Goose the Blog 2.0

"Oh, ha! Sarcasm: The last refuge of sons of bitches!"


Painted these this morning...

by Mark Heng at 8/29/2007 10:20:00 AM

The backyard was looking a little


Touch a Truck

by John at 8/28/2007 08:25:00 AM

Sunday we went to Touch a Truck Day, where Elias had a lot of fun touching (and sitting in and pretending to drive) such exciting trucks as: several kinds of firetrucks, an ambulance (more like a van, actually), a front loader (not really a truck), a school bus (also not a truck), an animal rescue truck (also van-like), a tanker truck, and a crane truck. We also met what may have been the world's least enthusiastic clown, who made Elias a balloon ladybug that turned out to be a balloon bee. Graham had fun sleeping through the whole thing. Click through the picture for more photos.

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Diva is OK

by John at 8/27/2007 09:23:00 AM

For those who know what is going on, I didn't want to hide the important news behind the headline. For those who don't know what's going on, here's the story:

In April, Diva started experiencing some pain (after I startled her on the stairway at home) and developed a limp in her right foreleg. I thought, at the time, that it was in her shoulder because she was not sensitive to moving her leg, just putting pressure on it. The veterinarian agreed, and we put her on some pain killers and antibiotics (in case it was Lyme disease, which can cause arthritis like symptoms). In a couple of weeks, about, Diva seemed completely recovered.

In late June, Diva's leg trouble came back (after Wendy startled her in the kitchen) with much the same symptoms. Again, the vet put her on antibiotics and painkillers. This time, the pain and limping did not seem to abate. In fact, after a couple of weeks, it got much worse, and I called to schedule another vet visit. Instead, the vet sent me to see a veterinary surgical specialist. Unfortunately, the first consultation I could get was two weeks later, and by then, Diva had recovered somewhat. The specialist at that time could not identify a particular problem, but he took some X-rays and did see some evidence of osteoarthritis in her shoulder joint. He also noticed that she seemed to be having trouble with both front legs, although the right foreleg was clearly the worst. He suggested waiting a month to see if she improved. He also suggested that we might crate her for the duration, but that didn't seem necessary because she hardly moved around anyway.

A few weeks passed by with no real improvement, and occasional bad spells. After about three weeks, Diva started deteriorating again, but I was reluctant to call the specialist because I didn't think he had any answers for us. By the end of the month prescribed by the specialist, she was almost immobile, so I called for another consultation. Unfortunately, the specialist was on vacation, and I was worried that I would have to wait until he returned to get Diva some help. However, another specialist at the clinic was able to see her, and I took her in a couple of days later on Wednesday, 8/22.

The new specialist (also a surgeon) noticed that she had trouble using all four of her legs, and that she always kept her head low and neck stiff. We had also noticed this, but I thought it was due to the pain in her shoulder. However, the new specialist, after just a couple minutes examination, said that Diva likely had a damaged disk in her neck, and that this would explain all her symptoms. The damaged disk was putting pressure on her spinal column, which caused her pain and difficulty walking. He recommended a MRI to confirm it and find out which disk was damaged, and said that if it was a damaged disk, he could do surgery to fix it with a high likelihood of success. Also, we needed to do it immediately.

The next morning (Thursday, 8/23) I was able to get Diva to a veterinary MRI that was about a one hour drive from our house, and by 11 am the specialist called to let us know that Diva had a severely ruptured disk between her six and seventh vertebrae, and a couple of other less deteriorated disks higher up as well. He said we could schedule surgery Friday (8/24) with another surgeon who was coming to help out while Diva's original specialist was on vacation.

I took her in Friday morning, and she was out of surgery in the late afternoon. The surgeon performed cervical ventral slot surgery to remove the ruptured disk. In this surgery, they go in through the bottom of the neck, drill a hole between the vertebrae, and cut out the damaged disk. The surgeon thought the surgery was successful and that Diva was recovering well with no obvious sign of neurological damage (from prolonged compression of the spinal column, and, I suppose, the surgery itself) or respiratory damage (the primary risk of this type of surgery is to damage important nerves that lead to the lungs).

Saturday, Diva was recovering well, and we brought her home Sunday about noon. She has a six inch (I'm guessing) incision down her throat toward her sternum. It's pretty ugly, but it looks like it is healing well. She is very sore and mopey (she is on narcotics, which might be part of the reason), but she can walk around on her own, has urinated twice, and she ate all her breakfast this morning. We think she is going to be OK.

After all this, I learned the primary symptom of this disease: "Pain, ataxia, loss of conscious proprioception, paresis, and paralysis are common. Occasionally dogs become anorectic. [I don't know what most of those mean, however, see the next part] ... When the disk herniation occurs in the neck, or cervical spine, the animal may also show symptoms of stiff neck and muscle spasms, with occasional lameness and pain in one front limb." This disease is also not uncommon in dog breeds with chondrodystrophy, like Welsh corgis. It's a shame the first couple of vets didn't recognize this possibility, or Diva might have suffered less. As it went, we treated Diva as if she had a strained muscle, which certainly did not help her injury.

Wendy thinks this may be a picture of the rupture and spinal column compression, taken from Diva's MRI.


Diva's incision.



stopping the creeping specter of socialism, one child at a time

by John at 8/21/2007 08:59:00 AM

Or a million at a time. I hate these people.
New Bush Policies Limit Reach of Child Insurance Plan

The Bush administration, engaged in a battle with Congress over whether a popular children's health insurance program should be expanded, has announced new policies that will make it harder for states to insure all but the lowest-income children.

New administrative hurdles, which state health officials were told about late last week, are aimed at preventing parents with private insurance for their children from availing of the government-subsidized State Children's Health Insurance Program. But Democrats and children's advocates said that the announcement will jeopardize coverage for children whose parents work at jobs that do not provide employer-paid insurance.

Under the new policy, a state seeking to enroll a child whose family earns more than 250 percent of the poverty level -- or $51,625 for a family of four -- must first ensure that the child is uninsured for at least one year. The state must also demonstrate that at least 95 percent of children from families making less than 200 percent of the poverty level have been enrolled in the children's health insurance program or MedicaID -- a sign-up rate that no state has yet managed.

You can read some more specifics here. Ideology trumps everything with these guys.



yet more photos

by John at 8/15/2007 07:20:00 AM


Graham's six week birthday was yesterday! (More photos of him and Elias)

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Medieval times-

by Mark Heng at 8/14/2007 12:08:00 PM

From last weekend in Killaloe. Featuring about 50 volunteer reenactors. Mostly guys, but a smattering of ladies.

Question: Is dressing up in clothes of yore and fighting mock battles COOL or NERDY? Ladies, would you go out with a guy who did this?


in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie

by John at 8/09/2007 07:59:00 AM

If you read Boing Boing this morning, you already saw this, but I thought it was worth posting just in case you hadn't.

Transbay Barad-dur and Mount Doomalpais



happy one month birthday, Grammy!

by John at 8/03/2007 09:04:00 PM

I'm how old?!

Click around to see some other photos, here and here.

Update: I have been informed that the correct spelling is Grahammy, but it is still pronounced "grammy".

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