final preparations have begun for our last home study visit this thursday. we purchased two baby gates for our stairs and got ready to install them today - only to find out that apparently we do not know how to measure very well. back to target. i picked up two more baby gates - industrial versions - that apparently are large enough to enclose our stairwell. amelia says she is just going to live in between them. we've installed all of the cabinet safety locks and even locked ourselves out of our walk in attic with a door knob spinning cover that could keep pretty much anyone out of that area. hopefully we've taken care of everything that could be on the unseen "check list".
all of this change is apparently unsettling.
thursday night we found out that iliana (our 10 year old baby dog) no longer wants to be in her crate while we're gone, and that nothing will stop her from getting out. she some how houdinied herself out of the crate thursday night while we were at church small group by prying the metal door of her crate apart at the bottom and squeezing out of her second story doggie condo. luckily her only sustained injuries from this stunt were a small puncture wound on her inner thigh and scraping along her left rib cage and chest. friday night i thought i would outsmart her and i put 4 master locks on the crate door and we went to dinner right up the road. we were gone less than an hour and thought we'd defeated the battle of the crates when we looked into her crate and found her covered in blood. we did not know where the blood was coming from, but there was blood from her head to her feet and it was concentrated on her paws. we hurried her to the bathroom and got her into the tub to see if we could wash away the blood to see where it was coming from. initially we thought her paws were the source, but we later found that it was actually an incisor tooth pulled completely out - including the root. OUCH! the bleeding stopped after i washed her with prescription shampoo and we decided we'd call the vet in the morning vs. going to the doggie er friday night.
saturday morning i called the vet and we got the first available appointment for later that afternoon. knowing we could not leave her at home alone, we adjusted our schedule to make sure one of us was with her at all times. running errands and getting things accomplished was a lot more difficult with one person left behind at home. (we joked that this is what it would be like with an infant at home.) we had both been excited to go to gus' first birthday party later on that afternoon, but i had to leave will at the vet to wait to talk to the dr. the vet asked a series of questions and checked iliana's chart going back to april of 2009 where she had her first bouts with severe separation anxiety. my trip to india sparked the inital bout of fear, and then things settled down when i returned home. however, in april of 2010 will had his brain surgery and her anxiety spiked again. that time the vet gave us a sedative to give her to help her sleep. after one dose of that medication we determined that was not the route we wanted to go as we did not like the effect the medication had on her. however, after some time she settled back down. this time, things just seemed much worse. the vet talked with will about the escalation and the fact that small triggers can exacerbate the anxiety to cause the separation to just be too much to handle. (for example, when we did get home on friday, despite the fact she had to be in an intense amount of pain, she wagged her tail furiously, just excited that we were back home.) the vet ran some blood work, checked her kidney and liver function, and then prescribed her an anti-depressant for daily use and an anti-anxiety medication that she will take when we fear she will be under anxious circumstances. the medications will take a couple of weeks to take their full effect, so we will have to see how they will work. we are hoping this solution will work and she can get readjusted, knowing that bringing a baby home is going to be yet another huge adjustment for her.
thankfully i did have one break from errands and chaos this weekend. leaving will at the vet on saturday, i headed out to our friends for their sweet baby's 1st birthday party. i was sad that will was unable to make it to the party, especially since cathy had prepared him some "holly springs nacho dip"! it was amazing to watch gus walking around, interacting with other kids his age, and just loving every second of his party. its hard to believe in one short year that gus went from a tiny premature baby to a little one who can run around the living room and kitchen, climb up a sliding board, and chase his "girl friend" around. gus enjoyed tickling the frosting on his frog birthday cake and never really did take a chunk of cake out of the frog face without some assistance. he was content loving on the frosting and smearing it from forehead to chin. the audience all got a good chuckle out of it, and it was definitely an exciting moment that i look forward to sharing with our darling deer one day.