A Trip to the Vet ER


We knew that Andee, our smallish Irish Setter-type (we really don’t know what breed she is), had been feeling poorly for the past couple of days. She had stopped eating, although she did have some eggs I made for her this morning. But when I came home from the market early this afternoon, she was outside and was having real trouble getting up from a seated position. I helped her up, but discovered that she had lost control of her rear left leg. Her paw was turned upside down (she wasn’t putting her paw side down) and she just couldn’t walk on it.

I helped her inside the house, and figured we would get her to the vet first thing tomorrow morning. I got her comfortable on her favorite bean bag chair, hoping she would get some rest and sleep. About an hour later, she was trying desperately to get up. And I discovered that she could not use either leg. Kathy and the kids had just returned home, and we agreed that she needed to see someone immediately.

Our vet’s phone bounced us to an animal emergency facility where they agreed Andee needed to be examined (of course they would say that). So we carried Andee to the van, and drove off, fearful we might not bring her back. The vet was very nice, and explained her examination quite thoroughly, including all of the possible scenarios. Andee had some control of her right leg again, and she was feeling “deep pain” in both legs. But she did not have the ability to put her left paw in the correct position (it’s an automatic reflex).

After a couple of X-rays, it was clear that Andee had a mineralized disk in her lower back that was pressing on the spinal column. What was odd was that the paralysis in her hind quarter was only on one side of her body. The vet felt the dog would rest best at home, and that we should have her see her regular vet tomorrow, perhaps with a referral to the LSU Vet Clinic. So some muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory meds, and her X-rays, we took her home.

We can only hope for the best.

The calm after the storm


The storm brought lots of changes to our lives. Some were because of the storm (need to fix the roof, we learned how and when to use a generator, we now have a much sunnier property). Others seemed to be coincidental. At work, the director of the research center I worked at took a position at the National Science Foundation in Washington DC. While he’s away, and while we search for a new director, the provost asked me to serve as co-director for the center. This is a great opportunity for me to test my administrative and leadership skills, and everyone seems to have confidence that we will do a great job of preparing the center for the next director. The irony is that three months ago, I was identified in a newspaper interview as the director of the center (even though I was only director of a lab within the center).

But the most important change is that we finally had a new refrigerator delivered last night. Finally. Our previous refrigerator did not survive the return to regular power after the storm. But after 17 years of trouble free service, we felt that it was time for us to get a new one. More on that later.

Ten Reasons Why Hurricane Season is like Christmas


1. You decorate the house (with plywood)
2. You drag olut boxes that haven’t been used since last season
3. Last minute shopping in crowded stores
4. Regular TV shows pre-empted for “Specials”
5. Family and friends call from around the country
6. Some of them visit (to escape the hurricane)
7. Buying food you don’t normally buy, in large amounts
8. You’re off from work
9. Candles
10. At some point you may have a tree in your house.

And then there was…


LIGHT!!! We came home to clean out our fridge today, and found this
crew working to remount our power pole. We could hear their drills and
saws working away while we were cleaning the freezer with a delightful
bleach dilution. After I took the trash bag out front, I asked one of
the line men if they had a time frame on when power would be restored.

"30 minutes" he quipped. I stared back in disbelief. "Really." he said.

"That would be very nice." I walked back inside to tell Kathy, and we
went back to work.

We finished our task for the day and headed out to get lunch. Kathy
and Charlie went back into the house to get something and I waited for
them in the van.

The line man I spoke to earlier was waiving his hands trying to get my
attention. When I looked over towards him, he gave me the thumbs up. I
looked back at the front door, and Kathy was smiling. Charlie too. I
then saw the lights in our dining room through the front window,
bright and glowing, and I knew.

"If I had a cold beer to offer you…" I said to the crew.

"I'd drink it." the foreman replied.

12 days, 4 hours without power. I really would not like to do that
again. Ever.

Not again!!!


As the outer reaches of Hurricane Ike rolled through town early (2-4 AM), the winds and rain really came down hard. When Kathy went over to the house to look after the dogs, she saw that our previous handy work on tarping the roof had been undone. The tarp, the boards of wood holding it down and most of the nails used to hook the eyelets of the tarp to the roof had been torn off. Some of the wood was still on the roof, but most of it had been blown on the ground. The tarp was dangling from a tree not far from the roof.

Ever adventurous, we bought a new tarp and some special “tarp-mounting-nails” to make the repair. Everything was going fine until the wind started to kick up again. The tarp had become a wounded spinnaker, flopping around, wacking everything and everyone in sight. We finally were able to start tacking it down, when the rain started. First a few sprinkles. But by the time we were finishing getting the tarp secure, it was a full downpour. We were soaked.

Hopefully this will last the night. We’re supposed to have 20-30 mph winds until mid-day tomorrow.