Sunday, September 27, 2009

what kind of tree am I?

So, we went to a fancy-dancy wedding this past Saturday, and in the program, there was a list of dates corresponding to a list of trees, and by finding your birthday you found what kind of tree you are, and therefore, what kind of person you are. Most trees corresponded with a week's worth of dates, but of course, because I'm very special, September 23 has its own tree. Here's what it said:

Olive Tree, The Wisdom
Loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.

So, let's break it down:

Loves sun, warmth and kind feelings: EMPHATICALLY yes. So much. I'm so sad summer is over. Also, who doesn't love kind feelings?

Reasonable/balanced: I try to be. This is not always true, however.

Avoids aggression and violence: This is true. My ass kicking days are over. (This is the part where I pretend I once had ass kicking days.)

Tolerant: Mostly, except for ignorant douchebags.

Cheerful: I would say snarky rather than cheerful.

Calm: I can't even pretend this is true.

Well-developed sense of justice: Sure, I like when the bad guy gets what's coming to him. Or her.

Sensitive: Only when I haven't had enough sleep. Which is most of the time.

Empathic: I try to be. I think so.

Free of jealousy: I wish. But no.

Loves to read: Ha! This couldn't be more true. All of my birthday presents featured books. I'm a huge nerd!

Loves the company of sophisticated people: If those people make fart jokes, yes, I do love sophisticated people.

Go here to find out what kind of tree you are!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I am giving myself a free pass for my shitty blogging this week because it's my birthday! Whoo whoo! I turned 36 today, and had a pretty good day. I had some lovely cupcakes at work, a fancy lunch out, and to top it all off, a dinner out with Greg! Due to all of my current stomach issues, I think I ate more today than in the past three days combined! It was all very fabulous. Most of the gifts I've received are books or gift certificates for books, which I think is hilarious - I guess once an English major nerd, always an English major nerd.

I know I have updating to do regarding our Chicago and Boston trips to see U2, and I promise I will post about those trips soon, or at the very least, post some pics. But now I'm overloaded with food and have to go to bed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the triumphant return of Junior

Wow, I'm really earning the name of this blog these days, right?

Junior made his triumphant return home yesterday, with a bag full of drugs, not to mention two narcotics patches on his belly. Yesterday he was all kinds of weak and pathetic - whining if I walked away from him, so much so that I worked from home in the afternoon sitting on the floor behind the couch, because that's where he set up camp - but today he's definitely showing sparks of his old self. Like when he tried to eat Jane's bagel. And her eggs. And my salad. Not so fast, stomach-stapled dog. Not so fast.

Despite his attempt at food thievery, he's still not really eating a lot, and he's sleeping a ton, and he won't have freedom in the yard for several weeks. It will take a total of 4-6 weeks for full recovery. It's back to leash walking for Junior - something he hasn't really experienced since he was about a year old. He also can't roughhouse with Jimmy (much to Jimmy's chagrin) and we now have to mix his dry food with water to make it nice and mushy. Speaking of his food, I found out something very interesting from the vet yesterday. Apparently we should not elevate his food when we feed him, because there is some research that indicates that elevating his food promotes bloat. Um, well, Junior's food has been elevated from day one because we were told that that would help PREVENT bloat. Nope, said the doc. Over the past five years or so, they have been finding differently. Um, nice for someone to tell me. So take note, people with big dogs - don't elevate the food. Not that that's necessarily what caused it, but I would do ANYTHING to prevent it.

He's on a complicated regimen of four prescriptions plus the aforementioned narcotics patches -which we have to take off with GLOVES and flush down the toilet immediately, because it's a human dose and while being high as a kite sort of sounds tempting, I more suspect that Jimmy and/or Jane will get their mitts on the patch if we don't get rid of it immediately (NO, I am not really contemplating bogarting my dogs drugs.) (Of course, it depends on how the rest of this week goes.)

Hey! Speaking of this week, I have yet another cold, and PINK EYE. WTF is up with that? So, to review: I've got my stomach issues, a cold, and pink eye. And very little sleep. And extra stress about my dog. Did I mention today was picture day at daycare? Lots going on. LOTS.

But a very bright highlight in my week is sitting right next to me right now, staring at my pretzels. Not so fast, Junior.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Junior update

OK guys, I promise no more post titles that scare you! I just wanted to give a quick update on Junior. We had a chance to see him today (we saw him yesterday as well, but he was still pretty drugged and not really responsive). He was walking around but very shaking and antsy and panting a lot - and his whole underbelly is stitched and awful-looking and swollen - but that said, at this point (knock on wood, etc) he is doing well, considering all he has been through. Catching it as early as we did helped a lot. He still isn't eating anything much, but they said that it could very well be a result of the narcotics he's on. As I said on Facebook, between his hot mess looks and his jumpiness from the painkillers, he's very Lindsay Lohan-esque right now.

