Thursday, June 4, 2015

Day 1997

It's always something. When Dash and I were returning from our walk this evening, one of the neighbor's dogs came charging through an open gate and started attacking Dash. Sadly, this has happened before. The neighbor always apologizes profusely and sometimes offers to pay for any damages. I can't seem to get them to lock their gate though. This time they said their yard guy must have left the gate open. As the large Shepard mix tried to grab Dash around the neck, I tried to command it to sit and stay while grabbing it firmly around the collar and pulling the dog away from Dash. I held both dogs at arm's length to keep them apart while walking slowly up the hill toward my house. Luckily, I didn't get bitten myself. I get so frustrated by people who can't control their dogs. I see unleashed dogs in the park every week and do my best to avoid them. People may think their dog is friendly, but you never know. I've worked in animal rescue for long enough to understand that dogs can be very unpredictable. In the right circumstances, any dog can bite you. I've been bitten numerous times.

Dot seemed tired at her physical therapy session today. We had to run the treadmill slower and her muscles seemed tight during her acupuncture therapy. The vet said we should curtail her exercise walks for a couple of days and let her rest. It's hard to keep the right balance of exercise and rest. She needs to keep moving to keep her leg muscles from atrophying, but she's an old dog and you don't want to push her too hard. I had Dot tested for exposure to Lyme Disease too while we were at the vet. We still haven't decided whether Dash should start taking doxycycline though. Since this is the drug of last resort for many very serious problems, you definitely don't want your dog to build up a resistance to this antibiotic. Dash shows no symptoms of Lyme Disease whatsoever, so it might be wise to save the doxycycline in case he needs it for something even more serious later. We'll see. We're going to do a few more tests to see if yesterday's results might have been a false positive.

The ice maker on our refrigerator broke recently and I am so frustrated with the high cost of appliance repair that I was determined to see if I could fix things myself. I found a website that sells appliance parts directly to the consumer and also features very detailed YouTube videos showing exactly how to make the necessary repairs. I looked at the video for fixing the ice maker on my refrigerator and quickly realized that this was something I could do. I ordered the part and ended up paying less than a third of what it would have cost to have a repairman come out. I should have done the same thing when the washer and dryer broke earlier this year. The wax motor door latch assembly for the washer only cost $79 on this website and it came with explicit instructions for how to remove and replace the faulty latch assembly. I paid a repairman over $350 to replace exactly the same latch assembly. I won't be doing that again.

The ease of repairing things yourself got me thinking about my own business. I've been losing business for years to template based website solutions that let people quickly and very inexpensively design their own websites with no coding required. I can't really blame people who would rather pay $25 for a template than give me several thousand dollars to create a custom site for them. I'd probably do the same thing myself. The problem is that nobody wants to be poor. Appliance repairmen, watchmakers, website designers, and car mechanics keep charging more and more in hopes of maintaining their lifestyle in a changing economy. Eventually everyone puts themselves out of business because they are too expensive. It's hard to even find a good appliance repairman anymore. In five more years they might all be gone. It's hard to compete with cheap parts on the Internet.

Dot goes for her Ultrasound scan tomorrow morning. These type of high-tech services aren't going to go out of business soon. You can't just go out and get your own MRI machine. Even my vet friends are feeling the squeeze though. They purchase all this expensive diagnostic equipment for their practice and then their customers still want to get all their pet's meds on discount Internet websites like 1800PetMeds. The age of the big retail markup is over. Janet buys all her clothes on the Internet now and I haven't been to a camera store in years. And people wonder why there are no jobs. It's kind of ironic that all these people are clamoring for a higher minimum wage now. They are just going to be replaced by robot kiosks anyway.

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