Brusha, Brusha Brusha, Each and Every Day

Blue was scheduled for a dental recently.  I typically don't get too worked up about them, but Blue is 11 years old and I had hoped he wouldn't have to go under anesthesia again.  I know in my head that anesthesia is much safer than it used to be and that he was going to be in great hands with our vet, Dr. Amy.  But somehow your heart and your gut never gets the message from your head.  

6:45 Get up, brush teeth, brush hair, let the kids out to potty.

7:15 Take Blue and head to Topsham Veterinary Wellness Center.

7:35 Post to Facebook from Dr. Amy’s parking lot that we’re there and Blue’s adventure has begun.

7:37 Discover one of our Facebook friends (Nova Beaudry) is also going in for a dental today.  Begin a discussion on how nervous we both are.

Blue at the vet in recovery
Dr. Amy checks on Blue and his fellow patient in the recovery area.
7:45 Leave Blue with Dr. Amy to have his teeth cleaned.  We went through all the scary questions.  What do we do if he has complications?  Do you want us to save him? Etc.  When your hound is 11 years old, those questions take on a whole new meaning.

8:15  Start haunting Facebook for updates on the Topsham Veterinary Wellness Center page.  I know that they generally don’t have a lot of time during the day to post.  But I do it anyway.  It makes me feel a little better.

9:30 Bettina seems to be moping around without her big brother here.  Or maybe that’s just me projecting.

9:45 Decide to help pass the time by stress eating.  There goes a half a bag of Blue Diamond almonds (toasted coconut flavor-super yummy).

9:53 Talk with Nova’s Mum on Facebook regarding how much we miss our kids.

10:00 I look at the clock for the millionth time.  Blue was the first one to go into “surgery” today.  There’s a good possibility that he’s now knocked out and having his teeth cleaned.

10:30  Check TVWC Facebook page again. 

Blue greyhound after dental
This picture actually makes him look better than he did.
10:39  Can stand it no longer.  We post to the TVWC page.

10:56  Wondering if Blue’s procedure is done at this point.  Taking no news as good news approach.  Check the TVWC Facebook page again, just in case they posted something.

11:24  Check the TVWC Facebook page again. 

11:30  Refresh the TVWC Facebook page just in case I was missing something.  I wasn’t.  Dr. Amy told me I could call to check on Blue after noon.  That seems like forever away.

12:04 Check the TVWC Facebook page again.  Surprise, no new posts.  Decide it’s now “after” noon so I am going to call and check in.

12:10  Spoke with Dr. Amy.  They are done with his dental and he is just now waking up.  Katie is cuddling with him as he does so and they have him all covered with heating pads to make sure he is warm.  Dr. Amy said that Blue’s mouth was “a mess” which doesn’t surprise me given how bad his breath smelled.  He lost 9 teeth in total which were extracted.  I think, once he heals up and flushes the anesthesia out of his system, he’s going to feel much better.  I am relieved that he is done and that everything went well.  Now I just have to wait until 4:15 when I can pick him up!

12:14 Post a thank you on Facebook to Dr. Amy and her staff for taking good care of Blue and making sure he had a friendly presence at his side when he came out of anesthesia. 

12:19 Sent a tweet out with the good news.  Took a deep breath.

12:40 Missed Blue during lunch.  Especially when I dressed up Bettina and sent her out for her
Blue the greyhound sits
This is the 3rd time I've ever seen Blue sit in all the time he's been
with me.  And it's the only time he was slow/stoned enough that I could
catch it on camera.
break.  I broke a Stella & Chewy’s treat in half and only used one of the halves.

12:45 Facebook chatted with Auntie Drena to update her on Blue’s status.

2:19 Checked the clock to see if it’s time to go get Big Poppy yet.  It’s forever until 4:15.

3:27 Getting to 3:45 is killing me.  Hate being 2/3 of a whole.

3:45 Head to Dr. Amy’s office to pick up Blue!

3:48 Get stuck behind a farm tractor with no clear way to pass.

3:53 Finally hit a straight way so I can pass said tractor.  What is a tractor doing out in the depths of winter anyhow?

4:15 Arrive at Dr. Amy’s office.  I can hear Blue crying as soon as I hit the door.  When I get to the window I can see him, stoned out of his mind, in one of their recovery crates.  

4:20p I get the full rundown on the procedure.  Blue has lost 9 teeth and he’s going to be pretty sore because one of the teeth put up quite a fight.  I get antibiotics and pain meds for Blue.  I have a small stroke when it comes time to pay the bill.

4:25p They bring Blue out to me.  He’s walking like a drunk, he’s whining, he’s got a pressure bandage on his right front leg where his IV was placed, he’s got drool and blood all around his mouth and he looks like hell but one thing he’s pretty clear about is that he wants to get out of that building.

5:06p  Make it home with our patient and breathe another sigh of relief.  We’re all together again and everyone is fine.  


How to Treat Separation Anxiety

I have a second job.  It involves working in local Petcos and talking to people about Blue Buffalo dog food.  In my day job, I get to work from home, so I spend all day, every day with the kids.  But since I got the second job, I now have to leave them for 4-5 hours a week.  I know everyone says you need to leave them alone at times or they’ll get separation anxiety.  The problem is they do pretty well when I go out.  I’m the one who has separation anxiety.
Bettina and Blue from the web cam
Bettina hanging out on the couch and Blue in his crate (web cam photo)

I figured the only way I would have any peace of mind would be to somehow be in touch with them while I was at my “other” work.  At first I would just call and talk on the answering machine.  That’s great if they were missing me but it wasn’t really doing anything for my anxiety.

So I asked for, and received, a web cam from Santa.  I set it up and I was so pleased to be able to see the kids I decided to get a second one.  The second camera has infrared so I can see the house in the dark (although I do leave lights on for the kids if I’m going to out at night). 

I have gone along blissfully checking on my kids while I am away from the house.  I can see if they’re just hanging out or where they’re laying.  I can see Bettina run back and forth to the back door to see if that noise was me coming home.  I can watch Blue’s cute ears pop straight up when HE thinks that noise was me coming home.  I can even take snapshots of them from afar and save them to my phone.

One day while at Petco, watching my dogs, I happened to show the feed to one of the Petco employees.  Being a fellow animal lover I figured she'd think it was funny, or cute.  Instead she looked at me with an utterly horrified face and said, “YOU ARE SPYING ON THEM!”  I was taken a bit aback as I had never considered it from that angle.  I was only considering my peace of mind.  Was I spying on them?  Was I as crazy as she was making me feel?

Bettina and Blue from the other web cam
Here they are from the other web cam
Are my greyhounds entitled to some measure of privacy?  They don’t give me any privacy.  They accompany me everywhere I go, even into the bathroom.  One or both of them is always somewhere they can keep a close eye on me.  There is nothing sacred when you have a greyhound.

A web cam is an accepted training tool.  Just watch the show Lucky Dog on CBS.  That guy makes extensive use of web cams.  They are priceless when trying to monitor and correct behavior.

I looked at her a little askance and said, “No I’m not.”  I threw out all the reasons I could think of that a web cam was a good idea.  She looked at me like I had a couple heads and begged to differ with me.  I was spying on my dogs.

I guess you win some and you lose some but I’m not shutting off my web cameras.  In fact, I’m thinking of adding some in other parts of the house.  I’ve read about some web cams that allow 2-way communication.  Maybe one of those next.  But no way am I shutting them off.  It’s either that or they’re going to have to crate me while I’m at Petco.