It’s About Routine

My life is a tad bit boring as I await housing. It seems like quite a waste. There’s so much more I’d rather do, but without a place…

Every morning, I wake up, but I don’t get up as soon as I wake up. I do my leg exercises while still in my “bed” – in the cargo area of my 4runner. I need to strengthen my legs as the osteoarthritis in both of my knees is much worse than last year.

My Mornings

I then crawl out from under the covers, potty in the bucket, and then proceed to get dressed. Then I pull off the Reflectix bubble insulation from all the windows in my SUV and wrap the bungee cord around them. I get the harnesses on my two dogs, unplug the electrical cord from the lamppost and take Roscoe and Halo on their morning walk around the church lot.

When we get back to the 4runner, Halo, my Pomeranian, is jumping up and down – she is so excited. She knows it’s breakfast time. I pick up both her and Roscoe and put them into their kennel which sits where the front passenger seat used to be. I fill up their water in the bowl that is attached to the inside of their kennel and feed them their breakfast. While they eat, I scoop the litter pan and feed Abygayle her kitty food and fill up her water in the no spill bowl. Brush my teeth and then I’m off to 7-eleven for my morning coffee.

My Afternoons

After I get my coffee, I find somewhere to park and then while drinking my coffee, I check my emails, notifications, voicemails, and figure out my blog content for the next week. I also check my appointment book, eat breakfast – rice cakes with cheese or pop tarts – and edit pictures.

Then it’s time to figure out where I want to go for lunch and use a bathroom with running water. I will either go to Safeway or Nob Hill – they have my favorite salad: cranberry walnut salad with raspberry vinaigrette. Yum! After this, and before I eat, I take the dogs to the dog park. (I also dump my garbage in the dumpster.) We catch up with friends for a couple of hours and then I drive next to the oak trees where I eat my lunch and watch a movie or TV series.

My Evenings

It’s time to use a bathroom again with running water and head back to the church. I walk the dogs, feed them their dinner, plug into the lamppost, put the Reflectix up on all the windows which gives me privacy, but more importantly, makes it about ten degrees warmer in my 4runner.

I brush my teeth, take my medications, and then crawl over the front seat into the cargo area. (I took the back seats out awhile ago.) I then put the litter pan on the floorboard of the driver’s side and Aby’s food and water in the driver’s seat.

I’ll give Aby some pets and lovies depending on what time it is and then take another potty break in my bucket and then walk the dogs again.

Depending on time, I play with Roscoe with the stuffed animals 🧸 I purchased at the Dollar Tree. Attempt to brush Halo and pet her – sometimes she’ll let me, sometimes she won’t.

I plug the rest of the cords into the extension cord that is going through the passenger door of my 4runner. Charge my iPhone, battery pack, and connect my CPAP. Then get the two comforters and my bed cozy, dress into my pajamas and now, it’s ready for nighty night time.

Just Before Sleep

Roscoe sleeps under the covers at my feet, Halo sleeps on top of the covers, and Aby makes her way from the front to the back by the way of the side of me, walking up my leg, kneading it, and then sleeps on the blanket next to my pillow. Sometimes she gets the zoomies in the middle of the night and runs back and forth, on top of me, around the inside of our little 1997 4runner. Other times, she likes to eat my hair, or just drool 🤤 on my face. Yuck. If Halo is bumped into, she growls.

Photos

Roscoe waking up one morning
Roscoe tucked under the blankets
Halo, after a trim – she looks so small without all of her fur
The ring of flowers on top of Halo’s head are from a bush of flowers at the church lot we park at. I erased all of the other flowers and foliage except for this “floral crown.” I added her image to a background of pink daisies inside a silver picture frame and then added the pink hearts.
This is my cat, Aby, showing off her new harness and leash at a dog park sans dogs. We took an early morning stroll with just our dogs. She enjoyed it, surprisingly.

