Thursday, March 3, 2011

Crazy weather, crazy vet bills, and a few smiles

Well, the great hurricane-force winds never happened, at least not in my neck of the woods. There were high winds on the water, though, enough to cancel a day's worth of ferries back and forth between the BC mainland and Vancouver Island. News reports suggest some parts of the island were hard hit, but here in Crofton, all we got was about ten minutes of strong wind yesterday morning (just enough to knock the power out for a little over two hours) and that was pretty much it. There might have been a bit more wind that evening - I was at the theatre and came home to find all the clocks I had laboriously reset were once again flashing from yet another power failure.

Lack of strong winds notwithstanding, it was a strange, strange day as far as the weather went. We had it all - brilliant sun, torrential rain, sleet, hail, snow, wind. At one point, I looked into my back yard and the sky was a beautiful blue. Charley wanted to go outside to lie in the yard, so I let her out. Ten minutes later I looked out my front window to see sheets of rain washing horizontally across my windows. It was raining so hard, I didn't even take the camera out to get a picture of it. I did go to rescue Charley from the back yard, only to find this:

Whaaa??? I'm fine, leave me alone!

Literally, the dividing line between sun and rain was the end of my driveway. In the backyard, sunny and dry. In the front yard, dark clouds and driving rain.

Blue skies in back

Dark skies in front

I started out to take the dogs for their walk several times when the sun shone - by the time I got their harnesses and leashes on, it was pouring or hailing or snowing. At one point, the sky looked promising so we headed out. A block later the wind was blowing hard enough that I thought we might head back. A block after that - down on the sea walk - it was calm as could be:

I'm betting the people with boats at the marina were glad the high winds weren't as predicted - the marina is undergoing significant maintenance, and as far as I can tell, boat owners didn't have access for the past couple of days so may not have had the opportunity to adequately secure everything for hurricane force winds!

Today was more of the same. Sun, gusts, cloud, sleet, snow, rain....weird, weird weather for the island for March! Even the birds don't know what to do. There is a field near here where the trumpeter swans stay over the winter. They disappeared from the field about two or three weeks ago - as they typically do at this time of year. Yesterday, I noticed they have returned! Guess wherever they were heading was cold enough to make them change their minds.

It is hard to do anything when the weather changes so much - the sun calls me to get outside, the rain/snow/sleet drives me back in again. Maybe spring is waiting for Easter?

Meanwhile, in other news....

I thought Sadie's eye had pretty much completely recovered - she had gone 48 hours without any sign of anything wrong. Then I'm eating my dinner tonight and look down at her to see the eye has sunk right back - just like before - and there seems to be a ridge along the edge of the iris. An hour later and it seemed back to normal again, other than the ridge. I have learned from other collie people that this phenomena is not all that unusual, and seems to correct itself in four to six weeks, so unless it continues to change or looks worse, I shall wait it out a bit more.

I did have Charley to the vet today. She has been excessively thirsty lately, and there has been an incredibly foul smell emanating from her mouth every now and then (and her breath would never win her any kissing competitions to begin with!). Ketosis/diabetes comes to mind, as does kidney trouble, so in she went for blood tests, which should be back Monday. Meanwhile, because her teeth and gums aren't great and there could be an infection brewing, we've started her on antibiotics as well. At nearly fourteen, putting her under for dental work is not something I will choose lightly. We have also upped her pain meds for her arthritic hips - she has a lot of trouble walking now.

My beautiful gray-faced girl

So.....$400 for vet care in the past week (and I saved over $50 by getting Charley's prescriptions filled at the pharmacy rather than buying the drugs from the vet!); plus $200 for their dog food, supplements, and some cat grass and litter for Allie; and I'm not done with the animal-related expeditures yet for this month. Heck, it's only March 3rd! Taking good care of animals doesn't come cheap.

