Praise the lord and pass the libation of your choosing; this awful, awful year is almost over. As Monkey might say: DANCING TIME!
Just a couple more weeks and change. And then we can kick 2012 in the rear and everything will be better. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA. (Who, me? Hysterical laughter? I don’t know what you’re… oh, shut up. I’m entitled to a little hysteria these days. The logical part of my brain knows that flipping over the calendar isn’t necessary going to lift the Curse of 2012 from Casa Mir, but you just hush up and let me have my fantasy, mmmkay?)
I can see the finish line. I can practically taste it. (It tastes like peppermint, and relief.) We just have to get there.
In the meantime, we keep on keepin’ on. Otto has finished classes for the semester. Monkey finished Virtual School and has just a couple of days of Hippie School left. I’m working away (in my NICE CLEAN OFFICE, don’t you dare put that down in here, dude, it’s CLEAN and I don’t want your mess). The tree is going up this weekend, travelers are poised to travel, and all is as it should be.
Or, at least, I thought it was.
A couple of nights ago, Monkey and I were sitting on the couch, watching some television, waiting for Otto to get home. Licorice was leaping from one piece of furniture to another, and finally burrowed her way inbetween us and flopped onto Monkey’s lap for a thorough petting.
“That’s weird,” said Monkey, mid-chin-rub. “She’s shivering. Is it cold in here?” I turned to look at the dog, and it was true—she was visibly shaking.
Now, here’s the thing you need to know about smallish dogs if you’re not familiar with them: They tend to be nervous little beasties. Every single time I put Licorice in the car to go ANYWHERE I am tempted to strap a jug of ice cream mixture to her back so that she can churn it up for us with her nervous shuddering. If she gets the least bit anxious, yeah, she shakes. I am accustomed to this in the car, at the vet’s office, and even maybe if an unfamiliar (to her) man is in the house. But… we were just sitting on the couch, watching TV. Monkey was right; that was weird.
I pulled her into my lap and stroked her and asked her what was wrong (oh shut up, I AM VERY MATERNAL), and she shook for another few seconds and then snuggled into me and sighed. And stopped shaking. Okay, then.
I felt Monkey’s hands, and they were like little blocks of ice. Licorice was just groomed last week, which means she has a nearly-naked shaved belly, so I laughed and told him he was probably freezing her with his icicle hands. He apologized to the dog—who was now beginning to snore—and that was that.
Well, last night Otto came home and Licorice commenced her typical YAY DADDY’S HOME prancing—she ran in circles around my office, she went and fetched her favorite toy to show him, and she paced back and forth on the futon (and his lap) to show her joy. Then she parked herself on his lap.
“Hey, Mir?” Otto said, wrapping his hands around Licorice’s ribcage. “She’s shaking. Like, REALLY shaking.” I spun around in my desk chair to face them, and watched as Licorice tried to lean on Otto while her body continued a frantic shudder. My vision started to blur around the edges a little bit. I quickly wracked my memory; had anything been different, lately? Between the first shaking incident and now, had she been acting weird? Even now, shivering away, her tail was wagging and she continued contorting herself so as to lick Otto whenever his chin got close enough to reach. She’d been eating fine. Acting fine. SHE IS FINE. So what was this?
I told Otto that Monkey and I had seen this the other night and I’d thought it was because his hands were cold. I asked Otto if HIS hands were cold. They were not; I felt them to be sure. Licorice continued to shake. Otto—dear, sweet, unflappable, never-overreacting Otto—looked at her again, then looked at me. “Call the vet,” he said. “Call the vet right now.”
According to the clock it was 5:32. I didn’t even know if they were still open, but I dialed. And hallelujah, they were open until 6:00. The woman who answered the phone kind of talked me off the ledge, told me they’d be waiting for us, and cautioned me to drive safely.
So I took my shaking dog and put her in the car, where she commenced her regular nervous shaking, and then I drove as quickly as possible to the vet’s office, where they said their new vet would see us. Now, remember, LadyVet was my favorite and ManlyVet often pisses me off, but I had no idea whether this unknown vet would be someone who could assuage my fears or not.
