Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ups and Downs

First of all - Shy has a permanent, forever home. Yes, Yes, YES! I'm in the middle of answering a million emails, so I hope a second attempt at fundraising is going to happen, as soon as I find a second to organize it! Or help some amazing people organize it!

Second of all - This year is FLYING by! I can't believe it is almost March. I can't believe that in exactly 2 months and 1 day, I will be starting clinics. Actually, I won't be starting until May 9th, since I have the first two weeks (A block) off. Then, for B and C blocks, I have Small Animal Surgery (ortho and soft tissue). Yikes. Schedule:

A = off
B = SA Sx Ortho
C = SA Sx Soft Tissue
D = Off
E = RAHMS (Farms, Large Animal)
F = Dentistry
G = Emergency
H = Dermatology
I = Anesthesia
J = Anesthesia
K = Equine
L = Equine
M = Off (WEDDING!)
N = Emergency
O = Diagnostics
P = Diagnostics
Q = SA Internal Medicine
R = SA Internal Medicine
S = Imaging
T = Imaging
U = Primary Care at U of I
V = Kremer Vet Service Humane Society Rotation
W = first week still at Kremer, second week off
X = Chicago Center Primary Care
Y = Oncology
Z = Ophthalmology

Third of all - I'm doing the polar plunge this weekend to raise money for the Illinois Special Olympics. It should be fun - freezing, but fun! And it is for a really great cause. I've been involving with various special olympics events over the years - my favorite being the year I helped out with the track events. I ended up piggy backing a really sweet 12 year old girl across the finish line when she got a little overzealous and didn't want to finish the mile event :)

Fourth of all - marathon training is going well - did a 12 miler this past weekend (indoors at the gym, it was awful) and this weekend is 13. Of course, there is snow in the forecast and I'm headed home on Sunday for my cousin's birthday... so hopefully it will be warm enough to run outside because running inside for that long is HORRIBLE. Unless something awesome is on TV, then it isn't so bad, but it seems to take forever to finish the run.

Fifth of all - and the worst of all - Ben is acting super strange lately. To put it nicely - dumber than usual and very exercise intolerant. The last two times at the farm, he didn't want to walk or play or do anything at all - very, very strange. We ran a CBC last week because his mucous membranes were almost white. Everything was normal, aside from some decreased white blood cells - which may just be the norm for him. Today, we took him back in and ran a full chemistry panel with electrolytes and pulled enough for the Michigan State thyroid panel to see if he is hypothyroid. It fits - mentally dull, exercise intolerant, heat seeking, etc. His haircoat is beautiful and he hasn't gained any weight and we haven't seen a change in appetite - so who knows? Hopefully he is either hypothyroid or just down and out about the weather. He is incredibly sensitive and HATES the cold - but this year he just seems much more intolerant of it than usual. The chem panel was completely normal too, which is good. By the way - my boy is an awesome patient - we took 10 mls of blood for all the tests (more than needed, but better safe than sorry) and he didn't even flinch and sat perfectly still. I swear, we can draw blood without even needing someone to restrain him - I could roll the vein myself and take blood and I don't think he would move - he is such an angel boy, its killing me to think that something is wrong with my perfect dog and that we got mad at him when he didn't want to walk with us.

Keep your fingers crossed for our Bubba please. And I will get to working on Shy's fund and let you all know whats going on!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Update on Shy!

