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Bianca my ZEDU dog.


Hey I realized I haven't posted here in a long time and my last post was kinda depressing, so I figured I would update a little... I did end up adopting a dog. Her name is Bianca and she's a German Shepherd. She is a lot like Ginger in her personality/temperament which is great. I'm training her to be a therapy dog like Ginger was too, and we've also done agility classes and a little bit of carting. She was trained in some tracking by her previous owners so I'd like to do more of that too...
Not much else to say, but here are a few pics.

From a vacation to southern IL and St. Louis

From the Dog Day on the Green at Soldier Field (Bianca is a blood donor with AETC)

Getting her Herding Instinct Certificate from Camp Dogwood

That's it for now!

I am dogless

I am dogless and not happy about it. I lost both my dogs this year within 3 months of each other. Pooch was 14 and Ginger was 12. I've never been without a dog for the holidays before and it is not fun.


Yes, Ginger has a Valentine. Awww...aren't they cute?

(I really need to snap a new photo of them! Legolas the cat is an adult now...)

Ginger had emergency surgery...

Ginger had to have emergency surgery recently. I had to rush her to the emergency clinic, she was gagging and then I felt her abdomen and it was distended. When I got there I told them I think it's bloat and they quickly too her to the back. They did an x-ray and she had gastric torsion so they had to do emergency surgery (actually they told me to choose between surgery or euthanasia because Ginger is 11 years old...) They said she might not survive the surgery because of her age...

Bloat is a medical condition that dogs get, they're not sure of the exact cause. It's basically what it sounds like, the stomach bloats (fills with gas) and it is a serious condition for dogs. Gastric torsion is a problem that sometimes comes with bloat, where the stomach then twists, cutting off the blood flow and digestive flow. The only way to correct it is with surgery to untwist the stomach and then secure it into place to prevent it from twisting again.

Thank goodness, she went through the surgery well, there was no tearing of the stomach or nearby organs. They did find that a section of the intestine near the stomach was also twisted, but when they fixed the stomach and intestine the color returned quickly. I picked her up in the morning to bring her to my regular vet because the ER closes at 8 am. She did well throughout the day and even was able to eat some canned food while at the clinic.
My regular vet had me bring her home that evening because there is no one at the clinic overnight.They said we had to watch her for complications, especially heart conditions which can develop after surgery. The next day I took her back in to my vet for a re-check and they did an EKG to check her heart. It was normal. She has been doing well since then, she had one more vet visit to make sure her recovery was coming along and they said she is almost out of the woods. She is doing a lot better now but is still working on recovering.
Yes, that's right, kittenS! We have two new kittens!

My brother was on a waiting list for like two years with a Maine Coon breeder. He wanted a black Maine Coon and we were waiting for a litter to be born with a female black kitten. Finally in October they had one! As a bonus, the kitten was polydactyl (extra toes)-- even better!

While we were waiting to be able to bring the kitten home, I found a stray tabby kitten in the alley. The kitten was with his mother, a feral cat who looked very young and skinny. I tried to see if he'd come near me and he came towards me but then decided to run past me instead- straight into my backyard where my dog was! The dog chased him across the yard, but luckily she's well-trained and came back to me when I called her off. The poor kitten was trying to push his way through the garden fencing, and I caught him. The mom had run off so I took him inside. When we went to the vet it turned out he was just about 5-6 weeks old.

To make a long story short(er), I ended up raising the little stray and tried to find a home with no luck. We just brought the Maine Coon kitten home, so now we have two kittens! I named the stray kitten Church, after a Stephen King book. He's a cute little tabby kitty-- well actually not so little anymore, at 14 weeks old he was already nearly 5 pounds! The Maine Coon does not have a permanent name yet, but the breeder called her Roxy.

Kitten pictures here!Collapse )


Poor Ginger...

Poor Ginger is having one problem after another... A few weeks ago I noticed a swelling on one of Ginger's front legs. Ginger's an 11 year old Golden so I was very concerned. I took her into the vet right away. She took x-rays which showed it was in the bone but were not conclusive as to a diagnosis. The worry was osteosarcoma (bone cancer) so we were sent to a specialist for a bone biopsy. The surgeon we were going to see was not available at the specialty center so I made an appointment with the oncologist there instead.

She took a look and did new x-rays because the quality of the others wasn't great... We also got chest x-rays which we clear. She was still concerned about osteosarcoma but she said that the appearance was not the normal look for that condition because the lump was not in the usual place it is with that, the view on the x-ray was not the normal way it looks, and Ginger had no pain or limping. She recommended doing a bone biopsy. The oncologist consulted with a radiologist but still they were not sure from the x-rays what the cause of the bone swelling was.. We went ahead with the bone biopsy which was done about a week later after the doctor consulted with some other vets. When we finally had the results of that, it was also inconclusive, not consistent with cancer cells but the vet said we still could not rule it out. The options were to do another bone biopsy which could cause a fracture and may likely yield the same results (the vet thought she got a pretty good sample the first time) or wait a month and do x-rays again. My regular vet recommended trying a course of antibiotics just to see if there is any result. So now we are waiting to do the next set of x-rays and see if we find anything more then...