Not animal related, but I did have a great tears-down-my-cheeks laugh this morning, when someone drew my attention to a website called Damn you Auto Correct. It contains snapshots of text messages gone awry when autocorrect changed the words they wanted to type to something completely different - or so the authors claim. I've bookmarked it for my daily chuckle. Some are a bit - ahem - colourful - but check out the tab marked "Best of DYAC". One more reason I don't text message. I have enough trouble with typos in my blog without having a piece of technology make crazy auto-corrects for me!

And for my fellow bloggers, a friend told me of a website called Blog2Print that can take your blog and turn it into book form for you. With my distrust of technology or anything internet-y, it has often bothered me that my blog has the potential to just disappear. It also drives me crazy that I can't easily thumb through it from beginning to end. I will never be an e-book or kindle fan - I like the feel and weight and texture of paper. So now I can print off each year's postings (in correct order)as a complete journal, pictures and all, and have them bound for my shelf. (Note: this is not the book I am working on for publishing purposes, which is a book of short stories about the animals in my life. Too much in this blog would have little merit without drastic editing - I'm just looking to preserve it for myself in a form that I am more comfortable with). I am a happy camper to have been directed to this site .

I'll leave you with a photo of Charley, fast asleep, that made me smile today:

Charley dreaming she's a lion?


EvenSong said...

Well...If I remember right, you were complaining recently that the blah weather was keeping you quiet--I guess Mother Nature decided to give you something to blog about!
What a great mama: Your sweet puppies get the absolute best of care!
And, are you sure Charlie's not waiting for a nap-time snack?

georgia little pea said...

It was earth waiting for this juicy think you were bare bones just a few days agp!

Those pics of your front and back yard are remarkable. I had that happen to me once, when I was a child. I was on a bicycle, peddling furiously to get home, chased by a sheet of rain close behind. Quite bizarre. I suppose the rain had to end somewhere!

Vet bills are horrendous aren't they? We've found human chemists cheaper too, and these days, buy some of the dogs' supplements online.

Blog2print - have you read scary mommy's post on that? You might find her personal experiences useful! I've thought of that too, being nervous that Georgia's diary might go poof! from some bug. It'd be nice to save it somewhere that isn't dependent on a 3rd party! Text typos - )*>?f!!666!!! IPad is my particular nightmare.

Long comment really was a lovely newsy post. Have a great weekend. Hope it's more sun than sleet for you.

P.S. Don't forget to pick up your Stylish Award! Still waiting on a couple of (reluctant) recipients (it seems), before I move on! :)

Jen said...

Goodness, the cost of vet care, is crazy, isn't it? But, I know you feel the same way I do- it's worth every penny to keep our companions feeling as best as possible. But, I feel your pain- Spike is on chiropractic treatments right now for that shoulder injury from flyball in the fall- he's up and down between app'ts every 2 weeks, to once a month and it's expensive and frustrting!! But, it's life, right?
Glad you didn't get nearly the storm they predicted!!!

Hope you have a great weekend!
Jen and the Black Dog Crew

hornblower said...

Glad the wind mostly passed you by! We had the same experience here - wind, rain, sunshine, blue sky on one side, big menacing black sky on the other. Very weird.

Hope the blood tests give you a clear indication of what is going on. Better yet, hope they show nothing is wrong!

Sheryl said...

I so agree with you about "real" books. As everyone around me is turning to Kindle books, I don't think I ever will. There is just something so viscerally satisfying about holding and reading a real book.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Double-clicking on that last shot is really worth it. Along with the good laugh, what a perfect close-up of the ridges on the roof of Charlie's mouth!

Yup, a good Mama, indeed! Vets' bills are no joke, but sometimes unavoidable. Sending lots of good vibes your way to have Sadie back on track again soon.

Yes, crazy unsettled weather here too. It does make for some interesting sky photos, but I could use some wind-free, precipitation-free days.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos of the weather!

Wishing all the best for Charley's test results, and that Sadie's eye is o.k. too!