Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Going to the Vets is like going to Cheers

Uh huh. You know one of our 4 pets would have an "issue" with moving.
But dealing with a multi-pet household when one is having said bladder "issue" is difficult.
Who is the culprit? It's like playing a game of Clue - is it 16-year-old cocker spaniel Quinn in the office with the dog bed? Is it 11 year-old Tashmoo with a floor pillow in the living room? (I 86'd the floor pillow). Or, is it tomgirl rescue cat Diesel, in the laundry room with a quilt? Or is it... no it couldn't be aloof Hermione; she never shares any experiences with the rest of the family unless she deems it Orange Alert DEPCON 6 Level.

When I finally figured out it was not the ancient dog who has had kidney stones in the recent past, I had to turn the investigative light on male cat Tashmoo, who also has had kidney stones in the past. (I definitely would be drinking bottled water if I were you, folks back in KY lol). So off to visit The Vet.

Culprit Tashmoo
Good thing Hubby is here to help as I still can't carry anything over 5 pounds - ie my purse. Choosing a vet here was not difficult as we had purchased special foods from the airport vet office. They were kind enough to get us in within a few hours, and the ride was short so enduring Tash's indignant protestations was tolerable.

As we were "worked in" to the schedule, we could gather a bit of info while we waited, deciding if we were going to keep this vet as the island vet or not.

First off, let me say, any vet who keeps a bird in a cage in the middle of the waiting room is a genius. Geoff unknowingly plopped the cat carrier right in front of the bird.  I didn't notice this at first, as I was casing the joint for "friendlies" - you know, pet owners who might inadvertently spill the beans on the vet service. But then I noticed I had not heard from Tash. Assuming the worst, I quickly checked to see if he was still breathing and ... ok he was using his CAT RAY VISION, holding perfectly still, willing the bird to open the cage and fly right into the cat carrier. He was really concentrating so hard he missed the three dogs who entered and exited beside him.

As I said, going to the Vets here is like going to the Cheers bar - EVERYONE knows your name... and your dog's name, your cat's name, your neighbor's name, your plumber's name. You get the picture.
But what was so charming and ultimately appealing, was that people were actually having serious conversations about pets and life and what was happening in their lives.

I learned the following:
The receptionist was taking care of a vet client's cat who had been burned. She had to get up at 5 am every day to wash, change the cat's bedding, sterile clean the burn site, put antibiotics on it and keep the cat from licking it off. That was in the morning. She had to do the same at night after a full day's work as receptionist/assistant. Already I liked a practice, with employees of that commitment level.

A client waiting for her dog to be groomed, had just had the traumatic event of having two pets perish within weeks of one another - one from illness, the other suddenly. She was going back to New York to pick up ashes and return to bury them. A lively conversation ensued regarding FedEx and mailing ashes.

This client also reviewed how she helped her husband up from a fall - he was too large for her to pick up, so she ingeniously made him scoot over to the two steps that led up to the main house from their living room, had him inch up to the top, scooted a chair over, turned it backwards, and let the husband pull himself up while she pulled against the chair in the opposite direction. I wanted the name of the chair manufacturer as no chair we had ever owned could hold a teenager down on four chair legs let alone hold together to pull up one very large adult.

I also learned which plumber was slow to deliver, what farm was holding a fall festival, which restaurants had already cut back hours, how never to take the freight boat to the Mainland in a storm and hot-air versus forced water heating systems. In the end, the pellet stove won out, a surprise entry from the groomer walking by with a Tibetan sheep dog.

The actual visit with the vet was productive, pleasant and informative. Tash indeed was the culprit, medicine was administered as well as shots due, and the discovery that the vet's close relative lived in the next town over back in Kentucky, moving there "three husbands ago".

And although I adore our vet practice at home, this country vet practice was perfect for our multi-pet needs. Should we ever require care for the oldest pet in an urgent situation, there is also a wonderful mobile vet on the island, ready, willing and able to meet our at-home needs - something I have yet to find in the Cinci area.

One thing I am learning about this place is, where ever you go, people quickly become accustomed to your face and your situation. The pharmacy clerk gives advice about her fractured pelvis situation, the sales assistant knows exactly what styles I like and chooses alternatives while I'm in the dressing room, the person next in line at the grocery offers tips on using the Island Club Card for case discounts on sale items to save money as well as the absolutely covetous information that our propane company gives 10 % off all fill-ups with the same card. And this happens not just in the town where I live, but also the other towns on the island.

Here's to community! Cheers!

Have a good one.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Change is in the air

I knew it the minute I woke up this morning.
Change is in the air.

The air feels different from home in the fall.
It fairly crackles with electric energy, so close to water.
The wind blows and blows, then settles down, then blows and blows again, skittering the summer funk right out.

The water changes to a deep, deep sapphire blue.
The Fishing Derby starts. Stats are posted everywhere. The coffee shop, the local dairy dip hangout, the papers.  People talk and discuss, over checkout counters in grocery stores.

Yards sales are hot and heavy Saturdays and Sundays, but especially so Columbus Day week-end, when it's the last chance to clean and clear before the winter sets in.

You can drive to get the morning off-island papers or Dippin Donuts or visit Mocha Mott's or Espresso Love or the Black Dog Cafe for morning joe without stopping for a single light. As a matter of fact, there are no stop lights, except a lone blinker, on the road to the airport.

And even though the leaves haven't changed, the trees know what's coming - their leaves glossy, crisp, lovely, overhanging like heavy arbors along most roads, waiting for the first good rain to change color and drop.

Weekly potluck and family dinners begin. A chance to not lose touch, when it's so easy to pull oneself in like a clam, shutting off contact in the colder months. Isolation is common on the island. So is alcohol and substance abuse in the winter. Stiff constitutions and healthy outlooks are vital to living a balanced life here. But there is an attitude of checking in, looking after, doing for others that is apparent all year long, but most evident when fall appears - a part of small community life. It's like the circling of wagons, fending off the ills of cold weather island living

The sunlight shifts and softens. Soon the stark gray water-reflected, winter light will appear. But not now. Not here. 

And I can finally get a parking space on Main Street.

Morning Glory Farm has its pumpkin patch and homemade zucchini bread ready. Hubby is here this weekend. I think we will take a drive and pick out a pumpkin and a mum for the steps today. :)

Have a good one.