Today Wilma went back to the cardiologist. Yes. I just admitted that my dog has a cardiologist.
She loves going to the Emergency Veterinary Hospital because the entire staff fawn over Girly Girl - which is just as she likes it.
Wilma eagerly awaited her turn.
Wilma was outfitted with a Holter monitor. This looks like a little doggy vest with backpack. She'll wear it for 24 hours and we'll monitor her activities. The cardiologist asked me to push Wilma to her limits so the exam will monitor Wilma during stressful situations. Right now, the only stressful thing she has is getting her nails trimmed. So sure enough, I'll be taking Girly Girl to get her paw-dicure tomorrow morning to see how she reacts to her grooming session and how it affects her heart.
I know. About this time, you're all rolling your eyes. But how can I resist when she's so darned cute.
And appropriately, I managed to finish two more heart swatches. I think these will be worth the extra effort. I like them more than I anticipated. I'll likely knit five or six more.
So take heart. Wilma is doing well. And the blanket is growing. All is progressing as it should.
I just noticed for the first time that Wilma's heart medicine comes with a few warnings.
OK - a dog can get dizzy. And she is a female, albeit spayed, so the pharmacist could assume she might be a pregnant bulldog. But really? Does "Wilma DOG Jackson" need a warning that her "Medication may impair [her] ability to drive or operate machinery. USE CARE WHILE DRIVING?"
Wilma, I think it's safe to say that your driving days are over.
Wilma and I are hanging out this week during Winter Break. She's doing really well, but there are still signs that she's not a puppy anymore. She can't really do steps anymore - or only when she's really feeling great. She sleeps even more than usual, which is really saying something for a bulldog. And this week, I've been cracking up as she's been storing all her stuffed animals near my shower.
It's not unusual to find one toy in the master bathroom. I chuckled when I saw two toys earlier this week. But I really cracked up this afternoon when I saw that there was a Wilma's toy convention happening outside my shower. I was beginning to wonder if some sort of Toy Story movie was being played out when I wasn't looking.
Wilma - what's going on here?
I took Wilma back to the Norwalk Emergency Veterinary Hospital on Friday for her follow-up visit. She was so excited to be there. I think she remembered it as the place where everyone loves her and hugs her and pays her all sorts of nice attention.
The cardiologist gave Wilma a clean bill of health. We don't need to see her for a few months. She is responding really well to the medications. In fact, she's doing so well, today she had a playdate.
Our friends Matt and Virginia brought over their two bulldogs - Olivia (on the left) and Jag (on the right). Wilma wasn't quite sure what to make of them - as she thinks she is the only dog in the world and the only one capable of receiving anyone's attention. But she loves Matt and Virginia so much, she was happy to meet their dogs. Olivia and Wilma had a little Alpha Dog square off. Papa Jag just calmly stayed out of it and let these two ladies duke it out.
So thanks everyone for all your well wishes for Girly Girl. She's doing much better. I can't tell you how pleased we are!
My friend Rob shared this joke with me when he learned of Wilma's woes and her $tay at the Emergen$y Veterinary Ho$pital.
A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary hospital. As she lay her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the duck's chest. After a moment or two, the Vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm so sorry, the duck has passed away."
The distressed owner wailed, "Are you sure? I mean, you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something. I want a second opinion"
The vet rolled his eyes, shrugged, turned and left the room returning a few moments later with beautiful black Labrador. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the dead duck from top to bottom. He then looked at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.
The vet led the dog out but returned a few moments later with a cat. The cat jumped up and also sniffed delicately at the ex-bird. The cat sat back, shook its head, meowed and ran out of the room. The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry; but like I said, your duck is most definitely, 100% certifiably ...dead."
He then turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$10,000!" she cried. "$10,000 just to tell me my bird is dead?!"
The vet shrugged. "If you'd taken my word for it, the bill would only have been $100, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, what did you expect?"
There is only so much you can take of seeing another 3/4 inch of knitting progress from one day to the next. So I have to figure out what else to post inbetween significant progress posts to keep you interested. I think that's why I like little projects that provide instant gratification.
So instead of more pictures of my latest minute progress, I thought I'd share with you some shots of Wilma looking better than she's honestly looked in a month or so. She seems to be responding superbly to the medications. The only catch is that either BF or I are now rather homebound as she takes her medications punctually at 0600, 1400, 1800 and 2200.
