Monthly Archives: December 2011

Dog Stereotyping

My mom and brother live in a townhouse, in a complex. There’s an enormous courtyard in the middle of the complex that’s almost entirely enclosed. They have a dog, Chloe, who is pretty much the sweetest animal I have ever met. And she’s like that with everyone she meets, immediately. For the past two nights, she has slept with me on the couch – there’s barely enough room for the two of us! She’s amazing and I adore her.

There’s a leash law where my mom and brother live, but they would frequently let her off leash in the courtyard, to run and play. She always comes when called, always. And she was never out there unsupervised. The neighborhood children love her and would play and run with her – they love her so much they used to come to my mom’s door and ask if Chloe could come out and play! How adorable is that?!

Recently a police officer showed up to my mom’s door. A neighbor reported her for having the dog off leash, and told the police that the dog was dangerous. Dangerous. The neighborhood dog that played and ran with the children all day. Unfortunately, since there is a leash law, my mom can no longer let her off leash – if she’s reported again she is charged with a felony and has to go to court. I know that the reason someone called and reported a dangerous dog had to be purely based on her looks, not any behaviors. She’s a boxer mix, around 60 pounds, and has a cute block head. She could be mistaken for a pit bull mix, and someone decided that she’s dangerous based on that. And it’s infuriating. She would never hurt anyone, and now has to be on the leash all the time and my mom had to explain to the neighborhood children why she can no longer run around and play with them.

It’s so frustrating – you cannot judge a dog based purely on looks or breed. Why report it? She was never unsupervised, is always obedient and comes when called, never ran outside of the courtyard, was not a menace to anyone, and just wants to play and love. Ridiculous.

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Brrr!

Coming back to L.A. was so great in so many ways. Of course it meant the end of the quarter from hell, so that was great. Of course it meant hanging out for days and nights on end with my husband, which is the thing I miss most when I’m in Sacramento. But one of the best things about returning to L.A. was being back with my KITTIES!! When I came down for Thanksgiving, I brought them down and left them in L.A. With only a week between the end of Thanksgiving break and the end of the quarter, it just made the most sense to avoid high pet sitting fees and unnecessary trips and stress for the cats. But my apartment in Sacramento felt SO empty… and still… and quiet. I absolutely hated it. I spend my life with five sweet kitties, including having at least three sleep in bed with me every night. It was so lonely without them! So it was nice to once again be surrounded by my sweet little felines. Maybe that sounds silly, but I am a vet student, after all ;)

After returning from San Diego, I had several days in a row of doing NOTHING and it was AMAZING! I slept 10 hours a night, read books, watched TV, napped. It was exactly what I needed at the end of that awful quarter. That’s how I spent Saturday through Tuesday. Then Wednesday started Scott’s three days off! J He started off by bringing home beautiful flowers and a delicious dinner of bread, cheese, and meat Tuesday night. Have I mentioned that I have the most incredible husband ever? We found an amazing deal online, $33 per person for entry into both the Los Angeles Zoo and the Aquarium of the Pacific. Scott had the next few days off, so we bought it! We went to the zoo on Wednesday and the aquarium on Thursday and had the most amazing time! I love doing things like that with Scott, we just have so much fun together. They were really great days. On Friday we took the entire day and just stayed inside, ordered pizza, laid around cuddling, and watched movies. I missed my husband so much.

Then yesterday I got up at 4:30am, went to work with Scott and caught a Super Shuttle to the airport (it was much cheaper from there than from home). After a very long day and two flights, I landed in Pittsburgh and am now hanging with my mom and brother in Ohio. Where it is freaking COLD!! Today we went around visiting family, but most of the trip will involve me laying around. And there’s a 50% chance of a white Christmas, which will make me very happy!

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Winter Break, la la la!

Hey, wow, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted! That’s because the quarter was crazy, and it only got more and more crazy toward the end. It was a pretty rough quarter for me, in more ways than one. But now it’s OVER! I finished up my finals in a sleep deprived caffeine haze and the next day drove back to L.A.

Let’s rewind a bit. A week and a half before finishing the quarter and driving back to my husband was Thanksgiving break. I had the entire week off, and it was really amazing. I went and got sushi with my best friend here in L.A., which was great – it had been far too long since I’d hung out with her. The majority of my break was spent in San Diego, hanging out with my in-laws and having the most amazing Thanksgiving dinner EVER! And I love it, because I get to hang out, relax, read, and just take it easy and eat a lot. Which I did, haha. However, there was some sad news over break as well. My in-laws have this amazing 18 month old puppy – she’s sweet, smart, and gives them joy every single day. The day before Thanksgiving she was acting lethargic and not engaging as much at the dog park, so my father-in-law took her to the vet. During their physical, they discovered that her heart rate was only 40 beats per minute. A normal heart rate for a dog her size would be 110-120 beats per minute. So they referred her to the UC Veterinary Medicine Center, where she got an EKG  and an echocardiogram. They then suggested that she have an appointment with their board certified cardiologist, but he was out of town for a couple of weeks. So while I was there, I listened to her heart (it was so bizarre to hear a heart rate of 32-40 in a small dog) and looked at all of my notes for cardio. I guessed that she had atrial standstill, and just suggested that they keep her quiet and watch her until they could make an appointment. She also had early signs of congestive heart failure, so they started her on a diuretic (Furosemide) and an ACE inhibitor (Benazapril), which seemed to help elevated her mood, activity level, and appetite.

So after driving to L.A. after finals, Scott and I drove to San Diego the next morning so that we could go with his dad and Mia to the cardiologist appointment. He asked me if I would go, and of course I obliged (after protesting that I’m not a doctor yet and am definitely no cardiologist expert!). The cardiologist was amazing, and after an exam and an EKG confirmed persistent atrial standstill. It’s so sad, because she’s so young! Her only hope is the placement of a pacemaker. So Scott’s dad called back after the appointment and agreed to go ahead with the surgery. The bad thing is that there’s no guaranteed time line for lengthening her lifespan – it could be anywhere from 6 months to several years. I’m hoping that her youth is on her side and that the surgery gets her many more years of happiness and chasing balls (her very favorite thing ever). It was a short trip because Scott had to work, and we made the drive back to L.A. the next night.

Winter break has been nothing short of wonderful ever since, but I think with talking about Mia this post is long enough for now. :)

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