Turns out, SantaVet is pretty much my favorite person ever. Yep, he looked like Santa. Santa in a Hawaiian shirt, actually. And generally Licorice 1) hates the vet and 2) hates unknown men, but within a minute or two it was clear to me that she was cautiously accepting of SantaVet. He was very gentle and spoke in soothing tones. He explained to me that it wasn’t time to panic, yet, that lots of things could cause this, and he was just going to check everything out.
Licorice passed the various neurological screenings with flying colors. SantaVet declared in a very reassuring way that this was GREAT NEWS, he didn’t think there was anything massively wrong. We just needed to keep exploring. Any kind of illness or pain could cause shaking, so clearly something was off, but probably not anything too alarming.
It was around this time (after he’d showed me that yes, when he flipped her paws back, she immediately corrected them to normal position, and see, she didn’t appear to be flinching as he palpated her spine) that I may have blurted out, “No pressure, or anything, but THERE CANNOT BE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THIS DOG.”
SantaVet and the tech who was assisting both stopped what they were doing and looked up at me. “It’s just…” I continued, lamely, “it’s just been kind of a hard year for us. And she’s my baby. So she has to be okay.” SantaVet nodded and said something about how they were going to do their best to fix her up.
And then he went to palpate her abdomen and as Licorice adjusted herself around his hands, she kind of quirked her head and one of her oh-so-floppy ears turned inside out, and that’s how I found myself face to face with one of the more disgusting things I’ve ever seen.
“OH HEY!” I said, giggling with relief. “LOOK AT HER EAR! She has an ear infection! That’s good news, right? RIGHT??” SantaVet looked up from her stomach to behold the red angry mess in front of us.
“Well how about that,” he said. “Yeah, that doesn’t look too fun. Have you been hiding an icky ear from us, Licorice?” He finished the exam while I babbled on about how she had JUST BEEN to the vet last week, you know, and she was FINE, and other than the shivering, she had been TOTALLY FINE and how could I have missed this, geez, except you know, she’d been FINE!
SantaVet put in an order for ear ointment and some antibiotics, and as I thanked him profusely, I found myself babbling and on the edge of tears. “You just… don’t understand…” I said. “This year has been so awful, my mother-in-law died, my daughter decided to move away and live at her dad’s… and Licorice just had to be okay, you know?”
SantaVet gave Licorice a final rub and quietly said, “Oh, that’s hard. How old is your daughter?”
“She’s 14, and she’s not doing so well, and—” I kept talking. And trying not to cry. And this poor guy! Resemblance to Santa or no, he’s a veterinarian, not a psychologist. But something about the combination of knowing Licorice wasn’t dying and his caring demeanor had apparently opened the flood gates. He walked me up to the front desk, murmuring reassurances, and reiterating that Licorice would be good as new in a few days, and if she wasn’t, he would be in the office on Saturday, just bring her right back in if I had any worries at all.
I gathered up my dog, her medicine, and what was left of my dignity, and headed back home. Otto and Monkey were relieved to hear that Licorice was okay, and after I put her ointment in her ears and forced some medicine down her throat, I gave her some pepperoni, and just like that, all was forgiven.
Later that night I told Otto about my case of verbal diarrhea at the vet’s. “I don’t know what happened,” I said. “I just… it kind of all came pouring out. They probably wrote on her chart, ‘Licorice has an ear infection. And her owner is crazy.'”
And because Otto loves me very much and is always here to support me, he considered this and said, “Probably.”
Licorice is back to lounging in my office, and her ear already seems improved, today. I, however, may require a slightly longer convalescence.
Don’t all those how to books about what to do when you have a year from hell warn you that you’re going to inevitably have at least a dozen cases of word vomit where you tell your woes to strangers in a moment of panic? The book I read totally warned of that. I LOVE SantaVet. He is awesome! Yeah!
If there’s once thing that people at vets offices understand, it is how we worry for our pets. I’m sure they totally get it and don’t think you’re crazy at all.
So glad Licorice is ok!
Oh you sweet thing! If anyone is entitled to break down every so often, it’s you. The year you’ve had, and the scare with darling Licorice’s health would move lesser women to complete, unremitting, total shivering, babbling messes, but you’ve coped with grace, patience and even humor.
I’ve never been so happy to hear that a dog “just” has an ear infection!
Oh my. Something in my eye.
I’ve never been so happy it was “just” an ear infection. I’m so glad your baby is going to be ok, and that Santa showed up just when you needed him. Sometimes it’s so hard to just believe.
Whewwww! I was holding my breath while reading that, Mir, even though you indicated on FB that things turned out okay. Thank goodness Licorice is alright!! I completely understand the meltdown. Sometimes with “strangers” even when you’re not in a potentially very bad situation things come tumbling out of your mouth. Sometimes I pray that folks won’t ask me how I am because if it’s a bad day I just might tell them, or simply start crying. And then feel like a total crazy person, but you have to admit that you do sort of feel better when you verbalize such ills to a stranger. Anyway, so glad Licorice is still the ruler of Mir’s house and will be 100% soon. ;-)
So glad she’s OK! It’s so scary when something’s wrong and you don’t know what. I am no stranger to a minor breakdown in an inopportune spot. August was a stressful, stressful month for me as I prepared to move out of a roach infested apartment and then had a bedbug scare. I was on a boat at a dinner/dance party thing with people from my church, and all of a sudden I wasn’t laughing anymore, I was crying and I couldn’t stop. The week just hit me all at once and I was kind of a mess. I think it happens to lots of people that once they hit a certain point they just can’t stop the internal release. I hope Licorice is back to her normal self quickly. I am eagerly awaiting your year of suckitude to end. It might not be exactly on Jan 1, but it’s gotta be soon.
That was so moving.
I feel your pain, it really has not been such a great year all around.
Many people have had the same thought.
I am hopeful that things will get better. All we have is hope, right?
Enjoy your holidays!
Licorice sure is a cutie! :)
LOL! I completely understand. While going through a divorce a couple of years ago, I had a minor meltdown in the office of the place I get my tires. TIRES. The owner is a super nice guy and he seemed to know that I needed some TLC. So then I cried. Did I mention, in a tire garage? I was absolutely horrified to find myself blurting out more information than either I or the nice tire man wanted to hear. I started on said TMI jag because I wanted to explain that I don’t have meltdowns every time someone shows me kindness but it just sort of got lost in the hiccups and frantic tissue searching. Sigh. It was OK but every time I go back, I feel like I’m being (gently!) assessed for potential hysteria.
Tears of relief here and a hug on its way to you ~
When Boy#3 was 11 days old my grandmother died. Six days later Three was hospitalized with RSV, and two weeks later Boy#2 (his two-year-old brother) was hospitalized with asthma, then we discovered Boy#3 also had a heart issue. During all this I was a rock. I kept track of appointments and medications and counted breaths and reported issues while juggling the two babies plus Boy#1, who was three. Then Two fell and broke off his front two teeth and I came UNGLUED. I called my mother and sobbed, then sobbed in the dentist’s office and in the pharmacy. I could not stop crying. Over two baby teeth. Yeah, every floodgate has its key. I’m so, so glad Licorice is better.
Glad to hear she is ok!
Vets know and appreciate the good folks that bring in their pets – they’ve got room in their hearts for both :)
I have absolutely done this. Something about holding it together for so long, combined with a small problem and someone caring, and WHAM, it all comes pouring out. *hugs*
You are completely entitled to a meltdown. I’m so glad this was a relieved one.
SantaVet is clearly a kind, compassionate vet. Sounds like he could tell that you are a loving pet owner who has been going through an incredibly tough time, and he was compassionate with you as he is with his patients. He won’t think any less of you.
Oh, and I’ve also done this (had a massive meltdown in a public place, not at the time of the crises, but definitely caused by the crises and then one more thing that was just too much).
I think you can rest assured that you are probably not the first (or the last) person to unload on your vet. :) I too love our vet and tend to be a chronic oversharer…there is probably a similar note in our file, not to mention my peditrician’s file, maybe even the dentist, who knows!?
So unprepared for this to have gone any other way. Look at that sneaky Licorice! Trying to get out of the vet and now all mad at herself because SantaVet is cool and made mommy excessively verbal. And then in my Ludacris voice (about 2012): Move, bitch, get out the way!
