Wednesday, January 9, 2013

UPDATE -- Bouie's Health Scare and Other Canine Medical Crises

When I wrote the blog post about Bouie, our Christmas Miracle, that detailed his scary encounter with antifreeze and the treatment to save him, we didn't know that we hadn't yet finished our put-Little Rock-veterinarians-into-the-black Holiday Tour.

That post was written on December 22nd.  Bouie continued to improve, although he was a little weak.  I couldn't help but smile every time I looked at him.  The Christmas blizzard hit and all the dogs had a ball romping in the snow (except for Pippi who is a little princess and doesn't like to get her paws wet, much less wet and cold!).  The power outage continued and we were glad to have four dogs to cuddle up. 

Then the morning of Friday, December 28th arrived. 

I had left the family room where the fireplace is located after Pepper got up and active with the dogs. I planned to catch a little nap bundled up in the bed when I heard Pepper cussing, so I went to see what the trouble was.  He was pacing and trying to reach Vet #2 on the phone -- Bouie was droopy, obviously not feeling well.  He hadn't touched his breakfast.  He didn't seem to be as bad as on the 16th, but something was definitely wrong.

Neither of us would say it aloud, but we were both terrified that his kidneys were failing.  And once organ failure sets in . . . .

The vet didn't answer the phone.  I figured their power was out, too, so I called Younger Daughter's vet -- they had power in that neighborhood.  I explained what was going on and asked if they could see Bouie; they said to bring him right in.  I scribbled some phone numbers -- the Emergency vet's, our vet's in New Orleans, and Vet #2's -- on a scrap of paper so that Vet #3 could access Bou's records if need be, and Pepper took off, a look of defeat clouding his face.  I didn't hear from him for a couple of hours.

In the meantime, my Daddy called, telling me that he couldn't get warm and that he finally would agree to go to Younger Daughter's house.  I got dressed and headed to his house, calling Pepper en route.  Bouie had a fever, and that could be good news.  He was waiting to hear test results at YD's, but was clearly in better, if guarded, spirits.

After getting Daddy packed up, transported, and settled in at YD's with some warm Wendy's chili in his tummy, I took my first shower in days!  It's amazing what clean hair can do for the disposition.

When Vet #3 finally called, well after 5:00 p.m., she had very good news!  Bouie's organ function tests came back perfectly normal -- there was no failure!  Other bloodwork showed infection, and infection can be treated!  She was going to start him on antibiotics, but wanted to keep him overnight for observation -- test results for specific bacteria wouldn't be available until mid-week due to the New Year's holiday and weather.  (And, yes, the bloodwork was done at the Baptist Hospital lab, a place I used to think was only for people!)  We were to call Saturday morning after 8:00 and Bouie would probably be discharged!

Palpable relief!!!

We spent the night lonely for our boy, but hopeful that our veterinary saga was nearing its end.  Pepper called at the stroke of 0800, and was out the door to collect Bouie in a flash!

Meanwhile, Elder Daughter's boxer, Tyson, who had been making sounds like a whooping crane was trying to get out of his belly for several days, continued to whoop, even though we had started him on leftover antibiotics days earlier at ED's direction.  About the time Pepper was getting home with a much-improved and hungry Bouie, Vet #2 texted in response to a message I'd left about Tyson two days before.  I called the number advised by the text and got ready to take Tyson to Vet #2.

A few hours later, I brought hot coffee, Tyson, and a load of antibiotics to join the canine pharmacy  belonging to Bouie.  We enjoyed a family reunion unlike any before, and hopefully unlike any ever again.

Daddy's power came back on; ED returned home while I was re-settling Daddy.  Pepper got a hotel room and planned with SIL#1 how to take care of the dogs while we stayed warm.  I was packing to join them at the hotel when, POW!!  The lights came back on!  And stayed on!

December 29, 2012, was a very good day.

This is what Bouie looked like during his hangover on December 19th as I drove him home:

Is that a goofy, drunk dog or what!  And here are a few more happy dog pics taken after that very good day that warm my heart.  Say hello to Grandson Jack on New Year's Eve!  Hi, ho, Bouie!

Watching Dad do some stuff outside without any dogs.

Feeling better.

Mysti was very happy that Bouie was home.

Life is good in Moogie's World.

But, you don't want to know how much we spent on vet bills in a mere two weeks' time.


