Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We didn't see any snow from the most recent cold front, though areas in Texas north of us did. A "White Christmas" almost never comes to central Texas, and this year is no exception.

We did get ridiculously high winds, some up to 50 mph, and the inevitable happened... Byrd had to work on Christmas Eve. The wind destroyed four of his intersections, so his work phone started ringing just as we were preparing to go to his family's Christmas Eve party. He didn't get home until 3 am today.

It happens every year without fail. Weather or drunk drivers manage to wreck something, and off Byrd goes to fix it, usually right smack in the middle of a family gathering. He's always on call. It sucks.

Dozer had his knee surgery a few days ago and he's doing fine. He got the torn meniscus repaired, and they also removed a plate that was in his leg, left over from the TPLO.

I keep meaning to update Dozer's blog, but I lost my camera. Well, I thought I'd lost it. I looked all over the house with no luck. Then I finally decided to ask Byrd about it, though I was pretty sure he'd have no idea, because he never knows where my stuff is. He rarely knows where his own stuff is.

But he was like "oh yeah, it's on top of the fridge" as if that was the most natural place in the world for it to be. (!!) I suppose for a guy that's 6' 6", the top of the fridge is a reasonable place to put things. So, mystery solved.

We didn't decorate at all for Christmas this year. Not a tree or lights or anything. Just too busy. :( We got some cards from some of Dozer's blog pals--thank you guys so much! Byrd was astonished. He relented just a bit with his "your blogging is a waste of time" attitude. And Dozer was sooo excited to have something to open and sniff.

Merry Christmas to you! I hope you are all warm, safe, healthy, and happy.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Season of Joy

I thought it might be a good idea to post a bit about the great things happening, since previous posts might have implied that I'm really sad or discouraged. :)

It is crazy around here (Dozer), and stressful (Dozer!), but believe it or not, I'm having the best time of my life. My educational websites are performing satisfactorily, and my volunteer activities (fostering, etc.) are time-consuming but very rewarding. My job is kick-ass awesome; I get told daily how great my work is, and that feels really good. And my home life is certainly not boring.

Daisy's mom is very sweet; she's worried about Dozer's most recent mishap (that I Tweeted about), so I thought I'd update.

Yesterday I got home from work and noticed Dozer itching a lot. So I got a closer look and he was covered in blotches all over his stomach. In an hour this went from blotches to lumps, and in three hours when he started looking like a marshmallow, Byrd and I packed him over to the emergency vet.

At the emergency vet, they gave him three injections (two cortisone and one Benadryl) and sent me home with Prednisone and orders to give him 4 capsules of Benadryl twice a day as well.

We don't have any idea how this reaction happened or what caused it. It's supposed to clear up in a few days. The drugs have made Dozer very sleepy, so it's peaceful around here right now. :)

I've been told that this incident won't interfere with his surgery for the torn meniscus, which is scheduled for December 23.

Sigh. Dear God, I would like the random surprise disasters to stop now, please. Sincerely, Jennifer.

For my rather large extended family, the period between Thanksgiving and New Years' is a time for reflection, thanks-giving, good food and good company, goal-setting, and reminiscing.

Here is my earnest wish for the coming year. It is my hope that everyone will take up a volunteer role of some sort. Even a very small role, or a short-term one. Every volunteer minute is a valuable one, and many organizations are in desperate need. (For those who are already volunteering or donating in some way--thank you so much!)

And of course, I wish the best for you, my readers, and your families and friends in 2010.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dozer's Christmas present

Dozer turned nine last month. I promised him a birthday party, but that didn't happen. Not even a little present, unless you count the allergy shots he's getting every three days or so (hey, he gets cheese as a treat for taking his shots so well).

Nine years is decidedly senior for a big dog like him (90 lbs). But he doesn't show his age, except that he's slowly falling apart physically.

Last week he had a major allergy episode, and had a staph breakout. He's on antibiotics.

He's also on a special prescription shampoo. I have to bathe him every 3 days. I gave him the first bath on Friday and he sloughed more fur than I've ever seen him shed before. I had a Chihuahua-sized pile of fur on the shower floor at the end, and Dozer continued to drop huge dust bunnies as I dried him.

Dozer also has an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon--finally--to officially diagnose what appears to be a torn meniscus in his leg (the one that previously had a torn ACL and subsequent surgery).

If it is a torn meniscus, Dozer will probably have surgery the week before Christmas. Yes, another surgery.

So his Christmas present--and ours--will be... surgery! Yay!

I'm still recovering from the bill for his dental surgery to remove his cracked tooth. And it looks like we'll need another surgery in the future because of an odd growth on his front leg.

I'm still working two jobs. Actually, the freelance job is on break for the holidays--but that only helps me in that I don't have to come home from work and do more paid work. I come home from work and do unpaid work instead.

Byrd swore up and down that, if I went back to a regular job, he would absolutely help out with the housework, cooking, and all that jazz. Let me give credit where credit is due: Byrd has done 1 load of laundry (his pants only) and 2 loads of dishes in the last two months. (Note: At our house, I fill a dishwasher in two days, and do about ten loads of laundry a week. So Byrd has assisted with 3% of dishes and 2.5% of laundry in last 2 months.) He also cooked three meals in a row! (7.5% of meals) OK, you get the point. I still love him. I just wish he understood how much time gets sucked out of my evenings and weekends by chores.

I've worked full time before, and it seems like Byrd was a lot more helpful then. Or maybe I had more time for chores, because I wasn't as involved with volunteer work, website maintenance, and the like. Maybe it was a combination of both.

Anyway, the discouraging thing is that all of the money I'm making from my awesome new full-time job is going straight to vet bills. I can only give my most heartfelt thanks--and a sparkly greeting card from Target--to the people who hired me just when I needed the money the most.

Happy Holidays to you all! May you have a surgery-free vacation. :)