4runner >>> Domicile

  1. Removed front passenger seat and added the dogs’ kennel, complete with comfy cushion and water bowl.
  2. Added Reflectix bubble insulation to top of kennel to reflect sunlight and heat off of them. (This also keeps them warmer when it’s cold outside.)
  3. Bought window slats for back passenger windows for the summertime when it’s hot and I have to leave them in the shade for when I do my grocery shopping. I also bought a stroller for this purpose too so I don’t have to leave them in the car.
  4. Removed back passenger seats for more room for our bed to sleep in at night.
  5. Bought Reflectix bubble insulation for all of the windows to keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  6. I have a storage unit to put all of the dogs’ clothes, the pet stroller, and Aby’s backpack/carrier in.

Beavis the Goldfish

The fish I asked for

The fish I couldn’t have

The fish I didn’t choose

The fish I now have

🧡

Survival of the fittest

Game of life

Odds of winning

🧡

The small thing you were

Orange and black

Dashing out of the way

Growing big everyday

🧡

A feeder fish you were

A comet you now are

Large and scarlet orange

🧡

My dearest Beavis

I love you so

Four years of growing

Growing old

🧡

Going in a pond

My pond

🧡

Oh little fishy

Best, I ever had

🧡🧡🧡

Unfortunately, Beavis died before he went into the pond that I was going to build for him. It broke my heart. He was over 4” long when he died.

Are Pets Family?

A pet is defined as a domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship or pleasure. Pets can include anything from hamsters to horses and everything in between. But are they family?

Animals are still considered property, but there are laws in place for them. You cannot treat an animal the same way you’d treat a chair. You cannot ignore it. You have to take care of an animal. You cannot abuse it even if it’s your animal. Just like you cannot abuse a child even if it’s your child. So, in some instances an animal isn’t really property at all, but a living breathing entity.

You wouldn’t leave your child behind in a move. You wouldn’t find a new home for your child when you switch homes… so why do this to your pet? When your child has a health problem that’s curable, would you euthanize him/her? No, of course you wouldn’t. You can’t. But pets are disposable to some people. I’ve never figured this out.

In my 52 years of living, I’ve never once been without a pet of some sort. When I was a child, my family had cats – granted, one cat at a time. Then we got a dog – her name was Polly, she was a TRI Collie. Beautiful. Sweet. I went through the hamster stage and my first job was working at a boarding kennel. I loved it! I made my career out of helping animals – working as a veterinary technician (animal nurse.)

I’ve had so many pets and different types of pets: hamsters (as mentioned above,) mice, rats, lizards, a snake, tarantulas, chickens, a rabbit, a guinea pig, a ferret, birds, cats, and dogs. I did have to find a home for a few of them so I know how difficult that is on the heart – they all got fantastic homes! I’ll post another blog about the interesting pets I’ve had and which ones I had to rehome and why.

I consider all of my pets as family, especially my cats and dogs. At one time I had six cats and five dogs. I’ve had six cats and three dogs for a long time, and this I could handle. Then I added another little dog who needed a home and then one more big dog for my other big dog — way too much. But it was definitely the happiest time in my life – surrounded by this pet family of mine.

I now have two little dogs and one cat. Halo, my Pomeranian is the last dog of another pack of three dogs that I had and Aby is the last cat of six that I originally had. Roscoe is the newest – being almost two years now that I’ve had him. They are my family. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them.

I know that many pets are often found new homes when their families move and cannot take the pets with them. This is a real struggle. But it doesn’t have to be. If people started taking a stand and said they wouldn’t leave their pets behind, or started lobbying for pet-friendly housing – I bet laws would change and for the better. I refuse to leave my pets behind.

But maybe what my pets are to me is different that what pets are to other people. My pets are not just my family, they are my lifesavers. They are the reason I get up every morning. They are the reason I live. I cannot imagine my life without them. Now, if I didn’t have these particular pets in my life – would I be able to live? I’m sure I would be able to survive without an animal, but would I be happy? I don’t think so.

