Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Anticipated and Not-So Anticipated Drop-Kicking

Last night, our family went to the Dropkick Murphys concert at the House of Blues in Dallas.  We're long-time fans, having seen them years ago in Portland, ME where we used to live.  They're a Boston band, with a loyal New England following, so a Texas show is a rarity.  This was T's first real concert with us and we'd all been looking forward to this show all these many weeks since we surprised her with the tickets on Christmas Day.

House of Blues last night
The show was cozy and intimate, which was both good and bad.  While we were a stone's throw from the band, we were also very close to the speakers and the mosh pit.  Much of the night was spent sheltering T from every shove and push.  Now that we're getting older, and bringing a young one around, we'll be buying balcony tickets instead.  Ah, the joys of growing up...

So close!
Acoustic set
A little banjo...
With my head still foggy from hearing loss and Guinness, we set out on our morning walk.  As always, Arwen was very interested in these huge cabbage-shaped weeds in the open field behind us.  I tugged at her leash a couple of steps ahead of her, urging her to keep up.  Feeling annoyed at her desire to sniff every green thing between home and her usual potty area, I tugged again.  Suddenly, she started sneezing deeply.  These were the kind of sneezes that shake her whole body in thunderous tremors.

"Wait, mom!  I think I smell coyotes!"
This time, I turned towards her just in time to see Arwen leaning far backwards in the throes of an enormous sneeze, at the end of  her leash as I pulled.  Over she toppled, and then fell onto her side.  She was still trying to get that sneeze out, but was now flailing her legs around trying to right herself.  As I looked down at my beautiful, helpless Arwen, I was convinced she was having a seizure!  All the symptoms were there - stiff, rigid body, legs flailing in helpless motion, and unable to stand up.  I called for Matt who was far ahead of us now and he came running back over.

I was missing a really crucial piece of information, though.  When Arwen had gone over onto her side, she was lying in a bit of a ditch - her body was actually almost upside down and I was kneeling over her.  She was simply stuck!  Here I was trying to deal with what looked like a seizure, when in reality she was stuck like a ladybug on her back!

So while I was relieved she hadn't had a seizure, I felt awful that I'd managed to flip my poor old lady onto her back and then I'd pinned her into a ditch.  All because I was irritated that she wanted to smell some weeds and then got sniffly.

There are definitely extra belly rubs in Arwen's immediate future.

"Oh, this belly?  Yes, you may rub this belly"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

FiveSibes' "What's Wrong With Gibson?" Canine Epilepsy Awareness Book Tour

We had the most wonderful delivery come via snail mail just the other day...It was a book!  Not just any book, Dears...oh no.  It was What's Wrong With Gibson?, written by Dorothy Wills-Raftery and illustrated by Michelle Littler.  It's a touching children's book about canine epilepsy, told with love and compassion from the FiveSibes mom herself.

"Look at our awesome new book!  So many pictures of my cousins!"

The story unfolds in rhyme, sweetly illustrating the FiveSibes pack at play.  I won't spoil it for you, but I will tell you that through their seizure experience, they teach us some great information.  The story is moving and actually had me choking back tears - I'm a big sap after all.  Harley knows just what to do, and shows her pack to act with care and love in supporting big brother, Gibson.

"Come here, Fenway, I'm going to read you a story about seizures..."  "Seizures?!  They sound scary!!"

I remember watching my first seizure as a vet tech.  I can still see that poor Rottweiler's body shaking and tensing, while her head hit the hard floor.  We placed a towel under her until it was over, waiting anxiously for the electrical storm in her brain to stop.  My heart goes out to all those that suffer from epilepsy and are forced to endure it alongside their kiddos.

"I'm too scared to look..."

"Nyxie, do we have to be worried about epilepsy?"

Please support Dorothy by heading over to ArcticHouse Publishing and buying a copy.  Please visit my friend, Dorothy at FiveSibes to read more about her fantastic pack, and please buy What's Wrong With Gibson - a percentage of each book will be donated by the author to Canine Epilepsy Resources!

"I've got you covered, Little Brother.  Let's read it together..."

"We don't have to be scared!  Thanks to The FiveSibes, we know how to handle seizures!"