Monday, October 25, 2010

The year in pictures

Mia's dad made this to show at her birthday party. Everyone was getting a real kick out of it until about halfway through, when she crawled over to the DVD player, shut it off, then turned around and grinned triumphantly. By the time Sal got over there and turned it back on, it had already passed the naked bathtub picture, so I am pretty sure the whole thing was intentional. Mia's wicked smart.

Happy birthday, sweet girl.

Mia's first year from Amy on Vimeo.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I am here. I am alive.

Wow. I'm like the worst storyteller ever.

If you are still hanging in there on ol' Chickenbone Jones - and I can't blame you if you aren't - then thanks. I really love writing in this blog, and I really love when you read it, and I feel horrible that I went this long without posting, especially when my last post ended on a bit of a cliffhanger.

In my defense, though, it would be easier to finish that "Setback" chapter if things were actually finished. To make a long story short, Chickens did just fine on the crate rest, and seemed to be back to his old self again. For about five minutes. Then, in developments that were either related to the setback or unrelated to the setback, in mid-September we entered a difficult stretch in which Chickens was having violent leg spasms, lots of trouble walking and copious amounts of diarrhea. We discovered some sort of problem with his back left foot, and he is obsessed with licking it, and that makes the spasms worse because the whole thing gets red and irritated, and it's even harder for him to walk than usual. These problems continue today.

We have been to a bunch of vet appointments - some at the regular vet, some at the fancy surgery vet - and there seems to be no answer other than this: We just have a very messed-up dog. In other words, regular problems that happen to healthy dogs are much more difficult when they happen to Chickens. His little nerves don't fire correctly, and lots of his muscles are either way too strong or way too weak. One small irritation on his paw might feel totally crazy to him and he can't leave it alone, which just makes things worse. The leg spasms can topple his whole back end, which makes him stop in his tracks and not move anymore. We are carrying him around more and not letting him use his dog ramp much because he's just not a good mover right now. It is frustrating for him and for us.

The most important thing, though, is that he's not in pain. He is lovable and smiley and tries all the time to wag his little limp tail. When one of us sits on the couch, he loves to sit on our laps snuggled up in a warm blanket. And now that his sister is mobile, those two adore taking turns chasing each other down and planting kisses on the other's face. He's a happy dog, and that matters more than all the rest.

Speaking of his sister ... guess who has a birthday next week!

The festivities have already begun, as we picked up her grandma and one of her four grandpas at the airport last night. I am looking forward to posting all 12 of my monthly Mia-in-the-chair photos when I take the last one on Monday, her first birthday. So, see? I already have my next post planned. Stick around, will ya?