Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I finally found time to finish my second craft I bought at Wood Connection.

 You buy the "H" "M" and "E" separately and then the "O" comes in a pack of 4 months. I bought September, October, November and December. I love Wood Connection because everything comes as a plan piece of wood and you get to craft it any way you want.

 All were really fun to do, but I think October is my favorite, I love his little button eyes. Now it's time to buy January - April and get started on that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winston day 29

Well I'm sure everyone wants a Winston update. His brace came off 8 days ago and Mr. Scaredy Cat did not like the cutting and ripping of the tape. I (little, tiny me) had to hold Winston's head still while John cut and tried not to stab Winston in the neck when he jerked away from me.

His brace was very thick and I must have been just the right amount of crazy because his skin didn't rot.

I'm not noticing huge amounts of progress, but I have to keep telling myself that it takes time. Winston will now walk through most of the upstairs with confidence and if he wants to stand up (he's a poop in the morning and would just rather sleep) he can usually do it in one try whereas before it would be at least 6 tries with lots of coaxing from me.
He still has his dreaded rooms, the office and bathroom, that I just haven't had the energy to tackle yet. He also hasn't decided that he wants to join us in the family room downstairs and I don't force it.

On Saturday I took him on one of his pre-bad walks, it's roughly 15 minutes and when he started getting bad he'd drag his front feet 5 minutes into it so we stopped. He seemed very happy to be out in the brisk late fall air and had more energy than I've seen in a while.
Winston was still all over the place while walking and probably looked like a gave him some strong liquor before the walk since he weaved next to my leg.
His scaredy cat ways are really draining though and I'm not sure if they'll go away on their own. While on the walk an elderly couple wanted to pet Winston, right after I said that he was very friendly and they took a step forward Winston jerked back. Luckily a truck was parked and stopped him/cornered him and gave me a second to figure out what he was scared of. The lady had a freaking grocery sack (filled with dog treats of all things!) and it terrified him. Once she handed him one of the treats he tentatively took a step forward to the man and decided that the situation was okay. Looks like John and I will have to start desensitizing him or he'll keep embarrassing me in public...sigh...

One comment that a vet tech made while we were getting Winston's ears fixed has really stuck with and bothers me. She asked, "Are you guys sure that you'll want to and be able to keep up with this [wobblers]?" Um...we drove 3,000 miles round trip to Indiana and emptied our savings account for him, yes I'm pretty sure.

Anywho, back to the walk, Winston kept prancing away from me until the leash tugged and then settling back to my side. Never pulling, but having a surprisingly good amount of energy. He did start dragging his front feet once we hit out street again, but that's an improvement to me. Once home he crashed, Winston's not used to any amount of activity so we have to build him back up.

My next project will be getting him a bath which he desperately needs. By the way, does anyone know of a self service place with tubs on the ground? I'm sure a ramp is something he'll be scared of and we'll make a huge scene trying to get Winston up it.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

hope chest complete

We started refinishing the hope chest in March and John finally had time to finished it with two clear coats and hardware. It looks amazing!

White was probably a bad fabric choice with Winston slobber.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Winston's ear infection

When I got home from work last night I noticed that Winston's left ear was really red and drippy. I groaned and called the vet to make an appointment for the next day.

Getting Winston into the car was so much easier than it has been the last few months, with John's help it only took a minute or so to get him in instead of five and a fight. Maybe that does mean he's getting better.
Once at the vet he wouldn't move from their mat by the front door. Their floor is white painted cement and very shiny so that meant that Winston WAS NOT going to walk on it so they had to treat him right there.

Winston was not a happy camper, he wouldn't even let them take his temperature. The wobblers has made Winston scared of everything, my usually calm and easy going puppy has decided that we are no longer allowed to touch his ears or feet and the infection was making it worse. I suggested that they muzzle him because it wasn't going to get any easier.
It took 2 vet techs and the vet to man handle Winston into getting his ears cleaned out and putting the medication in. I'm pretty sure he thought we were trying to kill him. 