You’re a good momma and it’s been an insanely hard year. As several people above have said, the TMI’s come no matter how hard we try to clamp down and frankly, once I get past the embarrassment, I usually feel better. And SantaVet? How could you not let your guard down with him? I mean, Licorice even sort of liked him! He’s good people.
Best line of the day: “(Licorice says: Whereâ€™s my popsicle, bitch?)”
So glad that Licorice is going to be ok. And I sincerely hope that ALL will be ok in Casa Mir very soon. Here’s to an amazing new year of 2013!
Oh yes. My moment was a breakdown at the pharmacy counter when I had a 6-year-old refusing, REFUSING to take very necessary antibiotics. She was in the hospital for 8 days and I didn’t shed a tear. But I lost it 3 days later at Walgreens while begging for flavored drugs.
I’m so glad Licorice is OK.
I’m so glad she’s okay! I never feel so helpless as when an animal is sick. Poor girl.
And here’s to 2013!
6 years ago, my baby boy kept having ear infections until they put him on Zyrtec. Fast forward 6 months, a rough year, and trying to buy a house. The doctors office makes me come in for a nurses visit without the child to get a new prescription. On top of having to use my lunch break to go sit in their waiting room for 20 minutes past my appointment time, the nurse looked at me and asked what I needed. I lost it. I was so pissed and stressed and then I was even angrier when I cried. But the total deer in a headlights look she gave me was priceless, and I was out of there ($10 poorer) with that prescription 30- seconds later.
Glad you are coping…and super happy Licorice is okay.
*sniffle* i’m so glad you got a bye on this one. so, so glad. hope she’s right as rain soon!
I don’t know why I hoping that flipping that final page on this year’s calendar will be some sort of PERIOD THE END moment, but I am. And, considering the fact that I went to see the dermatologist about something completely not related to how sucky my year has been, and wound up in tears while she awkwardly typed into her computer and pretended I wasn’t bawling in her office, I’m glad you had Santa Vet to listen. Sometimes it just needs to come out, you know? Anyways, I’m glad Licorice is ok, and here’s to the new year being a better year.
Patâ€¢patâ€¢pat, yes, a new year with a new better deal with the universe, please.
I read “the finish line. I can practically taste it. (It tastes like peppermint, and relief.)” and thought to myself, Rolaids taste like peppermint and relief too. I wonder if they would help her finish out this year….
Just sayin’– keep calm and carry on
Holding it together is hard sometimes. You have every right to have a little crack in the armor now and then.
The new vet that we saw last time actually reminded me of Santa, too. I guess my cat is not an elf lover, however, because he hissed for only the second time in his life as this SantaVet was petting him. PETTING him. Embarrassing.
I bet he gets that all the time. :) glad Licorice is going to be o.k. and you are too.
Your dog stories are among my favorites so I’m just glad this one had a happy ending. (And in our house when our dog runs in those crazy loops all over we call them “Chipper Circles.”) So glad your dog is okay, and I bet it felt good to get all that off your chest to SantaVet. Worst case scenario you gave him a great story to tell.
Mir, I truly believe there is a limited amount of crap that can come your way. Sometimes it comes in waves, after a long period of good. But then you’ve gotten your allotment and you’re done with it for another (insert long period of time here).
So I seriously think you have used up your allotment of crap for the next 10 years and now you are done.
Your post today has me in TEARS! I, too, have been known to blubber on and on at the kindness of strangers!
Do you think, just maybe, that SantaVet is a Christmas miracle?!
I’m going to say: YES!!
P.S. Still crying!!
I was starting to freak out there….I totally get the MY DOG HAS TO BE OK AND YOU NEED TO FIX IT! thing…omg so much. So glad she’s ok and that you can shortly kiss 2012 goodbye. By the way, that is the cutest picture of her ever!
yay for santavet!
i didn’t cry reading this post, but i laughed at the end at the picture of licorice saying “where’s my popsicle, bitch?”
my baby has this expression she gives me sometimes that CLEARLY says, “Bitch, please!” and it cracks me up every time.
if we dont all die from mayan prophecies, armageddon, rogue asteroids, etc before the end of the year, i absolutely believe that flipping that calendar over to 1/1/2013 will be the start of a better year for Casa Mir and maybe even some of the rest of us. probably wouldn’t hurt to keep the freezer stocked with popsicles and the fridge stocked with wine, just in case.
