that even yelling it was hard to hear.  Nothing else could be heard above the sound of the wind. 

Even with flashlights finding a black dog on a dark, cloudy night seemed hopeless.  As they came across an area with large piles of branches they stopped to listen.  That's where they found her.  Laying silently on the ground, her front paw caught in a trap.  When they bent down to touch her fearing the worst, only the end of her tail barely wagged.  Relief was shortlived when they saw the trap and realized that getting her out of there was not simply going to be a matter of picking her up and hiking back out.  The trap had her paw tight and it was frozen to the ground.

The Engineer, shining his flashlight around looking for something to try and pry the trap up saw what can only be described as a horror movie come to life.  It turned out all three kids and The Engineer were standing amid an entire area layed out with traps all set to snare unsuspecting animals.  A recently gutted deer was spread around as bait, several skinned animals (believed to be foxes) were thrown about and numerous other animal carcasses in varing stages of decomposition were everywhere. 

At work my phone rings and I am instantly relieved that Malka has been found, but my relief didn't last long when the details of their situation became apparent. 

Fortunately, one of the pluses of living in a rural area is the local volunteer fire company still does animal rescues.  Describing their location was a little complicated but it wasn't long before help was on the way. 

As The Engineer tried to reassure the kids and block them from the frigid wind Baseball Boy said he didn't feel good.  Before anyone could respond his eyes rolled back and he fell backwards, passed out cold.  Lifting him up brought him around momentarilly, but Baseball Boy only mumbled something about being tired before going out again.  Once again my cell phone rang and the panic in The Scientist's voice was palpable. 

Another phone call to the fire company and an ambulance was dispatched along with them.  That's when I left work.   The 45 minute ride home took about 30 minutes.  About half way home The Scientist called me with an update.  The Engineer and Baseball Boy are on the way to the hospital and the fire company had brought Malka and the girls back to the house to wait for me.

I walk in the door and I'm greeted by Mickey, his usual exuberance muted, even he realizes that something is wrong.  I find Malka laying on the sofa.  She doesn't lift her head but the tip of her tail is wagging.  The girls are flanking her, both pale, and obviously exhausted, both emotionally and physically.  I quickly check her paw and am relieved to find it firmly attached, it was swollen but didn't appear deformed.  She's too weak to get up so I pick her up and carry her out to the van.  On the way to the emergency clinic I call ahead and they were waiting for us when we arrived.

She is an American Pit Bull Terrier.  Stoic doesn't begin to describe her.  The vet wanted to see if she could stand or walk.  I reluctantly put her down, she wobbles slightly, then pulls herself together.  With some urging she hesitently takes a few steps.  It's obviously painful but she puts weight on her injured paw.  The vet goes over her from head to toe and cleans her injured paw.  She was very lucky.  No bones appear to be broken.  We pack her up and take her home. 

The Scientist, The Vet and Malka all tucked in safely at home and I head to the hospital.  I find Baseball Boy awake and alert with The Engineer sitting by his side.  Baseball Boy is wrapped in what looks like a giant space bag inflated with circulating warm air.  It appears that Baseball Boy was overcome from the combination of hypothermia and stress.  A follow up this week with his doctor should confirm that diagnosis.

Malka's leg this morning was swollen to twice it's normal size.  She can barely walk on it but she's still so exhausted she not in any rush to go anywhere anyway.  We're all tired today and the kids are still processing what they saw last night.

Their tenancity, which can drive me insane sometimes, saved Malka's life.  She wouldn't have survived the night out there.  They wouldn't give up looking for her. 

I bought rebar today to secure the fence where she got out,  Mickey and Malka will not be outside unsupervised until it's repaired.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Is It Food?

I found this really cool graphic on Michael Prager's blog.  He wrote, "Fat Boy, Thin Man", a book that is on my intend to read to list.  If your interested in food addiction or how "Big Foods" are controlling how we eat, head on over and give a read.

I have a lot to say about how many foods today aren't really "food" but it's going to have to wait for another day.   Just wanted to throw this out there and see what you think. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Review- Unsaid

Book Review - Unsaid by Neil Abramson

If you are expecting something literary forget it.

One word summation: Page turner (okay so it's two words, fire me)

This book was a gift from my vet. One of her clients gave her a copy and she couldn't put it down. She so identified with the main character that she bought copies for all her friends. I was a lucky recipient of one of the copies.

The main character is a veterinarian named Helena. Happily married to David, a big city attorney, and living and working in the country with her own group of damaged animals, she is diagnosed with cancer at the age of 37.

After she passes away, her devastated husband is approached by a woman that Helena worked with in a research laboratory before they met. She is trying to save a chimpanzee who is scheduled for a research experiment that will most likely take her life.

David, who is struggling with his own grief and trying to care for Helena's beloved animals, agrees to take on the case.

The story is told from the view of Helena as she is trapped between this world and the next. Unable to move on, terrified to face the animals she has helped pass on during her years as a veterinarian.
I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone who loves animals and believes that they have the potential to communicate. The court room drama that unfolds left me with tears in my eyes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

133 Down 4877 to Go

It's Girl Scout cookie season again. Woo hoo!!

Every year the Girl Scouts offer incentive prizes. The "big" prize is always something that makes the girls salivate with excitement. This year is no different. They are offering an I-Pod Touch to any girl that sells 2500 boxes of cookies. That's a lot of cookie dough.

My girls sell together. So since they have to split their sales they plan to sell 5000 boxes so they each may have their own I-Pod Touch. They'll spend the next three months working side by side selling cookies but don't want to consider sharing one. I don't even try to understand teenage logic.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"You Can't Make Me!"

If I had a nickle for every time I've heard that in the last few months I could retire. We'll technically The Vet is right, I can't make her.

But (yep there it is again folks, some things don't change), I am only legally obligated to supply you with food, shelter and clothing and that can be arraigned. On the menu for tonight's dinner, by special request, sardines (protein), potato flakes (starch) and okra (veggie). Enjoy. Oh you don't like such foods. They assault your tender pallet. Bummer, you can't make me cook anything I don't want to. Bon Appetite.

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Year Later ( well almost )

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've posted.

Last night I couldn't sleep. What used to be a normal occurrence, rarely occurs today. So since I did most of my writing late at night, while the world slumbered around me, it stands to reason that not much happens in my blogger world anymore.

But last night sleep eluded me. So much has happened in my world in the last year. So many changes, none of them recorded for posterity (probably a good thing in some cases). But last night I read back over some of my older posts and enjoyed some fond memories. I started thinking about how much pleasure I got out of this time sucker blog. Inflicting my random thoughts and irritations on my faithful readers, sharing some good times and some not so good.

Blogging about why I'm not blogging is stupid and a waste of everyones time so I'm moving on.

Here's just a quick update in the cast of characters who live in my world (man that sounds arrogant).

Rusty's Mom: Still a homeschooling mom, dog loving, EMT, vet tech. 110 lbs lighter food addict, recovering alcoholic (yeah, you read that right). It took me decades to admit it, but I've given up the fight. My addictions don't define me anymore, but I'm still trying to figure out who the real Rusty's Mom is, my journey continues.

The Engineer: Still the same old Type A, perfectionist. Without food to hide behind, some of his quirks irritate the hell out of me now, but hey, like I said it's all a journey.

The Scientist: Still scary smart. 13 years old and is studying for her college entrance exams. But still the consummate teenager. Oh boy, what blog fodder she has been.

The Vet: Social butterfly. Walks around all day with a cell phone in her hand, texting. Does anyone under the age of 21 actually talk on a phone?

Baseball Boy: Finally decided that learning to read might not be such a bad idea after all. Once he put his mind to it, wow Mom that was easy, what was all the fuss about. He hasn't played baseball in a few years but wants to again this spring. But he still loves the game so his name remains the same.

Mickey/Malka: A little older, a little wiser but still curled up sleeping next to each other on the couch.

Daisy: Hasn't cost me anymore large sums of money but it's only a matter of time since she decided that she wanted to be an indoor/outdoor cat. Makes me nervous every time she slips out the door.

Additional cast of characters: Chickens, snakes, fish and a bunny.

I don't have time for this, but it sure was fun. Figures.