I have thought about giving these three up so I could move into my Dad’s house and not be homeless. I thought about it back in late 2019 – it was a struggle just to make the poster and then to post it on Facebook. I was crying. I was so sad. I was depressed. I prayed to God and asked Him what I should do. If He helped me find a home for all four of my pets (that’s how many I had,) then I’d know that He would want me to move in with my Dad and brother. But many people only wanted one of my pets – my youngest dog, Roscoe. So, I removed the poster, elated that I didn’t have to get rid of them and am now homeless with my three pets. (My eldest cat, Miss Blur, was euthanized due to incurable liver cancer.)

People Say Pets Are Family and then…

They move and get rid of their pets when it’s too difficult to find housing with said pets. Granted, not all people do this, but some do. So did they lie when they said their pets were family members? Or do they just use their pets when it’s convenient for them?

There are a lot of pets that end up in the shelter. If these pets were actual family members – why are they in the shelter?

A person should NEVER get an animal unless they vow to keep that animal until s/he has passed on. It’s about a 10-20 year commitment for a cat or dog, 2-4 year commitment for a rat – choose your pet carefully. If a person cannot commit that much time to owning a cat or dog, then don’t get one. Dogs take more work than cats, for sure. You have to train them, bathe them, socialize them, play with them, exercise them. Cats are a lot less work – you need to clean their litter pan, play with them, pet them, but you don’t need to walk them or train them, no need to bathe them, but a brushing every week wouldn’t hurt them unless they’re the hairless variety.

People need to take responsibility and stop abandoning animals, stop abandoning their pets.

Do you have pets?

Do you consider them family? Why or why not?

Post CZU August Lightning Complex Evacuation

Blur (black/white cat) & Aby (striped cat) are evacuees

Eight nights ago on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, I evacuated my two cats from my friends’ RV in Boulder Creek. I had been living there up until January 2020 when they let me know that I would need to move out, but my cats could stay.

Sadly, yesterday, I brought Blur into a veterinary hospital to have her euthanized. This last week with her, I noticed that her liver cancer was definitely worse. She had a voracious appetite, but the food ran right through her. She was starving. 🙁 I know I did the right thing, and if I had thousands of dollars, I would have spent them all on her when she first had a problem. Would she have wanted to be poked and prodded? No. Is she an easy cat to pill? No. As far as all of my cats go (past and present), she is by far the worst of them all – not wanting to be poked, pilled, or anything of the like. So, in the end, I think I did the best I could have done for her.

Now, I need to get my other cat to eat. Living in a 4runner isn’t easy, but I know that has nothing to do with the reason Aby is not eating. It takes her time to adjust to any new place. We’ve moved around quite a bit since our home burned up in the Bear Fire three years ago. Aby is very slow to adjust to anything new. At the boarding facility three years ago, I had to go over there everyday to coax her to eat, while looking for my lost cat, looking for housing, etc.

When we moved to Bakersfield, it was the same thing with Aby – it took her a few weeks to get adjusted. Then we had to move to Taft. Then to the RV, and now into my 4runner.

I just offered her canned chicken in water, and she won’t eat that either. She ate a few bites of Friskies pate mixed grill last night, but she won’t eat her normal ‘shreds’, or even her dry. Sigh. 😔

Heatstroke?

Halo, my golden shadow as I often refer to her as, has not been feeling well for awhile now. I’m hoping soon we’ll solve this mystery. She has another appointment scheduled for tomorrow morning.

A Little Bit Of History

She has severe periodontal disease, but she also had secondary IMHA in 2018. Due to this, veterinarians haven’t wanted to put her under anesthesia.

Foul Odor

A couple of weeks ago, I kept smelling something foul in my 4runner (this is where my dogs and I live.) I looked everywhere for where the smell might be coming from, but couldn’t find it. Halo was still eating her dry food – she doesn’t really crunch down on her food, but rather swallows it.

We were at the dog park, and I had picked Halo up to remove the debris leftover from the Sandman and that’s when the odor of her mouth hit me! I tried to open her mouth, and she screamed. OMG! This whole time, the foul odor was being emitted from her oral cavity! Eek 😬

I started feeding Halo canned food immediately, and she gobbled this down.

