Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Puppy Pacemaker?

Over the past few weeks, Oliver has been occasionally panting very hard at what seems to be completely random times. Last week he had his yearly check-up and the vet discovered both an arrhythmia and a murmur in his heart. A dog's heart is supposed to beat at about 80 beats per second, and Oliver's was running on about 50. Thus the panting. I have also noticed that Oliver is getting bonier. His spine sticks out quite a bit as does his hips. Poor thing. His vision continued to go but he is certainly functional. It might take him a moment to find you in a room, but once he does, there's no running into anything to get to you. His hearing is also going.

Yesterday Oliver went back to the vet for an echocardiagram. They discovered that yes, his heart has some damage to it and his internal pacemaker is not working right. Further tests and possibly a visit to Angell Memorial Hospital will determine what's next.  Hopefully he will only need medication, because the alternative is to leave him be, which will result in his heart continuing to deteriorate and he will start passing out (which to me sounds like he will simply start having heart attacks until one of them does him in).
The other option, should it come to that, is to have a pacemaker installed. I did some research; a new pacemaker? Very expensive. A used one? Far less but still expensive.

How far to we go for our animals?  Will it buy him a year? Two years?  We call him "puppy" and most of the time he acts like one, but he is getting up there in years. Could the pacemaker be put in only for him to go completely blind and deaf within six months, and thus giving him a healthier heart situation but him having less quality of life because he's running in to things?

Right now, it's hard to imagine putting him down. He has a great zest for life. Granted, he is sleeping more these days than usual, but again, that's the heart thing. In nature, he would have been eaten by now, I get it. But, we're not in nature. We're in my house, where he has a bed that looks like a couch and a doggy playmate who thinks he's the coolest old man she knows (Dad said Bootsie was thrilled to see him when he returned from his day at the vet), and more people who want to pet him and hold him than there are hours in the day.

I know he is simply a dog. I know that. I am not unaware of the absurd idea of putting a pacemaker in my dog and I certainly hope it doesn't come to that. My Mom says that all our past dogs have told her when they were ready to go. They were always big animals and got to a point where there joints wouldn't hold them any more. And they would tell us "I'm done".  They were not small like Oliver and with heart conditions. So, how do you know?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I haven't been here in a long time. I have been working full time (yay!), redesigning my professional website, dabbling in real estate, or really, considering possibly thinking about buying sometime while the buying's good. I will not mention how when I looked what my amount could buy me here compared to what it could buy me in my previous home in FL?  It's crazy. Come to FL where you can get a huge home with a pool in the back, or stay in Boston where you can buy a pill box of your very own!  I'm not going anywhere. I'm a northerner. Boston's for me. Just maybe not in the city.

I amuse myself these days with a daily visit to because it always makes me laugh out loud - even when I was waiting for the dentist the other day.

I have snippets for you.
Like this one; when Mom and I were at Panera last week, she heard a little boy giving his mother a hard time, refusing to get up from his seat. He told her "I can do anything I want!" and she replied "In your dreams? Yes. In Panera? No."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Absentee Mom

Let me start by saying that I am a firm believer that not everyone should have kids. I know women who do not want kids and don't plan on having kids.  I also know women who didn't really want kids and then had them and do not regret it one bit. They had their challenges, but they ultimately love their kids and are great Moms.  I think both scenarios are fine. In each the woman took what they ultimately decided on and ran with it.

I have mixed feelings about this woman though. This woman had children, took a long business trip, then decided she didn't want to be a mom anymore. She divorced her husband and left her kids to live her life string-free. I understand how a person could lose who they are as a result of being a parent. I don't personally have a good example of this because my Mom always made a point to retain her individuality. She was always there for us but she always had her own life too. She may not have always felt that way, I'm sure, but we were her everything while not being her everything somehow. But she's impressive and I digress.

Would she have been a god mom if she stuck it out? Perhaps not so really, maybe it's best she bailed, but my argument is...having kids is kind of a commitment. You bring them into the world so that's the deal. You stay. Especially if you aren't a drug addict or beat the crap out of them or what have you (is keeping kids you don't want abuse? I don't know. It could be if the kids know it.)

The part that irks me most is when she's all "Well, when I have time with them I am completely focused on them. I'm not checking email or distracted" and then goes on about how the SIX hours she has with them a week is real quality time. She can be a good mother to them.  Really? Six hours? You spend six hours with your kids and think you're being a good mother during that time? Anyone can be a good mother for six hours. That's not even visitation. To me, that's babysitting. There's no disciplining going on during that time, no bedtime stories, no real time for traditions to be made (I mean, the kids are teenagers now but I think you know what I mean).

I understand that I have not read her book and I'm sure it's far more complicated than I can imagine. But, this is a blog, not journalism, so I can vent.

The only example she's setting for them (aside from how incredibly selfish someone could be), the only message, is that she can only spare six hours for her flesh and blood.

Now the other side of this is, a father who does the same thing is considered an absentee father (or maybe an asshole) but it's not criticized as much by society. People might say that the kids are better off without their lame dad. But a mom who bails? Somehow it's just not as "acceptable". Once again then men get a type of social leniency.

I think this woman is using the excuse of "my kids are better off without me because I can't be a good parent" so that she can going on being selfish.

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