Saturday, October 24, 2009

Suture-less Snowy. Some House News. And Scaring the Ocean.

Suture-less Snowy! Cone-less Snowy! Happy Snowy!

Yes, indeedy. When we took Snowy to the hospital yesterday, the nurse took him to a back room and when she returned him to us five minutes later, he was smiling a big ol' happy doggy smile, free of all those annoying, lingering encumbrances of his bladder surgery.

Hard to believe that just one week ago, he was in ICU, and not doing well at well. Now he's bouncing around with alacrity and flitting from place to place like a puppy instead of the (almost) 10-year dog he is.

We've been laughing at him a bit because while he was wearing the cone, his ears got all matted and mussed and now the hair on them sticks up everywhere and he looks just like a very small Phyllis Diller. He obviously needs to his hairdresser, er, groomer when we get home.

We knew for sure that he was on his way to recovery this week when he finally volunteered to go into his kennel on his own and take a little nap in it. Up to that point, he had to be glued to the side of one of us at all times; he was just so traumatized from all he had been through that he couldn't let us out of his sight. Yesterday, however, I was thrilled to see him walk over to his kennel, sniff it a minute, and then curl up inside on his pillow for a (solitary) nap. His little emotions are recovering along with his body.



It's been quite entertaining to watch him deal with that cone on his head all week. He made a couple of attempts to get up the stairs to the second floor but usually gave up and whimpered until the elevator (um, that would be me) arrived to ferry him up to the second floor. Every time he tried to go up by himself, he kept on whamming the cone into the next step and he just couldn't seem to get the hang of getting everything coordinated.

Here he is, mid-attempt.






In this particular incidence, he actually made it about halfway before halting his efforts and crying piteously for assistance. When we get back home tomorrow, I imagine he will race up and down those stairs, just because he can.

Hurray for healed doggies!

____________________

In house news, we got a phone call late yesterday afternoon from our realtor in Manteo who told us that the deal has gone through on the house we've been looking at. This morning we signed all the papers, so unless something completely unexpected turns up during the pending house inspection, we will move into our "new" rent-to-own house on December 1st!

Another hurray!

Of course, I would be "hurraying" even more vehemently if our house in Smithfield had sold already, but I am definitely learning patience and trust in this whole process. I'm quite certain that God is not pacing back and forth in heaven, wringing his hands and worrying over the sale of our house.

And why is that?

Well, for one thing, God doesn't worry! And for another thing, he already knows exactly who will buy the house, and when, and for how much--and if HE knows, well then I guess my worrying is really pretty needless. However, I am SO GOOD at worrying that I really hate to let that "gift" go to waste! (smile)

_______________

Today, we have the whole day free here in Manteo so we might do something really amazingly different and unique and creative. We might Go. To. The. Ocean.

I hate to say it, but in seven trips here, we have yet to see the ocean. I mean, we assume it's still there and everything, and it doesn't really need checking on, but we still figure that maybe it would be nice if we went on over there (a whole ten minutes away) and took a peek at it.

We're going to take Snowy with us and see what he thinks of it. He's never see a whole, entire ocean before. Knowing him, he will probably bark at it furiously to see if he can scare it away. You know. The way he barks at squirrels and birds at home and makes THEM go away?

Must be nice to have such awesome doggy power.

We'll see how he does with scaring the ocean. We'll be sure to let you know.


____________________

Be sure to look at the post below for the second edition of Holiday Recipes from Readers!

Friday, October 23, 2009

More Holiday Recipes From Readers

Here are a few more editions to our ongoing Holiday Recipe cookbook. Enjoy!

COOKING A TURKEY WITHOUT BURNING IT

I've found a fool-proof way to not burn a turkey. While in college, I used to live in a student co-op and we would make 5-6 turkeys for the weekend before Thanksgiving (when all the alums came over for dinner), and then one giant turkey for Thanksgiving itself (when fewer people were around). We had really unpredictable ovens, too!

1) Soak the turkey in brine overnight (don't know the proportions, but submerge the turkey in salty water, in the fridge, overnight). This hydrates the turkey and prevents drying. Just remember to reduce the amount of salt you might put on it later!