The medication they have now means that treatment is a one time thing instead of twice a day for a week. I thanked God right then and there. He was so stressed when we left the vet that he was a drooly mess.
This is the back seat of my car when we got home. 

I call Dr. Durkes Monday for Winston's three week check-up and to see if his brace can come off. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

October's block of the month

I'm not a fan of appliqué, but I guess this one wasn't too bad. It took longer than it needed to because I forgot to take a picture of the example and had to decipher how it went together from a crappy black and white photo.

It's a good thing that we don't have downstairs neighbors because they would hate us. My craft room is right under the kitchen and while I was in there working John fed the dogs their dinner which is quite the commotion. It sounded like the ceiling was going to crash down on me and I seriously looked up to check for cracks.
Winston alone sounds like a giant walking...BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! He's never going to be light on his feet.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Winston Day 14

Truthfully I haven't seen much improvement over the last week besides Winston being a little more active. We haven't walked him in the last few days because of the snow. His neck brace has to stay dry or his skin can rot under it and I'm being over protective.

Speaking of rotting skin, we've been hit hard by Jack Frost and have at least a foot of snow in our yard. A foot of snow that Winston wants to frolic in with the other pups, he whines and paws the door when the other two are out playing, breaks my heart. But with that neck brace he just can't.

I've tried my hardest to keep the plastic tucked in tight, but even with the few minutes he's out pottying he finds a way for it to come un-tucked. He's just too wild on his feet. He wants to be outside though and I can't get him to come in for at least 15 minutes. When he does finally come in, his brace is soaked under his chin and I shove towels in between it and his skin so it'll dry. I don't smell stinky skin so I hope it's good enough since he HATES the hair dryer.

He does seem to walk around more and we're trying to get him to come into areas he just refused to before. Since blocking the kitchen off he does walk through it with us now and acts like he wants to come downstairs. Mostly he just sits at the top and cries. He's only been down twice since his procedure, but I'm letting him decide when he wants to.
We've now tried the front room and in between the coffee table and couch, he's still not sure about it but will come if we pet his head while we walk with him. Next will be the dreaded office, the first room he refused to go into and hasn't set foot in in about 8 months.

He's also started this bad habit of crying at 2:00AM. The first few days we got up and let him out thinking he had to potty, but instead he just stands in the middle of the yard barking and we have to force him back inside before he pisses off all the neighbors. Now we ignore him and sleep with ear plugs, mean I know, but I don't think anything is really wrong with him.

Next Monday I'm suppose to call the vet to let him know how's he's improving and that will confirm if his neck brace can come off. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Indiana Trip Total

This would have cost less if I did more research and chose another vet to do the gold bead implant, but we went with Dr. Durkes because he's been doing it so long. I figured if we were going to do this might as well go with the best.
When researching the gold beads I found Mickey's blog and her itemized expenses really helped me out even if it is 6 years old so I figured I'd do one too.

Keep in mind that to do the actual surgery you have to have an MRI done and that's roughly $1,600 and the surgery is thousands of dollars, 5 to 10 is what I was told. So what we paid was cheap in comparison.
When it came to food we tried to go as cheap as possible. When hungry we'd stop at a grocery store and picked up sandwich fixin's and stole mayo and mustard packets from gas stations. We ate the free breakfast at the hotel and only ate out twice. We paid all of Ben's expenses since we asked him to come with us. Snack food was bought from the dollar store before the trip and was a really good tip I got from a travel website.
Travel charges from Utah to Indiana
Item                                                                                            Charge
Food                                                                                              $111
Travel snack food                                                                         $25
Car rental 5 days + pre paid tank of return gas                            $442.50
gas $379 at the most expensive, $3.19 cheapest, 12 tanks          $440.46
Hotel - 2 nights                                                                            $148.82
Entertainment (Chicago & Mt. Rushmore)                                 $34
Trip total                                                                                    $1,201.78

Medical Charges
Item                                                                                           Charge
Baytril 136 Chew Tablets                                                           $78
Office visit                                                                                  $78
Chem-profile-major                                                                   $95
Anesthesia                                                                                  $85
Extended anesthesia                                                                   $80
Gold implant - wobblers                                                            $850
GOLD hospital                                                                          $50
Pedicure - nail trim                                                                    $6
X-rays (we got these before the trip)                                        $289
Medical total                                                                           $1,611.00

Complete total                                                                        $2,812.78

If we didn't have to pay the $200 extra on the car rental we would have fallen right into our expected budget, but I'm not complaining. I really hope this helps anyone who's interested in getting the treatment done.

