impulse

So rescue dog Lily’s first knee surgery her vet said to get a crate for her. Oh no! I could not imagine Lily confined. I explained I was completely certain she would injure herself in there either trying to get out or just on general principle.

So no crate.

This time. Different surgeon, different procedure. She got on ok. I had to figure some sort of tether though, but she still was relatively free. Until she nearly throttled herself. So I caved.

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This worked out well. In the end. I have this terrible habit of not reading item descriptions when I buy things online. Well not all the time. But yes, in this case. I truly thought I was ordering what Lily is resting comfortably in above. I thought it was a large crate. What I got was the size of a small bathroom. For a great Dane. To compare I have placed the box her present crate came in, in front of what I bought online.

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I called the company I bought it from to ask for a return label, explaining my error. They said they would also call FedEx for a pickup. This was appreciated since it weighed 77 pounds, is about 5-1/2 feet by 5 feet and it took everything I had to haul it in the house. Being naturally dubious I called FedEx myself to confirm the pickup. There was no such request, they said, so I placed one.

Next day I dragged it back out to the porch to wait for FedEx to come get it. I also waited.

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They said it would be picked up between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Around 11:30 a.m. I got a call. There was an attempted pickup. No one was home, they said. The item was not outside, they said. We verified the address. Same. So most of these large companies have satellite phone banks in central America, Asia and India. I got Indonesia. Jose’ assured me they had the correct address. What he did not tell me was there were two requests for pickup. I insisted they give me the dispatch number to verify they were coming back that same day. About an hour later they did come back and the large, heavy crate is now on its way back to point of origin.

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Earlier today I noticed this little anole on the porch happily eating all the flies that come in the door I leave open for Lulu to go out. He is content to be inside it seems. As long as the food supply holds out.

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This empty cicada exoskeleton clung to a rose that has never bloomed. This insect was able to escape its confinement.

Maybe confinement is a state of mind?

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information

Sometimes too much information is not a good thing.

In all the research I have done for the kind of surgery rescue dog Lily had I learned what it was, what to expect in recovery, when she could begin to use her leg, some caveats, how much better the recovery is than other surgeries.

All good. Until today.

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In doing more research for Lily’s current stage I learned the plate they put in can be rejected.

I am not normally prone to panic, but this surgeon/vet is tacit in her directions and instructions for supporting Lily almost as if I need to read her mind. Do these people truly have that much of a problem explaining things? It’s very frustrating.

Lily seems to be doing ok. Her leg is not swollen. She walks with almost no limp. I was told to put her back on anti-inflammatory meds because her xrays showed inflammation and swelling. No one showed me, just told me.

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I realize all dogs are different. I realize I know Lily better than this surgeon. I realize the procedure she had on this leg is much different from the lateral band procedure she had the first surgery. But that one, her vet told us to get her walking soon, walk her slowly but daily to ensure her muscles did not atrophy.

In this case she has been absolutely immobile for almost 5 weeks. Very strange for her.

Like dead calm at sea.

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At some point momentum has to start again.

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Miss Frances

The inn where my brother and his family stay is over 80 years old. Some sort of record for an ocean front property. We have vacationed there for the past 10 years. The current owners bought it 11 or 12 years ago and have kept things as they have always been with a few modifications to the menu. Three full meals a day are included in reservations. So a lot of walking is required to at least be the same weight when you arrived as when you leave.

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Miss Frances runs the Inn. And has. Forever.

She manages the kitchen, the staff, the laundry and schedules. It is expected that every guest is at every meal when the bells are rung. If there is any deviation it is expected that Miss Frances know in advance to plan the meal. It is an unspoken discourtesy to do otherwise.

Naturally an early riser, the last couple of summers I have quietly crept down the creaky wooden staircase to the kitchen to help set up the dining room for breakfast, brew coffee, move tables according to additional guests, fill cream, sugar, jams, jellies, syrup. And quietly listen as Miss Frances witnesses to me about her faith. A faith we share, but she brings the Gospel to vibrant life in that pre-dawn kitchen. She holds informal Bible studies with interested staff. And I have always loved hearing her lilting Gullah cadence speaking of her love for Jesus.