2) Roast the turkey breast-side down for the first half of the cooking. They don't look as pretty later, but it allows you to cook the breast without burning it.


Now my turkeys are smaller, but my oven is better! I've always made them with lots of butter, white wine, and sage. This is making me really hungry. ---Mariela



COCONUT CAKE

I usually make the Four Day Coconut Cake for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Most of my family like it although some of the nieces and nephews do not like coconut.

I use white cake mix cutting the layers to make four instead of two after cooking.

Mix: 2 cups of sour cream, 2 cups of sugar, and 24 ounces of frozen (thawed out) coconut. Refrigerate overnight.

Put the coconut filling between the layers and on top. If you have enough you can put it on the sides. My filling usually runs down the sides so I don't "pat it down" on the sides.

Refrigerate the entire cake for 4 days before cutting.

Sometimes mine stays that long and sometimes it doesn't. The longer it is refrigerated the better it tastes. ---Ann Martin


CROCK POT SUGGESTIONS

To go along with the crock pot idea, there are crock pot "liners" you can buy...basically just a thick plastic bag that fits inside the pot. When the meal comes out, you can just throw the bag away and not even have the crock pot to clean up!

I always look up recipes on
All Recipes. You can search by ingredients you want to use OR ingredients you don't want. I have also used Super Cook I put in what ingredients I have on hand and then it will pull up recipes based on my ingredients. -- Angie


BACON WRAPPED GREEN BEANS
(Connie sent this to me by email but I wanted to include it here, as well.)

1 lb bacon raw and cut in half
1 lb or more fresh green beans or 2-3 cans whole beans
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
Garlic powder or garlic pepper

Lightly cook green beans for 8 minutes (drain if canned)
Wrap center of 4 beans in ½ slice bacon and place on greased 9X13 pan
Continue until all the beans are gone
Melt butter and add brown sugar. Stir until mixed smoothly
Pour over beans and sprinkle with garlic powder or garlic pepper
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes and serve warm…YUMMY!

I’ve also skipped the brown sugar and just put in garlic powder instead so they aren’t garlic beans and not sweet.
I’ve tried to cut the bacon in thirds but it didn’t work…too small
I’ve also cut everything up and just baked it without the pretty wrapping…more like a baked stir fry and that worked well but I did over-cook it a bit. ---Connie

Ladder Fears

Steve has never loved heights.

In fact, here is a recent Facebook entry from him on the subject:

"Years ago, Becky and I visited the Sears Tower in Chicago. I was so certain that I could feel the thing swaying that I walked around paranoid. Getting up on ladders is not my idea of a rosy old time but today I got up on our 18 ft ladder to repair and paint a second story window frame. And all without Valium! Let's hear it for small victories. Only have eight more upstairs windows to go!"

Since he's never loved the idea of getting up really high, when Nathan came home for Christmas, HE was the one who scampered up the ladder to hang these really high Christmas lights outside. Nice having a scampering son around!




We also sent him "up high" to do some indoor maintenance.


Well, this week Steve decided it was time to fix a few of the old boards under our windows, some of which were on the verge of rotting. He pondered his fear of heights. And then he pondered the thought of bringing in a carpenter to do the work and charging us hundreds of dollars.

And then he pondered the thought that saving several hundred dollars was a really good incentive for getting over his Ladder Fear. So. Up he went! Higher and higher! All the way to the top of the window at the far left of this picture. (Nathan's room.)





He chipped paint and applied paint with the greatest of panache and then returned to earth with the greatest of grins on his face.

Conquering a fear and saving money, all at one time? Priceless.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of him going up to the highest point, but Sarah and I did get some pictures of him last night on a lower ladder.



Concentrating fiercely


Displaying the Official Smith Tendency to stick out his tongue when thinking hard.


Suddenly realizing his picture is being taken




A final view of my Ladder Climbing Prince Charming!



How about you? Have you ever conquered a fear? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Maybe you can help someone else get over something similar.

______________________________

In about two hours, I need to be packed up and ready to hit the road. First stop is driving 45 minutes west to take Snowy back into the hospital to have his sutures looked at. Then four hours east to Manteo for the weekend.

