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Posts Tagged ‘goldendoodles’

After such a big absence, it probably isn’t a surprise that I was considering taking a bloggy hiatus. I’ve just been feeling overwhelmed with work and life and getting ready for Israel and all. But I kind of missed my ramblings here and am back. For now. We’ll see.

I’ve been trying to write more about my experiences in the hospital which, I have to confess, remain very much with me. It is hard to believe, in a way, that it was really only 2 months of my life, over a year ago. The loss of control and, well, everything else in my life, sticks with me and flashes into my head at the oddest times. Memories of helplessness are still strong. The writing part isn’t going so well, though. I have lots else to do and I’m a huge procrastinator.

I read a review of Wayson Choy’s Still Here, which is a memoir of his time in the ICU after a near fatal asthma attack, after which he was heavily sedated – but not quite at a coma – for a couple of weeks, and promptly bought it. It is a bizarre, bizarre experience to read about someone else’s experience with recovery and rehab. I discovered something new – the delusions I had in the ICU are actually called “ICU psychosis” and they are very common. I really wish a nurse or doctor had mentioned that to me. It would have made the whole experience less confusing.

In other news, we had a visitor for the weekend. When I was sick, friends took Jasper while I was in the hospital so he wouldn’t be alone all day, and they all developed a mutual admiration society. Jasper adores them and they still take him if we go away. They decided to get a dog and wanted one just like Jasper, only smaller. Remarkably, they got their wish:

puppies1

When he first arrived, the little guy looked much redder than Jasper, but as he got older, he lightened to exactly the same colour. They love each other. This is the first time we got to host the doggy sleep-over and were very reluctant to hand him back. He is such a great dog, and watching them play, with mad wrestling matches, is vastly entertaining. It’s often hard to tell which dog is which.

Let’s see, what else? I’m working outrageous hours, far more than I am paid for, but I actually don’t mind, most of the time. Stuff needs to get done, so I do it. And I really do like the job and the people, and how many people can say that? There’s a little guy in Boo’s class who is missing his four top teeth and has been for about 2 years now. He comes from Russia, so let’s call him Ivan. He is squishably cute. My office is just before the boy’s bathroom, and every single time Ivan goes to the bathroom, he pops into my office and says, “Boo’s mom?! Boo’s mom?! Boo’s mom!!!?” He sounds so urgent – Yes, Ivan? “Do you want me to say hi to Boo for you?” It drives Boo nuts, I know. She doesn’t find him nearly as cute as I do, but I always say yes anyway. He alone, makes the job worth it.

I also love being more in tune with what is going on in the school, particularly Asher’s class, which is just on the other side of the bathroom from my office. I see his teachers frequently, which allows me to keep up to date assignments, etc, because he sure isn’t going to tell me. Speaking of which, he went upstairs to have a bath this evening and when I came upstairs a bit later, I discovered this, only the faucet was still on. I have entitled this: ADD

bathtub

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I just got a comment on an old post, in which I had some photos of my soapstone carvings. It caused me to go look at the post once again and I saw that pluckymama had recommended, in the comments, a TV series to follow up on my Six Feet Under binge. I told her I would check it out, but instead got well enough to stop watching endling DVDs on my laptop and never did.

So then I ended up in the hospital. When I was first getting better, I found television overwhelming. I did not have the hand strength to hold a book or magazine and, worried that I would get bored as I managed to stay awake longer (initially, when I wasn’t being medically fussed with or in therapy, I slept), they’d drag in a TV for me. The first time, I watched part of an entertainment program but found it too hard to concentrate after a few minutes and had them turn it off. The second time, they put on Raiders of the Lost Ark, one of my very favourite movies. I think I made it half an hour that time. Even knowing the plot, watching required too much concentration.

But gradually, my concentration improved. At the same time, so did my hand strength and just about the time I was capable of holding open a People magazine, I had the brain power to read it.