I messaged the family that was taking Shy for a trial run... and I think they are now her family! 6 months ago, Shy came in to the animal hospital weighing 28 pounds. She was a full grown, three year old intact female that had recently had puppies. She actually weighed just over half of what her normal, healthy weight should have been. No, it wasn't all her previous owners' fault, but they should have realized that she was very sick (rapid weight loss is never normal) and should have been feeding her the correct food and correct amount of food. Her hair fell out whenever you touched her. Instead of a shiny red hair coat, she wore a dull, patchy brown one. The reason for her overall poor health was partially due to neglect and partially due to undiagnosed diabetes. Because her owners couldn't afford to take care of a diabetic dogs (or a dog in general), they opted to euthanize her. Despite her condition when she walked in the door that day, she was still had that gorgeous pittie smile and butt-shaking tail wag. So, the vets decided to ask the owners to relinquish her to the animal hospital instead - meaning that the animal hospital would then own her and her previous owners would give up any and all rights to her. That day, and in the days following, the staff began to fall in love with her. She was finally given healthy food, twice daily insulin injections, and a warm, safe place to sleep where she would always be taken care of. This is all well and good for a temporary fix - a kennel is no place to spend the rest of an animal's life. Six months later, we finally found a couple to take a chance on her and see how she would fit into their lives, and she into theirs.

They love her.

Last night, they told me that she has been fantastic for them and is settling in quite nicely. Little did we know that she would become a little Houdini, learning how to escape out of her crate. In spite her vision loss, she did fine in the house while alone and enjoyed her freedom I'm sure. She has gone on trips to Petsmart, where her family spoiled her like she deserves and was a great girl while on lead in public. She also met her first small dog, nose-to-nose. No aggression at all (thank God!) - and she behaved just like a proper lady should.

How awesome is this? I'm a huge sap, as you should know by now, but I feel tears coming on just thinking about how close she came to being euthanized, and how resilient of a creature she truly is. She never lost her gorgeous pittie smile through all that she went through and finally, FINALLY, she is in a place that she will be loved and feel safe for the rest of her life.

Her family is sending pictures, so when I get those, I will be sure to share them! Until then, please continue to spread the word on her surgery - we are almost 2/3 of the way there - hopefully this loveable lady will be able to see again by summertime!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunshine and Sushi

It. Is. Beautiful. Outside.

Beautiful in the kind of way that makes runners drool over the sunny skies and prospects of not wearing 23 layers of clothing.

I. Love. It.

Wonderful run this morning. My itouch got a little sick, so it didn't record the number of miles I ran... although it did chirp in my ear things along the lines of, "You've run 0 miles. Time 1 hour, 24 minutes, 4 seconds. Pace 8:32". Uhhh, thanks itouch. The route I intended on running was still pretty frozen and slick, so I had to backtrack and do some laps around the golf course community (it is one of my favorite spots to run that is super close to my house). I came home and mapped it out using the USA Track and Field website - 9.5 miles, half a mile more than I was supposed to, so I'm pleased. Afterwards, I came home, collected the pups, and took them on a cool down walk. Even though the weather is perfect for running, I still put their coats on them because they are wimpy dogs. I left with two clean dogs and came back with mud speckled animals. Luckily, they are both great with standing while their feet and bellies get cleaned. It's times like these that I'm glad I was a crazy mom when Jazz was just a wee puppy. I constantly played with her feet, trimmed her tiny nails, looked at her ears, eyes, mouth, nose, etc. It has made her very accustomed to being handled and perfect for "bring your dog to school days" for various labs. She is always fantastic for those labs and has been to physical exam lab, ophthalmology lab, and anatomy/orthopedic lab and gets a little scared, so she makes the perfect statue and gets rewarded with treats and attention!

Anyway, I have a 12 miler next Sunday - and I'm getting super psyched for the marathon. For a little while, I sort of forgot I was running and was lost in my own thoughts about my perfect race outfit and all the things I will want to buy next weekend at Body & Sole's Women's Night. If you live near Champaign-Urbana - the running store has a women's night every year in preparation for the Illinois marathon and you get some neat free stuff, get your name in the raffle for more neat stuff, and get 20% off everything in the store - neat stuff! Last year I won a Saucony backpack, so that was very cool and the nutritionist that talked to us was helpful and I learned a lot.