Then last weekend I took my dogs to a dog event and I noticed Ginger drooling at the event. I thought maybe she was stressed or hot, and she stopped after we left the event so I didn't think about it much more. Then early Monday morning she couldn't eat. I put her food down as usual, came back and it was still there. I watched her try to eat and she would pick up some food, drool, and spit it back out. I looked in her mouth thinking maybe something was caught there, and found her tongue seemed to be oddly twisted to one side. I was really scared and got an appointment with her regular vet right away. Her regualar vet looked at it and she thought it might be squamous cell carcinoma (type of cancer) and that would explain her leg swelling as well. I was so worried, I couldn't even eat anything all that day and the next morning... When I went home I called the oncologist, and set up an appointment with her for the next day. That night I had to hand-feed Ginger by dropping wet food in the back of her mouth because she could not move her tongue or swallow very well.
When we got to the oncologist, she examined Ginger's mouth and said she could not see any tumor at all, just swollen tongue and mouth. She took Ginger in the back to have a few other specialists take a look and they agreed with her. They decided to sedate her so they could see how it appeared under anesthesia and do a biopsy. She came back out and told me what she found. There was sort of a blood blister on Ginger's tongue way in the back of her mouth and when she opened that up she found there was a pocket of air actually inside Ginger's tongue, which was very swollen. She did a biopsy and culture, and said it may possibly be some kind of infection or even a result of a sting or bite... She gave Ginger a steroid shot and antibiotics. She said she never saw anything exactly like that before so she's not sure of the cause.
Ginger started to improve a little the night she got home from the specialist. She is doing a LOT better now, she can eat and drink normally although her tongue seems to be painful still.
Poor Ginger, it seems that likely the mouth problem and the leg problem are totally unrelated, she is just very unlucky to have both happen at the same time! She's now on 2 types of antibiotics and I am still waiting for the results of the biopsy/culture of her mouth, and then we have to wait a few more weeks to do more x-rays of her leg. It's been crazy the last few weeks, I've been so worried about what's wrong with Ginger's leg I haven't been able to concentrate on anything and then adding the tongue/mouth problem on top of that...poor girl. I feel so bad that no one knows what is wrong with her.

UPDATE 9/27: I finally got the results of Ginger's biopsy and culture. The culture was positive for bacteria and the biopsy was negative but showed chronic inflammation which is consistent with trauma. This means she injured it somehow... My best guess is she tried to snap at a bee and it stung her, because she does like to chase bugs. She is doing a lot better with her mouth but unfortunately this means we still have no diagnosis for her leg issue... She has to stay on both antibiotics for at least a week or two more, and then we will be doing the updated set of x-rays of her leg.

Weird Al and Champaign

I had a rather busy weekend last weekend. On Friday my family took an overnight trip to Champaign for my cousin's anniversary party. I had fun, got to swim at the hotel and see a lot of my family at the anniversary party. I overheard a sweet comment from my cousin's daughter. She's 9 or so, and I overheard her tell someone "(missucupcake) is my favorite cousin because she loves animals." Isn't that cute? I also got to meet my other cousin's new baby for the first time. It was a great party, I only see my cousins/aunts/uncles a few times a year so it was great to be able to spend some time with them.

Then, I went to a Weird Al concert on Sunday. It was a lot of fun! Weird Al really puts on a show. He does costume changes for most of his songs and while he's changing he shows funny clips such as some from Al TV or random silly things. There is also confetti, smoke, and lights involved.
For an encore, he did "Albaquerque" which is really fun because it's incredibly long (the album version is over 11 minutes) and he makes it adds things when he does it live...
I also bought a t-shirt with a picture of the album cover of his latest album (Straight Outta Lynwood) on it.
Now, if only TMBG would come to Chicago...
Here are some photos and video from the concert:

This was during the song "You're Pitiful" which is a parody of "You're Beautiful." Al started out in a sweatshirt, took it off to reveal a shiny button-down shirt, took it off to reveal the shirt in that photo, and took THAT off to reveal a t-shirt of SpongeBob's face. Then he proceeded to pull his pants off, revealing a tutu...

More (large) photos and videos here!Collapse )


Well I don't even know why I'm posting... Really nothing much to say here but I feel like writing something.
I've been looking for a job for the summer since April or so and have not found anything good. I have resorted to looking for babysitting jobs now...I really should get some type of vet assistant related job but I can't find any of those around, at least not in a place I would a) be able to reach by public trans and b) be in a neighborhood that is not potentially dangerous. I did put an application in at Banfield pet hospital (inside Petsmart) but I never heard from them and actually from their website there doesn't seem to be any job openings there.



We went on a family vacation a week ago, to Wisconsin Dells. It was slightly less fun than I expected. It was me, my parents, my sister, her husband and my dogs Ginger and Pooch. I had been hoping I could bring a friend but that didn't work out (basically because my sister and her husband didn't want me to...) We rented a cottage and we had TWO EXTRA ROOMS so it would have been easy to have an extra person. We even had (a little) room left in the car. I was hoping to bring a friend because usually on vacations I end up doing thing by myself or missing most of the things I want to do because no one else is interested. I thought maybe it would be different this time since my sister was coming and she likes a lot of the same things I do, but nope. I ended up going to a waterpark alone because we got free passes (they came with our cottage rental) and we had enough free passes for everyone but no one would go with me. I missed out on a few other things I wanted to do, but luckily my mom was nice and did some stuff with me. Too much of the vacation consisted on being annoyed, unhappy or disappointed but when I was actually getting to do something I did have fun most of the time. We did a lot of the touristy stuff such as Wizard World, Circus World Museum, the waterpark (Waterworld at Riverview Park), a boat tour of the upper Dells (which allowed dogs), and we visited the House on the Rock. I hadn't been there before and I was surprised that it was a lot more interesting than I expected. If anyone is interested you can see slideshows of the photos I took on vacation here: