Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Just Craziness

Here I am eating lunch at 3:45 PM, because I've been going, going, going as fast as I can in an attempt to make progress.  I keep a To Do List, and some of the tasks on it have been on it for over two years.  It's hard to believe that I couldn't find the time to do a simple task over a two year period, but that's how crazy it's been.  Every day something happens that wasn't on my agenda, and I end up having to handle that instead of doing what I planned.  Then, at my age, I get really exhausted, and have to rest between tasks.

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are dedicated horse days this week.  I've got riding, training, water trough cleaning, hay pallet cleaning, hay restacking, a vet appointment, an equine dental appointment, and a farrier appointment all on my list to do those days, which only left me with Wednesday to handle non-horsey responsibilities.

I made my list of what I planned to knock off on Wednesday, but then my dog Scrappy started licking and chewing his leg non-stop.  He had this pink scabby thing on his leg and it was obviously driving him crazy, so I had to take him to the vet this morning.  I really don't care for his vets, because they are constantly giving me the up-sell, trying to convince me that I must fork out my life savings for all this unnecessary preventative care.  I'm more of a natural dogmanship dog owner.  I believe the less that humans poke around in dogs' bodies, and the less drugs they pump into dogs, the longer the dogs live.  Of course, there are exceptions, such as Midge's diabetes.  She can't live without insulin.

However, Scrappy's dental care has been an ongoing fight.  The animal control officer who I adopted him from begged me never to put him under anesthesia to do dental care, because he's just too small and too old and he probably wouldn't survive it.  I totally believe her, because he just had major surgery when I adopted him, and she knew what it took to keep him alive.  However, every vet I have taken him to in the past two and a half years has laid guilt trips on me over not getting his dental work done.  I am beyond tired of discussing it.  I've asked them to make a note in his file to never bug me about dental work again.  I have my reasons for not doing it, and they need to respect that.

So, going into this vet appointment, I was determined to keep the subject focused on that thing on his leg he was trying to chew off.  Sure enough, the doctor walked in, and without even looking at the dog started in with one of her dental care lectures.  She said, "Whatever that is on his leg will have to be surgically removed, which means putting him under anesthesia, and since he's under, we may as well deal with his dental problems."

I was like, "Can't you at least look at his leg?  I'm thinking he might just have a sticker in it."

She said it looked like an infected wart, but could be cancer, so they may as well remove it.  I asked why a wart would suddenly become itchy and drive him crazy if he's always had it.  She didn't know.  She just kept focusing on the fact that she will probably have to pull more than 50% of the teeth in his mouth.  I don't get it.  The dog is eating fine.  Yes, he has horrible breath and the worst case of tartar I've ever seen.  I'm sure his gums are infected, but how easy will it be for him to eat if half his teeth are gone?  She insisted that he probably has a persistent headache from all of his dental problems and I would be doing him a favor by having those teeth pulled.

I gave up and signed a paper saying I will pay $1,600 for them to clean out his mouth and excise the mass on his leg.  I'm sure the dog will be totally traumatized by the entire experience, but what can I do?  I'm tired of being made out to be the bad guy because I'm "neglecting" my dog's dental health.  I always thought health and dental care were a choice, but in today's society doctors make it sound like everything is a requirement.  Unless you've got some serious health problem, and then they throw their hands in the air and say there is nothing they can do for you.  What really drives me nuts is when they start talking about doing eye surgery on my dogs' cataracts.  I have cataracts in my eyes, but I can't get anyone to remove them at my age.  They say they'll just come right back if they take them out now.  I need to be able to read and look through a camera lens to make a living.  My dogs don't know how to read or take pictures and they can't work jobs that pay the vet bills, so who's eyes are more important?

When I was growing up, I owned several dogs and they all lived well beyond their breed's average lifespan without any dental work.  The dogs in our family that did have dental work usually died within a few weeks or months of the surgery.  I've explained this to these vets, but they say it was just a fluke and their deaths probably had nothing to do with the dental work.

So, I paid $210 for today's argument, some pre-surgery blood work, and a cone of shame over Scrappy's head.  After the vet appointment I had to go pick up some Benadryl for the itchiness.  I knew there were several odds and ends I needed to buy, so I was putting together a list of all the errands I needed to run, hoping I could take care of all of them in one trip to town.  We still need to find a saddle that will fit both Rock and my husband, so I called around to various tack shops in the area and none of them had anything that fit our needs.  So, I decided to bite the bullet and order a saddle that met our criteria over the Internet, and pray that it works out.  And, yes, the saddle costs a lot less than the dog's surgery, but between those two expenses plus the equine vet visit, the farrier visit, and the equine dentist, I'll definitely be dipping into the savings.  Oh, and we are running out of hay at the same time.  When it rains, it pours.

I realized that I wouldn't have anywhere to store the new saddle unless I sold my old Arabian Cordura saddle that I never use anymore because all of my horses have outgrown the gullet width and my ass has outgrown the seat.  I cleaned the saddle up and took it to the tack shop to put up for sale on consignment, feeling disgusted over how little value was placed on it by the seller.  Then I raced around picking up the Benadryl and other items on my list.  Oh yeah, and while I was cleaning the saddle, the wind picked up my roll of paper towels, unrolled it all the way and carried it off like a kite.  I had to tackle it and roll it back up by hand.  The simplest things always have to turn into fiascoes, especially when I'm short on time.

