Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Trails Abby

We will miss you!

We had to let Abby go this afternoon. Sad day.

Saturday this past weekend, she threw up a couple times and was coughing a bit, but I did not attach a lot of concern to it. She was still acting OK. Thinking maybe she swallowed something and its caught in her throat. Give it a bit of time to work itself out.

Sunday she threw up a few more times and her breathing was starting to sound noisy. Monday morning it seemed a little worse, so I made a vet appointment for after school. Get to the vet's and they do a couple chest x-rays and tell us we have to go to a vet specialist. Ruh roh, that means either they don't know what to do next or can not deal with whatever is wrong.

At the Vet Specialists, they confirm that Abby has pneumonia, and that she also possibly has megaesophagus. This could have led to the pneumonia. They give me some antibiotics and a medicine for her stomach and schedule me to come back Tuesday to recheck Abby. I get a round of antibiotics down her Monday night, she manages to keep the food down, and I get a round of antibiotics down her Tuesday morning, but she is not very hungry, eating only two teaspoonfuls of food.

Back at the vet specialist office Tuesday afternoon, Abby's temperature is up, her breathing is more labored than yesterday, and her nose is now sticky yellow instead of sticky clear mucus. The vet tells me Abby has to be admitted to the "doggie hospital" so she can get 'round the clock care. They will e-mail me updates and we can also come visit Abby if we want.

This morning I had not gotten an e-mail, so I call the vets. They pass along that her temperature is down, and she appears to be a little more stable than last night. She is still throwing up saliva and mucus, though. About an hour or so later a student brings a message to my room telling me to call the vets NOW. I have a class and we are getting ready to use the laptops. If I can get them working I can steal a minute or two and use my cell phone to call Gary.

Gary is at the vets already. He was going to check on Abby at lunch. He reports that they were trying to call me as he got there. Abby took a turn for the worse in the last hour and she is deteriorating rapidly. Gary says she does not look good, and does not think she even recognizes him. After a short conversation we decide it is time. He stays while they administer the injection. Says at one point Abby maybe did recognize him and tried to get up and move closer to him. And shortly thereafter she is gone.

My class was working quitely so I found Chris, in the classroom down the hall, and let him know. He has a few teary moments then, and a few more when I see him in the hall between classes. By the end of the day he is focusing on the positives in the situation, but still feeling very sad because he did not get to say goodbye to Abby. None of us were ready for this, we all were thinking that she would pull through the pneumonia and would be back home in a few days. We will go pick up her ashes from the vets in 5 days and we will let Chris decide what to do with them to say goodbye.

I am glad she had some very good care through this. I am glad it all progressed quickly. I can not stand to watch pets suffer. She had a good life, although not as long as she should have.

Happy Trails, Abby. I know you are now running around in a field chasing those squirrels that you loved to terrorize in our yard! We love you.

Update: Gary picked up her ashes, collar, and leash Friday afternoon. The Vet Specialist clinic also made us a cast of her pawprint. We received cards from our own vet and the vet specialist clinic. Chris has arranged her collar, leash, pawprint cast, cards and box of ashes in a little memorial on the mantle. We will leave it there for a few days. Made me cry all over again to look at it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mindless Thoughts

Yeah - some of you are laughing - I know!

Why does laundry, cleaning toilets, and even sorting socks suddenly look more appealing? Will the Cubbies be able to climb the mountain next year? Why do some idiots not pull over on the shoulder when it is obvious you want to pass them on a 2 lane state highway with a wide shoulder?

Answer - grades are due tomorrow and I have a ton of stuff to grade!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Can I Have My Cell Phone Back?

Well, the district made a recommendation to make up the days we missed for our "hurrication". We will make up 3 of the 7 instructional days the students missed. We lose three long weekends - Jan 19, Feb 16 and April 13. The Feb and April days will be instructional days with the kids. The January day was a holiday and they are now making it an inservice day. If you have 7 hours of professional development then you can earn the day off though.

January 5 was to be an inservice day also, but now it is the third instructional day the kids will make up. That is the day we come back from the Christmas (err Winter) Break. That means we don't have a day before the kids to make sure the room is set up etc. Over break the custodians usually clean the floors in the science rooms, so they move out all of our tables, chairs and anything on the floor. Needless to say, it is not always put back the same way we left it and all of our AV equipment in the room is also put up for the floor cleaning. So we use that day to get the room back in order and also to plan the first week. Can't do that now. They did the same when we missed days for Hurricane Rita (3 years ago). Grrr! :-#

Not much else is going on right now, though. We have someone lined up to replace the fence and hopefully that will be done soon. The last of the Ike debris finally got picked up! The stack of fence sections had been sitting on the front walk for 2 weeks. They got picked up today, so now we look like we never went through a hurricane, except that some of our driveway fence is missing.

The students are finally settling back into a routine after the hurrication, too. After 26 years of teaching, I still shake my head at "the things my students do/say"! Here is the latest one to give you a little chuckle!

Students are supposed to have their cell phones turned OFF during the school day. Not on vibrate or silent - OFF. If it is taken up, teachers turn it in to the office and parents have to come get it and pay a fine of $15. They will not give the phone back to a student. The other day a student walked up to me during class with his cell phone in his hand. It was lit/blinking indicating it had most likely just gone off. He asks to go to the bathroom. I say no and ask him to give me his cell phone. He hands it to me and then pulls some money out of his pocket. Offering me the money he says "Here's the $15, can I have my phone back now?" Resisting the urge to laugh out loud and tell him that I might consider it for $30, I tell him no, his parents need to pay the fine and get it from the AP. He then shrugs, turns to go back to his seat, telling me that his teacher last year took the money. Oh geesh! I don't want to know!!!

Chris played in his first football game this season. I will get photos edited and posted soon.

Not much else new, as I said. Life resumes its normal rhythm!