Monday, August 18, 2008

Birthday Pictures and Audiologist Appt.

So last Thursday was a fun one for us. Jennie Kizer spent the night which made Gunner extremely happy! On Thursday morning I got up and fixed Gunner and Jennie chocolate chip pancakes (?) and then headed out for my dentist appt. When I got back we got Gunner ready to go and went to the audiologist appt we had set up. Why the audiologist you ask? I honestly think that his pediatrician was just trying to make me feel better by proving his ears are fine. I have been pushing for tubes since we have had so many ear infections and the pediatrician doesn't think he needs them. SO anyways, the audiologist appt was only about 5 minutes long because his left ear was so full of fluid she couldn't get any kind of reading since his ear drum would not move at all. And we got our appt with the ENT for Sept 17th.
After that fun we did Burger King for lunch and Gunner got to run around playland for a bit. We loaded up and began our quest to Grand Rapids. My sister had us on the lookout for Little Einstein birthday invitations for my nephew. Since my sweet son fell asleep in the car and we had some time to kill- I checked out a couple of the party decor stores with Jennie sitting in the car with Gunner while he slept. When he woke up in a good mood Jennie and I were dumbfounded. He is always grouchy when he wakes up! We headed to Sears for his 4 year pictures and he was an angel. Another miracle! We did a little bit of shopping at Sears and then Old Navy and also every place someone suggested for Little Einstein invites. We completely struck out on the invites by the way.

Around 5:30 we headed to Chucky Cheese, which was Gunners reward for good behavior. Daddy met us just as we started in on the pizza and we had a nice time chasing the spoiled child around on the rides and games. Gunner opted to ride home with Jennie and I as opposed to riding with Dad. We made one last detour by the dairy bear in Howard City for icecream on the way home. We had a great day with Jennie which just reinforces how much we love her and how we would keep her forever if we could.
I don't pick the pictures up until the like 28th of August so early Sept will be the first anyone sees them in person.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Our Sad Weekend

Well we survived, which I knew we would, but it really stunk!

Friday night Mr. Bear had several hours of loving, back rubs and "good dog" hugs. He had a wonderful meal of meat scraps, gravy and italian sausages. We spent a good deal of time on the deck just hanging out with all the mutts and tried breaking the news to Gunner that tommorow Bear would be leaving us. I had left them loose all day on Friday so Bear wouldn't spend his last full day with us chained up. (who knows what those dogs did all day) I do know that the huge hole he dug in the mulch along side the house will be forgiven and probably left alone for quite awhile. I hope he visited the neighbor dogs and ripped up at least one bag of garbage for the neighbors to remember him by. I would have especially been proud if he had killed one more loose chicken from down the road just for old times sake. I honestly don't think he felt well enough to do too much damage.

I also left the goofy dogs unchained all night long. Usually this would result in huge holes in my flower beds but for some reason I think they all spent the night on the porch. Maybe they were waiting for more scraps and handouts which for some reason kept showing up every couple hours till I went to bed. They cleaned up all the lunch meat and the chicken fajita strips that were unopened until then. It was hard to go to bed knowing what was coming in the morning. At least it was for me, the boys seemed to sleep well.

When Gunner woke up and decided on pancakes for breakfast, I knew Bear would be happy. Eggs weren't his favorite. Bear had pancakes with syrup, bacon and sausage for breakfast (Kegger and Lucy just had pancakes) We spent a long tearful hour waiting for the time when Dada had to leave for the appointment. Just before it was time to go I told Gunner to give Bear one more big hug. Dada loaded Bear up in the "little red express" which is his name for his little beater s-10. By this time Dada who is the tough guy was crying too. We opened the window for Bear and leaned in and gave him last hugs and kisses and told him what a good boy he was and how much we loved him. He gave Gunner one last good bye lick which resulted in laughter and down the driveway Dada and Bear went.

