Round the horn update:

Lucas in Coat 1
Lucas in Coat 1

Lucas is doing very well. He is much better than he was in October. I don’t know if it is medical, or if he just likes being the only dog in my world at his advanced age. He is walking 1-3 miles a day now. He is only going out to pee every 3-4 hours now instead of every two. He has only gotten me up in the middle of the night to go out twice in November-December as opposed to at least twice a week in October. He lets me sleep until 7 some days instead of getting me up at 4 or 5. On advice from a pet store lady i am adding yogurt to his meals which is encouraging more licking and slower eating. With the slower eating, he gets less air in his stomach and is MUCH less gassy than he was before i started doing this.

Lucas in Coat 2
Lucas in Coat 2

He is running a little bit some days. He did kill a groundhog on Nov 15th which made him very happy. Mom gave him the turkey heart on Thanksgiving and he was ultra excited. That day he humped Tippit, one of the active dogs in our neighborhood, whom he usually ignores. And Tippit’s mom lent us this fleece doggy coat which he uses on the cold days.

Lucas note

He is even getting along with the new Vice President of Cleanliness my mom hired.

Toys for Tots Mixer
Toys for Tots Mixer

I re-connected with an old golfing acquaintance to do some networking and planning. He turned me on to this group, and i have been going to a few events and committee meetings to do some personal and professional networking. A few of us showed up to do same day registration for an Arthritis Foundation Charity run – which was hectic and fun! I am gathering info from the local church community to open some new volunteer opportunities for the group with local soup kitchens.

Vance is doing well. He has had no recurrence of whatever weird infection attacked his hand a while back. 14 months after his heart surgery he is doing great. He is back at the gym regularly doing cardio and pumping the old iron.

Pappy is doing OK. It can be hard to gauge his mood sometimes, but his general health has been good, and the numbers related to his diabetes have been consistently in the good zone. It is still difficult-impossible to get him to go out and walk, but we can still trick him into it with Shopping! I take him to Lowes or Wal-Mart and he drives the cart and i drag us back and forth from one side of the store to the other. We have also started going to the huge pet store together because we can take Lucas in there too. Lucas likes to shop for new treats and Pappy likes to look at the fish.

Mom is looking forward to the end of the semester and a little break and some Holiday Cheer. We already had this semester’s piano party at the house for her kids, and she has had a few concerts recently and a few more are on deck. That lady is made of energy!

What’s in my Ears and Eyes lately?

The Pretty Things – S.F. SorrowOne great song from the album

and The Floaters – Float On – You gotta see the moves

Reading The Song of Ice and Fire Series (where Game of Thrones came from) e-book editions via the kindle app on my computer and iPhone. Started Book Three last night and i dig it. Really great Maps!

Watching Legend of The Seeker on the Netflix. It is not too bad. I am interested to check out at least one of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth books upon which the TV series is based. I love fantasy books. I read all the classics and then got into the Dragonlance series and Piers Anthony’s Xanth series. Somehow i never picked up Goodkind and another contemporary Robert Jordan and his popular Wheel of Time series. I may have check that out too.

That is the short version. I hope you folks are all doing well and staying warm!


I got a call from my sister this morning and an email from a friend this afternoon that helped me recognize an update was in order.

Vance has been discharged from the hospital. I brought him home Monday night. His hand is much better. There is still some pain and stiffness, and he will be on IV antibiotics for one to two more weeks and pills for a week after that – but he is home.

We will never know exactly what caused the odd giant hand syndrome exactly. What they can tell us is that this was most likely a cutaneous infection (something hanging out on his hand) that was introduced into the tissues by the puncture of a splinter.

Big V’s words of wisdom for us all: Hand Sanitizer – frequently!

Lucas is also doing well. He actually seems to be a little better now than he was a month or so ago. He is drinking a little less, has less urgent needs to go out, and is sleeping through the night (or at least until 4 or 5) every night. His hair has not grown back very much, but he did not seem cold in our recent snowstorm. He went on a long walk with my mom yesterday and almost caught two groundhogs. His mobility is still limited, but he is rolling in the grass some and trying to wiggle down the hills on his back. There has even been some limited running.

I put the Saturn on the list of Craig yesterday and had 8 hits inside 5 hours. At least 5 of those folks have had multiple follow-ups and intend to come and see the car. Three made appointments, though one has failed to show. It does not beat my record 6 hours from post-to-sold that i did with my last Explorer in AZ, but it is decent progress. Fingers crossed.

Sending out an Om Namasivaya to all my pals who can’t sleep and/or are overloaded with the stress. I did not make it through my recent time of extreme trial gracefully, but i did make it through.

