Friday, July 01, 2011

I'm late? Oh, I must be on Summer time!

The post from 6/30/11 that wouldn't post.
So much has happened since my last post! I've been to Switzerland and France, got a new puppy and had a LOT of training at work. Since so much has happened, I'll do my best do keep this a summary and then do detailed posts on everything another time.

First: Switzerland. It was amazing. The food is almost always a mixture of meat, potatoes and cheese in some form. My wine glass was rarely empty and my camera was always on. The air smelled of flowers, food or cows depending on where you were. They had self-cleaning toilets, took their dogs EVERYWHERE and it was remarkably clean. No litter or trash anywhere. We walked a LOT and visited Luzern, Schilthorn in the Alps, Interlaken, Lake Thun, Murren, Pilatus and stayed in Basel. The Marketplatz was very neat there. Because it sits in the corner of Switzerland that borders France and Germany, you'd be in one store where they spoke German and then go next door and they'd speak French.

Their version of Wal-mart had the best cart system ever. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who're too lazy to put their cart back and just leave it in a parking space. There, you have to pay to use a cart..and when you put it back, you get your money back. Brilliant! We also went to a futbol game between Basel and Thun where Basel won 5-0. Lucien and his girlfriend Katka were very accommodating and generous. They tended to our every want or need! I'd love to go back! One week just isn't long enough!

Since returning from Switzerland, I've had 48 hours of training at work for in-service. Half was online, the other was 3 days of class. Before Switzerland, we had another 12 hours of training through FEMA. I tell you, I'm trained out. Shew! It's so hard to take the online classes when you're at work and trying to do them between your other job duties. You keep getting interrupted. Eh, ok..that's enough about that.

Two and a half weeks ago, I happened to be looking on the Nash County Animal Friends (NCAF) Facebook page and re-posting the available pets for adoption. I've been doing a lot of that lately because there are so many who need homes. I had no intentions of getting another pet since we already have 7, but there he was..this cute little 3 month old chihuahua/dachshund mix with an injured eye. Nash County is a very high kill shelter because they're so small...and they use a gas chamber. They called him Pete and I knew by looking at his picture that his eye was going to need to come out. I thought, who's going to adopt a one eyed chiweenie pup?? No one will want the expense of having the eye removed and he was just too cute to risk letting him die. So, I kept watching for new posts about him since he wasn't going to be available for adoption for 72 hours. I contemplated my options and decided I was going to go save him. I got off work at 6am, got up at 10:30, left by 11 to be there by 1..which is when they opened. He wouldn't be available until I took the time to play with him. He's only 6 lbs and was basically bouncing off the walls. My actual plan was to be an independent foster and find him a home.

As luck would have it, another couple showed up interested in taking him, so I told them to go ahead and take him since I already had 7 animals. They changed their mind, even when I agreed to pay the adoption fee. Their thinking was that if I took Pete..they could save another one..but they left empty handed. Maybe they got one from another shelter. So, I scooped him up and brought him home. Jeff, who "hates" little dogs just loves him! We renamed him Milo and took him to the vet who referred us to an eye specialist. After seeing the specialist, it was determined that Milo has a detached retina which caused secondary yeah, the eye has to come out... preferably before it becomes painful but after his skull has developed more to reduce deformity of it. They have no way of determining if it was an injury or if he was born with it. Both chihuahuas and dachshunds have a history of retinal dysplasia, but the good news is that his other eye is perfectly normal.

We've had him for 2 weeks and he's a cuddly little love bug. Potty training has been difficult, but he learned to sit within 15 minutes and hadn't even been home for an hour, so I think he belonged to someone and had wandered off. He did hike his leg and pee on my foot..twice. Today he also got so excited over dinner that when I told him to sit, he started peeing. It shot out in a stream across the floor from between his front 2 legs. I couldn't help but laugh! I'm still working on stay, come, heel, go potty and out. His eye drops every night are a pain in the butt though. I thought I could sneak up on the blind eye, but he can still see light/dark. I've tried different strategies. Some nights holding him down works, other nights I have to wait until he falls asleep and then open that eye and drop it in before he knows what happened. He never tries to bite though..he just wriggles around and I'm afraid of poking him in the eye.

The other dogs don't know what to think. I still don't trust Jazz to be left alone with him since she's been so snarly. Patches lets him climb all over her and she tries to play, but she just can't keep up. Despite my best intentions of trying to re-home him..I think we're going to keep him. He's well socialized, travels well, energetic but mellow and was a dream with the eye dr. and the vet. Jeff has this idea of taking him around on his motorcycle with him. A one eyed chiweenie on a motorcycle. Oh..yeah..Jeff got a motorcycle several weeks ago after taking a class for his license. He looks great on it!

Anyway, Milo is curled up in my lap sleeping as I type this and also despite my great attempts to keep him in a crate at night, it didn't work..he cried for HOURS. It's not like I gave up too easily..but 4 hours of crying when I had to get sleep was too much. I got up thinking he needed to go outside, but he cried for 2 more hours, so I let him in bed where he burrowed under the sheets and curled up by my feet. Since then, no issues. He runs through the yard with the other dogs, fetches and gallops through the house. The cats are warming up to him..but they're bigger than he is and have smacked him a few times. I do have a fear they'll scratch his good eye and blind him completely. I don't know that I have it in me to be a seeing eye person. I'm trying to schedule his eye removal and neuter the week we'll be in Fontana. That way, he can be boarded through his recovery and watched after. Jeff wants to take him with us, but since we're sharing a cabin with another couple, I think it would be rude. Plus, I go on vacation to get away from responsibility and he'd be in my lap in a Miata for 7 hours. It would be a great chance to socialize him more though. Eh, we'll see. We still have a few weeks to decide. Besides, I need to find a vet willing to do both surgeries and board that week.

Well, I think that's all the updates for now. I'll get into more detail about Switzerland later. There's just too much to write about to try to smoosh all this into one blog!