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Man’s Best Friend


So just last month Ben, our 16 month old Standard Poodle and I visited the Vet. He was throwing up, had diarrhea during the night, not eating or drinking. Just the age old failure to thrive diagnoses.

It’s a Friday and I got him to the Vet for an exam. They kept him for the day, IV for dehydration, Xrays, Antibiotics and several phone calls during the day. “Come in after six” they say, “and you should be able to take him home. It’s a good thing you got him here when you did, could have been dead by morning.”

FYI: Three days prior Ben and I were on a 250 acre farm and he was chasing flocks of geese and having a grand time. I did observe what looked like him nibbling on something on occasion. Goose Poop I suspected then and the Vet confirmed most likely and the cause of his problems.

Diagnoses after blood tests: Colitis, Pancreatitis, severe dehydration. All this due to Dietary Indiscretion was the Vets call. Seven days of Antibiotics, $1,000.00 lighter in the wallet and directions for an interim diet of baked sweet potatoes and venison mixed together we got to go home.

Man’s Best Friend, Foie gras be damned! I do love that dog, all 65 lbs. of him. No Poodle cut, looks like a black bear. As you can see, he’s a great watch dog. Ben’s full name is, Benjamin Franklin Fiddler, my BFF.

Image may contain: people sitting, living room, dog, table and indoor

On Watch.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

My First Road Trip

Three weeks post op today my friends.

Yesterday I had a follow-up with the CV Surgeon who performed my Cardiac Bypass. Both he and one of the P.A.s as well as a nurse checked my wounds. I look and feel like what it might be like to have survived a knife fight. I’m not sure if I won or lost. Were I the winner, I would hate to see the loser were this a knife fight.

nurse thumbs up

I got congratulated by the nurse for doing a fine job eliminating my tape residue which has stuck all over my mid section. While in the hospital numerous drains, monitor wires and lung tubes were beneath these bandages. Not to mention the slice running the entire length of my ribs. Through daily use of Alcohol, nail polish remover,  Kerosene, and numerous other potions that would remove the sticky gooey tape, I had done a yeoman’s job apparently. They were impressed.


The surgeon stated he was happy with my progress and was giving me my walking papers, so to speak. Any further follow up would be monitored by my Cardiologist. In addition to saying thank you to the surgeon I got one giant piece of good news. You see, it was this man who had the power to let me drive once again, a privilege I lost three weeks ago. Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I’m free at last. Damn, I forgot to ask if I got an extended warranty with this cutting. If I get another sixteen years I’ll be quite happy.

I left that appointment feeling like a new person, one hurdle on the road to recovery completed. Next would be the Cardiology consult later this week. Early next month I will begin Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention. That’s a physical fitness and education program run by the hospital for those who have one type of cardiac event or other. It would not be a new experience for me.

This will be my fourth trip through the program. I had Bypass surgery sixteen years ago, a Stent and pace maker implanted which all got me back into this wonderful program. Once again it is time for the pain and suffering to begin. I’m looking forward to getting started. After that program it will be going back to the MAC Center and my old workout routines. I was doing Stretch/ROM & Flexibility, and chair yoga. I’m sure it will be like starting anew.

So, this morning I would take my first trip alone behind the wheel of my Ford Escape. A 2000 model with 239,000 miles I might add. Yes, I like to get my monies worth. My trusty Pick up truck, a 1992 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with 143,000 miles is still running and very serviceable for our needs. Vehicle number three at my disposal is a 2012 Subaru Forester with 84,000 miles. A great car in the mountains with the paddle shift feature, I might add. No mountains today on the Eastern Shore, thus the Escape.


Our dog, Maggie, a standard Poodle would need a ride to the groomers for a Spa session today and I would drive her. Here I am 73 years old and feeling like a kid getting behind the wheel once again. My wife would first take Maggie on her mile and a half walk to the local yacht club for her morning exercise and business elimination run.


It’s 0730, I pick up Maggie from the little woman and we are off on our thirty minute drive to the spa, well, almost. You see we here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore were greeted with a bit of snow this morning and the temperature was 33 F. Really Mr. Meteorologist, I’m scraping snow off the windshield and warming the car prior to departing. Average high for April 5, 60F. Global warming???

I remembered all the basics of driving, seat belt on, in park, foot on brake, turn key, engine starts. Maggie in the rear sitting expectantly for her first ride with her old traveling companion, Most everywhere I go she goes, we’re a pair.

The first few miles through rural country is uneventful. I approach a major north south route on which I must enter to connect to the Bypass, (sounds familiar). Once I’ve crossed to the center medium I start looking to the right to enter the high speed lane of a two lane highway. As I’m twisting in the seat to observe safe passage, the seatbelt restrains me and irritates my chest. Oh yes, they had to spread those 24 ribs once again didn’t they?

Each intersection further into the trip would bring about the same discomfort. My right Scapula, that’s the bone that connects the Humorous (Not),  with the Clavicle has hurt like hell at times since the surgery. My neck a victim of two extensive surgeries was beginning to cause issues also. Just sitting in the drivers upright position was causing discomfort. Perhaps asking for this privilege was a bit premature. Tough it out Rooster, don’t be a wimp.

I would drop off Maggie with her stylist and make the return trip home in considerable more pain than when I left. I was also quite tuckered out. It was time for a couple of Tylenol, no drugs have entered this system since my discharge. I never took anything for pain this morning, a mistake.


What I have learned from this bit of freedom is that I’m not ready to drive to Connecticut just yet. All things slow and in due time. Now I await the call to pick up Maggie.

“Honey, would you mind picking up Maggie?” I’ll stay home and let Simon in, (Cat).

Have a great day all and thanks for stopping by.

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