Poodle Pancreatitis


I missed everything Tuesday. I missed most of the afternoon Sunday, all of Monday and everything Tuesday too. I missed the LA Auto Show and I missed driving Toyota’s Mirai, the new Fuel Cell Vehicle. I missed out on participating in my own life because I have a poodle with pancreatitis.

In case you were wondering pancreatitis is diagnosed with four hours spent at the vet’s office and $387. Something happens to make it work out that way but I’m not sure what the actual logistics to it are nor do I much care.

Junior has been moaning, crying and not eating. He wouldn’t even drink milk which is a morning favorite. I hadn’t left him alone for more than a few minutes in days because the only way he would drink is if it was from my water glass and keeping him hydrated meant keeping him out of the hospital.

The vet and I talked at length about what could bring on pancreatitis. There’s always bum luck but rich fatty foods are often a contributing factor. Junior always gets my gristle, slyly and under the table, and the morning cup of whole milk is also a likely culprit. So basically we figured that, like most things in this house, it was all my fault.

I gave up days on my beloved treadmill desk to sit and work so that Junior could be on my lap. I listened to him cry and gave him beef flavored tramadol liquid. I wiped his ass (don’t ask) and repeatedly went on my hands and knees to clean the carpet where he vomited. I treated that dog like he was a baby in part because I’m wild about him and in part because I felt so terribly guilty about making him sick.

A photo posted by William Vega (@willibaldoea) on

Tuesday afternoon Junior suddenly perked up. He ate a little boiled chicken and rice and bopped around the kitchen a bit. For the first time in days he was off my lap and I wasn’t solely focused on him so I got about the business of cleaning my kitchen and just sort of stretching my legs when I heard a crunching sound. I’d only given Junior soft bland foods so I went to investigate what he might be crunching on and saw him licking his chops in front of the cat box.

He has been dining on this.


That’s right. Junior’s favorite treat is none other than silica gel cat litter. I think it’s safe to say that the whole milk isn’t what’s trying to kill him.

Now I’m entering a new nightmare zone. The cat litter crystals are the most amazing product on the market. There is zero odor coming from the cat box and, unlike cat sand, it doesn’t get tracked all over the house. Though to be fair it seems as though any litter that made it’s way to the floor was promptly gobbled up by Junior.

Cute but dumb. Dangerously so.





Sharp Knives!


A year or two ago I was driving home and saw an outrageously painted lilac bakery truck parked in front of the restaurants near my house. It had a phone number on the side, some messages about redemption and the fact that the owner of said truck would sharpen knives.

Los Angeles has knife sharpening issues. It used to be that you’d bring your knives to the butcher at Hughes Market and they’d sharpen them while you shop. Later when Hughes sold to Gelson’s you could sometimes find a butcher who would help you out and then it all just stopped. HOWs markets opened up and my knives were sharp again but then they promptly closed. There are places where I can drop my knives off but no one seems to do it right or they want me to wait for two days. Maybe my family could just hit pause on dinner for a couple of days while the knives are being sharpened? I don’t think so.

So as I’m sitting around with Junior giving him water through a syringe (no exaggeration) the phone rings and it’s a number I do not recognize. A man mutters something about knives and I tell him he has the wrong number. Then he says, “Jessica, I sharpened your knives for you last year.”

“Do you have a purple truck?” I am excited.

“I do.” He is calm.

“I have been looking for your number everywhere. Are you nearby?”

And he was.

purple knife truck

Now I’m sitting with Junior who just wants to be held (though that’s not unlike him before being bitten) and I’m watching the world pass me by. It’s not unlike the first months of motherhood when it felt impossible to leave the house as it took 30 minutes to feed the baby, change the baby and collect the gear.

It’s a strange feeling, this sense of immobility. It’s like having a sick day without being sick or rewinding the clock to when they were babies and the world was small. It’s not altogether unpleasant but it is remarkably dull. I don’t want to fix up the house, I want to leave the house but that’s just too much for Junior today and leaving him alone right now isn’t wise. The good news is that he is moving his leg a bit, he’s responding to touch and he’s not putting weight on it but that’s to be expected. We’re removing the word amputation from the discussion.

This week I’m watching my dog sleep but I’m going to do it with sharp knives.


I Could Have Bought 25 New Dogs for that Price


That I love Junior goes without saying. He’s sitting on my right foot at the moment because he’s a little codependent and when you work from home dogs end up expecting even more from you. Unlike humans I enjoy Junior’s neediness, he’s like a little baby that snuggles but doesn’t require diapers or sleepless nights. He specializes in adorableness.

Junior the poodle

I’ve made some mistakes with Junior, the biggest one being dental care. I just didn’t bring Junior in for a scraping every year. I was busy doing things like, oh I dunno…. running a household and raising two children. Unfortunately Junior paid the price for that in pain and I paid the price in cash. I knew I was going to write about canine dental care today so I called the vet and asked them to fax over (they don’t email) some of Junior’s bills.

I could have bought 25 dogs for the price of two dental emergencies.

vet dental work bill

vet 2

And yeah, I microchipped Junior for no apparent reason. Understand that if I hold his leash he walks next me. Let’s face it, that dog is going nowhere solo, I spent $70 extra because I was swimming in guilt.

So after all this work the vet was super sweet to me and explained that little dogs can have more severe dental issues than big ones because when they scrape their teeth if there’s any decay the tooth will sometimes just break apart. To be fair their version of kindness didn’t leave me feeling better but they did their best. I’d ignored the first five years of his dental care and these enormous bills were indicators of how much pain my sweet dog had to experience.

