Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good News, and Knitting Too!

Happy days! We found out that the dog does not have cancer. He has pancreatitis, which is treatable and we have him on a trail of drugs now to do just that. Also, he was able to get the majority of his stitches out but as there are still some located in a location that male dogs find, ahem, tempting, shall we say, his cone stays on. He's managing to get around it pretty well though, and is hoovering up crumbs like his usual self. 

Also, I realized that my cousin's baby is only 7 weeks away from arriving, and that I need to get my knit on. No, I haven't yet darned the ends in on that darn second bootie, but I did cast on to the Cache Coeur (Ravelry link- sorry non-members), a very simple baby sweater from Ashford's magazine The Wheel. I'm using Sandesgarn Sisu, and am impressed with it so far. It has excellent stitch definition, and superwash with a bit of nylon, so it should be good for a mom who doesn't knit and might not want to handwash baby things. 

It's going well so far, and I think I'll try to complete the BSJ I have planned as part of the Ravelympic challenge in the Baby Dressage event. I also hope to complete my Sizzle in the WIP Wrestling match. It seems like a fun way to try and tackle some of the knitting I'm scandalously behind on!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Troubles with Ripley

The last few weeks have been a series of ups and downs. On the up side, we went to the interior for the weekend for Sweetie's aunt's fiftieth birthday party. We were in the desert, and  it was wonderfully hot and dry. Extreme heat is so relaxing at times; it's as if the stress just gets beaten into submission by the blistering sun and hot winds. It was 40 degrees Celsius during the day, and still 35 degrees at nine o'clock at night!

Our drive there was a little bit longer than anticipated, as we opted to take the scenic route getting there. We missed a crucial turn, and were faced with a shocking "Road Ends" sign on the highway. Upon discussion with a helpful local in the tiny collection of houses we ended up in, we discovered that we'd missed a crucial turnoff. I couldn't fathom how that had happened, until we backtracked the requisite 35 minutes and found out the turnoff was the site of a police incident of some sort when we first passed by. I suppose the moral of the story is that rubbernecking is not just tacky, but may be hazardous to one's ability to navigate. 

Once we made the turn we discovered we were actually required to drive over a mountain to get to our destinations. This meant that the next 80 km took over 2 hours to drive, what with 13% graded hills! We were late arriving at the party, but fortunately there was still plenty of crab to eat. I really prefer the taste of crab to lobster, and one of the great things about Sweetie's family is that they are big crab afficionados.  

The knitting news, I'm afraid, is meagre. I have finished the second bootie, but have not darned the zillions of ends in yet. I have purchased the buttons, but not yet attached them. I have the yarn and patterns for two baby sweaters, but have not yet cast on yet. I have the offer of crochet lessons from an expert crocheter, but haven't gotten it together enough to email her. I'm going to try and get my crafting stuff together, but it's a bit of a challenge at the moment. The weather here has been hot, finally, and this really puts me off touching wool. Also, I am now teaching more than full time, and still working as a research assistant. I really feel like I have very little time to do anything for myself these days. 

The other big concern is my dog Ripley. Over the past month, he had three separate episodes of throwing up, just for a day or so. Still, by the third week in a row, we decided he needed to go to the vet. Changing his diet hadn't done any good.  The vet x-rayed him, and discovered he had a rotten molar, kidney and bladder stones, an enlarged liver, and a compressed disc in his back. As a result, on Friday of last week he underwent surgery. The vet removed two teeth, and biopsied his liver and small intestine. It turns out there is an unusual thickening of the small intestine where the pancreatic duct enters it. He felt it was too tricky to resect himself, and just did the biopsy. He also removed the bladder stones, which were sent off for analysis. 

So, the good news is that he isn't full of metastisizing cancer, which was my biggest fear. The bad news is I don't know what the biopsy results will bring. The sad fact of life with pets is that their lives are so much shorter than ours, and having the love of a pet means having to lose that piece of your heart. However, this is sounding quite morose, and I'm trying to be hopeful. Ripley is home from the vet, and hopefully on the road to recovery. He's wearing a cone, and has a huge incision on his belly, from his ribs to his penis. We had to call the vet to adjust the dosage of the pain meds they gave us, as they weren't lasting long enough. He goes in tomorrow to have his pain patch removed and his incision checked. He's also on antibiotics. I'll spare you any further gory details, but let's just say it's been stressful dealing with a dog who is in pain. As I type this, he's lying on the foot of the bed snoozing, which is great as he's been in a bit of discomfort tonight. 

This is not the usual subject matter for this blog, but I feel I owe you an explanation for the paucity of content. Please send a few good thoughts for Ripley out to the universe, if you feel the urge. He's been with us for almost 4 years. We adopted him from the Boston Terrier Rescue on his sixth birthday. He loves eating cheese, swimming, and playing tug of war. He's a quirky buddy, but his googly-eyed charm has won him a place in our hearts that is bigger than I could ever have anticipated.