Saturday, 6 May 2017

News of the Ben

Geri H of the Racing Dog Rescue Project was good enough to tell me that good ole Ben is already in a new home.  He is with a family which has a big fenced in yard, and more importantly have two dogs, a Rottweiler and a Greyhound.

Ben bonded with the dogs in a heartbeat and is utterly relaxed in his new home.

Of course I  miss him, but I am so very happy that he is now well settled.

It was so good of Geri to give me this news.

I'll be looking for a new dog, but not until much later in the year.  In the meantime I will be free to do a bit of travel.

My closest friends and family members will understand that my greater sense of loss is for Penne who lived with me for nine years.  I miss her so much.

I liked Ben, but I loved Penne.

Penne, the dog of my life.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Overnight in the hospital, for the first time since I was a child

When I was a skinny and wispy child I was in the hospital twice.  Once for a tonsilectomy (and they gave me rice pudding afterwards instead of ice-cream blah!), and once when I was in an isolation hospital with scarlet fever (where my parents could visit visit but only look at me and wave through a window, and where a nurse slapped me for eating an apple which she had told me not to eat).

So it was sixty four years or more on when I became an overnight patient following surgery.

For at least four years when walking I've had dullish pain in my right leg, pain which I  could "walk through". At first I thought that I had poor walking shoes, then I tried a potassium rich diet, and finally decided that I needed more hydration before walking.

O foolish man -  self diagnosis is not wise!

Six or so weeks ago I asked my Primary Care Physician about this.  She could not find a pulse in my right ankle.  After a vascular test the diagnosis became clear.  I have peripheral arterial disease.  (You'll get this if you smoke for fifty or more years says this now reformed smoker).

When a stress test revealed a serious anomaly my cardiologist ordered an Angiogram  (or Cardiac Catheterisation).   I had this yesterday (Thursday) morning.   There it was:  a serious blockage in my left anterior descending artery. Of course the surgeon inserted a stent there and then, so I had to stay overnight at Sarasota Memorial Hospital for a safeguarding rest.

I like my Cardiac Surgeon.  I think that he is the best.  Of course everyone think his or her surgeon is great -  (I have never hear a soul say "I have a very inferior surgeon"!).

SMH provides excellent post surgical care.  I was in a cardiac wing which is staffed by superb Registered Nurses, and is very peaceful and quiet. The food is good, and is served by young men and women who are always dressed in black suits, white shirts and red bow ties -  so classy!

The R.N.'s were professional to their core. Early this morning I told one that I was longing for a coffee.  She made some and bought it to my room.  Later I told her that I knew coffee making was not part of her job description and that I was entirely grateful for goodness.

As soon as I got into the unit I changed into casual street clothes, and wore pyjamas overnight. My sense of dignity leaves no room for hospital "johnnies".

The hardest part for this restless soul was not having anything to do!   I read a bit, watched some mindless T.V., and listened in to my room mate's conversation with his visitors.  He had many, and I heard his tales of very many surgeries, repeated so often.  But for HIPPA  I could tell you his medical history.  I slept fairly well.,

I was entertained this morning by the arrival outside of a MediVac heliocopter  (English spelling just for fun). to a pad just outside my window.   The patient was swathed in bandages hear to toe.

The Surgeon arrived at 6:30 a.m. to tell me that he was pleased with my progress, and that I was now free to go home.   However I was under lock down for another three hours as I awaited the written discharge instructions.

Apart from three family members and a very good friend (Joe R in Granby, MA), I had not alerted a slew of other friends about this.   It's not that I undervalue your love and prayers, but selfishly (?) I had not wanted to respond to a barrage of loving 'phone calls.

That's save for three of the Clerics at St. Boniface Church, my good friends Jack and Donna Chrisman, Wes and Cindy Wasdyke, and (Deacon) Alan Rogers.

Good Alan visited me in the hospital yesterday afternoon  -  that was so good!

Jack and Wes are retired Priests,  Wes had a dual career, as a Priest and as an Anesthesiologist,  so he was the right person to take me to this hospital early yesterday morning, and drive me home today.

I am well, but very tired. Apart from a visit to the Pharmacy to get a new med., and a trip to the supermarket to get a bit of fish for lunch today, I have stayed quietly at home.

Mostly I am intensely relieved and entirely grateful,  On a world scale it is an utter privilege to live in a City and Country where I can get such excellent medical care.

(And of course I think of those in this wealthy country who live in rural areas or small towns and have to drive 50, 75, 100 or more miles to find a comprehensive Hospital.  I also think (with some anger) about those who will be able to afford decent medical insurance if Trump-Care is ever the law of the land.   Of course they will get care, but at a cost which could drive many of them into personal bankruptcy.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


Thursday 8:00 p.m.

I'll be incommunicado for the next 24 - 36 hours.

Then Ill be in touch again.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Police Department at my home

A City of Sarasota (FL) Police Department Cruiser with two Officers arrived at my home last evening.

I knew at once why the Policemen were here.

For you see, my address is almost the same as that of an elderly woman who lives in an adjoining community.   When and if she falls she dials 911 to ask for help. One time before the Police came to my home by mistake, and twice the Fire Dept. Ambulance with its' EMT crew have done the same.

So I strode outside yesterday, and with confidence announced to the two cops that were at the wrong house.

One of them replied  "Oh no we are not, we are here for you.  Trader Joe's has issued a complaint again you for bad breath".

You've guessed!   This was just one more of my zany dreams.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Big beautiful Ben

By the time you read  this Ben will be in a new home.

He is a wonderful dog  -  you will agree. 

His separation anxiety is great.  So, despite my best efforts,  (using tips from dog trainers) he continues to be destructive when I leave my home.

Crating him makes him more anxious -  for instance, he bent some crate bars inwards in an attempt to escape, so much so that there was blood on the floor from his jaws. He managed to chew his way out of a muzzle.

Last Wednesday I was out for two hours and I returned home to a trail of destruction. I got very angry with him and yelled at him. Yelling does not make sense to dogs, so this was not good for him or for me.  He acted acted out from his anxiety many times before, but this was my last straw.

I cannot live this way.  I have to be free to leave my home without wondering what chaos will greet me when I return.

I made arrangements with the Racing Dog Rescue Project to return him  on April 29th.

They explained that most Greyhounds are social animals because all of their young lives they are with other Greyhounds.     Some do not adjust well to being alone.

A woman named Shelby arrived on 29th with her husband.  Ben knew them recognised them right away  (they have fostered 37 Greyhounds).  We loaded their minivan with his bed, food etc,  Ben then jumped up into the back compartment of the van and immediately rested himself on the bed -  with not so much as a backwards look at me!

It is very likely that he will be re-adopted by a couple who have a Greyhound which also has this separation anxiety.

I am so sad.    You will agree that he is a fabulous dog.  But  like "the little girl, who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead...." when he was good, he was very very good, and when he was bad he was horrid.

Thank you for being so nice to or about  Ben.  Some of you will miss him almost as much as I already do

 "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all".