Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Back to the Drawing Board

When my husband got home from work and saw that the hay barn was going to block our view of the mountains, he put a halt to the project.  He had our son hold up a pole that was close to 16-feet long while we sat on the porch, and I discovered that the hay barn wasn't going to cut off our view of just the foothills like I originally thought, but our entire view of the mountains, which would probably decrease the value of our home by a boatload since its "million dollar view" was the reason why its value was appraised so high, despite being a small home.

I felt terrible, because the construction crew had labored for hours in extreme heat to plot out that hay barn and dig the post holes.  First I screwed things up by insisting that we get a county permit for the barn, not realizing that would delay the project by nearly a month and push us into much hotter days, and now this.  I mean, I had to get that permit, because it is difficult to sell a home that contains unregistered buildings and add ons, but for some reason I thought the process was as simple as applying for the permit, paying a fee, and getting a piece of paper that allows you to pass Go.  I should know better.  Nothing is that simple.

Here's the other part of the story:  Midge is getting sick again.  The insulin keeps her well for a short while and then her pancreas fails a little more and she starts up with the symptoms of excessive thirst and hunger, and constant urination and defecation.  Everything goes right through her, she gets skinny, and it's difficult to give her insulin shots without some fat on her bones.  So, I feed her more of her expensive, prescription dog food, and all it does is make her pee and poo more often.

Technically, we're not supposed to increase her insulin dose without a doctor's approval, but the vets usually want us to bring her in for a 12 or 24-hour observation period where they can monitor her glucose levels, and that costs around a thousand bucks.  All these vet bills are cutting into our mortgage and college tuition payments.  So, I lay awake at night worrying about what to do with the dog.  It's a moral choice, and my opinion isn't the only one that counts.  I also can't sleep, because the dog needs to go out every half hour or so, and the sleep deprivation is making me behave like a raving lunatic.

So, last night I had dinner on the table, but no one would sit down to eat, because they were trying to figure out what to do about the hay barn before the sun set and they lost their light.  I carried my dinner outside and ate while we troubleshot the situation.  If we moved the hay barn over by the well, we could cut into water and electrical lines.  If we moved the hay barn down along the southeast side of the paddock, the hay truck will have to drive over our underground water tank and the barn would obstruct our neighbor's view of the mountains.  There just was no good place to put the damn thing, so I was about ready to throw out the hay barn all together and just buy a weekly supply like most people around here do.

My dinner got cold, so I took it in the house to heat it up, and flipped out when I saw a huge puddle of dog pee in the entryway on the tile and a trail of it across the living room carpet.  I had just taken Midge outside half an hour before.  I could not understand how her bladder could fill up that much that fast, and why she had to run around the house while peeing.  Aren't female dogs supposed to crouch and pee in one spot?  I threw my dinner in the trash and sopped up, mopped up and scrubbed up the sticky, stinky mess.

Then it was time to give Midge her insulin shot.  I don't have a single pair of reading glasses or prescription glasses that help me see close up well enough.  I have it on my list to look for an optometrist, but I've been busy with insurance and mortgage hassles, and coordinating repairs to our old home over the past few weeks.  Anyway, I thought I stuck the needle in the vial, but apparently hit the edge and bent the needle.  I had to throw it out, so I put the cap back on, and the needle poked right through the side of the cap deep into my thumb.  I yelped like a dog, and my husband ran to Midge because he thought I had hurt her.  My thumb immediately went numb, followed by numbness in my entire hand, and I had pain all the way up to my elbow, so apparently I hit a nerve. 

By bed time I was starving, having had yet another meal interrupted by dog issues.  I can't sleep if I'm hungry, so I ate... and ate... and ate, but nothing could satiate me.  The hunger pains wouldn't go away.  I began wondering if I might have diabetes.  Each time I thought I might be able to sleep, the dog woke up and needed to go out.  On one outing, something burst out of my neighbor's bushes and charged us.  I jumped out of my skin, grabbed the dog and ran back into the house without looking back.  I kept getting adrenaline bursts like that, which didn't help me sleep.

I ended up being awake all night, finally passing out from sheer exhaustion around 4:30 AM.  Then at 5:45 AM my husband woke me up to go outside to talk with the construction crew about the hay barn.  I was half asleep, crabby, and impatient.  My husband was trying to get me to describe what I wanted, and through dialogue we discovered that there were other design problems besides just the location of the hay barn. 