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So this year rescue dogs Lily and Lulu accompanied me and we stayed in a nearby cottage. I began my day with the distant roar and hush of the ocean, watching the light emerge in faded color as I walked Lily and Lulu toward the beach. The rising rosy glow still holding a dewy chill in the air. My thoughts drifted to Miss Frances moving slowly about her domain, gently polishing the stainless service before setting places at the tables. Glancing occasionally toward the porch overlooking the awakening day.

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I shared those three meals with my brother and his family during our brief stay, then packed us back in the car for our drive home. My brother texted me a day or so later to let me know this year is Miss Frances’ last, she is retiring.

Sad that I was not a part of this, she leaves a legacy. Her larger-than-life presence being absent will leave a strange void. Nature abhors a vacuum, and I cannot think of anyone who could comparably carry on.

But someone will.

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snapped

I honestly have no idea what happened. One day things are perking right along, the next day my blood pressure’s off the charts,  (I have normally abnormally low blood pressure) I’m screaming blue murder at no one in particular (in my house, thank God), freaking out when rescue dog Lily tries to get up on her own after her sutures were removed, and not sleeping with racing thoughts.

Honestly. No idea.

Well, some idea.

I let go my hold on my true life preserver– Jesus. I stopped praying and let my anger get a real grip. My thoughts were out of control.

When I took Lily for her suture removal I had some questions: when can she stop her medications? I thought they wanted to x-ray her leg that had surgery? what about her exercises, compresses?

The tech printed out the same ‘information’ sheets I was given when Lily had her surgery, with an area highlighted about the x-ray. No other answers. Oh, except the ever-vague ‘wean her off the meds’.

The unasked questions: is my dog ok? have we been doing the right things? can I get a “Great work, she looks like she is doing fine!” This was the same issue she had before, completely different surgical procedure.

Is it me or are veterinary clinic people becoming just that–> CLINICAL? Cold. Uncaring. I moved to this little coastal town about 4 years ago leaving a vet I had taken my dogs to for over 30 years. This is the 6th vet I have gone to. Maybe it’s me. There has to be something I do or say that rubs these people the wrong way but honestly? If their dislike for me broaches a point at which my dogs may suffer I am seeking help for my dogs elsewhere even if it means going to every single animal hospital in this town. And if I go through them all and still come up empty I move.

Like any genuine pet person I will do anything to get the best care for these dogs. But this? Seems unreasonable.

Maybe it’s because I spent 6 months helping Lily with her first ACL surgery and now we are embarking on another 6 months for the other ACL. Cabin fever? It’s possible. It’s gotten me in trouble before. Or maybe I was upset because I will miss seeing my family for our yearly vacation. So that was something I could remedy and rented a cottage near the inn where they will be staying. Just for a few days. But at least Lily, Lulu and I will have a change of scenery.

And maybe I can hold it all together for the remaining 4 months. Only with my Life Preserver.

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focus

Husky-mix rescue dog Lily’s new injury has once again caused us to slow down. Our routine has changed. Not frustrating, rather a good thing. We notice things otherwise overlooked

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Even Lulu has helped me see things, a butterfly visiting

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Walking Lily in the yard I noticed a plant I’d bought a few years ago, planted and forgotten. Since I never saw it grow the logical conclusion was it had been dead when I planted it, not dormant. But it wasn’t

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The past few mornings have been almost comfortable, at least 10 decrees cooler than normal so I’ve taken advantage of the welcome change and begun pruning some of the overgrowth. I was greeted by this little one

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Early evening I realized I’d almost missed this surprise bloom. Several buds had dropped from the plant but not this one

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The humidity and showers from a tropical wave offshore have brought these guys out, but mostly heard, seldom seen

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An evening stroll with Lily around the backyard last night we found this little surprise

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So In focusing not on the forest so many individual things of beauty, joys forever.

 

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