I'll be in touch!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The First Holiday Recipe Ideas From Readers Are In!

JENNY'S CRANBERRY RELISH

Here's my favorite EASY dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I like cranberry sauce, but it always looked kind of gross to me. So here's what I do now.

1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 can mandarin orange slices, drained & chopped up a bit
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mash up the cranberry sauce and then stir in oranges & pecans.
VOILA! A pretty & tasty side dish. Enjoy! --Jenny

_______________________

TIPS FOR PRE-COOKING AN "EASY TO CLEAN UP" THANKSGIVING MEAL
(Which is especially good info for the Smiths since we'll be in the middle of a move!)

Keep your crockpot out and buy a turkey breast from your grocery store.
Pour a can of jellied cranberry sauce over it with half to 3/4 can of frozen orange juice and add a packet of lipton onion soup mix.
If thawed, cook for four hours or so.
Then buy the aluminum foil pans for green bean casserole and cheesy hashbrown potatoes.
You can get these all ready the day or two before and cook Thanksgiving day.
Use paper plates and the only thing to wash will be the crockpot. --Rachel


__________________________

EASY WAY TO COOK A TURKEY

I have always had great success with Thanksgiving turkeys cooked in the plastic cooking bags.

Grease them up or butter them up to your liking
Stuff the cavity with slices of bread and chunks of veggies (including onion)
Shake the bag with flour
Slip in the bird (sometimes "slip" is not the right term - wrestle comes to mind)
Tie it up with the twist tie that comes in the package with the bag
Follow the directions for temp and time and taa daa! You really have a beautiful turkey with no peaking or basting. There is plenty, plenty of juice to make the gravy - which is easily made with corn starch NOT flour - no lumps and blends great!

Also, stores sell the entire Thanksgiving dinner already prepared - that could be a thought - or a turkey breast is an easy (however more costly) alternative.

SIDE DISH IDEAS

I always make my mom's cranberries - they are from fresh cranberries - so it is not like the cranberry sauce - they are a little tart but can be made to your sweetness level - just add more sugar - recipe is on the bag of fresh cranberries.

I also smash (with a spoon) a few of the cranberries as they are boiling so there is a little bit of "sauce" texture. Always have to have the candied sweet potatoes AND mashed potatoes for the gravy and then I do dressing (stuffing) outside of the bird in a casserole - my family likes it a little more baked and not as moist as when it is stuffed in the turkey.

Then I just add a salad and or some soup and a veggie or two - because no one can agree on a veggie but it has to be green.

So that sums it up - seriously, the cooking bags are great for turkeys, roasts, pork roasts - check them out! --Mary H.
_________________________________

HELPFUL TIMETABLES FOR COOKING A TURKEY

Turkey Timetables

Guerrina says, "This timetable and use of meat thermometer have produced some wonderful stuffed turkeys over the years!

UNPICTURE-FYING MY BACKLOG AND YOUR RECIPES

Every once in a while (Or "Every single once in a while," as Sarah used to say when she was little), I discover pictures that I haven't posted, or I find old favorite pictures that I just like looking at again.

So today is my day to unpicture-fy my backlog. Some of these you've seen before; some you haven't.

This is a letter that arrived home from Nathan in the past few months. I had to smile when I saw how he had addressed it.


A while ago, Sarah left this helpful Post-It note of instruction for Steve.


I mentioned last week in a post that I keep a shopping list taped to the inside of my cupboard with a pen always nearby. If you don't have an ongoing list like this, I highly recommend it.

I have mine divided into sections; as soon as I know I'm running low on something, I immediately write it on the list. (And yes, my handwriting really is as bad as it looks in the picture.) When I go to the grocery store, it makes shopping easy since I have everything organized by categories.

And the very best part? I never get in trouble when I haven't bought something a family member needs. If they haven't written it on The List, they know they can't complain about me not buying it! Good deal!


(I usually print out about 20 copies at a time, so I always have a new one ready to go.)




I've always loved this picture I took of Steve in Wisconsin many years ago. (The dog belonged to the people whose house we were staying at.)



