You’re a girl…so act like one!

I will never identify as a girly-girl. As a general rule I wear jeans, sweatshirts, boots, with no makeup, and my hair in a messy bun (or hat.) It works for me. I’m comfortable. I’m practical. I’m not attractive at all.

When I do dress up in heels, makeup, curled hair, and (on very rare occasions) a dress, I’m uncomfortable and awkward and it shows. I know that I should just do it more often, make it a more normal practice so it doesn’t feel so weird, but then I don’t and I’m back to my tomboy gear.

It’s strange really. My best friend is a total girly-girl. She’s always wearing heels and dresses with her hair nice and makeup flawless. We’re an odd looking pair, definitely. I sometimes wonder about how we became friends but then she says some smart-ass remark and I remember.

Well, here’s the deal. I’m embarking on a 30 day challenge, actually two of them, regarding getting my lifestyle back on track. Each of them includes diet and exercise. I figured this would be a perfect time for me to try out being a girl as my own little personal 30 day challenge. If I’m not at work I will actually try with my appearance. If I am at work then maybe some makeup and brushed hair. (Yes, some days I don’t even brush my hair, I just throw it up onto the top of my head in a weird bun.)

This shouldn’t be too hard as I own all the required junk, I just need to use it. In some cases learn how to use it.

Trish, expect some phone calls.

I don’t know when I started to not care about my appearance. I’m sure there’s some sort of subconscious issue that a therapist would love to delve into for a very expensive price. I, however, don’t care to know it and will just solve the problem myself for the price of, say, another pair of shoes.

The Story of Cat

I did a blog post a month or so ago with a story about the many trials and tribulations of my poor blind dog. I thought I would also let everyone get to know my old grumpy cat as well. She is actually not so grumpy in her old age, or at least not towards people. She seems to have a vendetta against the dog, though.

Image

My cat’s name is Kiki, or Kitty when she isn’t listening, or Cat when she’s in trouble. Not original, I know, but it was the only thing she would respond to so I went with it. I estimate that she is about 13 years old so I’ve had her for about 11 years now. She doesn’t have quite the fantastic story as the dog does. She’s in general good health, has had a stable-ish home (I’ve moved quite a bit over the years), and always has food and water (though heaven forbid she can see the bottom of the food bowl). Image

She loves draping, whether it’s on furniture or people. She drapes all four paws off the side and gets really flat along her back. It’s actually pretty impressive given her size. 

Image

She’s about 5 pounds larger than the dog. And she always looks angry in pictures. She’s honestly very friendly, I swear. I do seem to get the feeling on occasion that she’s simply humoring me until I feed her, though. As far as typical cat behavior goes, she seems to have missed the memo. She doesn’t care about window sills or boxes, she hates canned cat food, and is very picky about cat treats in general. She does, however, like canned dog food, paper on the floor, and the dog kennel if she thinks Miya was headed in there. Brat.

Image

She’s a goober but I wouldn’t trade her for anything. She handles traveling really well, although she doesn’t like the car as much as she did before I drove 60 miles in 65+ MPH wind gusts. I think it may have traumatized her a little. Now I get the song of her people screamed at me off and on throughout the trip. Lucky me. I guess it could be worse.

I try not to think about how both animals are up there in age, but they are. Until then I figure I’ll spoil them both. I was told that the cat had gained a pound since her visit to the vet last year and was told to put her on a diet consisting of mainly canned cat food. Well, she doesn’t eat canned cat food. Plus, her food intake is regulated which means she’s most likely stealing dog food when I’m not home. Honestly, though, she’s old and in good health. I’m going to let her steal the food and be fat if she wants to.

My Poor Blind Dog

Image

If my dog could read this, she would howl in disagreement to the term ‘poor’. She is the epitome of happy-go-lucky and has the ability to bypass every difficulty with ease. Yes, she is sleeping in this picture, but you would never be able to tell because she doesn’t have eyes. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that.

My dog’s story is long, even though I’ve only had her a little over two years. She is approximately 10 years old and is a rescue pet. I picked her up from a “rescue group” in Salt Lake City when I lived there. Once I finally got a hold of the group and convinced them to let me adopt her (the correspondence took weeks which was strange to me), the lady that I was emailing told me to pick her up from a local groomer. She told me all of her vet records would be there with her. I was told she was about 2 years old, current on her shots, and had been fixed. Well the groomer handed her over without any knowledge of vet records and told me to contact the rescue group lady again. I was told the dog was named Minerva (yeah, who does that to a dog.) That name lasted until I got to the car. I’m pretty sure she had never ridden in a car before, or at least in the front seat by herself, but she was a trooper and smiled at me the whole way. Even though she had just been groomed she had terrible breath, which should have been my first clue.

