Saturday, October 1, 2011

Believe it Or Not.

I'm a firm believer in spaying and neutering animals.
There are entirely too many unwanted animals in this world...full breed as well as mixed breed.
So, it was no surprise when I made both Layla and Thomas O'Malley appointments for their respective surgeries this weekend, the first weekend of the month, ie. payday weekend.

We have used our small town vet ever since we moved here and were more than satisfied with her and her clinic for many years. However, in the last year or so, she's been slipping.  I've been concerned enough that Layla has never been a patient at her clinic, and when we left for our vacation on the beach over the long 4th of July weekend, I moved Hermione's records to the big city vet where Layla's records have been since we got her.  The cats never need much except shots and don't really like car rides, much less longer car rides, so I decided to leave their records with the small town vet for now.  

Since Thomas O'Malley's neuter surgery was a pretty simple procedure, I decided to trust him to our small town vet while transporting Layla to the big city for her more invasive procedure.   Layla's puppy classes also take place in the big city, so I dropped her off after puppy class Thursday night before her surgery was to take place on Friday morning.  The big city clinic is like dropping a person off in the hospital.  Those folks are serious about animal care.  Layla's computerized records were pulled, and her chart (very similar to a human patient's cumulative file in the doctor's office) was reviewed, the procedure explained to me in detail along with any and all charges for the process and explanation of what those charges were for.  I signed forms giving my consent, and the vet tech came to take Layla back.  All of the techs wear scrubs, are respectful and it is obvious that there are high expectations for their performance.  While I was very sad as I walked out the door, I knew Layla couldn't be in better hands. 

I dropped Thomas O'Malley off the next morning on my way to work.  The tech wrote his name and procedure on an index card and took him, his travel crate and the card back to the back.  Period.

By mid-morning on Friday the big city vet called to say Layla's surgery was complete, she had responded well to the anesthesia, her kidneys, etc. had responded well, and she was waking up.  The big city vet called again late afternoon to update me again and still again this morning to tell me Layla was doing "excellent" and was ready to go home whenever we were ready to come get her. 

The small town vet never called.

My youngest, middle child and I decided we would go and get Thomas O'Malley midmorning today, bring him home and let him relax a little before leaving for the big city and getting Layla.
We arrived at the small town vet around 10 this morning.

The smiling tech brought our travel crate out and set it on the counter.
Middle daughter, youngest daughter and I immediately starting oooohhhing and coooing at the box.
Then, we all stopped.
Almost in unison, we said, "This isn't our cat."

The vet tech looked at me with wide open eyes, "What?"
We repeated, "This isn't Thomas O'Malley!"

"Are you sure??" she says. 

Um, yeah...I guess we know our own cat pretty well...

Small town vet tech then begins to stumble all over herself...there were two cats scheduled for neuter surgery on Friday...the vet took them both in at the same time...took them both out of their crates and laid them on the same table...

Stop the story for just a minute and absorb this part of the tale...
I feel sure the tech was not supposed to tell me that part.

The tech continued to stammer...the vet realized that one of the cats was female instead of male and realized that she could not do both of those surgeries side by side.  
And, of course, most importantly, did not return the correct cat to the correct crate.
The vet neutered the male cat on the table, called the owner (or so she thought) of the female cat and informed them that their cat was female.  She did ask the owners if they still wanted the cat spayed now instead of neutered.

Have you figured out yet that the female cat was and is our very own Thomas O'Malley...who will now and forever more be known as Thomasina?

The other owner came and picked up our Thomasina about an hour before we arrived to pick him/her up.   She noticed that her cat was lighter (her cat is more than twice the size of Thomasina, so duh on that one).  She was also surprised that he/she ran and hid as soon as she opened the crate when she arrived home.

Arrangements were made for a cat swap within the hour.

My youngest was slowly but surely becoming beside herself.  I myself was trying to remain calm...all I wanted was my youngest's cat...I told the girls that we would go to McDonald's and have a biscuit while we waited...and regain our composure.

We returned about 40 minutes later to find our Thomas/Thomasina on the counter in his/her crate.  We recognized her immediately and she also recognized us.  She looked pitiful...after a painful surgery she had been returned to the wrong home and literally looked as if she had never been more relieved to see us in her whole little life.  If you'll remember, the beginnings of her little life were pretty traumatic as well, so my anger began to surface again.  I knew we needed to get out of there quickly.

I received a $10 discount on the spay surgery...since they lost our cat and all...and was told they would see us in a week to remove the stitches.

Once I arrived home, we also noticed that Thomas had an extra incision...the incision was just through the top layer of skin but was so red that I thought it might be bleeding.  It was not, but obviously someone had cut Thomas  in the wrong place, realized it, and then cut her again.  There was some kind of red medicine on the wound, which is why I thought it was bleeding.
Please imagine me red-faced, heart beating fast, teeth clenched.  Thomas ate some food, drank a good bit of water and then we put her in her favorite resting spot, my middle daughter's loft bed.

We left shortly after to pick up Layla at the big city vet.
We arrived, checked in and waited to be called back.
The vet tech called us within just a few minutes, we went to an examination room with her where she showed me all Layla's records again, explained the surgery again, explained what to watch for, showed me how to break up Layla's pain pills (doggy Ibuprofen) and asked me if I had any questions before she brought Layla in. 
I asked her about Thomas.
Very professionally she declined to speak specifically about another vet's practice but did indicate that surgery on two animals at the same time was not standard practice in their clinic.
The vet who performed Layla's surgery arrived and reassured me that he would be more than happy to take over Thomas's care and would remove her stitches the very same day he removes Layla's.  

