The Ballad of the Runaway Hamsterdog

If you follow me on any of the other InstaTwitBook things, you already know most of this, so forgive me for being obvious and repetitive here but I got exactly two hours of (awful, miserable) sleep last night and am crashing pretty hard. Ceiba ran away yesterday. "Ran away" probably isn't correct. More like a "meandering wander." A "let's go pee on some different grass" expedition gone horribly wrong. I can't even recreate a timeline or explain exactly what happened. Jason and I both have different memories and guesstimates about When She Was Here and then When Suddenly We Realized She Wasn't. I remember seeing her napping on a throw pillow on the floor of our bedroom right before I started making dinner. Jason disputes this, saying that he came home from work early and has zero memories of seeing her at all. I remember letting her outside via the basement doors and then letting her back in upstairs, but not specifically when. Or maybe I didn't actually let her back in, but just spotted her sunning herself out on the back deck, then assumed one of the boys would open the door for her later. All I know is... Read more →

We're Gonna Need More Paper Towels

THEY WENT BACK TO SCHOOOOOL TODAAAYYYYY! /psychotic looking happy dance Of course, it's a short week because of parent-teacher conferences, so I still only have a few full days to: 1) Get caught up on a buttload of work. 2) Get the house cleaned up after a week of playing Mess Whack-a-Mole, an endless trail of clutter, crumbs, socks, hats, mittens, muddy boot prints, stickers and colorful Band-Aids randomly stuck to walls, and of course Lego Lego LEGO. 3) Restock the fridge and pantry because having all three kids home is akin to living full-time with a pack of ravenous wolves who never, ever stop eating. But I don't really want to any of those things, ugh, I just feel like lying down and taking a nap. Let's have a quick Ceiba update instead, while I procrastinate on more important work while congratulating myself for at least being awake. So it all appears to be behavioral. Which: Okay, good! Not a disease or anything serious, but NOT GOOD, because she's driving me crazy. We've gone back to crate-training 101. In the crate, go out, do your business, back in the crate. Monitored pit stops for food/water, back in the crate.... Read more →

Diagnosis: Waffles

Introducing Ceiba, the bat-eared medical mystery dog! (WHO IS 2 TIRED 4 UR MEME-Y CAPTION BULLSHIT RIGHT NAO.) Just got off the phone with the vet, and thanks to the urinalysis and bloodwork, we have a nice long list of things Ceiba most definitely does NOT have: 1) A UTI 2) Bladder or kidney stones 3) Kidney disease 4) Liver failure 5) Diabetes (the normal kind) Which leaves us with the remaining three possibilities: 1) Diabetes Insipidus 2) Cushing's Disease 3) Asshole dog syndrome We're going to test for the diabetes first (which is also known as "water diabetes" but so far I prefer option three, DIABEEEEEETUS INSIDIOUS), which requires me to collect a urine sample from her three mornings in a row. This is...okay. I'm not 100% sure how to go about that. Yesterday she just peed on the floor like a good little asshole and I sucked some up with an old medicine dropper, but this morning she just went ahead and peed on her bed inside her crate. (Like a dog who is NOT being as asshole, but obviously struggling, thus my insistence that we keep testing for things. I've spent over 11 years with this dog... Read more →

Pet Updates & Things That Are Not Poop

I am happy to report that this guy: Is doing really pretty darn well. He LOVES his new (gross, smelly, blobby-looking) food. We've already gone through an entire pallet of it. No weight gain yet, but no more loss, and I don't know. He's moving better. Bit more energy and sass. And he looks fluffier. Is fluffiness a medical indicator of improvement? If so, then SO FLUFFY. Fluid injections, not so much. Still working on that. Poop and constipation issues are still not 100% improved either, in spite of loading his (vile, putrid, rotting-fish-scented) food with pumpkin and Miralax. I thought we'd had a...ahem...significant breakthrough the other day... But no. Add "GEODE OR POOP?" to the long list of questions I never expected to ponder in my life. Unfortunately, before I sat down to write this I was back at the vet with Ceiba, and am now waiting on HER blood work. I guess the pets are just so jazzed to finally have a plotline here on the blog that they're inventing ways to keep it going. Since a COLLAPSING TRACHEA apparently isn't exciting enough, Ceiba is either having some metabolic issues of her own or just being a very,... Read more →

Tales of Cats, Dogs & Candy Monsters

Okay! Back to our regularly scheduled programming, where curse words are allowed and no discounts are offered. So Max. It's his kidneys. Not exactly a shock, but the...good? semi-good? not-horrifically-bad? is that his numbers currently point to only "moderate" kidney failure, meaning not any sort of imminent death sentence, and it's worth trying some diet and low-level interventions. We picked up some prescription low-protein food at the vet (and donated nearly all of the cans and kibble we had on hand to the vet's pet shelter charity pile), and will be injecting him with fluids about three times a week. I was worried he'd reject the special food and we'd end up mixing it with something else, thus reducing the effects, but the minute I opened a can and smelled how totally freaking gross it is, I knew it wouldn't be a problem. Anything that smells like rotten fish and dog farts is Max's jam, and he's already devoured several full cans of it. He even let me mix in some fresh pumpkin for further de-constipating efforts, which he's never, ever done before. THAT'S how pungently disgusting this food is. He's only had one fluid injection, and I know it's... Read more →