We have a large animal surgery exam tomorrow... that neither KJ nor I have studied for... so I'll have to get on that soon... luckily this is the last one for a little while and we can relax and plan this upcoming wedding! KJ just mentioned dollar sushi for tonight's dinner - I. Am. So. Excited. Dollar sushi is amazing. They take their semi-expensive rolls and sell it by the individual piece - everything is a dollar. This way, you get to try a little of everything and get more of what you like without spending a fortune on the full sushi rolls. I still end up spending 20+ dollars, but it is totally worth it!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Peanut Butter and Sprucing up the Place

Yesterday, I mentally composed a list of why I "love" our house.

1a. The delightful way the tub and toilet fill with bubbles when we run the washing machine.
1b. Even better, when KJ flushed his old contacts down the bathroom sink, they ended up in the bathtub just hours later when I began washing clothes!
1c. While putting tolietries away and wearing my new socks, I stepped into the bathroom to find that the sink, bathtub and toilet had overflowed. Yay us! The plumber is coming this week, by the way.

2. The very welcome ants that began infesting the bathroom, but apparently have moved across the house to the living room. They been Raided, Ant-trapped, etc. Apparently they are brilliant, winter loving ants. Props to them for survival.

3. The evidence of many memorable instances of vomit and hairballs on the carpet.
Side note: Scotch guard is no joke. If you have animals, make sure you have a carpet that you can clean. Moving into a house with the cheapest, worst carpet on the plant... was really lucky on our part.

4. The way that the builders really maximized their usage of space. Yes, build three bedrooms that you can barely fit beds into! And we can call them bedrooms because they all have closets! Are your closets smaller than a miniature porta-potty? Ours too! I get to put my clothes away in three separate locations - it really mixes up my day and keeps it interesting.

5. The lovely way that the sink in the kitchen occasionally leaks/floods into the cabinet underneath. Of course, we just realized that a part is broken. I think we'll have the plumber look at that too...

6. The carefree, white trash way we've been living - with our Christmas tree still in the backyard, the beautiful hammock FROM COLOMBIA that the squirrels destroyed still semi hanging from the tree, and 10+ bags of trash that need to be taken to the animal hospital (we don't have garbage pickup). Oh yes, and the tarps that are frozen to the ground that we threw in the backyard that never actually got put away after we got our "new" couch.

Why did I start thinking of all this? Yesterday, KJ and I had a free day off from school. Because of the crazy third year schedules, our class ended up with a day of no class - due to some classes ending and the others not starting until next week. So we took advantage of this and decided to "be productive". We've been a little lazy in some regards... since the new year... And yes, like I mentioned, our Christmas tree was still in the backyard. And yes, we did have 10 bags of garbage in the backyard. We borrowed KJ's parent's truck and put everything in it - our backyard is now empty and wonderful again. YIKES. A little embarrassing to admit, but I'm so happy it is all gone. And no joke, the squirrels came halfway the tree in the backyard and screamed at me when I took down their broken hammock. I was afraid to look up in fear that they'd throw squirrel trash at me. And then... we cleaned. We cleaned like there was no tomorrow, paid bills (KJ is no longer allowed to pay bills because... they don't get paid and the water gets shut off. Oh my gosh, is this really my life?), and made the house super pretty. I even cleaned out some cabinets and came across THREE semi-empty jars of peanut butter. Plus a fourth full jar. I combined them, labeled one "Bubba's jar" and kept the full one for the humans. Bubba gets diphenhydramine twice daily - partially because of his allergies, and partially because he had a grade 2 mast cell tumor removed from his scrotum last year. Killing two birds with one stone - and he LOVES his daily doses of peanut butter. Because I had two almost empty jars of peanut butter, I thought - what better treat for the pups? KJ locked them in with me in the kitchen while he vaccuumed and this is what Bubba did the whole time:

(My first attempt at posting a video):

My genius pup attempted to push hers into a corner, so I helped her out a little.

Ben was just pathetic with his peanut butter jar.

I love my pups - they are such characters!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

High school called. They want their drama back.

I read this in another blog and loved it. How perfect is it for vet school? Maybe your schools are more mature than my "whiny" class, but judging from the comments and reading other blogs, I think we are all alike.

