Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Monster Encounter

We seem to keep experiencing fairly rare sightings this week. There was a Gila Monster in our back yard.

The focus on this one isn't good, but it's the only shot I got of its banded tail.

From what I read, these creatures are an endangered species and not only is it illegal to handle one, but very dangerous, because they are venomous. They are slow moving and easy to catch, but can whip around and chomp down on your hand. The bite is crushing and they pump poison into you like a rattlesnake.

Midge is back home.  She's not in very good shape.  Her four days in the hospital took their toll.  She was too scared to eat, so now I can feel her spine.  Her legs are so bruised from the IV needles that she can't walk.  They were able to hold the pancreatitis at bay, but we have dozens of medications to administer throughout the day for her diabetes and urinary tract infection -- four medications alone just for her eye.

She's probably going to need a very expensive surgery to remove the cactus spine from her eye since it isn't coming out on its own.  The vet explained that Cholla cactus have spines that jump off the plant into your skin and clothes as you are passing by, so Midge probably walked too close to one of them.  Welcome to Arizona.

Midge is really my husband's dog, which is why he will spare no expense on her care.  He has a strong bond with her.  I'm probably going to have to sell my car to help pay for all of this, and I obviously can't get a job or open a portrait studio again, because now I need to stay home all day and handle Midge's medical care while my husband is at work.

I'm very upset about everything -- her suffering, the financial setback, the time lost, the new limitations imposed upon us, just the no good lousy luck of it all.  This really puts things over the edge for me.  I cried for four hours straight.  At some point, I need a break.  Life is literally the hardest it has ever been for me right now.  I just keep saying, "If I can just get past this, then I can relax and enjoy the little things," but then the next tragedy strikes and I wonder if my heart will hold out.

I had finally just finished the last bit of business in settling my mother's estate and was looking forward to getting my life back once we finished unpacking from the move, so the timing of this is atrocious, but I guess no timing for this type of thing is good.  I really feel like I've been under attack these past few years and am contemplating severely simplifying my life in order to protect myself from further assault.

Life is starting to resemble a Gila Monster to me:  Fascinating, unique, beautiful, but venomous.  Unfortunately, I can't enjoy it, because I keep getting bit by it.


ABScharstein said...

You made it to your new house, you are starting fresh. While Midge is definitely a sick little pup, that does not mean it is the end of the world. The important thing is she is home, she has you caring for her, and you are in THE NEW HOUSE!!! I will say that again. You. Moved. That part of your life, you know, the really stressful part with evil neighbors, is DONE. DONE. While you do have other hardships to deal with, remember that. That was NOT a baby step in the right direction either, it was a LEAP!
Surely your husband will help administer medications, right? If Midge is his dog, then I am sure he will be more than happy to help.
BREATHE. Try not to overthink everything, it'll make it a lot harder. I suffer from chronic anxiety, so I can imagine how hard that is for you...stay strong. It'll be okay. I promise.

Laura said...

Wow - that creature is strange looking! I think there are too many creepy-crawly things in AZ for me!

So sorry to hear about Midge. I hope the medications can help her. It is so hard when a pet is ill...

Anonymous said...

Shoot, I lived in AZ for 2 1/2 years and only saw one gila monster.

Sorry about Midge.

Breathe said...

Ah poor Midge. It does come to a point where it's not about the expense, it's about the animal having to undergo the nightmare of treatment which they have no capacity to understand.

I do hope you find time to enjoy your new home, I hope you find the finances and the rest work themselves out, just as this move has.

Hang in there and avoid the Gilas. Remember, they are rare, endangered and, in the end, only one bit of a huge landscape.

Reddunappy said...

I echo everyone above.

Hang in there, poor Midgerator. Only you can decide how long you can deal with a very sick pup.

EEEW wierd freaky critter to find in the back yard!! I have heard that they are poisonous too!!! Thank god Scrapy didnt find it!!

Mikey said...

I'm so sorry about Midge and the bad luck you're having :( I'm praying she gets better.
As for the Gila Monster, what luck! Nothing to mess with, but very cool to see and get pictures of. I've only seen two in 15 yrs here.

fernvalley01 said...

Hugs girl! you have come so far and done so much in such a short time, I am not surprised you are overwhelmed !

lilyrose said...

In all the years I've lived here...I have never seen a gila monster. wow. They are extremely poisionous.
I feel terrible for poor Midge. Can't imagine a cactus needle in my eye. Having had one in my foot was bad enough! I sure hope all works out ok for her.
I also hope things work out for you. You need a break and a chance to enjoy your beautiful new home. Let me know if I can do anything to help out.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

What a rare and beautiful sighting. I only saw one Gila Monster and I was there for 4 years.

I am sorry to hear that Midge is so ill. It has to be incredibly frustrating that the vets in NV did not figure this out earlier. She would not have to suffer like this now.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Eeek! So many creepy, creatures with venom or sharp things to poke you with in Arizona. I could not deal with it all. I'd have anxiety and nightmares about it all.

And I'm thinking you oughta play the Lottery if you found that Gila Monster in your new yard. They are very rare indeed. We saw one while we were in Tucson and it was bigger than I thought they would be. Scared me to death. We also saw rattlesnakes and scorpions too. *shudder*!

As for poor Midge, only time will tell if you should keep pouring money into her upkeep. At some point it becomes more about quality of life for your pet and not trying to keep a pet alive just for the sake of having it around.

I feel bad for you because I know how stressful moving can be, but in the long run, moving was your best decision (Arizona might not have been my first choice, but my kids aren't living there and going to college, so that obviously changes things). John, as you know is still working and living at the Phoenix airport, and is eager to come home every week on his days off just to escape the 100+F heat and enjoy our cool mountain breezes...and summer hasn't even truly begun in AZ yet!

But hang in there. The first couple months after a move is a huge adjustment period. Things WILL get better and life will smooth out. Take joy in the small positive things in your life...like no annoying, nosy neighbors, your beautiful mountain views, and your beautiful new home.


achieve1dream said...

Whoa too cool on the Gila monster! They are so interesting, but yeah probably a little

scary in person since they are so poisonous.

Yikes!!!! What the heck. I've never heard of Cholla cactus needles jumping. Creepy.

I'm so sorry about Midge, and the money and the stress. I hope things improve quickly so you can enjoy your new home. Let us know if you need anything.