Pet Sounds, Part 2

And now, after spending close to $500 at the vet yesterday, some breaking news: My pets? THEY OLD. Okay, I don't have the results of Max's bloodwork yet, so I don't yet know SPECIFICALLY what old-man-cat affliction he's suffering from, not that any of the choices are all that hot. Maybe thyroid, maybe kidneys, and maybe, as the vet seemed to be leaning towards after his exam: OLD CAT IS OLD. ALSO HELLA CONSTIPATED. So, okay then. Once the results are in (tomorrow a.m.), we'll map out some kind of plan to make him as comfortable as possible. Hyperthroidism would be the most medically manageable (provided I can figure out a way to get him to swallow a pill without too much sturm und drang), kidney disease would be mostly palliative, and either way I'm hoping the vet has some better ideas to tackle the constipation because we have already tried ALL THE THINGS and this cat continues to shit out tiny little rocks all over the house, preferably on the dark brown carpet of the master bedroom, for maximum camouflage and Amy-stepping-on-poop occurrences. (Hmm. I feel kind of bad writing about poor old Max's poop on the Internet. Despite... Read more →

Pet Sounds

Happy New Year! 2016! The year I finally just removed the year from my footer/copyright thing entirely so I will finally stop forgetting to update that until like, June. COPYRIGHT IN PERPETUITY MOTHERFUCKERS. Thank you for all the kind words and helpful advice re: Max. I am taking him to a new vet later this afternoon for a blood test to check his thyroid (it's been checked before and always been fine, but y'all are right, that one can't hurt to double-check), and they seemed very nice and understanding that there will no other invasive/unpleasant things done to the little old man and also he will probably stress-barf on someone anyway. (Me, most likely.) I am also taking Ceiba, who APPARENTLY hasn't been getting enough ATTENTION lately and decided to develop some weird cough/dry-heave combination thing. Which was at its worst the day I made the appointment and then has steadily improved on its own ever since, probably because I wanted to get a video of it for the vet and have my camera pointed at her constantly and she's just like, WAT. I DON'T HACK-HEAVE ON COMMAND. I R NOT UR COUGH MONKEY. But whatever, still going, since it's... Read more →

Ceiba vs. Carpet

This post is sponsored by BarkBox. YO FELLOW DAWGS. CHECK OUT MY NEW CRIB. So we're not the only ones who got a new house. In preparation for moving Ceiba into a place chock full 'o carpet (because Ceiba likes to pee on carpet, loves to pee on carpet, is valedictorian of peeing on carpet), we decided to try re-crate training her while still at the old house. I admit I wasn't really sure how to go about crate training an older dog, especially since the LAST THING I wanted to do was stress her out right before the move came along and CHANGED EVERYTHING ABOUT HER ENTIRE LIFE. And obviously our first go at crate training her as a puppy wasn't very successful, since if there's anything she enjoyed more than peeing on carpet, it was peeing in the crate. (YO DAWG WHY U SO GROSS?) So I read some tips online and then focused on making the crate as cozy and pleasant for her as possible. We moved her bed inside and left the door open, then gradually started closing it at night, or while we were out for very short, then longer periods of time. We also... Read more →

Flea Circus

This post is sponsored by Adams™ Flea & Tick Control Products THINGS CEIBA NO LIKE: 1) MAILMAN 2) FOOD THAT IS NOT WAFFLES 3) CHILDREN WHO NO SHARE WAFFLES 4) WHEN CAT STEALS BEST SUNBEAM SPOT 5) FLEAS AND TICKS Things Max is not particularly a fan of: 1) Online meme-y catspeak that really demeans us all, if you think about it 2) Not being fed right this second 3) Or this second 4) Dog getting up in his face while he’s just trying to chill in a sunbeam 5) Fleas and ticks I remain neutral on the great sunbeam turf war but at least I’ve got them thoroughly covered on number 5, thanks to Adams™ Flea & Tick Control Products. Oh yeah. IT’S ON. While I can’t think of ANYTHING that ISN’T terrible about a flea infestation, I will say the WORST part is the re-infestation, right when you think you’ve got the situation under control. Or noticing the OTHER pet, who was just fine the first million times you checked, suddenly scratching like crazy. COME ON. We’ve been really pretty fortunate that our pets have stayed mostly pest-free, but I like to think it’s because we’re not idiots... Read more →

Road Rash

Question: Have you ever gotten to a point where you are so thoroughly stressed out that you wake up every morning covered in a rash? And then you become convinced that the rash is from bedbugs, but bedbugs that exist ONLY on your side of the bed and ONLY bite you, and then you get even more stressed out and stop sleeping because GAAAAHHHH bedbugs and also persistent, recurring anxiety dreams. And then during the day you're basically a sleep-deprived anxiety zombie whose hands shake uncontrollably every time you think about all the things that are making you feel so overwhelmed, to the point that you can barely even type or hold a pen or apply topical ointment to your super-attractive stress rash? Yeah, me neither. (But I can confirm that no, we most definitely do not have bedbugs. So that's a plus.) Anyway. Changes afoot, big decisions to ponder. Necessary and positive changes, obviously, to address everything going on in that first big run-sentence-laden paragraph up there. I'm still trying to decide what and and when to get into specifics, though, and I'm sorry about that. (No, not pregnant. No, not divorcing. No, not signing up for fucking Pinterest... Read more →