Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Beginnings

  So we have acres of new places to walk Stella and I. We've mostly stuck around the neighborhood which goes on for blocks and blocks - to the park if you're traveling east and if you're headed west, you cross the river to downtown. One great new thing which I forgot all about is that there are sidewalks to walk on. It may seem silly but it's a nice change if you've been traipsing up and down suburban streets for four years. It isn't without challenges but I so far I love it and Stella seems to like it too. 

  One challenge is that there isn't grass just anywhere Stella decides to relieve herself. Sometimes there are hybrid rose bushes bordering fantastic gardens and other times there are crushed beer bottles or other unspeakable litter. There are also tons of  little picket fences right on the street, with variety packs of dogs behind them barking right at you, as you pass. We played that game yesterday with an audience of neighbors sitting on the porch. One of their three dogs turned into the Sherriff, jumping viciously up against the thigh-high fence. Naturally, Stella went after the dog. I didn't really blame her (too much). It did seem as if the dog was going to get us but she was set to drag me over the fence with her. It's fine, I usually try to work 6-8 seconds of complete chaos in a few times each day. The more embarrassing, the better.

  The photos below have nothing to do with this post. They came out of our new (temporary) garden in the back yard which is also fenced but thankfully ours is a lot more private at six feet. This mama Robin was teaching her chicks the basics yesterday, inside the fence, which I thought was truly brilliant since they were like bunch of toddlers, heaving around and flying into things. Today they're strong enough to fly to the top of the fence so they probably won't be here that much longer. I didn't realize any of this was happening until the chick in the lower photo hopped right up to Stella and started a conversation. I wish we had a picture of that. Mama bird put a stop to it rather quickly and basically ordered us into the house.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pity Party

Well I had every intention of posting the details of our recent move here on Stella's page but things got out of hand early on and haven't quite settled even now, a week on into our transition. The Cliff's Notes version is this: I had everything I own except the bare essentials (dog toys, clothes, computer, cameras and the food that was in the refrigerator) moved into storage. I hired Music City Movers to do this for me. That was a mistake I regretted half an hour in but I don't want to talk about it because then I'd be forced to relive it.

The Thursday prior to our move I took Stella to the vet for a rabies shot that was two months overdue. I didn't want to get one at all and even asked the vet once if she would sell me the tag which is completely illegal and of course she refused however, this time they stuck her, charged me the $24. and THEN SAID:
"They've recently changed the law in Tennessee so she won't have get another shot for three years."
In other words, we could have skipped the thing for two more years legally but they wanted the $24. Then, I made the second mistake and bought a single dose of Advantage topical flea medicine.

We got to the new house (which is spectacular btw) and began unpacking a little bit and getting settled in and Stella seemed to be having the time of her life. Even the cat was cool about the whole thing. Then on Thursday I gave her the flea medicine - just in case. I didn't want her bringing any rogue fleas into the new place. It belongs to friends, and I've agreed to house and garden sit for 6-8 months.

When she started itching I thought it was because the fleas were on to us. I had no idea that the next five days would be fraught with vomiting and diarrhea, listlessness, swelling, and trembling, hives and what can only be described as mental breakdown. She was feverish and delirious, running into walls to get away from the itch. At one point I opened the front door and she ran outside, down the steps and out into traffic. She just missed getting hit by a car. As some might suspect that led to my very own personal breakdown.

During all of this craziness, she also managed to adopt a variety of neurotic behaviors. She didn't drink any water except out of a flower pot in the backyard but oops, then she was afraid to go out the back door, or into the kitchen or up the front steps. She spent time licking the floor. She's only eaten twice since last Thursday. I went for Benedryl on Friday. That actually gave her some relief but since then she appears to have a runny nose. I'd take her to the vet but now that she's improving I'm sure they'll want to give her a steroid shot, why is that the answer to everything? Thanks but no thanks. I knew things were going south when she climbed up in my lap and laid down on my chest.  

So that's the short story. What I had hoped would be a big fun time, turned into a nightmare eluding to the fact once more that the power of positive thinking is bullshit - just in case anyone wondered.

UPDATE: Just so as not to leave everyone floating in a black hole - I believe as of about four-thirty this afternoon (but for the runny nose) Stella appears to be recovered and has mostly reverted to her regular self. It's been a long few weeks and despite my ranting there are wildly fun things in our future over here; on the other side of the river. We promise to avoid having a big pity party next time.

Here is part of our new (temporary) bathroom with the stained glass window which is not only beautiful but genius.