Tag: pets

Please Consider Donating to Help Pay for Chick’s Surgery

Chick post surgery

This is my darling girl, Chick, AKA Chickadee.

I’ve just started a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of getting help covering Chick’s ear surgery.

Chick’s Ear Hematoma Surgery Fund

The story about what’s been going on is there in the link but it boils down to these factors:

Chick is a true Williamson and always manages to get the rare and difficult to treat issues. We tried treating her ear hematoma without surgery and spent hundreds of dollars doing it. They drained the fluid from her ear flap and then wrapped her ear carefully in a bandage which we had to get re-wrapped every week and all the while she’s been taking antibiotics and steroids (to constrict the blood vessels).

Naturally it didn’t work. Today we had to lay down another $822 to go for the surgical fix which, WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT, might not even work. Like I said, we’re good at having difficult problems around here. Today they had to re-drain it as the pocket in her ear filled with fluid again (serum and blood) and then they sutured the area with many little sutures to keep it from filling again and get the pocket to heal closed.

We have now spent almost all our living expenses for the next few weeks to care for Chick, because that’s what you do with pets when they’re part of your family. We have  no savings, no credit cards, and we were denied the care credit card that allows you to make payments on pet care because we have bad credit from having gone bankrupt a few years ago. So we’re pretty fucked.

Max desperately need socks and new pants and some of the money we spent on Chick was supposed to go towards a few basics to tide him over. Yeah, he can wear sweat pants with holes in them for a while longer but his socks are a couple sizes too small and getting holes in them too. I can’t even tell you how much this stresses me out.

Some kind friends (and a couple of strangers) have ordered from my shop – my favorite way to make money! – and every penny helps. But a few people suggested starting a GoFundMe campaign. So I have, because mostly we get by on what we make per month. Just as long as we don’t have any sudden expenses like the car needing work (two weeks ago) or getting dental work (Philip has been waiting to get a crown fixed for 3 years and we were just about able to afford it until the car and Chick’s needs just evaporated all our slack) or major vet bills. We’ve been slammed and I don’t know how we’ll get by in the next few weeks as most of our next paycheck goes towards rent.

I most definitely need to work on getting my business going but I was taking time off to care for mom.

Do I sound like a sad sack OR WHAT?! But no – really – I know we’ll get through this. Anyone who helps us do it is obviously going to be deeply appreciated by me! And I don’t just mean people contributing funds, I know too many people in tight financial circumstances themselves who may not be able to donate to my fund or spend money in my Etsy shop (still working on my own website) but all the emotional support you give me matters to me too because it helps buoy me up during these tough days. Thank you so much for all the well wishes for both my mom AND Chick! You guys all rock!

Chick’s doing really well right now considering she was at the vet all day long. I love this girl. She’s been such a great family dog so far. She makes us feel safe (remember how she knew the Douche-Twins were bad news before I did?), she is so easy to please (walks, scratches behind her ears or on her chest, treats, just being around us), she loves all the same people we love, she is hilarious the way she groans like an old lady (since she was a puppy), and she’s been remarkably inexpensive all these years having been such a healthy and robust dog. We love her so much we couldn’t NOT spend all our money to do what needs doing.

But dudes, this has been a phenomenally tough past month.

The Birds and the Bees and the Pippa

There is a cold wind blowing through the windows this morning.  The heat is finally, blissfully, thankfully gone.  The frogs are piping up outside.  (As well as in the basement where one has taken up residence.)  I love hearing the frogs.  My cough is coming along nicely (as in – gettin’ real good) and now my throat is feeling a little rough all over again.  New cold?  Or just the established one kicking up a fuss?  The news about the HAMP trial period is fully processed now.  I think.  So much so that Philip will be picking up free bricks from an acquaintance’s house.  We love bricks.  At the Beaver Street house I made a potager with brick pathways.  It was beautiful.  Philip hauled those bricks too, and laid them himself.  I wish I had pictures of it but I lost all of the ones I had on the first hard drive that crashed and burned.

The rain just started.  Beautiful sound.  It was a hard rain for a few minutes.

I have made no progress querying agents.  It has been all food preserving and work for the last couple of weeks.  I want to say it’s winding down but I know it isn’t yet.  Still catching up with my paid job and there’s still more preserving to be done.  Now that we’re going to have to go back to serious food budgeting (and meal planning, which I suck at and don’t like) it will not be a bad thing to take advantage of the cheap food of harvest season.

My main thought this weekend is how much joy our animals bring us.  Pippa is a daily joy – she’s so silly and so sweet and all that purring is very good for us.  Penny is funny and spunky and a little bit like Ozark (grumpy and complaining) but then she’ll curl up with us at night and be the sweetest girl.  Chick is extremely annoying with all the barking but then she does things like scare off proselytizers and strange men and I feel protected in our house, plus she is cute as hell and sweet and makes those old lady noises when she sighs.  Nadia (my mom’s dog) brings a lot of joy to people everywhere she goes.  Unlike Chick, she’s calm and doesn’t bark a lot and will shake your hand or give you a high five (such useful skills!) and she is such a good companion to my mom.