I felt terrible, because now the construction crew had to make more changes, buy more materials, and drag out the project even further.  I did give them an open invitation to come inside to the air conditioning, use our restroom, drink and eat all they want, but so far they haven't asked for anything. 

I had to get back in the house to take Midge out before she peed all over the floor again.  I went outside and the drip system to the hedge turned on.  I nearly cried when I saw that a rabbit had yet again broken the water line in another location and it was spraying all over the rocks.  Surely, the previous owners had to deal with this problem, but we've seen no evidence on how they resolved it.  We can't spend one or two days a week repairing that damn drip system.  The rabbits are so out of control that they are digging underneath the foundation of our shed and there is a whole colony of them living under our porch.  I set out bowls of water so that they don't have to drink from the drip system, but the heat evaporates the water within a few hours, and if I don't remember to fill them up again, there goes our drip system.  I guess we are just going to have to wrap chicken wire around the entire perimeter of the hedge.  What a pain.

So, yesterday ended bad and today started out bad, so as soon as I could back my truck out of the driveway, I raced over to see the horses, forgetting to take peppermints for the third time in a row.  I noticed that when I was leaving, Gabbrielle was nodding her head up and down out of boredom.  She never had that habit at the old house.  Bombay did, but not her.  I stood there watching her and feeling sad that I've had to neglect my horses for so long because of the circumstances and instability of my life.

I drove home and found the posts to the hay barn were already erected.

I saw that they were positioned perfectly for us, because now we can sit at our dining room table and eat without the people who live in the trailers on the edge up the bluff looking down at us.

I could also see that though the hay barn was very tall, it was far enough out that it probably wouldn't obstruct the neighbor's view of the mountains.  He'll have to be the judge of that, though.  I'm not going to walk over to his patio and test it out.

I fixed myself something to eat and when I walked past the window again, half the posts for the paddock fence were set in the ground.

Things were starting to get exciting.  I could feel my depression lifting, and then I realized that I never truly felt at home in this new house, but I suspect that once I get the horses here, I will feel much more comfortable... and so will they.


Mikey said...

Oh I know that feeling, the "so tired I've lost my mind" feeling. I also get very cranky if I don't get sleep or food.
Is there a place you could put Midge for the night? Like a laundry room or something you could put those pads down, so she can pee all she wants and maybe you could get some sleep.
Your horse facility is coming along! I think it will be fine. No worries bout your contractor coming inside (he's not housebroke, lol, jk) no, we are all weird like that.
I'm excited to see it finished! You're going to love sitting on the porch watching your horses :)

ellie k said...

I typed anonymous because my google acct. would not come up. I do love your blog and wish I could help you with some of the things that happen in your life, I live in Florida. please don't forget to take the babies some peppermint next time and tell them in a few days they will be home to stay. My mom used to put moth balls in her flower beds to keep out animals nd it worked but the chicken wire sounds more like a good idea or a nice big dog that likes rabbit.

Dreaming said...

I am so glad that you have had a happy ending to your post. I can feel your excitement - how wonderful!
The first dog hubby and I owned had pancreatitis and became diabetic. Your struggles with Midge are an instant replay of what we went through so many years ago. The sad thing is that as much as we wanted to deny it, we knew there wasn't going to be a happy ending. Our dog metabolized all of her fat and a lot of her muscle. She became virtually blind. We also had the mess to contend with - and she would make puddles while she slept, and then get up and shake. Ee-yuck...what a mess! We finally decided that the kind thing to do was to have her put to sleep. Her quality of life wasn't . We were constantly grumbling at her for the mess, even though we loved her. She was growing weaker. She bumped into things. One day she even had a 'fight' with a chair. She dropped her dog treat and saw the shadow of a chair. She thought the chair had taken the treat so she went on the offensive, growling and snapping at the shadow of the chair. We hated the thought of getting to the point where all we would recall were the bad times at the end. It was so darned hard. It always is. Sending blessings to you at this hard time. (((Hugs)))

Katharine Swan said...

I don't know much about what treatments are available for diabetic dogs, but as a type 1 diabetic myself, I am pretty sure that her insulin dose isn't even close to being correct. If she can't go half an hour without peeing like crazy, if it's sticky with sugar, and if she is losing weight because her food runs straight through her, I would say she desperately needs more insulin. Her blood sugar has to be very, very high to be causing all of that.