Antibiotics

I called and made an appointment with her new veterinarian^ who also wasn’t able to due a full mouth exam due to Halo’s pain. But he saw blood and pus. He did a blood panel on her that I had requested and he started her on a course of antibiotics. She was supposed to stay on the antibiotics for at least 2-3 weeks, then get her dental.

Halo’s white count was high (indicative of infection) and some of her liver enzymes were high as well, but the one that I was worried about was normal. Phew. The other enzymes that were high, the doctor wasn’t really worried about.

Diarrhea

Almost one week in to giving her the antibiotics, Halo developed gelatinous diarrhea. Eww. But she was still eating and drinking. I wasn’t too concerned.

Heatwave

Then the bay area is hit with what seems like a never ending heatwave. Triple digits for days on end. I know other places have hot weather a lot, but those people are probably prepared for their hot weather. Here, on the central coast, it doesn’t get that hot. Maybe one day every once in a great while… but every day? No. I definitely wasn’t prepared for this heatwave. I would have boarded my dogs or rented a hotel room (the cheapest one I could find.) I drove my dogs around in my air conditioned truck. Soaked them down^^ and tried keeping us as cool as possible.

Last night, Halo started vomiting 🤮 and had liquid diarrhea. I skipped her food because it’s not good to feed a dog who’s vomiting. And then this morning? This morning, I made her a breakfast of canned chicken. She didn’t want to eat. 🙁

Is this all from the heatwave? Did she get heatstroke? Or is there something else going on with her?

Appointment Tomorrow

I tried to get her into an emergency vet, but they said it’ll be a 4-5 hour wait AND if some pet is more critical, then she’ll be bumped back even further. Good grief! Plus because of the pandemic, we have to sit out in the parking lot with no shade. Hmm 🤔 No thank you. So, I called her veterinarian again and scheduled an appointment for tomorrow morning at 11:00. I will be with Halo all day and will continue to monitor her. Prayers I get an answer.

^ Change in Veterinary Hospitals

Halo has been seen by a lot of veterinarians and quite a few veterinary hospitals over the years. When I used to work at one veterinary hospital, I brought her in there. I would continue to bring her in there, but they’re really expensive and pretty far away. When we moved to SoCal, she had a veterinarian who took great care of her.

But then when we moved back to northern Cali, it was back to finding another vet. In the early summer, Halo got a foxtail in her ear. I was sure of it. I found a hospital that had great reviews – voted best in the county and made an appointment for Halo to be seen.

I told them what was going on and how I had picked quite a few foxtails out of Halo’s fur. I asked them to sedate her and probe her ear. The doctor came back and told me that Halo has an ear infection. They didn’t sedate her like I had asked. They simply looked down her ear with an instrument called an otoscope and saw pus. I asked the doctor if she could please sedate Halo and look into her ear canal as I was 90% certain it was a foxtail. The doctor said she was certain it was just an ear infection and said that she’d said Halo home on some oral and aural (ear) antibiotics and recheck in one week.

One week later, I told the doctor that I stopped giving the antibiotics because it was making Halo’s ear worse, not better. The doctor had wanted me to massage the ear drops into Halo’s ear canal. Halo had started whimpering and then screaming. The doctor had looked down Halo’s ear canal again and then called me to ask me if she could sedate my dog because she saw a filament of something, something suspicious of a foxtail!

Foxtail pulled out of Halo’s ear

If the veterinarian would have listened to me from the start, Halo wouldn’t have had to be in pain for a week and of course, money would have been saved.

^^ Soaking Dogs

When you go to drench your dog in water to cool him/her off, you need to make sure you soak him/her down to the skin. Otherwise, the water acts like an insulator and instead of keeping your dog cool, it’ll do the opposite.

Many times, owners just wet down the top, and sometimes the bottom of their dog. But what they don’t do is soak the dog’s fur to his/her skin. The best way to make sure that this is done properly is to use a little bit of soap – and rinse all of the soap out or spray the water until the whole coat is wet and you can see your dog’s skin.

Thanks for reading.

Stay cool everyone!

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