People kept calling me, and I was getting frustrated.  This one woman mumbled something about being from my bank.  I figured that someone must have stolen my credit card information again, since that has happened twice in six months, but the lady just kept talking about the weather and asking me personal questions.  It was weird.  I cut her off and said, "I don't mean to be rude, but why are you calling me?"

She said that she was just calling to introduce herself.  Huh?  That's nice, but I'm busy.  She then said she wanted to discuss my photography business, and I explained that I've got so many personal problems right now that I can't even work, so the photography business is on hold.  I'm so jaded from having so many people try to rip me off on a regular basis, that I seriously doubt she was even from my bank.  I think it was only a matter of time before she started asking me for account numbers.

I finally stopped answering my phone so that I could get something done.  I raced home to see if I could put the horses together while I cleaned Rock's stall.  The poor horse is so bored standing around in that stall that he's digging a hole to China.  I let him out, and he was smart enough to just hang around me and Lostine for a while, but once he got curious about Bombay and Gabbrielle, he learned that approaching them was not such a good idea.  They both charged, spun and bucked at his face multiple times.  I had to chase them around with a whip to let them know that repairing a cracked skull was not on my agenda today.  I gave up and put Rock back in his stall.

I did get a chance to call Rock's previous owner and found out a little more about him.  He was originally owned and ridden in barrel races by a 10-year-old girl.  Back then his name was Snoopy, because he was curious and always getting into things.  Then this lady bought him for her husband, who was a beginner, for trail riding, and he changed his name to Rocky, short for Rocky Balboa, because Snoopy wasn't tough and manly enough for a name.  But they had another horse with a similar name, so they shortened it to Rock.  She told me a funny story in which they had tied him next to a trash can, and he stuck his head in and pulled out one of those plastic grocery bags.  He started shaking it all around with his teeth, and the horses beside him were practically flipping over backwards.  What a character!  I guess I won't have to be doing any plastic bag de-spooking exercises with him.

Last night I was lunging Rock in the arena.  I put him away and started doing other chores when I noticed a woman standing up on the bluff with a video camera recording me working with my horses in my backyard.  I stood there with my hands on my hips and glared at her, but she wouldn't go away.  I contemplated hiking all the way up there to tell her that she's invading my privacy, since she obviously wasn't aware that her actions were inappropriate.  It's one thing if I'm working with my horses in a public arena and someone films me, but to come to my backyard and do it there is just plain rude.  Would she film someone sunbathing by their pool in their backyard?  No, she'd probably get arrested.  People just don't seem to respect boundaries nowadays.  All I can say is that I'm glad I'm not a celebrity, because I'd be in prison by now with the way I'd be handling the paparazzi.


achieve1dream said...

Wow what a crappy day!! I hope Scrappy is okay. And amen on the celebrity/paparazzi thing! I'd be in jail too lol. I hope things settle down for you soon.

Marissa Rose said...

Wow, all seems so frustrating!

Rock sounds like an awesome horse though, I LOVE goofy geldings!

Cindy D. said...

I'm sorry you had such a crappy day, it seems like when we really need for things to just go as planned, or even sort of as planned, everyone wants to shut us down.

Nuz, I hate what that vet did to you with Scrappy. It isn't right. They are there to make suggestions, but in the end it is the owner's decision as to what they can afford and are comfortable doing for their dog. My old guy has some pretty bad teeth too, but like you I am leery of letting them put an old dog under anesthesia for the procedure, so I give him little rawhides to chew on. I also wet his food so that he doesn't have to chew as hard. Of course he is a lab, they pretty much swallow everything whole anyway!

I can't believe that lady actually filmed you! I'm afraid she'd have been filming me flipping her off! It is one thing to watch, but to video? Totally unacceptable and actually illegal I think.

I'm sorry but I have to admit I laughed about the paper towels. Sounds like something that would happen to me.

I hope today is better for you.

Snipe said...

Your vet seems to believe that anesthesia is equivalent to an animal taking a nice nap. It's outrageous that she is ignoring your concerns. If I were you, I would be strongly tempted to search for another vet and avoid one that is only interested in their own agenda. You ask what you can do about it. I'd say you have options. It sounds to me like she's ripping you off, plain and simple. You care deeply about your animals, you have extremely valid reasons for not wanting to put Scrappy under anesthesia, and your wishes deserve respect.

Loved your description of the paper towel incident, by the way, and I don't blame you for feeling jaded. Sometimes it feels like the world is full of financial leeches waiting to suck you dry.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Snipe - The thing is that this vet is just one of four other vets who were of the same opinion regarding getting his dental work done. I even talked with my equine vet and equine dentist today, and they felt there were valid reasons to have the dental work done on Scrappy. It's been me against the world on this subject.

fernvalley01 said...

"all of my horses have outgrown the gullet width and my ass has outgrown the seat"
Loved this statement! tell it like it is girl! Been there too

Sam said...

Have you tried doing his dental work yourself? They do sell the tools - my sister works on her old Great Danes one tooth at a time and maintains them herself. Occasionally she will admit defeat and bring a dog in, but it is very rare.