A Little Bixby Update

First of all, thank you, everyone. It’s been a rough week with little sleep and knowing you’re pulling for the Big Guy and all your kind words, mean so much.

We had a good day. I want to say it was a great day, but in the back of my mind, I’m always wondering if a full recovery is possible. So until he can walk on his own, I try not to get my hopes up too high.

But today he managed a goal he had clearly set for himself over the weekend – to get up on the couch. He has attempted it a couple of times a day since Saturday. Today, he needed some steadying from me, but get up there he sure did.

Later in the day, when one of his favorite people came to visit him, he stood up on his own for a full 30 seconds.

So in a day of crappy news about our democracy, this was a win in our household.

What good happened around you today?

Tuesday Mid-Day Open Thread

The dogs are confined to the front porch while a man installs a new hot water heater. Badger isn’t taking the confinement well:

According to multiple media alerts on my phone, AG Barr just told Congress he’ll release a redacted Mueller report “within a week.” Bold prediction: It won’t change any minds, but it might club the Beltway press into a new narrative.

Democrats are also set to grill Trump’s T-Man Mnuchin about Der Gropenfuhrer’s tax returns later today. During the campaign, Trump said he’d release his returns about a dozen times. Let’s see a lie reel on every network except Fox News (would violate their contract).

Open thread!

Monday Morning Moment of Zen

Here is a video of Lily enjoying a delicious and buttery Ritz cracker:

Who doesn’t like a Ritz?

Sunday Morning Open Thread: Easy Targets

Because even the trained professionals get tired sometimes, the Washington Post (nb: business section) goes for the clickbait — “Dog owners are much happier than cat owners, survey finds”:

The well-respected survey that’s been a barometer of American politics, culture and behavior for more than four decades finally got around to the question that has bedeviled many a household.

Dog or cat?

In 2018, the General Social Survey for the first time included a battery of questions on pet ownership. The findings not only quantified the nation’s pet population — nearly 6 in 10 households have at least one —they made it possible to see how pet ownership overlaps with all sorts of factors of interest to social scientists.

Like happiness.

For starters, there is little difference between pet owners and non-owners when it comes to happiness, the survey shows. The two groups are statistically indistinguishable on the likelihood of identifying as “very happy” (a little over 30 percent) or “not too happy” (in the mid-teens).

But when you break the data down by pet type — cats, dogs or both — a stunning divide emerges: Dog owners are about twice as likely as cat owners to say they’re very happy, with people owning both falling somewhere in between…

If you read the article (there are graphs!), the author *does* discuss most of the predictable variables. People who live with dogs (and respond to surveys) can afford to spend more on a ‘luxury’, and are more likely to own their own homes. And they’re healthy enough to walk the dog on a regular basis, or they live with another person who can do so, or they can pay someone for the chores (social interactions being one of those generic ‘makes humans more happy’ markers).

But they missed one of my personal biases: I’ve always thought people who lived with dogs-but-not-cats tend to be the sort of people who regard ‘happiness’ as the baseline human condition — they consider themselves ‘happy’ unless they’ve got a particular problem right at the moment they’re asked. People who live with cats-not-dogs, on the other hand, are generally people who assume that ‘happiness’ is a special blessing to be enjoyed when it happens… not something that can be taken for granted. As the cliche has it, your dog loves you because dogs love, whereas your cat loves you (if you’ve earned their love) because the cat chooses to love you.

(And, of course, people who live with both are comfortable with contradictions!)

Send a Little Love

Scout loves using her Bixby as her personal  pillow

Bixby had another bout of a bacterial gastric event that he had last year. I’ll try not to get too graphic, but blood in his vomit and bowels sent us to the emergency vet, as my vet had two surgeries he couldn’t’ reschedule. Turns out that’s not uncommon with an inflamed gut.

I was thinking we were going to get away with a few meds and be on our way. His blood work was perfect, his heart and BP were in the safe zone. And then they brought him out to me. He couldn’t stand, kept falling over and was confused and lethargic.

The emergency vet sent him home anyway, despite my concerns – the least being how I was going to lug around a woozy 160 lb Dane. They said to watch him and bring him back if he got worse. We won’t discuss the words I used both in my head and in person.

By late afternoon, he was no longer able to walk and a return to the vet was not possible. Our best guess is that he either had a serve allergic reaction to the anti-nausea shot or they hit/pinched a nerve in back. He has not been able to walk since.

He’s eating, drinking, etc and on the mend that way, so we are 1/2 way there, I guess. My vet has kind of thrown up his hands and left us on our own.

I’ve now put in a call to a DVM that is also certified in chiropractic and acupuncture, hoping she’ll make a home visit and help evaluate him. If he’s just jammed his neck or shoulder when he kept falling, she should be able to help. Worst case scenario is when they did the subcutaneous fluids, he might have suffered a spinal stroke which would be a devastating diagnosis.

While we wait for some resolution, we could use your good thoughts, good energy and prayers (if that’s your thing).

I’m on day three of little sleep and can’t even imagine what might come next. Basically I just breathe in and breathe out and lay on the floor next to the big guy.