I was listening to someone (we'll call them Person 1) vent yesterday about things another person (Person 2) had said during junior surgery this week and I was speechless. Once I found my voice, I jumped on my soapbox and shared exactly what I thought of that person and what they had said. My monologue mostly consisted of screaming in disbelief and sad head shaking because I was flabbergasted by the things said. Person 2 has also committed a multitude of mistakes that I have witnessed and its been driving me insane. Now that I've successfully built this story up, I supposed you'd like to know what happened? Backstory: both involved in that conversation have parents that are veterinarians and owners of their own private practices. That being said, Person 2 was surgeon this week and Person 1 was assistant and gave Person 1 reason to believe that Person 2 is the sole reason that they give pain meds post-op. This being due to the manhandling of soft tissue and blatant disregard of advice from any surgeon, resident, or intern. Instead of visualizing the linea alba to incise the body wall, they made 5 blind stab incisions into the tissue. Luckily, the original incision wasn't even through the subcutaneous layer, so most of the stab incisions weren't harmful (2 had to be sutured because they were in muscle belly). I won't go into more major details of the surgery, but it proceeded along in this manner. Mid-surgery, Person 2 wiped their forehead with their sterile, gloved hands... and didn't want to reglove until the rest of the group demanded it. Later, a resident was checking on the progress of the surgery and accidently contaminated Person 2's hand, so she made Person 2 reglove again. Afterwards, Person 1 and 2 were chatting and Person 2 made comments like, "I wouldn't have regloved if she wasn't standing there" and "People like us need to cut corners where we can - we don't make money from slow surgeries".

Oh dear God.

Maybe this doesn't sound like a big deal - but to me, this was the culmination of a hundred other ways that I had seen Person 2 cut corners in relation to junior surgery and I blew my top - to know that Person 2 is purposely cutting those crucial corners and is aware of it... well, that just about killed me. Not to mention that it could actually kill an animal one day. Plus - what kind of jaded mindset must you possess to be a third year and already think about "cutting corners" in surgery and in practice? How do you "cut corners" on your third surgery? How do you even know what corners are okay to cut at this point in your career?

Excuse me while I jump off my soapbox now.

I also realize that I am creating drama by sharing this with my small online community of friends. But its too crazy just to keep to myself.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our girl found herself a home!

Update from Shy's new home: Did great in the car during the hour + drive to her new digs. She was a little overwhelmed at first (completely expected), but eventually settled down and has taken to her new place and new crate with a comfy new bed. She has a new collar and everything - lucky girl, she deserves to be spoiled as much as humanly possible. Her new people did great giving her insulin this morning as well - Shy is an angel for it as long as she has some kibble to munch on!

Pictures as promised:

The staff saying good-bye and giving kisses to Shy Shy. You can see how much we love her!

Her new people :)

Last night I also met a young guy who brings his handsome black and white pit bull to the animal hospital. He is enlisted in the Army and set to go south for basic training in the next couple months, so he is desperate and doesn't know what to do with his pup. His dog is young and rambunctious, but a pretty nice dog - so he has that going for him. I have been trying to get involved with a rescue that works directly with military men and women to foster their dogs when they are away on leave, both foreign or domestic, so I emailed him the sites that he can contact to (hopefully) get set up. I feel like lately my life has just revolved around placing pit bulls in homes, not vet school, but its okay for now. I'd love to get much more involved in the future (i.e. after graduation) in these organizations - so hopefully I can return some favors for you all that have been so generous to Shy.

Vet school drama time: So we have these numbers that are used to post our grades after exams. That way, we can all check our grades, but keep it anonymous at the same time. Yesterday, our pretty cool radiology doc emailed us a list of the class and where we would be taking our radiology exam tomorrow (it is taken on computers in the labs). She accidentally included all of our "secret" numbers in with that list - so we all became in possession of each others secret numbers.

Oh my gosh, it was like the world was ending.