Just FYI we could have gone to an all inclusive cancun resort including flight for a week for the same price.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Winston Day 8

Over Winston's descent with wobblers he develop "security blankets" and now that he seems to be getting better we're trying to shake those blankets out.
When he's in the kitchen he only wants to be by the table and is scared to walk into the middle so we coaxed him with treats and then blocked his "blanket" with chairs.

We then used re-call to get him to cross back and forth over the floor to build his confidence.

I then wanted to see if he'd go down the stairs since the Doc said that that's one of the first things they get better at. I didn't even have to coax him, he went right down after me, but about midway down he decided that he was stuck.
Then it did take some coaxing and reminded me of when he was a tiny puppy learning the stairs.

Coming back up proved to be a little more difficult. I had to follow him and hold up/push his back end, but he did seem to know where he was placing his back feet for once.

We started taking him on short walks around the neighborhood with his harness. I was worried that we wouldn't have good control over him even though he's always been a pretty good walker (he does seem to get distracted when other dogs or people are around), but with a little tug on the harness and he's back on track. He also seems to be picking up his front feet more than he has ever has.

Let's keep hoping for the small improvements!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Enna wants the bone

We bought Winston a big stuffed marrow bone for the trip, but he didn't touch it and we knew our diamond toothed chewer, Makoa, would love it. What didn't cross our minds was how much Enna would want it. Here's a video of how pissed she was when we made her stop chewing and share with Makoa. Turn your sound way up because she's MAD!!

Ignore how I look, I'm wearing sweats, have Saturday not combed hair and no make-up.

After Enna stole the big bone again we gave Makoa Winston's other bone from the trip and he seemed pretty content.

A Winston update - day 5 - He's standing very quickly when we ask him to if he has something to get a grip on and will walk the short hardwood floored surface from our bedroom to the kitchen without as much fuss as he used to give us and not so much sliding. His back legs are shaking when he stands and I take this as a good sign. Wobblers dogs use their front legs more than they should since they have pain in their back end, the leg shaking I hope means that he's trying to shift the weight.

We tried to let him sleep in the bedroom Thursday night, but he was up and all over the place whining so we put him back in the kitchen last night. I'm hoping that he can move back into the bedroom soon, I miss having him next to me.

I hope to take him on a short walk today since Dr. Durkes said that physical exercise is very important for his back legs to get their strength back. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Coming Home

We got up around 8 so we could pack up, eat the free hotel breakfast and take off by 10 am. We had no plans to hurry and took our time. We wanted to sight see since most of our trip so far had been stuck in a hotel and we drove the 3 1/2 hours to Chicago.

Chicago skyline

We headed to Millennium Park and had to pay $23 to park, but it was worth it. 
Photo from Wikipedia, such a cool aerial shot. 

John Pritkzer Pavilion

Cloud gate AKA the bean

After Millennium Park we drove to Wrigley Field to take a look.

  They were hard to get a good picture of, but there are seats across the stadium on the houses!

After Chicago we drove the 935 miles and toll infested road (we spent $15 in tolls!) to Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota that my dad suggested. It was a really long and boring drive, everything is mostly flat after Chicago. About 2AM none of us could stay awake and pulled over to a rest stop, which are few and far between in Minnesota, and slept for 3 hours. 

In Wall, South Dakota we stopped at a HUGE drug store. We spent at least an hour there looking at the odds and ends they had there. It was such a cute place that I bought a small ornament to place on a Christmas tree that we never put up to remind us of this adventure. 

Man working on monument.