And since her emergency was not related to any squeaky toy - all her cuddly toys have been returned to her after a quick safety inspection. She loves to hug her little toys when she sleeps. And if you're missing Wilma - you can reminisce about her adventures by strolling through The Wilma Archives - going back to summer 2006.
I want you to look at these pictures while listening to this song that you all know - but like me, probably didn't know was named Bulldog, a 1960 hit by The Fireballs.
Wilma looks even better this morning than she did yesterday. She was so worn out yesterday after her electrocardiogram, additional testing, prodding and the excitement of coming home. She pretty much just slept from sheer exhaustion.
The funny thing is - my knitting came to a complete halt these past few days with the Wilma scare. You might think that hospital time, or worry time, would be a good time for knitting. It's not. My friend Cynthia of Knitting Central and I once compared stories about hospital visits and knitting. You think you'll finish one, two or perhaps even three projects - and in the end you can't even pick up your needles. I think it's a good thing. My knitting friends have often told me that you put everything you're feeling into your stitches - so why would you want to put all that angst, sorrow and worry into a sweater? Sometimes you just need to do nothing but feel. I think that's the best thing to do - just feel.
Right now I feel relieved. Wilma is home. We're trying to get back to normal. Like any patient who is home from the hospital, she is wiped out and needs to rest and recover. Just like the nurse at the hospital would say - you've got to get up and move around to get your strength back. So I'll be taking Wilma for hallway walks today: around the inside of the house; back and forth from the kitchen to the bedroom, out for a very quick bio break (but it's too cold for her to be out for more than the utmost necessity) and back to napping. She's on a strict medication regimen - 6 am; 2 pm; 6 pm and 10 pm. Since so many of the medicines are key to keeping her heart beating regularly, I really can't miss or delay any of these times. This will mean rethinking my own activity schedule going forward. We'll all be making some adjustments.
But now that I'm relieved, I can get back to some peaceful knitting filled with good vibes and positive energy.
Thanks to everyone for all your positive vibes, energy, thoughts, prayers and notes. I know that Wilma has a bit of a cult following through this blog and all your notes, comments and emails really meant a lot to me.
After school yesterday, I took Secundogeniture with me to visit Wilma at the Emergency Veterinary Hospital. It was a two-fold visit.
It broke my heart. As a Marine and former dog owner, I had no qualms about putting a dog out of its misery when the time came. I knew I would cry and be sad, but I knew I could do it. I swore I would never be one of those pet owners who plop a small fortune on their pet. I was often heard saying, "It's just a dog, afterall." BF teases me that I had always told him, when it's her time, it's her time. He basically was afraid that one day I'd say "Wilma sneezed. It's her time."
Boy was BF surprised when this once stoic Marine flopped at the first sight of trouble on Saturday night. Sure! We'll pay all this money to try to get our furry friend better. Why not? It's Wilma afterall.
Oh, another night in the hospital? Sure! Why not? It's Wilma afterall.
Oh, she didn't swallow a squeaky toy? She was in pain? It might really be caused by this arryhthmia that she's having which is common in bulldogs and the cardiologist comes tomorrow so you want to keep her overnight one more night. Why not? It's Wilma afterall.
Well, yesterday when we arrived for our visit with Wilma and they brought her out... she was in such good shape. She was reacting very well to the arrythmia medication and was actually perky.
And she was moving around so much, it was hard to get a picture that wasn't blurry. Look at those happy ears!
We sat on the floor and hugged her and pet her. I was SO HAPPY!
Instead of saying good-bye to Wilma, we just had some wonderful quality time with her, recording our beloved Girly Girl. Here Secundogeniture made some selfies of Wilma. Look how curious she is about the phone.
A boy and his dog.
This was the best part of my day. I can't tell you how relieved I was. We still had to leave Wilma overnight under the heart monitor (which is that contraption attached to a fabric harness that she's wearing) and see the cardiologist on Tuesday morning. We're so optimistic because she looked great and was responding so well to the medications.
Thank you everyone for all your thoughts, prayers, good vibes, get well notes and love. It really worked!
NOTE: 11:25 a.m. on Tuesday - The vet just called me to say that the cardiologist saw Wilma and found some pathology to the heart (I'll get a phone call from the cardiologist sometime later today to go over the specifics) - but that she should be fine with two types of medication. They're going to start the second medication now, see how she responds and I'll go pick her up mid-afternoon. YEAH! We were so worried about you Wilma. We can hardly wait to have you home.