When we got home, she would happily interact with me but wouldn’t relax if I held her. In the apartment she sat by the front door and watched the Criminal Minds marathon intently, but she wouldn’t come in any further unless I picked her up and moved her. She especially enjoyed the gunfights. After constantly hounding the rescue group lady for the vet records I finally got a copy of the rabies vaccination, but that was it. She finally just stopped responding to me. Not trusting them at all, I set up Miya (new and improved name) with a full check up at my vet to get all of her immunizations complete. Once there I discovered that this poor dog had a double ear infection, a mouth full of abscessed teeth, and two parasites (hookworm and giardia, both transferable from dog to human…awesome). I immediately went home after this appointment and bleached my entire apartment. Twice. The vet was unable to tell if she had been fixed due to the lack of scarring and let me know that, according to the few healthy teeth she still had in her mouth, my dog was 7-12 years old. Not 2. The rabies vaccination record that I had been given was a fake, since there is no vaccine in production that was good for the length of time the paper stated. Apparently, this “rescue group” is well-known in the area as being fairly shady. I was told by the group that Miya was a puppy mill rescue but some say this “rescue group” runs the mills and then “rescues” them when they get too old. In any case, I had no qualms adopting a senior dog and I’m glad I was able to get her out of there.

After a major surgery to remove 19 of her rotten teeth and lots of antibiotics and medications to get rid of the parasites and ear infections, I had a healthy and happy dog. She was finally beginning to warm up to me. She would lay down on my lap but still wouldn’t fall asleep. Here’s her a few months after I brought her home.

Image

She had a hard time understanding that the concept of the booster seat was to help her look through the window on her side of the car. Look at all of those snizzle spots on the window, though. Gross, Miya.

For the next year she was mostly healthy with a few bladder infections and issues with her anal glands not draining properly. Trust me, that one is more gross than the parasitic diarrhea. Even still, almost a year after I had her she was finally given a completely clean bill of health; I still have the lab results to prove it. That’s when she started to go blind.

She would start bumping into walls and tripping over things that were out on the floor. After about a week I noticed her eyes were a little hazy so I made her an appointment for the next day. They initially diagnosed her with glaucoma and sent me, no joke, to a doggie ophthalmologist. The doggie ophthalmologist then told me that it wasn’t actually glaucoma, but she did have a couple other issues. She had eyelashes that were growing in the wrong direction which were scratching her corneas (technical term: ectopic cilia.) She was also unable to create tears to help prevent damage (technical term: keratoconjunctivitis sicca.) They plucked the offending eyelashes, gave me a million and one eye drops to administer multiple times a day, and set me up for a follow-up appointment the next month. At the follow-up appointment they plucked a few more eyelashes, announced that one of her eyes had begun to create tears, and took back what they had said regarding glaucoma. I included links to each of these conditions if you’re interested in reading up on them. The website is for the place I took her to. I highly recommend them if you are near one of their locations and have a pet with eye issues. Anyways, some dogs are able to live a long and happy life with the proper treatments, but Miya was not one of them. She was completely blind within two months and the extreme pressures were uncontrollable in three. When the pressures began causing grand mal seizures we began discussing final treatments. Since she was already blind and had other issues on top of the glaucoma, the doggie ophthalmologist suggested the eye removal surgery. The pain would immediately stop with no chance of relapse. There are injections that can be done instead of the surgery, but they have a chance of failing and are not exactly a cheap alternative. 

Image

This was her at the vet after her seizure. She constantly had this pained look on her face that was just heartbreaking. Even still if your hand, or arm, or face got close enough to her face you got kisses. She is always available for kisses.

The next week she had the surgery and I will skip the part about how terrible she looked with the swelling and the stitches and the dried blood. The part I do want to discuss is how playful she was just hours after she came home. She hadn’t played in months and here she is, post-surgery, playing like crazy with the stuffed dog my mom had bought her to snuggle with. I hadn’t realized how terrible those eyes made her feel until then. She healed quickly and never missed a beat. I went from about 10 different medications to the occasional pain medication, and then to none at all. It was fantastic.

Image

Post-grooming. She’s so tiny without all that fluff!

When she first went blind I was told that I should never rearrange the furniture and that she would never want to go on walks, particularly in any unfamiliar areas. Well I’m here to say that my resilient puppy handles moving every three months like a champ and will go on long walks in new areas no matter where I’m at. She only puts up a fight in snow and rain. She just doesn’t like being wet.

I feel like if she had to choose a senior quote it would be, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming” I try to be a positive person and look on the bright side of things, but I will never hold a candle to this dog. She’s been through hell and still welcomes each and every person she meets like they are the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Image

She is an amazing dog and, even though I joke about how expensive she’s been and that it’s a good thing she’s pretty, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I’ll leave you with this beaut. Miya defying the typical blind dog stereotype and enjoying her vacation at the Ft. Laramie National Historic Site.