In addition to getting junior to the vet for cleanings every 9 months or so he now gets treats to help maintain his teeth. I’d walked past those things for years not understanding that for a few dollars a month Junior’s teeth could have been getting cleaned with treats. The folks at Vet IQ sent some Minties for Junior to sample and he (predictably) loves them. Oh also, Junior is wheat and grain free and Minties are too.

An added bonus with Minties is that they use natural breath fresheners so Junior no longer smells like an animal that spends a good bit of his day licking himself. There’s something about the density and shape of Minties that cleans Junior’s teeth while he chews. Also I was looking at ingredients and Minties includes chlorophyll, parsley, dill, peppermint oil and fennel… am I the only person who seems to remember these ingredients being in Breath Assure (which frankly some humans around me could use). 

Since Junior loved Minties enough to dance I’ve arranged for a giveaway from VetIQ where one lucky reader will get a prize pack of at least $100 of VetIQ products, everything they make is veterinary quality made in America. I know our house could use some VetGuard this time of year to keep the fleas away.

Entering is easy, good luck! Your pets will thank you and so will your wallet.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Better Blogger Would Be Sharing a Blowjob Photo With You Right Now


This afternoon Junior needed a walk. Wait, let me rephrase that. This afternoon I took Junior on my short walk. Well, that’s not quite right either.

This afternoon I needed to bring my neighbors their mail (you see it’s quite often delivered to my home) and when Junior saw me reaching for the front door knob he started jumping and yipping and saying, “Take me! Take me!” in dog-ese so I put a harness and a leash on him and we walked together for a half a block and then he started hopping up and down my leg so I carried him the rest of the way. I don’t know what sort of walk that is, but it’s not a dog walk. It’s a Jessica walk with a dog in arms.

As I’m coming back to my own street at 2.30 in the afternoon I walk past Alexander’s friend’s house and notice a blue 3 series parked in front of it. In my best Mrs. Kravitz imitation I peer in the car window and see a middle aged man with an enormous paunch. He and I make clear eye contact (even through my sunglasses) and he doesn’t move at all. What does move is the head that’s bobbing up and down in his lap.

I survey the street and there are gardeners about 50 yards south of me and a construction crew another 5o yards north. I have no idea if this guy is trying to get caught, if he’ll freak out and get violent or if she might run out of the car. I’m not even convinced that the bobbing head belongs to a woman, it’s clearly very enthusiastic and it’s a woman’s shirt but it’s a broad back.

So I do what every surburban housewife worth her salt would do. I screamed in my lowest, loudest voice:


And he drove away just as she was sitting upright.

The gardeners came running and I didn’t know the Spanish word for blowjob so I just said “puta”. They’re not interchangeable but they are I guess… whatever. My Spanish is limited, the men laughed.

I didn’t walk to my house until they had turned the corner but when I did I replayed the scene in my head a zillion times and kicked myself for not taking video.

What kind of blogger am I? I could’ve had a ton of hits by now on YouTube.

And in a related story a woman is riding the train on the East Coast and posting images of men there with warnings to their wives that they are cheaters. Srsly, get a grip. So intrusive. So not your business. Such a shitty way to treat people.


I Send them to School and then I Sit in the Car and Cry


This morning wasn’t the easiest one. It’s the Blessing of the Animals at the kids’ school. All the students bring their pets to the school yard before clases begin and a man who isn’t a priest but wears a collar (forgive me I never know what to call him) puts a few drops of water on each pet and says a blessing. Four years ago he about drowned our hamster and I was also have a rough day. I wouldn’t have remembered that, but apparently I blogged it so it must be true.

The morning was a little frenetic  Usually I toss on workout clothes and wake up just five minutes before the kids. I drop them off at school and then do whatever exercise I’ve got on the schedule for the day. Today is different. Today I have a midmorning meeting at a high school. So I woke up 15 minutes before the kids but it wasn’t enough because I had to get really dressed (not fake exercise dressed) and do things like put on mascara.

So I’m downstairs with Jane and Alexander is standing on top of the landing when it’s time to leave and he yells at her that she’s been in his room and taken his PE shorts. She swears she has not but when I look at her she’s standing there in a pair of shorts that say “ALEXANDER” on them. She rolls her eyes and says, “They were in my drawer.” Which they probably were and she’s completely in the wrong because she should have returned the shorts to him but still I’m the one who puts the laundry away so I find myself standing between my two children feeling queasy.

I hate it when they fight and they seldom fight. I know it comes out of frustration and anxiety but that doesn’t make me feel any better, now I just feel worse knowing that my son is anxious and frustrated.

We pile into the car with the dog and everything. Alexander has to run upstairs for forgotten football jerseys and things and he’s just miserable. He’s quiet and unhappy which bleeds to me. Then I’m feeling sad that this is Jane’s last blessing of the animals as she’s in the 8th grade and possibly Alexander’s last as we’re thinking of sending him to another school for 7th grade (but much less likely). My son is unhappy and I am trying to be happy but failing mostly. We are tied together and in the mornings I’ve not yet unwound so I need them to be joyful or I cannot be.

We get to the school and the kids have decided that this year Junior will go with Alexander. I turn right into the driveway and go to grab Junior’s leash and it’s not there. It’s in the house. It’s in the house with the football cleats that I’ll need to bring him and I know that I shouldn’t  bring his cleats but I also know that I should have had these kids prepared for school the night before so this is my responsibility.

There’s no time to drive home and get Junior’s leash and get back to school. We simply live too far away. So I park the car and have a good cry on a random sidestreet.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to powder my face and go look at a high school.