Monday, February 16, 2015

Day 1889

If I were starting a blog today I would probably title it What New Kind of Hell Is This instead of Some Assembly Required. The current title is entirely too positive for my present frame of mind. I don't have a lot held in reserve anymore. Small setbacks are starting to bother me much more than they should. Case in point. Our power went out again last night. Actually, we lost power twice. Yes, it rained, but it was only a light rain. So far this year, the power has gone out almost every single time it has rained. You would think the power company could do better than this. Clearly, something in the system needs to be upgraded. We have had notoriously unreliable electric power ever since we moved to this neighborhood, but I think the outages this year are worse than ever.

I was dreading spending the day in a cold house with a sick dog that can barely more. Luckily, the power was restored this morning, the furnace kicked in, and pretty soon we were back to normal. Taking Dot out to pee in the rain was problematic. The ground was wet and slick and I had to be extra careful not to fall myself. On cold days I have to position things around the house so that I'm ready to go when Dot lets me know it's time to pee. Once I'm holding her hips up with the harness, it's hard to turn her around to look for a coat or a missing pair of shoes. I'm trying to remember to leave a pair of easy to slip on shoes sitting by the back door, but half the time they're still in another room when I need them most.

Dot and I are learning to establish the new routines and rituals that will get us through the day. She sleeps a lot anyway, and I've learned that if I'm patient and hold her up while she wanders around aimlessly for a while, she will quickly find a comfortable place to sleep and I can get some work done. It works better if I try to adapt my life to her schedule, rather than the other way around. Since she can't move on her own, I need to make the short amount of time when she still feels like trying to walk as relaxed and comfortable as possible. I've learned how to massage her legs and at least three times a day I manually work her leg muscles in a gentle bicycle motion to help prevent atrophy. When Dot is resting and lying down she actually seems to like this.

The Withings Baby Monitor only covers one room, but I've discovered that I can use the camera in my laptop as a petcam to watch her if she wants to sleep in a different room. I just move the laptop to wherever she happens to be. Despite the unfortunate power outage and my duties as a watchful 24-7 pet nurse, I was able to get quite a bit done today. My big objective was getting a major website update completed. There is a new team responsible for this website now and we are still figuring out the best way to work together. Since I managed to get the updates online, I guess we are doing something right.

I hope the weather warms up and dries out quickly. Rain certainly complicates things. I definitely don't want to get Dot's special harness wet, because she is helpless without it. I am already resigned to the fact that I'll probably have to replace a lot of the landscaping later in the Spring. As I tramp around in my work boots, holding Dot up as she looks for the perfect place to pee, I am destroying the bedding plants and ground cover. This happened once before when I was helping Petey walk during his final year with us. When Spring arrived that year, most of the Asian Jasmine was completely dead. It's easy to re-landscape though. It's going to be a lot harder to get Dot walking again.

Joshua is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day


  1. You are so faithful and determined. if anyone can get Dot on her feet it will be you.