Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cross Your Fingers for Finn, Please!

We'd appreciate your prayers, good wishes, positive vibes, and all for our poor, sweet, dumb boy. Finn, that is. He's been off his feed for the past four days or so, and lacking his usual demonic energy, and we've been worrying about him Given his appetite for rocks, grass, tissues, etc., we figured he might have a bit of a tummy ache, and since he still was eating his food, if over the course of hours instead of seconds, and was still pretty energetic in the mornings, that he would be okay. But last night (Friday night, wouldn't you know) I decided he'd been looking peaky too long, and this morning, when he wouldn't so much as touch his breakfast, Ed agreed it was time to see the vet.

Thankfully they were able to get us in at eleven, because as it turns out, he has a fever, and the x-rays show... things are not looking good in there. Food, from at least yesterday, is going nowhere fast in his stomach, and there's a  large thing -- I'm thinking sock, but, given Finny's creative tastes, it might be just about anything -- blocking the end of his stomach. And the vet explained that something is badly swollen up (aside from the stomach) which shouldn't be. And the fever makes her worry about necrosis. Anyway, the upshot is that Ed and Katie are on their way, with Finn, to the specialists in Winston, where, hopefully, they'll be able to remove the thing endoscopically (and if we're Really lucky, they'll be able to do it without CAT (or MRI?) scans). If that doesn't work they'll slice him open and take it out. But, as our vet explained, even that part is better at the fancy hospital because they'll have someone there to monitor him overnight. If he needs to be operated on. Which I hope to goodness he Doesn't. Poor sweet idiot. And, when he's been cleaned out, and taken his antibiotics, the vet says we need to get him a basket muzzle and make him wear it this time (we did get him one before, but he kept pulling it off and trying to eat it, so I sent it back). She says he should have outgrown this tendency to eat everything by the time he's three or four, but in the meantime...!


So, anyway, positive thoughts, please, for Finn's recovery!

Katie is taking my place on the Winston trip because we are up to host coffee hour at church tomorrow. The way I do it, that means a full day of cooking. Chicken salad sandwiches (two chickens, cooked, one last night and one, very overcooked, cooked this morning in the pressure cooker), oatmeal raspberry bars, lemon bars, pumpkin bars, banana/sweet potato bread, chips,and grapes. The chips and grapes are ready to go, but the rest of it still needs doing. And I may be doing the set up and clean up on my own tomorrow, if Ed needs to drive in to Winston to pick up our boy, but, thankfully, we now have two cars to that's doable!

Other news. Travis has finished his first week of classes for his senior year at the community college. So far pretty okay, I think! He's taking English, math, music appreciation, and American government. He's driving himself, so, aside from constantly reminding him to check his syllabuses, paying for books, and repeating "have you done all your homework?" I'm pretty much out of the picture. Katie starts ninth grade at the high school in Elkin (we were so pleased that the county was willing to release her so that she could go to the "city" school, which we've heard good things about) on the 29th. She's nervous but also, I think, a little excited. They offer fencing and swimming, both of which at least interest her, and she's pleased with her "block" schedule. Honors English, math, P.E., and marketing. Next semester she'll take honors history, earth science, Microsoft Word, and math. At least it should mean fewer books to lug around, and fewer subjects to remember assignments for, which should be helpful!

And some pictures of Finny and Olivia being cute, taken since my last post!

We did manage a last minute trip to Hungry Mother State Park before Travis started classes!

And a visit to the ice cream place afterwards!

And this is for Daddy! This is my pressure cooker -- the Instant Pot -- with a chicken inside. The chicken turns out marvelously tender and juicy (though rather less juicy if you end up spending hours at the vet's and your chicken spends a whole lot of extra time in the pot. But it is Still pretty darned good, which is quite a bit different from the way things would have been if I'd left it an hour too long in the oven!), but the skeleton does lose it's structural firmness.

 And here is Finny with his pot collection. He shreds them and tosses them, but I've never seen him eat them. I guess I'll know soon enough.

Did I mention that they get along beautifully now?


Janie said...

Poor FinnFinn (as I often call him in my head)! I will be looking often to see an update of the boy. That last picture with toes touching is precious.

With homeschooling-no-more, *what* are you going to do?! I always assumed that your book selections basically followed your homeschooling curriculum, but maybe not. Thinking of you -- this empty-school-nest thing isn't too easy. At first. :)

The Foil Hat said...

