There are some folk who don't see the gem inside my rough exterior who might consider me a hot head. To which I say a hearty "bite me". But let this opinion be a caution that within this blog may lurk items of a venting nature or perhaps those which might be considered a rant. So be it. Proceed with caution. You have been warned.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer madness

Summer's half over and I'm trying to catch my breath. Late in May my mother-in-law passed away and my wife has been busy trying to help get her small estate in order and prepare the house for sale.

About the same time our dachshund suffered a back episode requiring us to take him to the emergency (read "expensive") vet twice in a three day period. After three weeks of strict crate rest he seemed to have recovered and led his normal doggy life for another three weeks before another episode. This time he was sent to Iowa State Veterinary Clinic where he underwent two spinal surgeries within 3 days. (For those unfamiliar with the dachshund breed, because of their long backs, they - along with other long backed breeds such as Corgis and Bassets - have a congenital tendency toward Intervertebral Disc Disease. I won't go into it - you can Google it.) After 2 weeks in the hospital, much of it in intensive care, he is now at home where we are trying to help him regain use of his hind legs. The costs of this are massive and ongoing. My hair was thinning and I may resemble Mr. Clean when this is over. My sisters and brother-in-law set up a gofundme page to try and help out. You might want to check it out Sam's Surgeries . If you just want to see this guy and what's going on with him you can check his facebook page The Sam Chronicles . I could go into a rant here about what the dog show crowd has done to purebred dogs from hip dysplasia in large breeds to breathing problems in bulldogs and pugs to these back problems in dachshunds, but you can research it yourself. Look at pictures of these breeds from the early 20th century and look at them now. Inbreeding has weakened purebred dogs for the amusement of dog show participants.

In the middle of all this the community theater that my wife and I play in the orchestra for did their annual summer production. This year it was "The Music Man". Every community theater in Iowa must put this one on at least once and as a result it becomes hackneyed and overdone. Surprisingly under new direction this production was a real winner. It was a pleasure to rehearse and great fun to play the performances. I've complained long and hard elsewhere in these pages about inept direction for amateur production but this was a welcome exception. I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more if we hadn't been dealing with an invalid pet.

All of this took place after a sort of mixed blessing in that I finally retired from my support position in the banking industry. I looked forward to having a lot of time to do things I had put off doing for years but those things are getting but brief attention as I deal with every thing else rolling downhill. I considered a lengthy rant about the horrible inefficiencies of the banking industry - you know something is wrong when a whole industry can afford to waste so much money, but I'm sure that kind of information is available elsewhere and I would just like to put it all behind me.

Now here it is nearly the first of August, with Labor Day a month away and where has the summer gone? I'm kind of glad we didn't try to have a summer trip this year, but looking forward to the early Christmas gathering of my family near New Orleans in November.