Many moments in Buffy helped me out as well as two memorable quotes from Coach Eric Taylor:

1) Champions don’t complain. Champions don’t give up. You’re not Champions until you’ve earned it. – Wind Sprints S1 Ep3

2) We are all vulnerable and we will all at some point in our lives – fall. We will all fall. We must carry this in our hearts – that what we have is special. That it can be taken from us. And that when it is taken from us, we will be tested. We will be tested to our very souls…It is these times, it is this pain that allows us to look inside ourselves. Pilot S1 Ep 1

Stuff ‘n’ Things

A snap shot from the middle of today. I’ll fill in some gaps and elucidate tomorrow if i get some sleep. If not – more rambling…

– –

I am borderline delirious in my lack of sleep and feel very uncomfortable in my skin today.

Lucas has diarrhea again and in addition to the immediate trouble and discomfort that causes him – it presents some difficult to solve diagnostic problems.

Vance is going to be in the hospital overnight (this was semi-planned not a fluke thing).

Pappy and Lucas and i have spent a lot of time alone in the house together the past 48 hours or so and it has been a little Flowers For Algernon up in here at times.

Part of me just wants it to be next week already, but them’s the breaks. The final season of Friday Night Lights premieres this Friday (for those of us without Direct TV), so it should be on iTunes Saturday. There is an excellent sale at my REI Saturday and i have a career counseling session set-up on the 19th with one of my favorite professors. So it ain’t all bad.

– –

Since about 9 pm last night, Lucas has needed to go out every 45 minutes to hour and a half. I did get to close my eyes from time to time, but i have not really slept. It started raining about 9 pm last night and has not stopped yet. In order to save time, i quit taking my clothes off after the second or third trip out last night and i slept in my damp outfit. Now i am feeling less than super, but i can’t tell if i am sickish or just overtired.

Luc had the diarrhea a few weeks ago. He and i had been largely alone in the house for a week or so with my dad and grandpa on the road to Mississippi, and my mom working a lot. The boys came back and Lucas got diarrhea in under 15 hours.

Luc and i just spent a nice weekend in NOVA celebrating a friend’s birthday. We get back and he gets diarrhea in under 24 hours. It could be my grandpa and/or dad feeding him. I don’t think it is my dad. He is a little more on alert now than before. But it is hard to say with my grandpa. It isn’t his fault, but there is no telling what he will or won’t remember from one minute to the next. Maybe he remembers me asking him not to feed Lucas, maybe not. Maybe he doesn’t remember feeding Lucas. Who knows.

And one of the rare but potential side effects of Cosequin, the doggy glucosamine/chondroitin that Lucas started taking on the 7th – diarrhea. Dogs’ systems are generally pretty quick, so it seems wrong to me that the Cosequin would be the culprit 6-7 days into taking it instead of 1-2 days – but what do i know? I stopped the Cosequin for now.

And, from time to time, there are outbreaks of giardia in NOVA in places where dogs and animals congregate. My buds and i have both abandoned the Dog Park and the adjacent woods, but even though we have shifted the walk-zone, there are no animal free areas in NOVA. So, it could have been something he picked up from the creek.

Mickey, Lucas, and Max - Holmes Run, Sunday, April 10, 2011
Mickey, Lucas, and Max - Holmes Run, Sunday, April 10, 2011

I have a detailed but brief email out to my vet and some oatmeal in the dish for Lucas. It is unlikely that he will eat the oatmeal. He is picky, and while he went through far fewer of these times with me than Guthrey did, oatmeal is our “poor” food. If he does leave it alone, i will try some rice tonight. If he skips that then perhaps a very small dish of each in the morning.

– –

Vance has been recovering well from the heart surgery and valve repair last October. He finished the physical therapy, played a little golf, and has resumed his usual schedule of going to the gym. But, during one of his last check-ups there was some activity that his team of doctors did not like. Today he had a dual catheter procedure where they went up into the chest cavity from the groin area of each leg to investigate and cauterize a few areas. It sounds grosser, cruder, and scarier than it is. The docs say that it went well. He has been out of surgery for a while in the recovery area, and will be moved to a private room later for overnight observation and monitoring. He will probably be released by noon tomorrow, but we will have to wait and see.

My mom has been there with him. He can’t have any more visitors until he gets to his room later anyhow. Mom and i will have to figure out a way to shuffle things around so that she can have a break, Pappy and i can see Vance, and Lucas doesn’t get abandoned for too long and have some kind of indoor problems…

– –

I am still pursuing some leads in “Big Consulting Firm” as well as leads with “Competitors of Big Consulting Firm”, but on a different track

– – (cliffhanger)

Stopped there to go see Vance. He is doing great. Lucas ate some oatmeal.

I call upon The Powers That Be to grant Lucas enough peace in the bowels that we might sleep tonight – i have been up since 5:30 am Tuesday