The current plan is for him to come home tomorrow, unless the doctor changes his mind. OF COURSE Greg is going to a Red Sox game tomorrow so I may have to bring him home myself -and I'm a bit nervous about this considering he weighs almost as much as I do, and when he's not able to move around well, it's truly like helping another human move around - another human who is very stitched up and ouchy and drunk. Plus, Jane gets very jealous when I pet Junior (they are like siblings, I swear) so she's going to be unhappy that he's going to be getting all o the attention, and Jimmy....well, Jimmy has had it rough because he misses his buddy and is totally freaking out if we leave him alone, so he had to go to work with Greg today. So I will also have to prevent Jimmy from jumping on Junior...oh, the good times will roll when Junior makes his triumphant return to the household.

Despite what is sure to be a chaotic and nerve-wracking experience, I'm just so incredibly grateful that he will return (CONTINUING TO KNOCK ON WOOD) and, the more I think about it, the more I feel so lucky that we still have him. I try not to think about how close we came to not.

Thank you to everyone who has been so nice and supportive and understanding - but hey, look at the title of my blog. You knew when you started reading that I was a bit of a dog person. Just a little. But seriously, thank you so much.

Monday, September 14, 2009

me, my dog, my life

When Greg and I decided to get Junior, we weren't even engaged yet. We had just come off a year of trying very much to make us work - and things were looking good. But when he started talk of getting a dog, I wanted to make sure we were solid. There was no turning back. Because I knew once a puppy was in the picture, I was in it, for keeps. Junior was really our first born. The Number One Pup of All Time. That's what we've called him from the start.

After we got Junior, as an 18-pound 8-week-old puppy, we took him everywhere we went. He was the star of our Christmas cards, my Snapfish albums, my blogs. I used to carry him around when he was a puppy, and people always commented on how big his paws were, and how huge he was going to get. "Yes, he is," I said proudly. As if I had something to do with it. Anytime we go anywhere at all, Junior is the star of the show. People come up to him like he's a celebrity. Junior was, and still is, our first born. That just the place he naturally takes in our family.

One early November morning, Greg and I were getting ready to go to New York for the weekend. Junior was about 4 months old. Greg called me into the room and said that Junior had grabbed something of mine. I was so annoyed- with Junior, for once again chewing up something I loved, and Greg, for not saving whatever it was from Junior. So I pried Junior's ever-growing mouth open and retrieved a little black box. I didn't recognize it. Inside was my engagement ring. Junior played a very important role that day - and I wouldn't have wanted to get engaged any other way. I clearly remember weeping the morning we left for our two-week honeymoon to Hawaii. I missed him so much when we were gone.

During the summer of 2007, when Jane was born, I was up 24/7 - and my dogs stayed right by my side. Up all night, pacing back and forth with a crying, colicky baby, the dogs would hang out with me, wanting so badly to fall asleep, but keeping their eyes half open - not sure why it STILL wasn't time to go to bed yet. During many a crying jag by Jane, my weary eyes would meet Junior's across the room - an unspoken "Is she SERIOUSLY still crying?" passing between us.

Greg and I came home from Chicago yesterday, and picked up Junior and Jimmy from their three-day stay at doggy day care. Greg noticed that Junior hadn't eaten that much. Throughout the night (we realized in retrospect), he gorged on food and water. I let him out around 9 and when I went to get him back in, I noticed he was strangely gagging and hacking up a lot of foam. He was acting very strange. I mentioned it to Greg. Greg remembered that this is a sign of bloat, and called our vet tech friend. She told us to bring him in asap to the 24-hour emergency vet, so Greg took him and I stayed home with Jane.

I have to admit I didn't really think anything was wrong. We have brought Junior to the same emergency vet several times with digestive issues -and it was never a big deal. So I was shocked when Greg called to tell me that Junior had bloat, and needed to have surgery right away. And when he said he needed to talk to the vet to find out what Junior's chances of survival were, I was shocked out of my stupor and knew I had to be there. For my pup.

