Friday, June 24, 2011

The View From The Bridge

March 2007   Normal Kickapoo River Width-25 Feet
When I dumped 5.5 inches of rain collected in the rain gauge a few days ago, I assumed I forgot to empty the thin plastic tube with magnified numbers that hangs on the east fence.

This morning I read a front page article in the Vernon Broadcaster.  The headline, Cub Scouts Ride Out Lightning / Rain . Calm prevails as youth are led to dry, safe ground. The campout which started Saturday night near the Bad Axe River, which Vernon County Sheriff, John Spears reported is usually 10-12 inches deep, ended Sunday at 7 am when emergency personnel led the scouts to safety across a dam.  Water rose eight feet where the scouts and Cubmaster were "creek stomping" in a near-by branch of the river.

The same newspaper reports that the local restaurant owned by a former  truck driver and his wife who rent canoes and cabins near-by is up for auction sale.  Dawn reports the daily special last week was grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Mandy's visit to the vet is highlighted by her attempt to leap off the examining table and a chagrined owner having to pick  her up and carry the struggling  48 pound pooch to the scale.  The vet didn't have time to read the lab report sent in two days previously. She reads the numbers aloud, diagnosing on the run, pointing to the first page as if the information is dramatic and inspiring.  Repeating the numbers again, there appears to be nothing wrong with my girl.  I mutter to myself about the vet's assuming I am intellectually challenged and do not understand labspeak. 

But, alas, there is a second page which if the vet had read the report and summarized the findings would have saved me the trouble of trying to hold a wild eyed blue heeler on a vinyl cushion four feet off the tile floor.  The UA sample has a PH of 8.0 which is labeled "high".  Taking the dog's temperature, I'm informed that the reading is 103.7.  A long pause follows when it appears that dumb me doesn't know the basal temperature taken rectally on a female dog. 

Thus and such is another day dealing with sub par medical personnel in rural areas.  Jorge tells me that his "city" vet recommended having his dogs, Sam and Chase, vaccinated against Lyme disease. Dawn tells me that no one in the area ever heard of such thing, including my vet.  She hands me an envelope for seven days of pills, two per day at 12 hour intervals of an antibiotic.  I groan.  Can I open the capsules and pour is on food?  Nope.  ...And they taste bad.

I wait until the 12 hour interval is reasonable so that I'm not giving her the medication in the wee hours of the morning.  Disguised in thin sliced flank steak from a Chinese meal I made the other night, I tease Mandy Mae into thinking it's a treat. "Speak," I tell her.  Several attempts at pathetic grunts are culminated with a loud "ruff".  She wolfs the horse sized pill down.  This morning I walk outside with thin sliced, fresh made mozzarella cheese and feed strips to the cat.  He rips a piece from my hand and looks up at me with the, "Is that all?" look in his eyes.  Mandy knows I'm hiding a pill in my hand and runs toward the corner of the garage, eyeing me cautiously. 

Jorge tells me that on the Dr.Oz show on TV, a handler shows how to give a dog a pill. Inserting the pill in the back of the animal's throat, he holds the snout closed and blows softly on the dog's nose.  In an instant the pill is gone-swallowed.

I miss the back of Mandy's throat, so when I hold her snout closed to force her the swallow, she gums the medication and it oozes out the side of her lips.  I don't want to imagine what it would look like, me in my bathrobe, holding the dog's mouth closed blowing on her nose. In the end I get her to swallow.  Rubbing her side, I lavish praise and Mandy prances with relief.  Six more days and 12 pills later, I'll be bringing another sample to the vet, which like the first will be free of bacteria.  This time the vet instructs me to refrigerate the sample.  The office tech forgot that information, even though I asked about the length of time that would elapse from taking the sample to running it to the vet-about two and a half hours.  Dawn tells me that icing a urine sample is routine in her line of work.

I think we'll need a special shelf in the Frigidaire.  Right next to the salted hog intestines for sausage casing and behind the can of refried beans we opened last month that have sprouted green fuzz, we'll keep dog pee.   


okjimm said...

whoa... that's a lot of rain. I haven't seen the Kickapoo in over 40 years. Used to canoe there in HS

T. Roger Thomas said...

Interesting as always!