Friday, March 31, 2006

Random thoughts

  • Have I ever mentioned here that Oreo was a smiler? She’d wrinkle her nose, show all her teeth, tuck her head down, wiggle ecstatically, and send her tail spinning like a propeller. Just Tuesday, she was doing that for a friend at work (when I took the dogs in for a bath) and for people at the vet’s office.
  • Sam is doing fine. He and Oreo always were rivals, not buddies: rivals for food, rivals for mom, and rivals for the sofa. Sam’s not sure why his rival isn’t here, but he doesn’t seem worried, isn’t looking for her or fussing. He’s just basking in being rival-less. Little does Sam know: there will be another greyhound in his future, sometime. But I’m going to have to choose carefully, because Sam is no longer willing to be the submissive little boy he was when I first brought him home to Oreo three and a half years ago. Instead of getting a tough Alpha female like Oreo, I may need to get a little submissive female who won’t challenge Sam. (If I get another Alpha female, I could easily wind up with two dogs in the emergency room. Sam twice “tagged” Oreo—one time stitches were required—but Oreo never harmed him.)
  • Sam has, in the past, exhibited separation anxiety. I haven’t tested his tolerance for being alone any time in the last two years or more. I was worried about how he’d do today when I went to work. (And, while I could have taken him with me today, he couldn’t go with me Saturday or Sunday; it seemed wiser to test him today since I was working a short day.) I weighted the scales in my favor—slipped him two Benadryl capsules this morning. In Sam’s last anxiety attack, he screamed like he was being tortured. Today, I posted a note on the front door asking people to call me if Sam got noisy, and I included my cell phone number. I left Sam here while I went to the emergency vet’s to settle bills and arrange for Oreo to be cremated. I came home, but parked at the neighbor’s so Sam wouldn’t hear the car. I tiptoed over and listened, and everything was quiet, so I went on to work. When I came home this afternoon (about 8 hours after I left this morning), everything was fine. He’d explored in the kitchen—as usual—but he didn’t trash the house, which he has done before. (He’s been known to pull every empty grocery bag out of the pantry, tip over the kitchen trash can and rake out all the contents, and other bits of mayhem.) Maybe all the years of seeing me leave, then having me come home, have convinced him that he can count on my coming back, so he doesn’t have to panic. We’ll see if his good behavior holds up.
  • The orthopedic surgeon charged me just half of the original quoted cost. (I didn’t see him, today, but was dealing with his staff.) I told the receptionist to thank him for me—he was making it possible for me to get another dog sooner. The receptionist said the vet techs cried when Oreo died. This is a surgery that fixes animals; they rarely lose one. This practice is next door to—and separate from—the emergency hospital, and generally treats only animals who are in “stable” condition. When Oreo crashed, the surgical practice pulled a vet over from the emergency hospital to try to revive her.
  • I need to write a memorial article about Oreo to be posted on SEGA’s Web site. And I need to find a good picture or two. And there’s other stuff I need to do: file a claim on the veterinary insurance policy (and cancel further billing on the policy); update my profile on LJ as well as on BookCrossing; update Oreo’s page on Maybe if I do some of this stuff, it will start to seem real.
  • Last night and today, Sam has started to eat tissues from the trash can. I finally figured out why: they’re salty. So I’ve got to stop crying about Oreo. Or stop wiping my eyes on tissues. Or just empty the damned trash can.
  • At work today, there was one dog named Oreo, one named Sam (from different households). They were the right colors, but they weren’t greyhounds. I managed not to cry too much at work, but there were a few moments… I still can’t believe she’s gone. A broken leg is just not supposed to be fatal.

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