Within 5 minutes, she said she received 28 emails informing her of this awful, terrible, huge, grave mistake. People literally had meltdowns about it. People of the vet school world - no one cares what your grades are except you. Frankly, I don't care if you are last in the class or first. And if people do actually care - they really need something better to occupy their time and worry about. Because of this tragedy, we all got assigned new numbers. Which will be null and void in about 2 months anyway... even though my paper says I'll need it for the next three years. Administration, you could have taken 6 seconds to revise that paper to make it look like you are actually sending it to the third year class and not the first year class... but I digress.

Well world, my new number is 3363. Yikes! I said it out loud! People might see this! I don't care who knows my grades because I'm still here. I will graduate in 2012 and I will get the same degree as the person ranked number 1 in the class and the person ranked 123 in the class. I fall exactly in the middle - and its a pretty sweet place to be.

Enough drama for today. Who would like to learn about radiology? Anyone? Anyone? Tough, because I don't really know anything. But in a sick sort of way, I'm enjoying sitting in the quiet library with my Starbucks Venti Cinnamon Dulce latte... even if I'm not actually studying at the moment.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Shy might have a home!

I don't want to get my hopes completely up, but a friend's sister and her fiance are taking Shy on a "trial run". They came tonight to pick her up! I didn't want to even say it out loud, but now that they actually have her with them, I feel like I can breathe a small sigh of relief. KJ and I went over to the animal hospital to meet with them tonight and to have KJ's mom go over all of the vet info. Our friend JU came with... because her sister is the one taking Shy! Hopefully this means that we will stay updated with her and get to know how she settles in with them! I had to hold back my tears - full of hope and joy for her, knowing that she is going to a real home that really wants to love her and take care of her. At the same time, she has filled such a part of my heart that I will miss her so much. I have gotten used to her being in my daily thoughts and actions... maybe now I can concentrate a little more on school, since that's what my $40,000 a year loans are paying for!

Trying to post pictures, but its not working - I'll update soon when it works!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Saturdays

First of all, I've been checking the ChipIn page multiple times a waking hour and I'm speechless by how much was donated in one day - almost 50%. ALMOST HALF. IN ONE DAY. Can you believe that? And my vet school friends have been so generous on top of that. I know they don't have money, but the little that they have to spare, they gave to Shy. It sounds very silly, but I can't wait to go to work today and see her, and tell her what you all have done for her. Obviously, I know she can't understand me... but I wish she did. She is such a sweet, loving lady and deserves a great family - Are you out there future family???

KJ and I work every Saturday at the animal hospital (and occasionally during the week if they need a hand and we don't have class (okay, lets be honest - we skip class to help). I thought I would hate working every Saturday - I used to sleep in when KJ would go to work and I'd have the entire morning to myself. But at work, I get to apply what I'm learning in school every Saturday. I get to play "Puppy Doc" for four hours and practice what I'll eventually be doing. KJ and I have been getting more responsibility and opportunities to "practice" vet med - if we are free, we get to handle suture removals, nail trims, x-rays, etc. I think we make a pretty good team. Which is nice, because we'll be working very closely together for the next 30 some years!

After work and lunch today, we'll be headed to the library to begin the studying extravaganza. Did the administration not realize that February 6th is Superbowl Sunday? Did they not realize that I am about to marry the biggest Steelers fan on the planet? I'm sure if they had, our exam schedule would be far different - who doesn't love Superbowl Sunday? Football, food, beer... Puppy Bowl VII. Unfortunately, we have our Small animal surgery exam on Monday, Radiology on Wednesday, and Cardio on Thursday. Kind of a tough week, but it looks like this will be the worst one all semester. It doesn't even compare to the multiple 4+ exam weeks of years past! I guess we also have our take home Nutrition exam to do (which is pretty simple) and we had our take home Swine exam due yesterday. We also have a Large animal surgery quiz due and our requests for 4th year rotations due Monday... I've done everything except take the exams, but there are people in our class freaking out about it all. Its really not THAT bad, but they complain and that is why our class has the reputation that it does. Unfortunately, the ones that bitch and moan vocalize their opinions, while the rest of us just sit quietly... I know that this is part of what Facebook is for, but it gets tiring to see people complain about EVERYTHING :)

Anyway, keep up the donations! And passing along the link (you all are fabulous for doing that too!). And if you or someone you know are looking for a wonderful dog to become part of your family, please let me know. She's ready and waiting for you.