Here we are getting ready to leave my parent's house in Wisconsin after our visit in December of 2008. I didn't realize as that picture was being snapped that I had just said good bye to my dad for the last time.


Here's Sarah in our borrowed cottage in Manteo. Ain't she cute?


Sarah and Snowy




My beloved Smith Sibs


Nathan helping with Sarah's physical therapy.


A tie-tying lesson before school. Is it just me, or does Steve look like he's still asleep?


__________________________

In other news, Steve has been working with our real estate agent all week on the offer on this house we're making. I am so very thankful that I am not a real estate agent. The complexity those people deal with is just mind boggling. Offers and counter offers and counter offers to counter offers and pages and pages of legalese and forms to sign. My brain hurts just thinking about it.

We put in our counter offer yesterday morning, so we may hear something today or tomorrow about where we are in that process. In the meantime, we've dropped the price on our house in Smithfield yet again and will probably drop it again next week if nothing happens.

We're getting to the point where we just really, really need to sell it, regardless of whether or not we make anything on it. Ten months on the market--it is time to SELL!

It it so frustrating living between two cities like this; our hearts are in Manteo but our bodies and house and possessions and stuff are all in Smithfield. Right now I feel like a woman without a country; I don't quite belong in Smithfield and I don't quite belong in Manteo.

Steve and I were talking yesterday and saying that when we do get ready to move everything over to Manteo (hopefully around December 1) we are going to be uprooting our lives at the busiest time of the year--right between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I just want to go on record right now as saying that my Thanksgiving Dinner this year will probably consist of one can of chicken noodle soup. By that point, my kitchen will no doubt be completely undone, and I won't be able to find even a butter knife, let alone the fixing's for a turkey dinner.


Nathan and Meagan will be here during that time so maybe I'll send Nathan to Chick-Fil-A and we could all have a sandwich to go with our soup! Something to look forward to.

________________________

And lastly, I was going through some of the archive pages of Sarah's Spot last night and found some of the recipes that I posted there. I'm going to move them over here so that they'll be a part of the official "recipe file." (Remember, you can scroll down the right column and find the "recipe" category; just click on it and all the recipes I've posted here will show up.)

Also, from this point on, I'm going to put the recipes in posts by themselves so that you don't have to scroll through an entire entry just to find the recipe.

And speaking of recipes, what is you or your family's favorite thing you make for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Do you have a certain fool proof way of roasting your turkey? (I wish I did.) Do you make a side dish that everyone asks for every single year? Is your recipe for pumpkin pie or stuffing extra, extra good?

If you'll post those recipes in the comments area, I'll make a special addition to the recipe file filled with just Thanksgiving/Christmas dishes. That way, we can "steal" from each other and impress our own families with each others' recipes! (Anyone have a good recipe for canned chicken noodle soup?)


Alrighty then. Home school is calling my name! I need to take off my blogger hat and put on my teacher hat.

__________________________

PS. By the way, Snowy had a good night. (I was "on call" with him.) We'll be taking him back to the hospital in the morning to have his stitches looked at. My only concern at this point is that he has eaten hardly anything since coming home on Monday. I gave him a few little pieces of chicken yesterday and he's had some treats (following the twice-daily taking of his yucky medicine) but he hasn't had even one bite of his dog food. So we'll need to check in on that, too.

Thanks again for your concern for the beloved, smallest member of our family.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Video! And Addendums to a Recipe!

I finally got the technical details of Sarah's and my video worked out and have posted it below. Let me introduce it by saying that Sarah did the graphics and also came up with its title which is, "Be-Coating the Dog." That title is a perfect example of her quirky thought process. It's sure nice to have my own personal video assistant in the house.

The day before we shot this video, Snowy was all shivery and had very happily submitted to having his little coat put on. Well, on the day of the video, he was also shivery but he decided he would have a little fun with us and outsmart us in the "Be-Coating the Dog" exercise. As you will see at the end--he won. But all three of us had a lot of fun in the process.

Steve was "on call" last night and only had to get up one time, at 3 am, to do Dog Duty. After Snowy had gone outside, he went into a "I Need to Lick and Scratch" frenzy, which of course, he couldn't do because of Ye Olde Cone.