After the monument we headed the 624 miles on home. After eating lunch at a rest stop after Lusk, Wyoming we really wanted to get home and took only gas stops and Winston potty breaks. We pulled into our drive way at 10:45pm, unloaded the car and crawled into bed. 

It was a good adventure and I really hope that in the end it'll all be worth it for Winston!

Day Of

The whole reason we drove 1,566 miles was to show up at this small clinic in the middle of nowhere.

We dropped Winston off at 8:30 to the calm, soothing Dr. Durkes. He put me at ease with his comforting personality and I instantly liked him.
Dr. Durkes was always wonderful to deal with. When I called the clinic the first time about Winston I was explaining to the receptionist what was happening and she asked if I wanted to speak with Dr. Durkes, thinking that she'd take my number and he'd call me back I waited on hold. I was surprised when Dr. Durkes answered the phone.

Anyway,  after Dr. Durkes explained the procedure and what to expect we left Winston in his capable hands.
We tried to find something to do with our time, but there's really not much to do in Marion Indiana and surprisingly a lot of places are closed on Monday.

We picked Winston up at 1PM and Dr. Durkes said that it was a good sign that Winston walked himself into the exam room. Winston was wobbly on his feet from the anesthesia, but happy to see us. He drunkenly walked to each of us and waited for us to pet him.
Dr. Durkes explained the after care, which isn't much. He said that Winston needs to keep the neck brace on for at least 3 weeks, shouldn't jump, wrestle with the other dogs if he moves his neck when he does so or shake toys. Other than that we should let him do what he feels comfortable doing.

Winston is now the proud owner of 400 gold plated magnetic beads placed along the vertebra in his neck. If they work we should start seeing results within a week; slippery floors and stairs usually come first and the wobbly rear end and clumsy turning is the last to fix itself. After giving me instructions to call him any time or day and paying a huge fee, we left to go back to the hotel.

We asked the Doc to trim Winston's nails while under because he stopped letting us. This proved to be a problem once we got him back to the hotel and a toe nail started pouring blood. We loaded Winston back into the car and had the nurse cauterize his nail, she also gave me a cauterizing stick in case he started bleeding again. Back at the hotel he did start bleeding again and since I had no idea how to use the stick properly I couldn't get it to stop so we ran over to wal-greens for wrapping so Winston wouldn't bleed all over the hotel room.

 looks pretty pathetic right?

 The spots on Winston's back are the implant spots, but not where the beads are implanted. The skin moved up to his neck when Winston was under, the implants are under the brace. 

Winston slept off the anesthesia while we watched Mirror Mirror and then we drove 20 minutes to another town to eat dinner at the Cracker Barrel. Winston didn't have much of an appetite and John had to hand feed him to get him to eat anything. 

Right now I don't want to say if I've seen improvement yet and jinx it, but he does seem to stand easier and want to walk around more.

Hotel Sweet Hotel

The last two hours into Marion Indiana are SO boring and I started worrying that my GPS on my iphone was leading us astray. We were dropped into rural-vile and John started questioning our destination, suddenly Marion Indiana and our hotel showed up.

Comfort Suites gives a good discount to clients of Dr. Durkes and it's only a minute away from Dr. Durkes. We were glad to see it after driving 28 hours and everyone fell asleep instantly for an hour. We would have slept longer, but I had to feed Winston before 6PM and tummy grumblings were waking us up.
Getting Winston out of the room to potty was quite the ordeal, he was scared of the hallway even though it was carpeted and finally John and Ben had to carry him out. 

We drove around Marion for an hour trying to find something to eat. Places were either closed or the GPS took us to places that didn't exist. We finally settled on a burger joint that was ridiculously expensive, took it back to the room and enjoyed some hotel TV.

Winston wouldn't settle down to sleep, he kept growling and whining at the door, far enough away from the dreaded hallway. Around 1AM I got him to settle down, but he was back up at 6AM. We all decided to get up and get ready to drop Winston off for his procedure.

Some photo's from the way there:

Snowy Wyoming

Crossing the Mississippi, wasn't as thrilling as I was hoping it would be