Frida is sleeping behind my chair as I write. These days she rarely stays near voluntarily. She is an old dog. As often as not she wants to be left alone to sleep the day away, preferring her own room and sometimes needing a different floor entirely. Her proximity just now is involuntary. I’ve closed the door to my office and her cute little head is encased in a plastic cone.
Her corneal ulcers were not healing so our friend suggested a visit to the ophthalmologist. A cancelation in the specialist’s schedule got us in that same day (yesterday). She debrided Frida’s eyes with a spinning diamond burr, popped in contact lenses (as bandages), adjusted meds and timing and recommended 24-7 coning for three weeks.
Frida was terrific immediately after the procedure, scratched eyes, contacts and cone be damned, but I now suspect her good spirits were attributable to the lingering effects of local anesthetic and her desire to quickly get as far away from the place as possible. Using her eyes and walking fast seemed like the best bet.
I have pictures of Frida in the cone but won’t be sharing them. The picture above was just before we went in to see the specialist. Frida hadn’t opened her eyes even to walk for more than a day. In the parking lot, though, she put on the ritz–showing me that her eyes were perfect and there was no need to see a specialist. Dogs are wicked smart and crafty.
When we got home it all went to shit. She kept her eyes locked tight all night and she was just short of catatonic. Aaaakkk! I was beside myself with guilt. Why would I put dear Frida through three weeks of hell near the end of her life? How would Frida eat and drink? How would we get her outside to pee and poop? Lacey had already had a long day at work but had enough left to counsel one last client. Me. Bless her straight to heaven.
Lacey stayed on the bed with Frida while I boiled pasta, heated jarred sauce, fried sausages and steamed kale. Dinner in bed for us. A mechanical affair–a chore to be attended to. An episode of Glee helped some, but there was not nearly enough Rachel in it for my taste. Then it was time to take Frida to pee.
Cone off. Lacey and I both escorted Frida around her backyard snow track. Frida wouldn’t open her eyes so it took ten minutes to make the circuit. One true step would be followed by a second wayward step pegged into deep snow on the side of the narrow trail. Anxiety would freeze her in place until we could coax her from behind, clapping from the front, to get her restarted. Repeat thirty times.
Lacey and I were underdressed. Our boots weren’t laced. We’d imagined a quick out to pee and then back to a warm house. Two minutes tops. Not so. Frida didn’t pee in the yard, so we went to the front walk to give her another chance. Damned if that little girl didn’t open her eyes and decide to lead us on a one mile walk at 9:30 pm! Her first walk in three days. She used to miss a walk a year, but with her condition and the extremely cold temps, for a month she’s missed walks every other day, if not more. A half mile into this walk I noticed Lacey didn’t have gloves. I took the leash to free her hands to find pockets. I laced my boots. It was cold and dark, I had to pee and Lacey’s hands were most certainly pink ice blocks, but to see Frida open her eyes and walk, well, we would have gone five miles. She would only have needed to lead us. Luckily, she didn’t. At 3/4 of a mile, she peed twice and pooped. Money. Homeward.
Today is much better. She’s opening her eyes some. I’ve walked her a mile and she wanted to go more. No cone when I am snuggling her, when we walk or when she is eating and drinking. My work is mercifully light today so I can give her my full attention. Maybe the diamond debridement and the attendant care will help Frida’s eyes heal. Maybe she’ll come with us to Provincetown again (we already have reservations for this summer).
I’m getting ahead of myself (and awfully one dimensional). Internet shenanigans are as good as I can do. I dropped a comment on a blog post written by the chef at the Saratoga Wine Bar and it has born fruit. Or vegetables, to be more precise. I’ve never been to his place, but All Over Albany directed me to his blog and I enjoyed much of what he wrote. His food sounds wonderfully and thoughtfully prepared and his posts are entertaining. A real character. Accolades aside, I didn’t much care for the line “No, I do not like “vegetarians” in general.” So I told him. You can read the exchange if you want (in the comments to the post linked above), but let’s just say I was not confident I had made a positive connection. Until this (in relevant part):
Randal Putnam, I’ve put a new vegan dish on The Wine Bar menu. Moroccan winter vegetable stew with turmeric rice.
That’s positive! I hope I can get there to give it a try. Frida will decide that. Do me a favor? If you are in Saratoga, get to the Saratoga Wine Bar and order the Moroccan stew. Let the chef know you are thankful for his accommodation. Don’t search his blog for the word “vegetarian.” I did to find the links I’ve added to this post and, well, collecting his comments on the subject doesn’t present a very encouraging picture. Still, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. He really sounds like a swell fellow with maybe one blindspot. We all have them. I’d list mine but I can’t–that is the nature of blind spots. You don’t know they are there. Please tell me when you notice them. I can’t grow otherwise.
Onward! Week four Friday pizza crust is rising in the fridge. Frida is snoring. Lacey is out the door for work. I should get back to resisting buying another bicycle. It requires all of my attention and strength to say no!