Bloat is a very serious thing that sometimes happens to big dogs, and if it's not treated quickly, they can die. From the moment we got Junior, we were told to watch out for bloat, and were told many a horror story about it. Basically their stomach flips around and gets twisted. The surgery un-twists it and then staples it - somehow - so it doesn't happen again. If you want to know more, Google it. I'm not going to - because I don't want to know more right now.

Our vet tech friend's husband was so great, and came over right away so I could go to the emergency vet. The surgeon showed up at the same time, and they started surgery. We were told that if everything was OK (no stomach damage, other organ damage, etc) that the success rate was about 80%. If there was stomach damage, it went to 50/50. And downhill from there. An hour and a half crawled by. No one was else was there but us - it was well after midnight at this point. I made a million promises to God and everyone else. I heard someone being paged to surgery, and my heart stopped. I heard weird beeping. My heart stopped again. Finally the doctor came out.

Junior was OK.

No permanent stomach damage or organ damage. They were working on waking him up. Now they needed to monitor him to see if any heart arrythmia (sp?) developed, which happens in 2/3 of dogs who have this surgery. But typically it works itself out. Plus he had all of the other recovering to do. He will be at the vet for 2-3 days, longer if the arrythmias (sp? too tired to look it up) crop up. But he should be OK. They are telling us that he should be OK.

People will read this and think I'm stupid for caring so much about a dog. Those people can eff off. He's my best friend. He has been there for the past 6 years of my life, very very important years. Junior, Greg and I were a little family for so long - and I'm just not ready for that part of my family to be gone. Not that I ever will.

But definitely not now.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

chicago (the city, not the band)

So we're off to Chicago this weekend to see Greg's boyfriend Bono and the rest of U2 kick off their North American tour at Soldier Field. I can't believe I just typed that sentence. I can't believe how much I have done to prepare for this trip, and how none of what I've done includes coming up with an itinerary or packing or anything like that. In fact, if you ask me right now what airline we are flying on or what hotel we are staying at, I would say "I don't know." Because seriously, I don't remember.

This week has been very angsty. Very very very much happening at work, my stomach has been ON FIRE (per my previous posting about my recent stomach issues) and I've also been trying to school my mother and mother-in-law about what it takes to live in the world of Jane, as they will be taking care of her in shifts this weekend. On top of that, Jane has been having a HORRIBLE time when I drop her off at daycare, which essentially makes me cry when I leave and want to shoot myself because it's so sad.

So the fact that I'm going AWAY ON A PLANE (oh and yes, we are flying the morning of September 11, which for some reason makes me feel proud and all "eff you, terrorists") to a MAJOR AMERICAN CITY that I am mostly unfamiliar with but seems very cool, what with its PIZZA and OPRAH and BONO and what not, and that we are going to see a concert that is going to kick so much ass, is completely lost on me. It truly seems like it's not happening. Oh and don't doubt the fact that I will be crying like, oh, say, like Jane when she's being dropped off at daycare when I leave, because this is the first time I have been away from her for so long and oh I know, SHUT UP AMANDA, you're going to do something really cool, OK, I am going to stop typing now.

See ya on the flip side.

Friday, September 04, 2009

speak into my good ear

So it's been another sick week for me. Tuesday I felt like my cold might have been something a bit worse, so I hauled myself to the doctor and once he saw that I had a very red throat, fever and swollen glands, he gave me an antibiotic. I also talked to him about the stomach issues I've been having over the past few months (just feeling yuck) and I'm going to have bloodwork on that later in the month. I'm not going to turn this blog into a minute-by-minute update on my health, but I must admit I hate giving in and actually talking to a doctor about what is ailing me, and then having him actually validate my fears and order bloodwork (among other things). He doesn't think I'm dying - but Dr. Google assures me that I am. As Dr. Google always does, along with his colleague-in-death, Dr. WebMD.

So these antibiotics don't seem to be doing the job on my cold situation, because yesterday and today, my right ear is totally blocked. And it hurts. It doesn't hurt in that screamy way a definitely-infected ear hurts, but I have my suspicions. A call to the doctor's office this a.m. told me to just hang in there, if it is an ear infection, the antibiotics will take care of it.

But I'm getting on a plane in ONE WEEK for our big trip to CHICAGO to see Greg's boyfriend BONO, and I don't want to have ear problems on the plane or at the concert. So if this persists, I'm off to the doctor's office again next week.

But it's a holiday weekend. Yay! We actually got today off, but I'm working from home, as I am a slave to deadlines and whatnot. And deadlines don't stop for Labor Day! Oh no. Right now, I'm just staring at my in-box, hoping like hell it fills up with good news. Fast.

I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday weekend!