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This Day in My History

2000:  Fiascos and Other Fun Stuff
2001:  Health ?care
2002:  Austerity Program
2003:  Free Medical Advice
2004Catch Me If You Can

2005:  Determination


Books Read in 2006

"A Year In A Life"

A Year in A Life

click here to download

"The Award"

The Award

click here to download

Mefeedia Video Archive

My Favorite Video Blogs

Desert Nut

(for others, see Links page)

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Look at these videos!
Climate Change explained by
David Attenborough

(scary stuff!)
Hooked on a Feeling
Amazing Juggling Finale
Jon Stewart post 9/11*
Kitten vs. Frontrow

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Vloggercon 2006

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Support liberty and justice for all

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My "Things I Want" Wish List

(with the hope that everyone in my family will think about making a similar list before their birthdays and/or Christmas roll around!)


29 June 2006

Last evening, I headed off to City Hall for a city council meeting.  Ellen and Shelly were being given a lifetime achievement award for their humanitarian work for the city over the past 30+ years.

This the Thong Hy Hyunh Memorial award, which was named for a Vietnamese student who was murdered on the grounds of the high school during the years when our kids were attending school there.  The town established the award 6 years ago and someone else nominated Shelly the first year.  I've nominated them in the intervening years. They've never won. After all the hassles, the intrigue, the controversy, the questioning, they were finally given the well-deserved award.

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Ellen and Shelly receiving award
from Mayor Ruth Asmundson

I have long felt that Shelly and Ellen deserved city recognition for all the work they do, not only with and for the gay community, but also for victims of domestic abuse, for their work on community meals for the homeless and low income people in town, running political forums, and just in general being willing to help out whenever a helping hand is concerned in an area that is going to make life better for the community.

They shared the award with two other people receiving lifetime achievement awards. 

After the awards were handed out, we all retired to a back room for cake and punch, people took photos of each other, a news team interviewed people about the possibility of a new Target coming to town, and I snuck off to cook dinner for Walt.

I have been curious about puppy development.  Elmer came to us as the youngest puppy we've had and I have been consistently amazed that he seemed to be a mute puppy.  Never ever made noise.  Never demanded to be fed.  Elsie whined a lot, but I think she was in pain, so I don't know if that counts.  I knew his "muteness" was a short-term thing and laughed, thinking that there would come a day when I would look back on these mute days and wish I had them again.

Anyway, I read that puppies' eyes open from 8-10 days and that that the ears begin to develop at the same time.  I wondered if his "muteness" was a result of the muffled world in which he lived.

I was sitting here at my desk when suddenly I heard this loud yelp followed by continuous whining.  It was truly like someone had suddenly flipped a switch and he started making all those sounds he hasn't made for the past week. I knew he wasn't hungry, since I'd fed him about an hour before, but he just whined and whined and whined.   

He doesn't get a lot of "skin-to-skin" contact, being a singleton puppy with no Mom.  He has a teddy bear that he snuggles up to all the time, but no warm siblings or Mom to cuddle against, so both Walt and I try to give him cuddle time when he seems to be awake.  After I feed him, I always let him snuggle up under my chin and stay there until he starts squirming around and moving around my body.   Then I figure he can be left alone in the playpen again.

In the afternoon, he was so cute.  It was as if he suddenly discovered he had eyes.  He spent the longest time just lying on my chest, head raised, just examining my face and then looking around at lights.  Not a sound.   Just...looking very intently.

By evening, I was beginning to realize that this new yelping business was more than just learning to find his voice.  He really seemed to be in pain.   I also realized that he hadn't eaten as much as he used to, and I was having a more difficult time getting him to take food, since he wasn't sucking at all.  He seemed to be constipated; his stomach would get rock hard and he'd grunt and grunt, though there was puppy poop in the playpen and when I stimulated his anus after meals (which you have to do with these newborns), he would dutifully poop for me, but the result was rock-hard, not the softer puppy poops we've been accustomed to.

By the end of the evening, I was wondering if I was going to lose Elmer too.  He wasn't interested in food at all and clamped his little mouth shut so I couldn't get anything in him.  I went to bed wondering what I'd find in the morning.

I woke at 5:30 when he yelped.  As soon as I picked him up, I could tell he'd lost weight (not surprisingly).  I managed to get a full feeding in him, but he never sucked at all.  Then I gave him an injection of fluids and hoped for the best.

Ashley thought that the formula was making him constipated, which she says is common. 

At this point there isn't much more we can do.  I can get food in him.  I can help get food out of him.  I can give him fluids.  The rest is up to nature to see whether this puppy is going to make it or not.  I hate to see him in such pain, though.

I'll tell ya, I have been pretty cavalier about these puppies I've been taking care of for the past year and a half, but the recent flurry of health problems and fatalities have made me realize just how fragile the young lives are, and how love just sometimes isn't enough.


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