Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Post-op Post

It was 4:45 a.m. Godzilla was climbing the stairs. I heard a crash, then scraping, and then a soft plasticy thud as Ray's Elizabethan collar knocked something over, scraped along the staircase wall, and then ran into the closet at the top of the stairs.

The surgery to remove a growth on Ray's back leg had gone well. The teeth cleaning had revealed a large paddle of gum that had grown down over one canine (which I knew about and had asked to be removed) and a swath of gum that had grown up over all of his bottom front teeth (which I didn't). The vet had removed the paddle and cut back the gum on the bottom to reveal his teeth.

The pre-surgery bloodwork had also discovered that one of Ray's liver values was up. While Ray was under anesthesia, the vet had done a scan of his liver to look for masses but found nothing. We were given liver-health supplements and told that monitoring was the order-of-the-day, for now.

For two days after his ordeal, Ray was a living misery. The mouth rinse given to us by the vet had an added numbing agent. After a day, I also asked her for some pain killers for the poor, miserable hound. Gregg and I kept Ray well-drugged for two days. After that, except for the fact that he wouldn't leave his bandage alone, it was as if nothing had happened.

Superdog. We live with Superdog.

I think the orange complimented my coloring better, don't you?
We tried keeping Ray from his leg using the flotation device (inflatable donut) but the determined dog was no match for it and by Saturday I was bringing him back to the vet to get the wet dressing changed. "No matter what, keep it dry" was the number one instruction. Ray was licking it so much there was a hole through it and it was soaking wet. His florescent orange bandage was swapped out with a florescent yellow one and he came away with a new hat. The cats were oddly unfazed at the appearance of the bizarre fashion statement.

Shhhhhhhh. I'm trying to pick up signals from the mothership.
I always knew that a blind dog wearing a large, protruding, semi-hard plastic collar would not be a good thing to have around, but I had no idea how badly it would affect Ray's navigation. The pitiful hound had absolutely no idea where he was in space. He got lost in his own house and also, apparently, when on the end of his picket in the front yard. After half-an-hour out front on his bed enjoying a nap in the sunshine, I found him on the front porch standing with his collar pressed up against my spinning wheel waiting for me to open the 'door.' He had gone from Superdog to Patheticdog with the donning of his hat.

I'm glad they had this tree down.
It's much more comfortable as a pillow
Ray had his post-op checkup yesterday. We've gone five years without Ray being afraid of going to the vet but that is now over. Although he entered the reception area happily enough, he refused point-blank to retreat to one of the examination rooms. Since no one else was waiting, the vet and vet tech took pity on the poor, blind dog and did his checkup on the spot. The bandage was cut away to reveal a tidy, Frankenstinian-looking, stapled-together incision, perfect for Halloween, and his healing gums were examined. Everything was on track. The hat, however, remains until the middle of next week when Ray gets his staples out.

Ummmmm. Hey, Ray.
You know there's a towel hanging off of your hat, don't you?*

*I was prepping for a party when Ray wandered into the dining room like this. Absolutely pathetic and oh so very funny.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dog Napping

Ray has a spot of surgery coming up tomorrow. He's getting his teeth cleaned and having a growth removed from his back leg; a little pink thing that started out the size of a lentil and rapidly progressed to the size of a peanut. The blood analysis showed a benign skin cyst but the thing is still growing so it will be dispatched forthwith.
Knowing that he will be under the knife, Ray has been conserving his energy. Besides, the cloudy, rainy weather has been making everyone tired.

(a closer shot of the tongue)
Hey! I can be cute too!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I opened the front door. Juno was on the front porch locked in a life-and-death struggle with a snake. Granted, it was a baby snake, but it wasn't going down without a fight.
"Juno! Get away from that snake," I yelled.
Juno, being a cat, didn't even look up from the task at hand. The baby snake, mouth opened wide was advancing toward her at sinuous speed.
"Juno!" I clapped my hands to shoo her away. Juno's one-track mind kept her focused on her prey.
The snake struck. Juno batted back then retreated an inch. The snake advanced.
"Juno!" I yelled again. Ray, who had been snoring peacefully on his spot on the couch, raced to the dog door and shot through it into the back yard. Yelling ensued.
Pursued by Juno, the snake made it to the patch of soil and plants next to the front door. Juno batted. The snake turned and advanced again, mouth open. I tried to scoop up my combative girl but she scooted out of reach, determined to teach that snake a lesson.
I ducked into the house and yelled out the back door, "Ray, come here! Get her, Ray!"
Ray raced back into the house, flailing this way and that, trying to find the "her" I was talking about.
I opened the front door, "This way, Ray!"
Still at high speed, Ray ran out the door and down the walkway, yelling.
"This way, Ray," I said to Wrong Way Corrigan, walking in the opposite direction.
Ray corrected his flight path and still yelling ran back past the front door and to the back gate.
"Over here, Ray," I said urgently as the cat was trying to pick up the striking snake in her mouth.
Ray raced back to me, yelling. I turned him towards the patch of dirt and pushed him towards Juno.
Ray, confused that I should want him to chase his favorite cat, resisted for a moment, then, went for her, nudging her with his nose and yelling in her face. Juno, withstood the first doghorn* blast but was unable to withstand the second. The cat retreated. The blind dog, ears deployed in ultra-Dumbo mode, listened as the snake slithered away under the fence.

*Many thanks to Jez Murray, Ray's Number 2 British Fan, for this oh-so-accurate description of Ray's noise. I will use it forever after.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cleaning Day

My bathroom needed cleaning. By happy coincidence so did my dog.
It was a bit too chilly outside to give Ray a bath in the driveway as usual, so I made the command decision to use my shower. I figured after the dog-cleaning, I would do a shower-cleaning.

Ray seemed amenable, probably because he had absolutely no idea what he was in for. I changed into a bathing suit, led the unsuspecting dog into the bathroom, closed the door, screwed off the shower head, put a spray hose in it's place, and turned on the water. By the time I was done preparing, Ray was sitting in the corner up against the door, a look of uh-oh on his face.
I laughed at the picture of abject abjectness and realized I had forgotten something. I went to get my camera...
Uh oh. Don't you come near me!

How do I get out of here?


We're done, right?

Can I go now?

This part isn't so bad

Can't you leave me alone?

…and then she locked me in a waterproof room and sprayed me with a hose. It was awful.

Can I get up there with you?
I'm so glad I'm not a dog

Sent by Ray's foster mom, Amber

You're not alone Ray.