We paid our bill right there in the private exam room and the tech left us to go get Layla.  
I could hear various techs and other personnel cooing over Layla as they came down the hall...telling her that her family was waiting for her...and that she was such a good girl.  When Layla came in the door of the exam room, the three of us fell to our knees to hug and kiss her.  
She was, of course, happy to see us but not frantic in any way.

We led her out quietly among more good-byes to both us and Layla and more comments about what a well behaved and mannered dog she is.
PetSmart puppy class, baby.

Little Thomas/Thomasina has been sleeping most of the time since she's been home, but when she's awake, she's visibly uncomfortable, sitting hunched over, twitching her tail, etc.
Thankfully, she is eating, drinking and using her litter box so we'll just try to keep her as comfortable as we can.

Hopefully she'll be rolling around in the sunshine again soon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Catching Up - Mini Book Reviews

I'm tired of looking at the same book covers on the right side of my blog under the heading "Reviews Coming Soon" tired, in fact, that I sometimes open my blog and then close it right back up simply because of how tired I am of those covers.  I started a post of mini-reviews because I did take notes on all these as I read them....just never got around to writing the full reviews.  Now I probably couldn't write a full review if I wanted to.  

In order to get the book covers out of my sight, I'm going to give you a run-down of where I am with each of these books and once and for all, delete the darn things.   Yeesh.

Faking It by Elisa Lorello

This one was offered as a special price on Amazon...the main character is a single composition professor who, after a big break-up, has moved to a new college to begin life again.  At a party one night she meets a fella who just happens to be an escort.  She and he, after much dancing around, decide to make a bargain.  He will show her how to be more intimate and she will tutor him with his writing.  Now, this is not as sordid as it sounds...even though he's an escort, sex is not involved.  Intimacy is about becoming one with yourself and learning to trust your own self as well as what you want out of life.  

This was a fast read and a good connection is obviously through the composition professor thingie going on here and also the redefinition of who she is as a woman...learning to accept herself and feeling comfortable in her own skin.

There is a sequel to this one, but I wasn't thrilled with where the storyline goes...I'm happy to leave this story right where it ends here.

Deception by Jonathan Kellerman

"Your warrant says I need to answer personal questions?"
He showed her his badge.  "This says if you don't cooperate, I'll cuff you and haul your educated but morally unschooled derriere off to jail."  pg. 305

My boss loaned me this one.  This is the first Alex Delaware novel I've ever read, and I enjoyed it.  I loved the humor as you can see above, and the storyline of this one is about Prep School kids and wealthy families getting away with things they shouldn't get away with.  This one is one of those books you can sit down with and read in a day or on an airplane...similar to a James Patterson to me.

Kellerman is more creative with vocabulary than Patterson though, and Delaware is known for throwing psychoanalysis into each case.  Those were the catchy things for me that kept me reading to see what was going to happen next. 

I'll probably read more Kellerman somewhere down the line, but I'm not just dying for the next book.

HT Raise the Perfect Dog by Cesar Milan

My dream is of a world where there are fewer dogs accidentally biting children, fewer dog altercations, and no more fatal dog attacks.  By socializing your puppy to dogs and people when she is young and making sure her manners are in order with both species, you are not only shaping a better life for the both of you, you are also contributing to the pro-dog society that I am committed to helping build.  p. 228

The quote above is just about as Cesar Milan as a person can get.  When I was looking for puppy books, I kept finding the same thing over and over again.  When I hit Cesar's books, I found the motherload.  He intertwines that puppy stuff with Cesar...he takes you into the wolf pack to see how dogs have evolved and WHY certain training techniques work better than others.  This makes so much sense to me and is a peaceful, gentle way to train a puppy. 

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I can't tell you how many times I picked this one up, read the back, and then put it back down.  I just didn't want to read a book about the circus...and I certainly didn't want to read a book about animal cruelty. With some forceful peer pressure from two of my colleagues, an airplane ride ahead of me, and a special price on Amazon, I scooped it up and decided to go for it.  


I can't believe I almost didn't read it. The story, the history, the mystery, the realism, the reality...swept me away.  There is animal cruelty...but the animal cruelty comes back around to bite the cruelest one of all in the butt :)  I almost stood up and clapped.

The timeframe switching was a little frustrating at times...just when you get into one timeline, the author would switch over to the other....past....and then present....and then back to past...but it was worth it.  

No, I haven't seen the movie, but I probably will someday.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

This one was a freebie on Amazon...and sounded's edgy YA...paranormal stuff but more adult...young adults whose lives are more grown up than most people their age.   I'm just old enough and jaded enough to need serious conflict in the YA books I enjoy, which is probably one of the reasons I like dystopian novels.  

Wicked Lovely is part of a series, and I haven't read any of the other books in the series...again, I might someday, but I'm not beating down the doors of the bookstore either.  

This one is a fae girl, two fellas and a battle of good and one wins in the end, and there are wicked characters trying to complicate matters even more all the way through.  

A good one for a rainy day.

This Fine Life by Eve Marie Everson

Another freebie...

A young proper woman of the 50s-60s era finishes school and is trying to decide what to do with her life when she meets a young man from the wrong side of the tracks.  She runs off and marries him even though her parents forbid her.  He gives up a lucrative position in her father's business to become a preacher, and they struggle through the next several years.

This one tries to have a happy ending...but it was unrealistic and silly as far as I was was like all of a sudden everything was supposed to be ok.  There is a strong religious current through this one, and even though I have a very strong faith, I did not like the way the husband's faith was presented as a domineering even "my way is right, and your way is wrong" kindof faith.

There were parts of this story that were touching...aspects that I wish this author had followed up on...the stories surrounding the lost child of the present and the one from the past in particular would have been places where the author could have expounded and created more depth for this story.

This one was ok, but I wouldn't have missed anything had I skipped this one.