It's unfortunate that the hospitalization to check her insulin dosages has to be so expensive. Is there another way? Would they let you increase the dosages one unit at a time, slowly enough so that you can watch for potential problems, and instruct you on what to do if she crashes? Are you able to check her blood sugar like a diabetic (human) would?

Stacey said...

Sorry to hear about Midge's decline NuzzMuzz. The amount of care you provide for her really shows how much she means to your family.

Hope you get your construction plans all straightened out so your ponies can come home soon!

fernvalley01 said...

Remember yo breath my friend, this is going to come together , It is !

sydney K said...

rabbit problem = moth balls. Works for possum, rabbits, coons, skunks etc. Toss a good helping where they are hanging and they will scram.

Reddunappy said...

The good bad and ugly!!

Glad the horse set up is coming along!
Sorry about Midge.

My solution for rabbits would be a .22! LOL Dont know the hunting regs for there! (pellet guns work too)
But thats just me.
I am lucky enough to live 1 mile from the dairy where I buy my hay. I usually buy hay every 2-3 weeks, there has been so much grass and the girls are fat, so they only get a little at night when I bring them in. Makes the hay last longer! LOL Things have been so wet up here, the grass is growing like gangbusters.

lilyrose said...

I'm so sorry that Midge is still having so many problems.
I'm glad that you are finally seeing your horse facility coming together! Trust me-you will love those big stalls. People thought I was crazy when I did mine. Can't wait to see photos of all your horses enjoying their new home with you! :)

Rising Rainbow said...

I'm glad a good location for the hay barn was figured out. Sorry to hear about Midge. Having a critter really sucks.

Home wouldn't be home without my horses either. I'm sure getting them with you will change a lot of things.

Sandra said...

Things will settle down & it will become home. It took me a long time to feel this house as my home. I was at home in the barn, but not the house.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Mikey - I do worry about the guys. 112 degrees today. I suggested the laundry room idea to my husband last night, but he said he'd just handle the dogs and let me sleep. When he starts complaining about not getting enough sleep because of the dogs, I'll bring it up again.

ellie k - Yeah, I've had that happen before where my Google account isn't recognized. Thanks again.

Dreaming - Thanks for telling me about your experiences. The blindness issue is one thing I've been thinking about a lot lately.

Katharine - You confirmed my suspicions. I did increase her dosage myself and she did much better.

sydney k - I checked the hedges and discovered that they are already surrounded by chicken wire and the rabbits just dig right under it. So, moth balls it is. I put them on my shopping list. Thanks for the suggestion.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sometimes a change in plans is good. I think you, your family and your neighbors will be much happier with the hay barn being on the right side of your property. Your mountain views will be perfect now that your horses will be included in those views :)

Be careful with those moth balls. A friend of mine lost both of her dogs when she was using them to keep her dogs and the rabbits off of her pretty green lawn.

Moth Balls are poisonous to Cats and Dogs:

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe, life-threatening

Common signs to watch for:

Walking drunk
Abnormal fluid accumulation within the body
Excessive thirst or urination
Potential injury to the kidneys
Mothballs are pesticides that slowly release a gas vapor to kill and repel moths (and their larvae) and other insects. Mothballs are also used to repel snakes, mice, and other animals, though this use is not recommended and can be harmful to pets, children, and the environment. Mothballs come in cakes, scales, powder, balls, cubes, spheres, and flakes and may contain the insecticides naphthalene, paradi-chlorobenzene (PDB), or occasionally camphor. Older mothballs most commonly contain naphthalene. Due to concern for naphthalene’s flammability and toxicity, most modern mothballs now contain PDB instead.

The chemicals in mothballs can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin, or absorbed through the stomach and intestines. Cats are more sensitive to the toxic effects of mothballs, but dogs are more likely to ingest mothballs. Naphthalene mothballs, or old-fashioned mothballs, are considered the most toxic type of mothball. Modern PDB mothballs are less toxic but still can cause illness, especially when ingested. Clinical signs of mothball poisoning include vomiting, mothball-scented breath, pale or brown gums, weakness or lethargy, difficulty breathing, tremors, seizures, and organ failure (e.g., liver, kidneys).


achieve1dream said...

Reading about Midge is bringing tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry she's having so many problems. I did see in your comments that you increased the dosage and she's doing better so I'm glad of that. Hang in there.

Yay on the hay barn. I'm glad they figured something out. :)