I also think about the wildlife all around us that make us happy.  The visiting bat, the frogs I’m listening to right now, the butterflies, and the gold finches my mom has brought to the yard.  The mourning doves that coo all over the neighborhood are also great and the dragonflies.

I hope that you all have a life rich with pets and wildlife too.  I am constantly reminded that the matters of men aren’t so important but the matters of bees and spiders and bats are important to us all.  Man (as  a whole) contributes nothing to the eco-system but its wanton destruction.  A friend of mine in Austin was just saying on her blog that one of the most important things people can do during the serious drought they’re having is not to stop gardening but to create a habitat for wildlife because the drought has decimated so much of it.  It reminds me that we should all be doing that all the time anyway.  You can garden for yourself, of course, and grow the things that bring you joy, but it’s possible to simultaneously provide shelter, water, and specific foods to your local wildlife.  It just takes a little thought.  Just a little care.

I had a neighbor in Santa Rosa who got her garden certified as a habitat for birds and insects.  It was gorgeous.  She also grew food but all over her property she had things growing that specifically feed local varieties of birds and butterflies.  She grew milkweed for Monarchs.  I never specifically planned my garden that way but every single garden I’ve ever inherited was nearly barren of birds, bees, butterflies, or anything living that wasn’t a bad pest* (earwigs, slugs, etc).  I’ve left every garden I’ve ever worked in richer in beneficial insects and bird life.  That has always been such a marvel to me.  How if you remove lawn, remove gravel, feed the dirt, plant herbs, plant flowers, plant wild things, plant food, and have thickets, you will bring life, you will invite a fuller, sweeter, more colorful cycle of lives all around you.

I’ve had my mind on this for a couple of weeks.  I don’t do much good in this world but I know I’m not doing all bad when every year I hear more frogs in my yard, see more bees, spot a lacewing or two, see hoards of ladybugs come through in spring, find a preying mantis, see more and more varieties of birds at different seasons, and watch the Damselflies and dragonflies floating through the roses and across the vegetable beds.

A couple of huge orb weavers have been keeping me from the tomato beds because their webs seem to be connected to every branch I touch and I am terrified that I will walk right into one.  I have big spider fears.  But the whole time I’m out there I’m telling them how glad I am to see them busy in my garden.  I tell them I don’t want them to leave and ask them politely to stay in the same spot every day where I can see them but they don’t oblige.  In spite of my fear of them, it is a sign of great garden health that we have so many of them keeping the other insects under control.

These things make me feel good.

Now I must get some work done, make some Damson jam, and hustle Philip to make breakfast and go haul bricks.

Have a great Sunday!

*This is relative.  Earwigs aren’t actually “bad”, they just happen to like to eat some of the same things people do.  Same with slugs.  They are pests because they like what we like and compete for our food and sometimes destroy ornamentals we enjoy.  I simply want to point out that I don’t actually think of them as being bad, so much as I like them to be in balance with other insects.

Meet Pete

Pete is a Yellow Racer garter snake.  A friend of ours who is very knowledgeable about snakes came over to help teach us how to take care of Pete and brought us a big snake tank he didn’t need.  He spent a lot of time handling Pete and ended up telling us far more than we could have hoped about the baby snake.  He’s about one year old.  He hadn’t eaten, most likely, since before the new year.  He had puncture wounds on him most likely from a small rodent.  If Max hadn’t have brought him home, out of the wild, he would probably die.

We have him in a small terrarium for the moment.  Robert and Shanta (our friends who keep snakes and are our snake advisers) said to leave him in the small terrarium until he’s eaten.  He finally did eat a tadpole.  You could have heard my shouts and screams of joy from a mile away.  Snakes are not frequent eaters (once a week generally, or in the wild, whenever they can catch a meal) but six months of no food is not good for any snake.  Because I’m a phenomenally anxious person I have kept Pete in the smaller terrarium for longer because I want him to eat TWO meals before getting used to a brand new environment (which may cause him to refrain from eating again until he’s adjusted- hey- snakes sound just like me!) (Except for the whole eating dealio.  I tend to eat at least two times a day.  Sometimes more.  And I don’t eat tadpoles as a general rule.)

Garter snakes ARE venomous but their venom doesn’t happen to be toxic to humans.  Their teeth are like a ridge of cartilage and don’t easily break human skin.  Pete did finally bite Max and he said it tickled.

It is the sweetest thing in the world to see how gentle Max is with Pete and how much he enjoys him.  Most nights he brings Pete out just before bed so we can all say good night to him.  I think it’s good for a young boy’s soul to watch over an animal of his own.