Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chronic Pain

In June or July I started having significant pain radiating down my right leg.  I'm a back surgery survivor if you will - having had a laminectomy in 1995 between S1 and L5.  The pain was familiar, but add to that a new twist with new pain in my front right thigh compounded with a nasty heel spur that just wasn't going away.  Finally I had testing done.  Uncountable x-rays, a whole morning of multiple MRIs - one that included a most painful injection into my right hip.  The diagnosis - torn right hip cartilage, complete medial meniscus tear in my right knee with an additional tear of the lateral meniscus in the same knee.  And of all the scans, my back looked the best, but for some reason the sciatic nerve is inflamed.  Maybe because most of my right leg joints are messed up.

I've since visited a pain specialist and an orthopedic specialist.  We are not doing any knee surgery yet.  On top of the meniscal tears, I have so much arthritis in my knee, that even if he fixed the tears, I would not have any less pain.  So until the knee completely fails we do nothing - except physical therapy twice a week.  If I want a cortisone injection, I'm welcome to it.  But for now I've declined.  I'm scheduled for a lumbar epidural injection in January and from there we will decide if I need an injection in my hip.  Fun stuff. 

I've avoided prescription pain killers and I am in significant pain every day.  There are good days where I can walk pretty well with low grade pain.  The physical therapy is helping and believe it or not I see a gym membership in my future.  Kind of ironic, eh?  For me?

This has been game changing for me in so many ways.  I don't want to spend my life in a wheelchair and I don't want to lose my freedom or independence.  I want my dogs in my life for a long time to come.  So I fight.

This ordeal has left me even more jaded - if this is possible.  Every day is a struggle.  My dogs are my haven for which I fight daily.  That will not change.  They make life worth it. 

So fair warning.  I don't feel well.  Enough said.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Puppy For Christmas

The emails start coming in for Christmas puppies in December usually.  I actually received a few inquires beginning in November this year. 

Here's a lovely example of a recent exchange I had:

Message:  I found your Shih Tzu listing at Breeders.NET

Hello I am interested in buying a baby girl puppy for my kids for Christmas. If you could please let me know if you have one and what price. Thank you:)

And my standard Christmas puppy response followed:

On Nov 16, 2012, at 6:03 AM, wrote:


Thank you for your inquiry, however even if I had puppies available at or around the holiday - I would not place them as Christmas presents. Nor do I entertain birthday or anniversary inquiries. Please refer to this article.

Christmas is really the absolute worst time of the year to place a puppy. There is too much happening for anyone to possibly focus on the needs of a puppy at that time. There are breeders out there that gear up for Christmas because it's their biggest sales season of the year for them. They will sell puppies too young to be going anywhere just to turn that Christmas buck.

But that's not how I operate.

You might consider giving puppy supplies as Christmas gifts to announce your decision to bring a pet into your home and instead focus on finding the right breeder and dog for your family. When it comes to finding the perfect member for your family, it's better to take your time and research the breeders involved and find someone that can provide you the best possible dog, health wise etc. for your family at your financial comfort level. Buying strictly on timing is the poorest way to find the right dog.

Check out the American Shih Tzu Club website for things to look for when selecting a breeder and also breeder referral.

Best of luck in your search -
Nancy Manelski
WoTeH'sin Shih Tzu
And here is the lovely response I received:

To: wotehsinst <>
Sent: Wed, Nov 21, 2012 7:38 pm
Subject: Re: I found your Shih Tzu listing at Breeders.NET

Wow a little too much information a simple no would have been fine.....weirdo!!


Nice, huh?  Try to educate the general public and look what happens.  Nice manners and a lovely email to receive on Thanksgiving Eve.  Honey, are you raising your kids to be as polite and receptive to education as you obviously were? 
I hope no one places a puppy with this family.  Because honestly, I see the writing on the wall.  Loved for a moment in time and then forgotten, some poor puppy will likely end up in a shelter out of this home when that puppy is no longer convenient for the family.  Tossed aside likely as several other Christmas gifts that have outlived the instant gratification high the kids get once the next present is revealed, or the poor puppy has an accident in the house after being chased or hounded by likely unruly children that scare the poor baby half to death. 
Nope.  Not one of my puppies.  Ever.