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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Home hunting hound...

On Wednesday I joined the ranks of the unemployed. So I guess that means I’m officially retired. RETIRED. What does that mean really? I certainly have things/projects that I’m working on. Does that mean I’m doing a “working retirement” like taking a “working vacation?” I’m not earning a paycheck from an outside employer and I’ve started collecting Social Security checks – so is that what it means to be retired?

Oh well… for me it means that I have lost my primary health insurance provider and to replace it will cost me $400/month, plus $50 for dental and $20 for vision. To convert the life insurance policies is another $600/month. So that’s $1,070/month just to keep my insurance benefits. I’ll need to go back to work just to pay for all that! But, if I go back to work full-time – I won’t need to pay for it because it would probably be in my benefits package! I think this is called a Catch 22.

I wonder if my readers would be offended if I put a couple of ads on my blog? It probably won’t earn a lot – but every little bit helps.

Whenever there is a hurricane/storm/tornado, lots of animals end up lost. Somehow they get separated from their families and are left to wander the area searching for food and shelter. I don’t know why people don’t protect their pets when they have been warned of inclement weather – nevertheless – it happens.

After receiving the news of my unemployment on Wednesday, a mottled-gray hunting hound showed up in our backyard. He (un-neutered) crawled under our little old Toyota and growled at anyone who came near. When he did come out, I could see that he was starving. I could see his backbone and he could barely stand. My first instinct was to feed him – but I didn’t know if he was sick so I decided to hang back.

Riley put out a bowl of food and he happily appeared from under the car and downed the whole bowl in a matter of seconds. I wasn’t supervising and before I knew it Riley had given him FIVE bowls of food. If an animal is starving it is not wise to give it some much food at one time. Food should be introduced slowly. I saw that on Animal Cops, so I take it as the gospel truth. They wouldn’t lie to me.

Anyway, I told Riley that I had just lost my job and couldn’t afford to feed another animal. He agreed to slow down on the feeding. I also told him that if we feed him, he will never try to find his way back home. Besides, we don’t know if the dog is sick and he may be contagious to our Jade and the neighbors Maggie.

On Thursday morning I started calling our county animal control office. There was no answer. I kept trying. After having no success at that effort, I called our veterinarian and was told that animal control didn’t open until 1 p.m. I waited and then called again, and again, and again – no answer and it was now almost 5 p.m. My anxiety was growing over the health of this dog. I called the sheriff’s department and was told the info would be passed on and someone would be out to our house soon. When no one showed up on Thursday, I called again on Friday – and was again told that someone would be out shortly.

Everything is different in the country. Time passes much slower out here. I have discovered that the term “soon” or “shortly” could mean days or maybe even weeks. It is now Saturday morning and “shortly” has not yet arrived. My concern for this dog is growing, but I’m now feeding it regularly. It doesn’t appear to be sick – but you never know.

Add to this that Riley has decided that we need to keep the dog and make him our own. Ohhhhh boy… I reiterate to him that I’ve just lost my job and we can’t afford any additional expenses at this time. I try to reason with him – the dog is not neutered and we don’t know if he needs shots – I’m looking at an vet bill of about $600 by the time we get the physical, shots, neutering, flea, tick, heartworm treatment – the list goes on. Not to mention that we feed our dog high quality food and it is not cheap. Adding this dog doubles our dog food expense. Keeping the dog doesn’t seem like a good plan to me.

Riley is an actor. For the past two days, he’s acted in the role of a Jewish MaMa playing the guilt card. How could I leave that poor dog outside when he so clearly wants to come in the house? How could I turn my back on a creature that needs our help? Look how he plays with Jade and Maggie. Look how Jax Cat doesn’t mind him being around. It goes on and on. Riley is not Jewish – but he could win an Oscar for this role.

I’m not buying a ticket for that performance. Riley does not take care of the dog he has adding another dog to the mix is ludicrous. Of course, an argument ensues when I tell Riley that he cannot be trusted to be responsible for an additional dog. I turn off my ears and fail to hear his pleas.

I’m still waiting for the Sheriff to come out and take the dog to the shelter. They can give him the proper care – feed and examine him. Possibly they can find the family who left him behind – but if it were me – I wouldn’t return him to them because it looks like he hasn't been fed well since before the hurricane. This is a hunting hound with long floppy ears, big paws and small body. We live in hunting country.  He’s a sweet, friendly dog and I’m sure he’ll end up in a good home. It just won’t be MY home.


Jenny Woolf said...

I'm sad that you have lost your job. The insurance situation is inhumane and horrible. It is well worth putting some ads on the site, though.

As for the dog, what a dilemma. I don't know where exactly you live but in some places there is a society for animal welfare, and they'll usually find at least a temporary home for a stray dog just to avoid that kind of situation. I'd guess you'd have done this if you had one in your area.

Ann said...

There probably is a 'rescue' group in your area for hounds, or beagles, whichever he is. Try Noah's Arc, they take in animals lost in natural disasters....as for health insurance, I'm stuck in the same boat. At least I will qualify for medicare in November, but I still need a secondary, and dental. Do you not qualify for spousal benefits from the Navy? What a mess life is becoming...

Syd said...

Maybe the local hunt club might know something. Also some coon or deer dogs have tattoos in their ears. I am sorry you lost your job.

jo said...

i understand about the poor animal..i want to save every one and i just cant. mine does the animal hoarding thing, too. and you dont tell my A no. you will pay dearly, for days and days. as time goes on, he is getting meaner and meaner.

the insurance, mines retirement deal is gonna stop the insurance completely jan 2013. he has the Va and i will be screwed. i cant afford those prices. what people will do? i have no idea. what will i do? pray a lot. i have no answers. i havent seen a dentist or eye dr in 5 yrs or more.

im sorry you lost your job. this economy is so hard, and seems no one in washington cares.

our animal control is the same here. tell the cops if no one shows by 5 pm your gonna shoot it. they usually come when you say that. ! its the only way to get them out here.

hugs! sorry i dont have any more cheerful ideas!

Gabriele Goldstone said...

Come move to Canada. No healthcare issues here.
As for the dog - your A. has enough money for beer, get him to pay for the dog. It's only fair.

I wish you a happy retirement. I do hope it works out. You sure deserve it. But maybe more time with dear A. will only cause more stress. Darn. Life is difficult. On the other hand, you've more time to work on your book and then you'll be independently wealthy :) Don't despair. Things will work out.

Karen E. said...

I am very sorry about your job..But I agree with the others this gives you more time to write!

I like the current conditions on the blog. My 'A' current condition:
8-14 oz vodka per day (which is down) vomit and bowel issues daily. somnolence 3-4 out of 5. appetite maybe 1 meal a day. She fell on Friday and sliced a gash in her arm. refused medical help. Needs stitches..we are trying to care for the wound as best we can..she asked me yesterday "How did I do this?...Stays in bed all day and only drinks vodka..no water, etc. My concern is if wound becomes infected..or worse happens..medical/legal community could look at me as abusing for not taking better care of her? If someone came by house and saw her condition...what would their reaction be? I am just following her wishes..would that be understood?...

Karen E. said...

What happened with the pup? Hope all went your way. We love dogs but you have enough to care for!

My A continues to struggle. gash seems okay not worse anyway. She stays in her room and sleeps, drinks, sits on the edge of bed staring into space, vomits, poops wears depends. One moment I think this is it..prepare yourself..next I am thinking this could go on another year...can you say Roller Coaster... I work out..work..all healthy things..but I am an emotional eater and just keep gaining weight and cannot get control...anyone else have these issues?