J started bringing in DVDs to watch. I requested a season of Will and Grace a friend owns. He showed up with a series I’d never heard of that his receptionist had borrowed from someone else to give to me, as she swore I’d love it. Hand over the Will and Grace, I insisted.

When I was almost finished that, my former rabbi and current friend popped in for a visit and spotted the DVDs on my table. “Oh,” he said, “Firefly! I loved that series.” Well, if the rabbi says it’s good …

So I watched it, one DVD after another,┬áreally only stopping long enough to be polite to visitors, and be dragged off to physiotherapy, until I’d finished the whole thing. Then I went back and watched all the episodes with commentary. I love Firefly. My only regret in getting sucked into this thing is that stupid FOX cancelled it after only 11 episodes.

Basically, this is just a big, long apology to pluckymama for not listening to her earlier.

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It is spectacular gardening weather, as it was yesterday and the day before, and I am lying up in bed with the laptop propped on my lap and the dog using my legs for his pillow. I am too tired to garden. The other day, I gamely set to pulling some weeds that have already raised their ugly heads and I managed 3 before I ran out of steam. It’s a wee bit frustrating, but I just remind myself that it is less than 2 months since I woke up and they told me I’d need 3 months of rehab after I got out of the ICU, and then I’m just happy to be lying in my own room enjoying the nice breeze and yelling at my kids out the open window and stop worrying about the weeds, too much.

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I did worry about my dumb dog, though, who refuses to leave my side even if it means not really getting enough exercise. I took him for his check-up and shots and mentioned his lethargy to the vet. She firmly established herself in my good books by telling me that Jasper is clearly a very intelligent dog, as doodles tend to be, and he’s probably just a little freaked by my disappearance and reappearance and he’s going to stick close until he feels assured enough that I’m not going to disappear again. At least he made it easy to get him completely dematted and brushed out. He’s once again my fluffy puppy.

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In this episode: kid health, dog obedience and fat loss –

Maya is pretty much healed now, and stuffing everything not nailed down into her face to make up for those few days she could not eat properly. We now have an appointment at an orthodontist for the next step: braces. Ugh.

Asher doesn’t have an appointment with the tummy guy until March, but I’m rattling cages and trying to get it earlier. Meanwhile, he continues to eat normally and I continue to wince inwardly and resist the urge to web surf for answers I can only actually get from the doctor.

My mission to stop Jasper from becoming an annoying and humpy dog at the park is actually coming along very well. He still tries it when he first encounters one of his favourite dogs, but pretty much all I have to do is yell: “I’m watching you, so don’t even try it!” and he stops. If he starts in again, I leash him and that really calms him down.

Yesterday, I walked with another woman who has a doodle the same age, and the two of them acted like very badly behaved teenage boys. Every time they encountered a dog smaller or younger than them, they’d charge the poor thing. The other dog would sit on it and Jasper would yank ears and tails. Usually calling them off would do it, but once they ran ahead to a young Golden and were really knocking the poor thing around in their exuberance, and would not listen to orders to leave him. So I managed to get in front of Jasper and yelled, “Jasper, STOP!” at which he came to a screaming halt and lowered his head in that ashamed doggy way.

I find that lately he’s taken another cognitive leap with me and understands a great deal of what I want from him. For example, when we walk around the neighbourhood, I don’t leash him and there is one spot where we walk on the sidewalk on a busy road to cross at a certain spot for the park. He normally walks right behind me then, but a couple of times he’s jumped the gun and start to cross early. The first time, I was so surprised I said, “Hey! Get back here!” and to my amazement, he did. He does not understand the words “hey get back here” but he understood my intent. And while he will roam into the road on the side streets, when he sees a car coming, he now goes straight to the side and stays still until it passes (because I make him wait whenever a car goes past.)

See – the smartest dog ever.

As for Weight Watchers, so far so good. I lost 4.5 lbs the first week and I know I’m down a bit more so far this week. Thanks to all the dog walking, I get enough points that I don’t feel particularly deprived (so far). But I am aware that I am still in the weight loss honeymoon period and the difficult stuff is yet to come.

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