Puppies are just like babies. It’s times like this that you really, really wish they could talk. “Hey Mom, it’s my ear that is killing me.”
Oh goodness, I’m glad it was only an ear infection. My little poodle, who’s a white version of Licorice, had a similar episode about 5 years ago. She was just sitting and shaking like crazy, and she doesn’t usually shake, and she wouldn’t jump on the couch or stand up on her back legs at all. My husband had taken her over to my brother’s earlier that day with him to help my dad trim some trees, and we deduced that a heavy limb must have fallen on her at some point, despite the fact that he’d asked my SIL to keep her in the house. It was late at night already so we had to take her to the emergency vet, who did the palpating thing and found that she cringed when he poked around her hind end. He said her back and/or hips must be hurt, but nothing seemed to be broken. They could to x-rays but if it’s not broken they wouldn’t really do anything anyway, and it still cost $300! It took her about 6 months of laying around with pain meds and anti-inflammatorys and us lifting her on and off the couch for her to get back to normal. One of MANY reasons why we don’t help my brother anymore!
I’m a vet and believe me that is minor unloading compared to some things we hear. Glad he was able to make you both better.
Aww, she’s such a cutie. Glad everything will be OK!
Oh, Mir, I know how worried you must have been. I really, really do. We love our pets so very much, and you’ve really had quite enough for the year. I had a springer spaniel that was plagued by ear infections. It was not fun for any of us. I’m so glad everything’s okay with Licorice, and I just bet it did a world of good for you to unload on Santavet.
So did Licorice get her popsicle? ;) And did Licorice’s mommy get a frozen adult beverage? Because I think both needed them.
Glad she’s ok.
When I was a new pet parent in 2004, I had just moved to a new city and was living on my own for the first time in my life. I took my (then) kitten, Emmy, to the vet and on the way there she started overheating in my car (broken air conditioner). She was panting and panting and I was panicking. Luckily the vet wasn’t far, and when we got inside, she was fine. When the vet tech began looking her over, she casually asked, “Has she been a good kitty for you?” I burst into tears and sobbed, “She is the BEST KITTY!”
All of that to say…you’re not the only one, and I’ve no doubt the folks at the vet’s office are accustomed to it!
I really, really wish I wasn’t too far away to hug you!! I don’t think the vet minded, because he sounds like good people. Yay SantaVet. (In other news, I *totally* had a SantaProf for my 18th century lit class a couple years ago – he even had a jolly laugh!)
See, it’s like I keep explaining to ye ole doggie breath here -” I don’t speak Dog! You are going to have to tell me in human.” Has not been exceptionally effective. But, I try. Glad she will be ok soon.
Poor pup, and poor Mir. Very very glad you’re both mostly okay.
I remember from my brief time working at a groomers’ that breeds like cocker spaniels are very prone to ear infections because those adorable floppy furry ears tend to trap moisture. Definitely worth keeping an eye on in the future.
So glad to know she’s OK…and that happens to be a very common affliction for that type of dog (same as my frasier, who has also suffered the ear affliction and dreaded ear meds, although they really don’t hurt).
Wishing you and your family an uneventful, peaceful even!!.. holiday season.
Well, at least you didn’t actually cry. A few months ago my elderly Beagle had some alarming symptoms and I thought as I always do, “Oh my GOD, this is the big one!” and I have her dead and buried before we even reach the vet and of course it was only a bladder infection that was remedied with an antibiotic, but I was a blubbering fool at the vet’s on account of MAH BAYBEE! And I NEVER cry, so my dignity was in complete tatters before the poor woman got rid of me. But she was very understanding. I’m sure they see it all the time. I’m so glad Licorice is alright, too.
This is my favorite song for this time of year and I hope you enjoy it!
