Thursday, August 25, 2011

Update on the Patient

I'm not sure if this photo can fully show the horror, but this is a gallon sized ziplock bag that is almost full. "What is that?" you might ask... THAT is what was removed from my darling Griffin's stomach. I almost fell over when the vet brought it out to show me. He didn't just eat a piece of a ball- there are MULTIPLE pieces of all different sizes and colors. The different colors tell me that he's eaten plastic ball on more than one occasion, since we usually use a different color ball each time one pops.

I feel like the WORST puppy mom that ever lived. He is with me nonstop and yet, I've never seen him eat anything he isn't supposed to. Some dogs are chewers and they destroy things and you have to pull things out of their mouths all the time. Griffin is NOT one of those dogs.

The vet and several of the vet techs have all told me stories about dogs eating things and having this surgery. One of the vet techs' dogs has had this surgery 6 times! I appreciate them trying to make me feel better but if he ever does this again, the next surgery he is going to have is getting his little jaw wired shut!

My personal embarrassment, shock, disbelief and worry aside, everything went well. Surgery was smooth, he stayed overnight at the hospital and won the whole staff over with those giant pound-puppy eyes. When I picked him up yesterday afternoon, he looked a little tired, but was happy to go home. I fed him tiny cups of chicken and rice throughout the day and evening. He ate and drank normally and without hesitation, which was good to see. He has about a 5 inch long incision, but so far, it looks clean and appears to be healing well.

Hopefully he will be as good as new in no time and HOPEFULLY we are done with surgery for a while...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Emergency Surgery

Olivia and Griffin have a lot of freedom at camp. When Olivia was a puppy and first at camp, I was afraid that she would be in constant danger and that I would need to watch her closely all the time. But that's not the case. She (and Griffin too) pretty much stay inside or in the yard at my house, or they wander over to my office. Camp is not that big and they are very social dogs who like to be around people, so they are always near me. The staff and kids watch them as well and I rarely worry.

On Wednesday, I caught Griffin standing over a pile of vomit that had plastic ball in it. Whenever he and Olivia pop a ball, they run with it, sometimes tug-o-war with it and play with it, but I have never seen Griffin EAT the balls! So I was surprised by the plastic he had vomited up. I watched him closely for the next few days and he seemed fine- he was eating, drinking, and pooping normally. He was active and playing and wasn't in any pain, and didn't have any indication of discomfort.

On Saturday night, he vomited up his dinner. He had been playing before and after dinner, and Buddha was visiting, and Griffin had eaten dinner really fast. I made some hamburger and rice and he ate hungrily, so I figured it was fine. But then Sunday morning, he vomited again. Afterwards, he begged for breakfast, ate and went to the bathroom normally and spent the whole day playing and running around. Monday morning, like clockwork, he woke me up vomiting once again. I wasn't planning on leaving camp to move home until Friday, but I was feeling really stressed out. I called the vet who told me to watch to see if he was in pain, struggling to go to the bathroom, etc. He was fine, so I decided to wait for another day.

But this morning, once again, he started the day vomiting, looked like he felt terrible, and my stress level was at an all time high so I loaded up the car, called the vet and raced back home. On the way to the vet, he started vomiting again and by the time we arrived, I was feeling like the worst puppy mom of all time. Why didn't I bring him in a few days ago?!

The x-ray showed something foreign in his stomach and within a few minutes, they brought me a $1700 estimate, a consent form for surgery and let me say goodbye before rushing him off to prep. I feel relieved and less stressed out than I have in days- I'm not happy with the situation, but at least I know what is wrong and how to help him.

The vet called a little while ago to let me know Griffin was doing well after surgery. It's never good when an experienced surgeon says, "I was really surprised by how much was in there! I kept pulling stuff out and it covered the whole table!" I can't believe Griffin ate a plastic ball and I am so frustrated at him! When he is feeling better, I might strangle him for stressing me out!

The vet is calling me in the morning and hopefully I can go and pick him up right away. Poor Griffin...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It Takes a Village

Last night, I was in my living room with a few of my staff when I got a phone call from another staff member. She was calling from a kayak in the lake, and she wanted to let me know that Olivia was at the beach, wading in the water on her own.

When Olivia was just a puppy, I used to panic about her getting lost somewhere at camp or getting into trouble. She and Griffin pretty much roam freely around camp whenever they want, but they rarely leave the yard around my house without me and I never worry about either of them anymore.

So that phone call was quite a surprise! I went sprinting out of my house towards the lake. But halfway between my house and the water, Olivia sauntered up, giving me the same look that the teen campers sometimes give. It's the, "you're so lame, why are you freaking out right now?" look. Apparently she'd already been yelled at and chased out of the water and she didn't want to hear it from me too. Can't a puppy just take a nice evening wade in the water to cool off every now and then without being hassled?

Not when Puppy Mom is the boss and has posted signs around camp alerting staff and campers that BULLDOGS DON'T SWIM. If you see a bulldog near the water, alert someone immediately! Campers are vigilant about this rule and I regularly have to calm them down when Griffin, Olivia and I arrive at the beach and all of the campers jump into action as junior lifeguards.

My staff have intense jobs, little free time, and work hard! And yet, they are incredibly patient with my dogs and regularly make sure they are out of harms way. Despite Griffin's tendency of running at moving cars and Olivia's fearlessness, I know they both have a lot of people watching out for them around camp.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Olivia Demands Her Ball

Olivia lives for chasing her ball. Since she was 7 weeks old, we've had the same routine of wake up, go outside to potty, come inside to eat breakfast; and since 2 years ago when we discovered the ball, we've had the same routine of waiting for a while after breakfast to digest and then go outside to play.

Actually, let me clarify, the real routine is wake up, go outside, eat breakfast, throw a fit until it's time to go outside and then when mommy can't handle the screeching anymore and gives in- THEN we go out to play.

I've taken this same video before, but those noises are just so cute, I can't resist re-shooting the same video every now and then...