2013 Will be Moogie's Year -- a Memorable Season

So.  The power was finally restored at Elder Daughter's house at about 7:00 Saturday evening (December 29th) just as I was packing to join Pepper, ED, and grandson, Jack, in a toasty warm hotel room.  It was so nice to sleep in the bedroom in only one layer of clothing! 

The last of the snow finally melted as puppy Mysti and I set out for home on January 2nd.  Pepper and Bouie had preceded us on New Year's Day.  This was Mysti's MO for the first 1 1/2 hours of the 7 hour trip home:

It's a good thing she's cute.

On January 3rd, I leapt with both feet into the next project -- the "something else kinda exciting" I alluded to in my December 14th post. So, prepare to be dazzled.

Regular blog buddies know that I rarely post pictures of Moogie.  I'm not skittish about posting embarrassing pictures of the family and the pets, but since I'm more often than not the one taking the pics, I just usually stay in the background.

Not in this post.

Moogie belongs to several Carnival organizations, commonly know as "Krewes," such as Muses, Eggs, and CAMAN.  The Krewe of CAMAN is attached to the Military Officers Wives Club of Greater New Orleans (MOWC), and it entertains members and their guests with an annual Ball during Carnival season -- but it's a fun ball, and not stuffy like the balls put on by some other stuffy Krewes who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are. Even so, most "fun" balls still adhere to a few Carnival traditions, such as a Second Line at midnight with King Cake, and royalty.

Every November, the MOWC holds its "Royal Dinner," the highlight of which is selection of the CAMAN royalty for the upcoming Ball.  Members who have put their names in the hat when registering at the first event of the year (actually, they've put their names in a velvet drawstring bag) watch as one name is drawn from each bag assigned to the Coast Guard, Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy (see where CAMAN comes from now!).  Those five lucky ladies are crowned and will serve for the next year as the Maids representing their service.  Then, one name and one alternate are drawn from the King's and Queen's bags, but those names are kept secret until the night of the ball.  The Queen unmasks as her name is announced when she makes her grand entrance to the ballroom for her promenade before dinner is served.

Getting excited yet?

You may now bow or curtsy as you find yourself in the presence of Royalty, her royal highness Moogie, Queen CAMAN XL!

(That's XL as in fortieth, not as in "extra large."  Just sayin'.)

You may have guessed that the 2013 ball's theme was "Hats Off to Paris."

Here's the rest of the court and some fun stuff:

The King makes his entrance (minus his tunic and tights because his wife had left them at home).

Q-XL and her King bestow favors on Distinguished Guests.

The promenade.

Unmasking the King (who ultimately had to break his mask because his wife had tied it to his crown and I couldn't get it unknotted).

Pepper makes a pretty handsome Consort, doesn't he?

Elder Daughter was even able to fly down and attend the Ball!  It was such a treat to show her off.  Can you believe she had a baby just five months ago?  (And, no, your eyes aren't deceiving you.  The Queen arrives at the Ball in a different dress than she wears for her coronation.  We must throw the rabble off the scent, don't you know.  My tailor had failed to hem the dress I planned to wear as the deception, but, fortunately I had this ancient dress -- and could still get into it!)

This is a color version of the shot published in the Times-Picayune, together with an article about the Ball:

The excitement continued as the Court and Ball Committee celebrated with an after party during which everyone exchanged gifts and let their hair down.  I think I finally closed my eyes at about 0300.

And there was more excitement to come.  We all planned to meet at about 9:30 Sunday morning to share the Hyatt's brunch.  At 9:25, two friends, Pepper, five twenty-somethings toting backpacks, and Queen Moogie, wearing her crown of course, boarded Elevator E on Floor 21 and headed for the lobby.  Until we got to about the seventh floor.  That's where the elevator decided to stop and display XX as its location.

Fortunately, the elevator had one glass wall that overlooked outdoors, so claustrophobia didn't get a good toehold, but nine folks in an elevator car generate an unexpected amount of heat.  It's not a good thing for royalty to let her subjects see her perspire, so let's just refer to it as "the royal aura."

Following some 45 minutes, and several conversations with a member of the Hyatt's management staff who introduced himself from the other side of the tightly-closed elevator door as "Ben," maintenance finally loosened the door and we were helped out of the car that had stopped about 2 feet below the floor, and escorted by several members of management to the restaurant where our breakfast was comped.

What a memory for our last Carnival season living in New Orleans!  (Hopefully).

I'm still recovering four days later. 

I'll probably be working this in an obnoxious manner for quite some time.  Be forewarned.

You may now arise.