The poor guy. I'm sure his stitches are itching terribly and in addition to that, he can't even scratch his ear in good doggy fashion. We'll find out tomorrow or Friday if his stitches can come out; as soon as they do, the cone will be gone. Oh happiest of happy days!

Also, let me just mention that there were a couple variations sent to me concerning the recipe I posted yesterday. I'm going to add those changes to that actual post so all of that info stays together.

And one more thing--Lisa from Georgia asked how she could find the video of Sarah that was posted last year so she could show it her 7th grade Science Class.

Lisa, you can go to YouTube and search for "Sarah Smith"+cancer. You'll find the video but the music no longer plays. You may just want to put a CD on to play during the presentation. Thanks for sharing Sarah's story!

Okay, now it's time to get home school started and to take my turn snuggling with Snowy. It's a rough life but someone's gotta do it!

Enjoy the video. Enjoy your day!


video

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Dog On My Head (And a Recipe)

Hello from Snowy World!

You all were so sweet to check in on him yesterday; in fact, my hit counter was the highest it's been since starting this blog. It's quite obvious that Snowy is a very popular Teacup Maltese Dog Person.

I also appreciate the words of advice you shared in helping us deal with all of the post-operative challenges; thanks so much for taking the time to sign in with a comment or e-mail us personally.

Last night was Sarah's night to be "on call" with Snowy; she slept with him in Nathan's bed since he gets very anxious if he's not close to one of us at all times. She was up with him at 2 am and then I got up with him at 5 am to take him outside.

He came back in and immediately wanted to go outside again.

At 5 am. When it was freezing cold. And I was
so tired.

After I had finally convinced him that he was done going to the bathroom and that he should stay inside for a while, I lay down the couch and tried to get him to settle in beside me. He flung himself up and down trying to find a comfortable spot, with his little cone getting caught on couch corners, pillows and me.

Finally, he found a spot he liked.

It was on my head.

I sighed. I said, "Snowy, I love you a lot, but you can
not sleep on my head."

When I reached up to adjust him to another area, he decided he had to go outside. Again. Where it was still
cold.

He came back in and went through the whole "running up and down the couch, bumping into corners" routine until he finally once again settled himself into a comfy spot.

On my left ear.

After about thirty minutes of going in and out, and various couch maneuverings, the two of us finally found sleeping positions that were mutually acceptable (which meant he was NOT on my head) and slept another two hours.

The swelling around the surgery area is really giving him fits in making him think he has to go to the bathroom when he really doesn't. So far, the only two places where he is happy is outside (tied up to the swing) where he assumes The Peeing Position about every 30 seconds or else inside, tucked up very close to Steve, Sarah or me. So we're all three taking turns doing "Sitting With Snowy" duty. (It's my turn now) Overnight, Steve will be "on call" while Sarah and I catch up on our sleep.

It's sure a good thing we love him so much!

Here are a couple pictures from Steve's Assigned Snuggle Time with him before bed last night. He was cold and shivering so we put a towel and a robe over him. He was quite happy with that scenario; warm coverings and a human being to hang with. Little spoiled doggy!





Yesterday, I also promised a few pictures of Nathan. Before I post those, though, the question was asked why he and Meagan were so dressed up in the picture I included yesterday; it was because their college group at church went to a dinner theater.

A cute couple, I must say!



Nathan. Being Nathan.


With college friends doing what college friends do.





And lastly, I have another recipe for you. (By the way, if you ever want to find any previous recipes included on this site, scroll down the right column to where all the subjects are listed and you'll find a recipe category there.)

This recipe is wonderful because you can have it ready for the oven in less than five minutes. You can either bake it at 300 degrees for several hours (3-4) or put it in the crockpot all day. I usually double it because it makes wonderful leftovers.

NO PEEK BEEF STEW

1 lb stew beef-one inch pieces (can add more or less beef according to what you have on hand)
1 envelope dried onion soup mix
1/2 C red wine or cooking wine (Note: any alcohol content burns off in the cooking, leaving just the flavor)
1 can cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup
four ounce can of mushrooms, drained (I leave this out since I'm not a lover of mushrooms)

  • NOTE: Some of my readers shared a few variations to this recipe: You can use real onion instead of Lipton soup, add cut carrots & potatos and cream of celery soup. Can use water or ginger ale instead of wine to dilute soup. The ginger ale seems to tenderize the meat.
Mix all ingredients. (Now wasn't that easy?)