The only details I really know from there is that Bear enjoyed a whoopie pie (oatmeal cream pie- the name goes back to Jake) and beefsticks on his last ride. After the vet visit where Dada cried too, Bear was buried in the "pet cemetary" at mom and dad's house where he is in good company. (Jake & Carri to name a few) Gunner is doing alright with it. He calls him by mistake when he calls the other dogs and has asked to cuddle Bear one more time. He also has told me he misses Bear almost hourly but doesn't seem to be too heartbroken. We have told Gunner from the beginning that Bear is going to see Jesus and will get to play with Jake, Bubba & Carri. We told Gunner that Bear was very sick, and old and was hurting. That the vet tried but couldn't make him feel better. For Gunner going to see Jesus is this awesome event which he wants to do himself. We have tried very hard to teach him that heaven is a wonderful place that we all want to go someday. Just not now, or anytime soon. His four year old logic is why wait? It is also hard to explain that if Bear is going to heaven where he will be happy, and free from pain, then why are you so sad mommy? He also hasn't really comprehended that heaven is forever, we will never see Bear again until we go to heaven. We have talked about what we think Bear had for dinner in heaven and what kind of dog house Jesus has for him. Which gets kind of silly and makes Gunner laugh with some of our ideas.

And then I am sure for some of you this brings up an argumentative topic. Just to state my opinion and what we are teaching our child... animals do go to heaven! While that may not be what you believe, we do. I would not argue with anyone about it, you are free to believe what you want, but I also would never tell your child something different from what you teach them so whatever your opinion is keep it to yourself. I can't begin to believe that God would create these faithful companions to love, serve and protect us and then not make room for them in forever. I don't care about bible verses or what certain religions think, what I think, feel and believe is what we are going with. And if for some reason I have it wrong, God will forgive me, and by that point I won't care any longer since in heaven there will be no sadness or pain. It makes us all feel better and in a 4 year olds eyes it makes sense.

Kegger and Lucy are moping around the yard, missing Bear and wondering where the snacks went. Kegger still has eye issues, which are no worse and no better. We are just going to keep and eye on him and see how he does, since the vet said a brain tumor was likely if the antibiotics didn't work. Gary and I have guessed that Kegger won't last the winter regardless. He is a basset mix for one. For two Bear and Kegger have been together since Bear was a 8 weeks old and Kegger was about 8 months old. Bear was in charge of all of Keggers grooming, he kept his eyes and ears clean. Yup it was quite gross, but they loved each other and were inseperable, until now. I am figuring Kegger will give up the fight without his best bud and the pet cemetary population will increase by one. Hopefully by then Dad has his skidsteer back because digging in the winter would be awful.

For all of you who have bothered to read this much, thanks! I know I have gone on quite a bit about a dog, but looking back over the last 10 years there is quite a bit to talk about. Until we moved into our current house right before Gunner was born, these dogs were like our children. They slept in the house and rode in the car whenever we went to my parents house or to a ball game. They were converted into outside dogs which was probably rough on them when Gunner was born. Luckily they weren't resentful of their little replacement. They all loved Gunner dearly, especially Bear. They watched his every move and loved to play with him, even when he didn't play nicely. It is amazing the unconditional love of a dog. Even though I have had little to no extra time to give these creatures for several years they still are faithful. Still loving and kind, and looking for our affection. At least I got to give Bear some of that long overdo loving before he left us.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tough Choices Update

So unfortunately I am afraid Bears fate was sealed today when I called the vets office. $279 for a bottle of pills that will last him 16 days. And then if it was working we would need at least another bottle. I guess the part that upsets me the most is that they didn't think to warm me about how costly these pills could be. I know they didn't know the exact price but couldn't they have asked when they ordered them? Not everyone has $279 (x 2 or 3) to spend on an 11 year old outside dog. I also could have bought the pills online if the vet had given me the prescription for $169. But still how many bottles would we have needed if they even worked at all. We also know he is making a killing on the pills, because shipping was not $100. I'm feeling pretty shitty about the whole thing and hope I can keep it together and not end up crying like a baby all evening. Gunner has flag football practice and I sure don't want every parent there to wonder what is wrong with me. I tried to take a few more pics of Bear and Gunner last night and maybe I will get some more tonight. I am assuming Saturday will be "the day" since Gary will be home to take care of everything. I'm thinking I will make Gunner a scrap book of Bear which will hopefully help with the millions of questions I will have to face from him. I have lots of pre Gunner pictures of all of the dogs and I am sure there quite a few in the thousands of pictures I have of Gunner that Bear is in. I am trying hard to keep in perspective this is a pet, who is pretty old, and wouldn't live forever anyways. I guess the hardest thing for me to deal with is the guilt. All those times I have yelled at the dog, told him to get away and leave me alone- when all he wanted was loving! Yes- I am a soft hearted blubbering fool, just don't tell anyone. Guess tonight it is leftovers and lots of treats for Bear especially.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tough choices