Hope next year is better and every year after
Oh my goodness, I needed this story. Just for the smile. Too much suckiness out there this weekend, this was a funny little story. And congrats on getting a great photo of a black dog. We have a black poodle and the only decent photos we can get of her are outside in full sunlight and that’s IF she’s posing.
First, your post is so adorable! It’s like a funny mini short story (I know that’s a bunch of adjectives, but I couldn’t pick just one). But it made me sad when you mentioned that “this awful, awful year is almost over.” Whew…where do I begin? I side with you completely because I had such a terrible year (way too personal to share here), but I would not change any of the events that went down these last twelve months. I know that’s a bit cliche, but it’s the honest truth.
Every time something bad happened, I kept thinking, “Why me?” But when I reflect on those bad things, Iâ€™m grateful to be here, to be healthy, and that I was able to overcome each downfall and mishap because there are worse things that could have happened. I guess what I want to share with you, is to embrace both the good and the bad of 2012, before 2012 and beyond 2012.
We learn from both. We become better human beings from both. They become testimonials for us and others. They become content for your blog, which in turn, helps you get paid. Our challenges may have been different, because of course we’re different people living different lives, but we can both accept the good with the bad. And what kind of life would it be if everything were perfect and run smoothly?
I’m sorry you had such a horrible year. Hereâ€™s to far greater joy and happiness in 2013!
I am sorry for your Very Bad Year, Mir. And I am glad Santa was there for you. I will not presume to tell you to embrace the good and the bad. Because, come on. You already know what the good was, and the bad? Was pretty frickin’ bad.
Instead, my wish for you is that you get to snuggle all the good, and kick bad’s ass into the end of 2012, and beyond.
Mir and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year (apologies to Judith Viorst)!
Glad Licorice is OK, and if she were my baby, I think I’d have to frame that picture, it’s too adorable.
So glad Licorice is feeling better. I recently had a breakdown at the car dealership while trying to trade in my leased car. I was sobbing and couldn’t talk and had to pantomime asking for the keys to my car back so that I could leave.
DUDE. The same thing happened to be two weeks ago before I had my surgery. I was in so much pain and was so frustrated with my insurance company, and I called the doctor’s office, the secretary said, “How are you doing, sweetie?” and I just burst into gut-wrenching sobs that I Could. Not. Stop. If she hadn’t called me sweetie in that tone of voice, I probably would have been fine. But the kindness just… undid me. And you know what? As you found out with the vet (who sounds awesome, by the way), sometimes just letting it out to a total stranger is a good thing. In your case, you got someone who listened and reassured you, and it sounds like you needed it. In my case, I got a secretary who felt for me, and went and talked to the nurse, who went and talked to the doctor, who promptly decided that it was time to do an end-run around the authorization process and admit me the next day for surgery. So. Yay for kindness at the end of a year full of suckitude!! and Lots of pats to Licorice :)
WHEW, oh, thank goodness she’s ok. My Mabel is giving me a scare this fall — she has developed epilepsy of all things, and it seems like the meds are working, but HOOOO BOY. It’s been a fairly sucky year for me too, and before we figured out what was going on, all I could think of was WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT HER SHE CAN’T LEAVE ME RIGHT NOW. Well, that and OH GOD PUPPY I’M SO SORRY I CAN’T FIX THIS FOR YOU. Yeesh.
Here’s to 2013. Seriously. For everyone. You’re right, it’s not necessarily a magical fix, but… anything that feels like a fresh start at this point is welcome.
Aw, buddy! “Buddy” referring to both you and Licorice, of course. I’ve totally been there, and also been the person who’s been there for the crazy babbler. It’s all good. Happy merry joy joy holiday times yay!
I thought my orange cat was having seizures this summer. In the midst of divorce, my life in tatters, step kids moving 1000 miles away…. This can’t be happening.
Yeah. He had fleas and was too fat to scratch them. Epic cat mom fail.
2011 was my year of hell. I had a dentist appt. At the end of the year and the dentist asked me if I was under stress. Fifteen minutes and a box of tissues later, he had heard all my troubles. He was so sweet and kind that it just all came out of me at once. I could not stop cryng. So embarassing and at the same time, comforting…