Bake in an oven or put in a crock pot.

Serve over noodles or rice.

It's especially good for a cold October night OR it's good to put in the oven before church on Sunday morning. Come home and lunch is just about ready!

Alrighty then. Sarah is just finishing up school and then she and I are headed out to a thrift store to stock up on a few more winter basics. Steve will take over in the Sitting With Snowy Department until we get home.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Yes! It's Another Post

This is my third post today; do I win any sort of award?

A few of you asked how the house showing went. We heard back from the realtor and she said that the people loved the house and the overall "look." However, they had wanted a master bedroom on the first floor.

Sigh. It would have been nice if they would have confirmed that little detail before we spent two hours (with a recently discharged-from-the-hospital dog) cleaning and rushing about like crazy people.

Snowy's had a challenging afternoon at home. Most of his sutures are in his abdomen but they also placed one stitch in an area that makes him feel like he has to go to the bathroom.

All. The. Time.

Without exaggeration, he has asked to go outside fifteen times today and when he gets out there, he will do his little "leg lifting" routine twenty times. Then he'll come inside, sit there for about five minutes and act desperate to go outside again.


Since we are not supposed to let him run around our fenced yard (running isn't good for his stitches), we can't just let him out the back door like we usually do. We have to take the leash and walk him around and wait for him to do his leg lifting routine over and over and over. And over and over and over and over.

It's a good thing we love him!

We did take his cone off for a while to see if that would help him eat; he did well for about thirty minutes and then Steve noticed him trying to lick his stitches. When Steve tried to stop him, Snowy snapped at Steve. (Which is very unusual for Snowy; I think he's still "emotionally" raw from the weekend.) And so we had to put the cone back on, where I'm afraid it will have to stay. I'm not sure how we can get a dog to eat with a cone on but I'm sure we'll figure out a way!

He seems anxious a lot of the time; the only time he's calm is when he's sitting with one of us and wrapped in a blanket. I can certainly understand how he must feel; he just spent three days having some very uncomfortable things done to a very personal part of his person. He was in a strange building with strange people and a lot of things hurt and he had a needle in his paw and he was not with people he knew and loved. I'd be surprised if he wasn't a bit traumatized.

Although he usually sleeps in his large kennel at night, we figured that for the next few nights we'll have to take turns sleeping with him so that he has someone near him all the time. Steve and I were saying that dealing with him right now is very much like dealing with a two-year old!

I know that as each day goes by, he'll feel better and be less stressed out. It's just nice to have our family circle complete again--well, except for Nathan.

And speaking of Nathan, I asked his girl friend, Meagan, to take a few pictures of him. She sent me several which I'll post tomorrow.

For tonight I'll just post one of them. Looking at the picture makes me miss him all the more, but it also makes me thankful that he is in a place where he is happy and he is in God's will, pursuing his calling and vocation. (Not to mention, pursuing a certain lovely lady.)

That makes this mama heart smile!





One Happy Doggy!

Okay. Let me take a deep breath and try to gather my thoughts.

In between taking Snowy to the vet in Smithfield on Friday morning, racing him to Raleigh for surgery on Friday afternoon, traveling to Manteo on Saturday morning (with worried phone calls to and from the vet surgeon en route), having dinner with some wonderful Manteo-ites on Saturday night, doing rehearsal and service Sunday morning (with another phone call to the vet tucked in there), eating lunch with missionaries to India after church, doing the 3-hour drive home to Smithfield Sunday night, unpacking when we got here, doing a little home school, running to the hospital to pick up Snowy this morning, cleaning the house in a hurry and then leaving the house an hour for the showing this afternoon, I'm not sure whether I'm coming or going.

What I am sure about, though, is that having Snowy snuggled beside me in my chair while I type is worth a whole pot of gold! The poor guy is wearing a cone thing over his head (to keep him from scratching or licking his sutures) but he's keeping a good attitude about it and seems to be able to take naps and rest in spite of it.