So we are back to the sick dog thing. Monday I had to take 2 out of 3 of our dogs to the vet. Bear, who was there 3 weeks ago, still has a bladder infection. Kegger has some kind of neurological issue with his right eye. $180 later, meds for one dog, meds for another one ordered but not paid for, and a 50/50 shot with each of them.

The vet prescribed ear drops for Kegger who is 11, th vet is hoping he has a middle ear infection. If it isn't an ear infection putting pressure on everything causing the muscle to spasm then he most likely has a brain tumor. So if the ear drops don't work then our option is to wait it out to see how fast he declines and pick the right time to put him to sleep.

Bear who is almost 11, can't shake the bladder infection. The vet is prescribing another antibiotic which he had to order. If this antiobiotic doesn't work then really the only sensible thing to do is put him to sleep. We could do a biopsy and such, but the vet said that was a lot to put an old dog through and he wouldn't recommend it. I called the vets office today and got more info on the drug- they can't tell me the price since the person in charge of that is out of the office today. Nice huh. So I get online and look up the drug and the doseage- the very cheapest I found it online was $140 per bottle and he will need at least two. The retail price is like $200. Who knows what the vets price will be. So what to do? If it appears to be working after the first bottle I have to order a second. Which will be at least $300 up to $400. If it doesn't seem to be working after the first bottle then we would have to put him down. Where do you draw the line? He is almost 11, I love him, but I will either have spent $500- 600 total to fix him up or $340 and then have him put to sleep. I guess what bugs me the most is that money is an issue. Yeah we can pay for it, but there are so many things we are trying to save for (propane this winter for instance) And how do you look at an old pet like that and say, "sorry buddy" "you're not worth $500 bucks." or even "sorry we need to spend our money on more important things". How do you even look at him and not feel like hell? I guess in all those times I have said I hate those damn dogs, I really didn't mean it because this is breaking my heart. What bugs me the most is not having a better hope, the vet doesn't know if the meds will even work. He says at his age he may not be able to shake this thing since it is so bad. Either way I may have to look at that goofy old dog and say goodbye, which makes me mad, because I hate being sad. My rational husband tells me that if the meds are more than $100 per bottle (which I can almost gaurentee they will be) then we should just have him put down. So that is what I get to think about until tommorow afternoon. Happy Freaking Wednesday.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Well, the past weekend flew by with us accomplishing a whole lot of nada. I had put a bunch of things in a yard sale that my mom, sister & family friend had. So on Saturday I spent my day manning the yard sale and relaxing with adults! My dear hubby kept Gunner with him all day! I couldn't tell Gary enough how much that free time meant to me. And since Gunner behaved so well we had to give in and camp in the tent in the backyard. Gunner has been begging to do this for several weeks, and without fail every saturday he gets in so much trouble for his behavior that he ends up losing the priviledge of camping (darn the luck!)
Daddy and Gunner dug a hole in the back yard, made the fire pit, put up the tent and we had smores. I kept hoping Gunner would change his mind and we could go inside but he was brave and the three of us spent the night in the tent in the back yard. I don't know if my back will ever be the same. Gunner had a blast and I guess that is all that counts. I felt a bit under the weather on Sunday so I spent the day hanging around the house (bathroom) and watching TV. Papa brought a huge load of straw over to park in our polebarn since he couldn't get it unloaded before the rain came. At last the barn has come in handy. Daddy had to go to bed extremely early since he had to get up at 2am for work today.
The bright side of that is he will be home tonight for Gunners first flag football practice.! I am hoping it goes well and Gunner likes it!