Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ham's Big Day

Boy, six AM sure rolls around early when you go to bed at three after scrubbing bathrooms you put off because you were online watching Candid Camera classics but I bounced out of bed ready to take Ham for his visit to Georgia Veterinary Specialists, thanks to new friends of Ham.

I was apprehensive about driving my rattle trap of a tiny car with no shocks up to the north side of Atlanta with Ham crammed in the even more tiny back seat. One of my dear friends loaned me her Blazer for the day and off we went! I took Zach with me to help with my gentle giant. Her fuel gauge doesn't work and she thought there was enough gas but just in case we stopped to fill up. When the gas splattered out all over my feet I assumed we had enough and we hit the highway. Straight up  through Atlanta we went, barely missing rush hour traffic and arrived at  the clinic with fifteen minutes to spare.

I can't say enough about what a wonderful place GVS is. The minute we brought Ham through the door people, employees and assistants constantly stopped to admire him and comment on how handsome he was. Ham was (as usual) the consummate gentleman and fascinated with this new place he really couldn't see...but his sniffer still works so he was delighted with every dog he encountered.

The above picture is when we were led into the exam room. The doctor's assistant came in to take vitals and readings of his eyes. I introduced myself and Zach and started my spiel... "We're here through the generosity of friends, we don't really have a lot of money..." when she said "Are you the one who writes a blog?" I said I am and she commented she was impressed the money had been raised so quickly for Ham's evaluation. She checked his eyes,  put in little tape strips to take readings from both and commented "He is beautiful!" She dilated his eyes and left us all three sitting in the dark for ten minutes.

The doctor came in next. She had a framed picture in her hand and held it out in front of Ham. She said "Do  you recognize your daddy?" It was a picture of Boss, Ham's daddy who had surgery for his cataracts at the same clinic a few years back.

The news was good and bad. One eye was totally blind and the other was catching up quick. The quotes another assistant brought back were so far beyond our means but gave us an idea how it could be done. He was really nice (absolutely went on and on and on about what a great dog Ham was) and told us if we just had one eye fixed, Ham could learn to compensate. That seems to be the way to go. When he left,  he commented "If I ever had a big dog, this would be my perfect choice."

Ham looks so much like his daddy and they are both big ole softies.  I spoke with the office manager about setting Ham up an account for donations but they couldn't. I thanked them and told them I would figure it out...and off we went again, back through Atlanta.

When we got back to Newnan... Zach and I took Ham to the mobile vet clinic to update his shots (another gift from a friend of Ham's). It's a doc in the box for cats and dogs  that comes to our county once a week. I signed up for an exam, Rabies shot, Parvo and Heart worm testing. The dude (vet) comes out into the parking lot by your car to do the exam and draw blood. He takes it into his mobile clinic and comes back outside to administer shots and vaccines while you simply hold your pet.

He was an extremely nice guy.. seeming  to be of Indian descent  (dot not the feather) and certainly can't be getting rich by charging $55 for an exam, Parvo and Heart worm testing along with a Rabies shot.  MUST be a true animal lover!

He came back into the parking lot and dropped the bomb.

 Ham tested positive for Heat Worms. Quick kill method would be $500.  Obviously out of the question... Slow kill is medicine once a month for two years, I took it.

Came home feeling like crap for being too broke to buy preventive medicine... but what are you  gonna do, keep  your house, gas and lights on or take your dogs to the vet?

I was cooking dinner tonight when the phone rang. A woman called and said "GVS told me about your dog and we want to help." I can sign up with their website  and apply for an interest free loan, from $500 to $1000. I would have two years (I think) to pay it back interest free  and if people were donating as well they would help cover Ham's surgery costs.

Now I just have to get this Heart Worm problem under control. Zach's buddy has a girlfriend who works for a local vet. She thinks she may able get us the "Quick Kill" at a discount with her administering the injections.

I know this may all seem crazy to people who aren't dog lovers...but I AM a dog lover and my three pups rank right behind my three kids...sometimes I think they should be ahead in the line. They never gripe or complain and never get ticked off at me. They love me and love me and love me!

Hoping for good news tomorrow...Gotta kick these Heart Worm's asses first and take care of his eyes next. Call me stupid, call me an idiot but my pups are just as much a part of my family as the one's walking on two legs...and a lot easier to please..
Til next  time...COTTON

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