Here are a few pictures from the day.

The first hug
(You can't see them, but there were some happy "other customers" and hospital employees looking on.)



Snowy looks a little "mellow" because they still had him on some pretty strong pain meds.




On the way home, I felt just like I was holding a new baby. I had his blanket along and he fell right to sleep in my arms, just the way a newborn would. And the funny thing is that the cost was sort of similar. (Well, it's not really funny funny, but you know what I mean.)



Out exploring the yard; you can see how thin he's become.


The plan for right now is to keep him on pain meds and an antibiotic around the clock and on Friday take him back to the hospital to see if his sutures are ready to come out yet. If they are, his cone can be taken off. If not, we'll check back in with them early the following week.

I feel so bad for him having to wear the cone; it makes eating and drinking quite a challenge!
Sarah is his official water bowl holder.



He's also not supposed to run or jump or do anything to disturb those stitches; unfortunately (or maybe I should say happily), he's starting to feel so good that running and jumping is just what he wants to do! It's going to be an interesting few days as we try to keep him quiet and feed him around that "alien cone" he has to wear!

Let me close by saying once again how blessed we feel to have our little friend returned to us; when the doctor called us on the road Saturday and said he wasn't doing well, I went into the bathroom at the gas station we had stopped at and just sobbed. It was unthinkable to contemplate him never coming back home again and even with all the extra meds and precaustions we have to deal with this week, it will all be a labor of love.

Snowy says thanks to all of you for your concern and your prayers. He also says to tell you, "I am one happy doggy!"

Here are our three kids




And this week's star of the Smith family

Writing With Snowy

A longer post will be coming soon; this is the first chance I've had to sit down today.

We had just gotten home from the pet hospital, gotten Snowy settled in and fixed ourselves lunch when the phone rang. We were asked if we could be out of the house in 45 minutes for a showing and had to be gone an hour.

So! We're now just getting back from that little jaunt.

Thankfully, Snowy is right here beside me in my "writing chair" so the chances of another post coming soon are very good!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Snowy Happiness

We talked to Snowy's doctor on the way home from Manteo and the first bit of news we heard was that Snowy had removed his own catheter! (A self service patient.)

After I got done wincing a little over the "ouch factor" involved in that sort of maneuver, I was actually kind of encouraged because it sounded to me like he was getting a little of his pep for life back. Up to that point, he had been so listless and demoralized and seemed to have given up the fight. Pulling out a catheter takes a lot of spirit! He was basically saying, "Look people. I am so over this place!"

And then the doctor told us he'd been eating a lot better today and had had a bowel movement and was doing better urinating. (Sorry if this is too much information, but at this point in our life, we just feel pretty jolly about those kinds of details.)

So here's the good news! If nothing changes overnight, the three of us will head out tomorrow morning for our Fetching the Fine Furry Fella Foray. I'll be sure to get pictures of the reunion.

I'm sure he will be traumatized for a while since he's just gone through the worst three days of his life; Sarah and I have many plans in place for holding him and petting him endlessly. He will be one spoiled doggy.


I can't tell you how worried we have been and how dreary life was looking for us if he hadn't pulled through this. Most dogs go home the next morning after this surgery but he just wasn't bouncing back; yesterday, we were concerned about whether or not he would even survive.

A
fter that phone call from the hospital this afternoon, however, our gloomies have been replaced by a big ol' dose of Snowy Happiness.

Hallelujah and hooray!

________________

The question was asked how old Snowy is. On October 31st, he will turn ten. We got him when he was just a few weeks old and he traveled with us to about thirty-five states, "helped" me home school the kids, and nursed Sarah through cancer treatment. For those of you who have pets of your own, you know what I mean what I say he is a beloved member of our family.

We're headed back to Smithfield in a couple minutes.

We're expecting another call from the animal hospital any minute; we did hear from them this morning. They said that Snowy had another tough night; they finally decided to go ahead and sedate him again and insert a 12-hour catheter. He's still in a lot of pain and on his IV's and meds. We definitely won't be picking him up today.

A sad, stressful day in the "dog department. . ."