Poor Finn. Hugs for all of you. I hope you get good news soon.

Melora said...

Thanks, Janie and Amy! Ed Just now called me, and they were able to remove a big chunk of what Ed described as "grass and hair." I'm a little puzzled -- you'd think those things would break apart -- but apparently not. Anyway, it took him a long while to come out of the anesthesia, but he Has, finally, and they are going to bring him home! He has a special post-op diet (rice and chicken) and everything, poor little invalid, but I expect it won't be long before he'll be back to his usual rambunctious self!

I'm not quite sure What I'll do now that we're not homeschooling anymore! Driving Katie to and from school will take most of a couple hours a day, and then there is the constant Nagging them, but otherwise... I want to buckle down and learn Latin, so I can read the Aeneid, and I have Mountains in my TBR stacks. Aside from that, I don't know. We live in an area with Very few employment prospects, so I'm not sure paying work is likely, but I would like to find at least some volunteer thing. We'll see!

Melora said...

And we call him FinnFinn too, Janie!

Janie said...

So glad to hear vet has discovered and retrieved the culprit. Long story: Interestingly, a couple of years ago, the same sort of thing happened to us. We have assumed the custodial parent role of our soldier girl's two dogs, one which was a Siberian Husky. Yukon had to be sent to a rescue group immediately one day as he got out while I was gone (something he'd never done before), went into husky predator mode, and did the horrible thing you dread to two of my cats. He was just doing the natural instinct predator-prey game. It was horrible. Yukon went the next day to the rescue. Within a couple of days, he was placed but developed the same symptoms as FinFin. They removed a huge mass of grass. I'd never seen him eat grass ever, but our contact said they often do that out of stress. Anyway, Yukon had an expensive intervention but recovered and was adopted by the family he was originally placed with. Glad he's got a life with a cat-less family. I suspect his stress (if that's really true) came with everything that happened. Doesn't sound like Fin has had a problem with stress though. Bless his heart. Love him for me. :)

Melora said...

Oh, Janie! That's a very sad story! I'm so sorry about your poor cats, and about your daughter's pup. Finny eats... everything. He snatches up bits of grass when we walk, and if there are clumps of wet grass clipping he grabs those too. Usually he mouths them for a few steps and drops them, but I guess sometimes he swallows them instead. Unless he picked them up in our back yard. Just about impossible to watch him every minute, or keep him confined to the crate, and give him a happy life. But we'll definitely be trying a lot harder to keep him monitored. He's in bed, resting (with four different medications, so he's pretty groggy), and I'm so glad he's home!

Anonymous said...

My sympathy for you and Finn! My friend had a lab that was notorious for grabbing anything cloth-like and had two surgeries--one for a sock and one for a hand towel. My Charlie is a plastic chewer--if he gets anything with plastic, he'll chew it off and swallow (including edges of Nylabones), but he just throws it up. He's a grass eater as well, but at least he doesn't 'graze' on the lawn and prefers the long quack-type grass at the edges of fencing. Glad your Finn is home.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and can you share your oatmeal raspberry bar recipe? I just tried making them for the first time and I'm playing around. The one I used is a little crumbly and relies on jam--I'm thinking of using cooked down raw fruit instead (heaps of frozen peaches to use up).

Janie said...

So glad he's home too! Will be watching for updates on his recovery. Pets are part of the family, imo!, and I often have more sympathy with them than with humans, simply because they can't speak English and tell me what's up.

Melora said...

I'll be glad to share, Carol -- they were a hit at church this morning! -- but mine Do rely on jam. So it may not help you. The bottom and top crusts of these are nice and solid, though, so maybe...

This is from Allrecipes, and it is called "Delicious Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars"

1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c butter, softened
3/4 c seedless raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 8x8 inch square pan with foil and grease thoroughly.

Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Rub in the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter until it forms a crumbly mixture. Press 2 c. of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan & press into smooth layer. Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top and lightly press it down over the jam.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

(I added some cinnamon to this -- maybe 1/4 tsp or so? That would be especially nice with peaches!)

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank you for sharing. I was using the Allrecipes one too. A little crumbly--the second time I added a touch of applesauce to the jam layer and it held better. I think it might depend on how much pectin is in the jam.

Susan B said...

Oh no! Poor Finn!! I hope his health issues are resolved quickly!

Anonymous said...

Is Finn better, I hope?