I phoned my mother tonight to say goodbye as I’m off to Tokyo for two weeks. I’d love to say I was expecting a “Have a nice time!” or “Enjoy yourself!” or even a “Have fun but be careful!” but I got pretty much what I expected. A few seconds of ominous silent contemplation after reminding her of my trip and then: “Are your affairs in order?”. While I’d love nothing better than to head east confident in the orderliness of my affairs, the sad truth is my affairs are decidedly DISordered. I’m still transferring documents to my new travel laptop, downloading books to my new kindle, prepping, packing, and, most importantly, making sure Christine, the dog-sitter, knows everything she needs to know before I leave. And, when it comes to my dogs, she needs to know a lot. An excerpt from my Instruction Rundown…
“1. When you wake up, take them out back to do their business otherwise Lulu will go downstairs and poop. Check anyway. She probably already has. If so, there’s some Peroxide in the kitchen for disinfecting. By the way, Jelly has bad hips and will need to be carried down. Maximus’s excuse is that he’s fat. He’ll occasionally be freaked out by the stairs and need to be carried as well.
2. Breakfast! Bubba gets 3 ½ pucks of raw food. Maximus gets 3. Jelly gets 2. Lulu gets a handful of dry kibble and 1/3 of a can of wet food. The extra raw food is in the freezer in the garage.
3. All of the pugs get a sprinkling of Recovery SA with their morning meals. For Jelly, I tend to alternate between the Recovery and a crushed half-pill of Gyco-Flex. Jelly also gets 2 tablets of Gabapentin breakfast and dinner, and one tablet of Zeniquin each morning. Also a squirt of Omega 3 oils each meal – but I don’t think she likes it so feel free to discontinue. Everyday, Jelly also gets a dose of metacam with her breakfast (8 kg), kept in the left hand drawer of the refrigerator. Jelly is also supposed to get 2.5 ml of Amantadine daily but, at this point, she’s eating more meds than actual food so I’d suggest holding off on the Amantadine for now.
4. Morning and night, the pugs get a dose of tacrolimus for their eyes, while Lulu gets her eyedrops. Jelly also gets her ears cleaned with a special ear-cleaning solution nightly Afterwards, I give them all a treat/kibble.
5. As I said, unlike the other three, Jelly and Maximus can’t manage the stairs and will need to be carried up an down. Jelly and Maximus can’t really manage to get up on the couches or beds – so if you’re inclined to have company, you’ll have to help them up and off as well. At night, it might be best to leave them in the kitchen to sleep.
6. Never leave the dogs outside unattended! People in Vancouver have had their dogs snatched out of their yards by dog thieves. Also, coyotes have been known to dig under or jump fences for a quick snack.
7. Always make sure the dogs follow you in when you go out with them. Maximus tends to lag and eat mud and, because he is dark, tends to blend in at night. Plus, none of them will come when they’re called. In fact, they’re wanderers so make sure all four are inside whenever you: 1) go out, 2) come in, 3) go to bed.
8. The dogs are allowed in the front yard, but you’re better off taking them to the back because they’re easily distracted and will bark at any passing dog, person or suspicious-looking bicycle left unattended.
9. The doggies are needy and don’t like being left alone for more than about 3 hours at a time. Much longer than that and they will take it out on any available footwear or anything they can get their paws on.
10. Don’t leave food lying around the couch area. Bubba can and will reach anything edible left on the coffee table, side tables, or kitchen table.
11. Jelly’s surgery is scheduled for Wednesday morning. Her surgeon is Dr. Sharp. Jelly shouldn’t have any breakfast on the day of the surgery, but water is okay. Please drop her off in the early morning (they said between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 or even earlier if you want to get an early start on your day). I’ve set aside some things for Jelly to help her through the recovery period: one blanket, one musical duck, one pink flamingo (slightly chewed), one clean black sock, and one t-shirt (for snuggling purposes).”
As if I didn’t have enough to worry about, now it looks like Maximus is coming down with an eye infection. I’ll have to swing by the vet’s tomorrow and pick him up some ointment to add to the pharmaceutical cavalcade.
Off to finish my prep!