Friday, February 4, 2011


You, blogger friends, are AMAZING! We are 20% of the way to our goal for Shy's surgery and it is all because of you! I still have to give my own donation, and KJ donated this morning - he handed me his debit card and gave me an amount, but the message on the ChipIn page is actually from him (he is a wonderful, wonderful man). I'm so full of love and happiness that I can't sit still, I just want to do good deeds for everyone today. And I will. I'm on my way out the door to the gym to meet up with friends (still have to run those 5 pesky miles today... I have 10 planned for Sunday) and I will see where the day takes me!


Here I am, sitting in Radiology lab/class. In between classes just now, I checked the blogs that I love reading daily (Two Pitties in the City, for one) and A posted about Shy again and created a button on their blog that directly links to Shy's ChipIn page for her cataract surgery. Before I knew it, I had 7 donations totalling just about a hundred dollars - from my mom, and 6 people that I have never met. To my mom and those 6 people - Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know I am sitting in class right now, but I can't stop my eyes from welling up with tears, I'm actually on the verge of sobbing. I can't even fathom the generosity of people - strangers - that I don't know, but share our same love for animals and are willing to share their hard earned dollars with Shy - to help a dog that they have never met, except through pictures and videos.

Shoot, my nose is running now... this could get embarassing as I sit here sniffling...

Thank you A - thank you for all of your help to get us this far - to get Shy in the minds and hearts of the online community. I can't thank you enough for you generosity and your presence in the blogging community. I never realized what an awesome community that bloggers form - we all have our own lives, but it is so amazing to see into the lives of other people and for those same people to give their time and money for such a great lady - sweet sweet Shy shy :)

Link to Pitties in the City and Shy's post

Shy's ChipIn Page

More later... I AM in class after all :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Great Midwest Blizzard of 2011...

... was awesome! We didn't get nearly the same amount of snow as my parents did, up near Chicago (only 12 inches here) - but the ice and thundersnow combination was enough to historically close the University of Illinois - for the fourth time in 30 years. What did we do? I fed the animal at the normal time (6:15), slept again until 9, then woke up and worked on our now take-home nutrition exam (Bless you Dr. P). Rewind to Tuesday at 3 (nutrition class). Dr. P walks in and announces that he has good news... and good news. The first? No class that day - the storm had already started and conditions were getting nasty to drive in (class also goes till 5, so sometimes it is dark when we leave class on Tuesdays/Thursdays). The second - he would be giving his first ever take home exam. Granted, Dr. P's exams are pretty basic and simple to begin with - this class is kind of goofy because we already took nutrition first year... and this class is very similar to that one. I think he recognizes that most of our classes can be incredibly difficult and tries to make his easier on us - and in turn, we adore him. If I get a 100% on the exam, I get an A in the class (apparently equine nutrition didn't go so hot for me) - and 100% is completely doable, I just have three questions that I'm not completely sure about, so those need to be looked up still.
Continuing on with snow day - KJ woke up at 11:30 (boy, he must have been tired!) and we snow-suited up and took the pups on a chilly walk outside. The pups didn't love it, but we had fun and made snow angels in the front yard. Our dogs are big babies - they even had their winter coats on. We shoveled for a little bit (even though most of it had been done by the nice old neighbor's snow blower - our neighbor is great) then watched movies and ordered chinese food and hung out in the living room until late last night. Overall - very good snow day. Bad diet day - but I have a 5 mile run to get me going at some point today. With the weather at 0 degrees, I think I'll stick to the treadmill...