Thursday, September 15, 2011

Non-traditional family

I am pretty sure I don't need to explain this to anyone who reads me, but I just kind of want to state it.

So my little girl corgi, Annie, has been having some problems lately -- stomatitis, which is just Latin for 'mouth infection.' It started a month or so ago, got better after steroids, got much worse, got better after antibiotics, got worse again, and that's where I found myself yesterday. I called the vet as I drove into work, just to see if I could pick up another course of antibiotics, and he ended up referring me to a specialist, a canine dermatologist. She's the only board-certified canine dermatologist who practices in this area, and she's only here 3 days out of 60, on average. As luck would have it, yesterday was her last day here for this cycle.

So my vet got us worked in to see the specialist, but I had to go get Annie and turn around RIGHT THEN so I could get her there in time to catch the vet. So I ran to work, got my laptop, turned around, drove 15 miles home, got Annie, turned back around, retraced my path plus 5 miles, dropped Annie off, and came home to work from home. Four hours later, I went back to the vet to talk to the specialist and pick Annie up. So I put something like 80-90 miles on my truck last night and had a really chaotic work day to boot. All to make sure that my dog had the best care available.

I think my mom and my boss think I'm kind of nuts. I could be seen as blowing off work -- but the truth is I don't, and I'm not. I managed to get 8 hours in, but I did it around the needs of my kid. See, the animals are my family. I would go to great lengths to keep them healthy -- financially, effort-wise, and time-wise. It doesn't make sense to people who don't have pets, or who consider their pets inferior auxiliaries. But to me, these guys are my kids. They have fur and tails, but they're family. They depend on me for everything -- food, water, general health, medical care, and emotional care. And they mean as much to me as anything else. It's no different, in a lot of ways, than my coworkers who have kids or grandkids who need them. I'm lucky that the animals don't always need to be shuttled around during the day, and I'm lucky that most of them don't need much, vet-wise, but if they need it, by god I will provide it. They're not human kids, and I don't have any illusions about that, but they are still my family.

Annie's doing okay -- I have her on a new antibiotic, clindamycin, and the specialist wants to rule out food allergies before we go to the next round, which would be treating for an autoimmune condition. So she's eating only fish and potato food, with no treats other than the prescription kibble or actual potatoes, and we'll see if that has any effect. I strongly suspect, though, that this is going to be end up being autoimmune. Which is its own set of difficulties -- she'll need another medication added to her regimen, and it'll be expensive. But I'll find a way to make it work. She's my kid, right? :)


  1. You are not alone! Me too!

    Suzanne (for some reason I can't post under my google account on your blog_

  2. How odd -- and thank you! I know most people who would run across this blog are in similar situations, which is reassuring.