Sunday, February 21, 2010

en route

Yesterday was a very, very bad day. On Friday night I had a couple hours to work on sucker bits in the garage before heading to the airport to pick up Emily. At some point during that time, Charley, our Rhodesian Ridgeback, went outside and got stuck in the backyard. I looked for him as I was getting ready to leave and finally found him prone in the snow next to the chicken coop at the bottom of the slope in the dog yard. He was unable to stand, so I carried him inside and sat with him by the fire for a while. After twenty minutes or so, he showed a slight interest in food and managed to get up and walk by himself, but it wasn't pretty. He only made it a few feet, and it was clear that his legs were not working correctly.

I decided to put him in the car and take him with me to the airport. Since he hadn't shown any improvement by the time we were heading back up the hill, we took him to the emergency vet. She thought it might be something neurological, perhaps a tumor or spinal injury, and sent Charley home after midnight with a steroid shot and a follow-up appointment scheduled for early the next morning.

Charley didn't respond to the shot, and the vet at our Saturday morning appointment discovered that he had a new and significant heart murmur. He determined that Charley's inability to walk was due to general weakness from his heart condition and that little could be done for him. We had to say goodbye to Charley just a few days prior to his twelfth birthday.

On the way home from the vet, we stopped by the cleaners to pick up my heavy coat for the trip. I had left it there a week ago to have its zipper replaced. They didn't have it. Apparently it was in the possession of their seamstress in Aurora, and she hadn't returned their calls for the past two days. Fortunately the Fairbanks forecast looks fairly warm (mostly above zero F) for the coming week, so I should be fine with a lesser coat.

After getting home, I finally turned my attention to my right eye which had been irritated since the drive to the airport. It didn't take long to find a small bit of steel stuck in my cornea. I had been wearing safety glasses while making the sucker bits, but that one piece somehow found its way around them. The only good news I had all day was that my ophthalmologist would be able to return from Colorado Springs and see me in the afternoon. He popped the tiny chunk out with the tip of a syringe and then removed the remaining rust ring with a drill.

Needless to say, I didn't have as much time for trip preparations on Saturday as I had hoped, but I was able to get everything packed in time for a few hours sleep before my early morning flight. I'll probably have time at Belfair on Monday to test and touch up the sucker bits and finish sharpening chisels and saw chains. Meanwhile, I'm spending a long day of travel, an odd calm amid days of storm.


Dan Gottesman said...

whoah, dude.
a bad day, indeed.
so sorry to hear about Charley, and everything else.

safe travels...

Kim said...

ok, so you have had your 3 bad things happen. not that a misplaced coat equals the loss of your boy. i'm very sad to hear about charlie. but no more bad things! wishing you good ice : )

Kim said...

sorry. didn't catch it in time, but i did see that i typed his name incorrectly--Charley : )

emily said...

today is not much better because i miss both you and charley. carve for him : ) love you.

Dad said...

So sorry. I can't help thinking about the time a couple of years ago when he got stuck in the back yard and Mom and I found him while you and Em were out searching. Carve well, and stay warm.

Anonymous said...

Mike - Bodhi sends his regards and wishes you clear sailing. We will be cheering you on in balmy Colorado. Hope to hook up through the cams.
Jim and Bodhi

Scott King said...

I am very sorry about the loss of your dog, at least he has no more pain now. Your blog is very interesting, and I haven't gotten through all the posts and technical stuff yet, but I will.

I actually wanted to thank you for the printable protractors you have available on your main site, which is how I ended up here. I just printed one out, cut it out, and it worked great for us. Thanks! Scott