Friday, February 16, 2018

you think you have time

Be kind. Drink the good champagne. Drink it all while you are laughing with your friends or your family or whoever matters most to you on this earth. Plan a trip, just pick a destination and a time and put it on the calendar and go.

Call your mom. Even if you're sad, she wants to hear from you and tell you she loves you. She has always loved you, in only the way she knew to show you. Remember, at one time, you were her greatest wish.

Forgive. Forgive the woman in front of you trying to use every last coupon printed this year. Forgive her for trying to convince the cashier to honor the expired 5-for-5 coupon for her Ramen noodles. Smile at her daughter while your precious, precious time is spent here in line with strangers. Forgive your parents. They were doing the best they knew how. Forgive yourself. You're doing the best you can, too. We can do anything, but not everything.

Smile. Say hello and good morning. It may be the only nice thing someone hears all day. Say it to yourself, too. Hello. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Good night.

Wake up and try again. Every sunrise is a beautiful new beginning to the monotony of life - what a dazzling display to kick it off.

Phone a friend. Again, you think you have time. You think they have time. It's a blink. Reach out.

Let the dog up on the couch or the bed. Statistically, they have even less time than you do. What are they here for, other than to be showered with pets and love? Spoil them.

When it all gets to be too much, go do something you love. Anything. Something out there gives you joy, seek it and do it, even if only for half an hour.

Take care of your body. It has to last you a lifetime. Treat it well, feed it well, move it well, rest it well. And don't neglect your teeth and gums.

Stop beating yourself up. Let it go (let go or be dragged). You're perfect. You're a perfect human, and the thing that unites all humans is we are flawed. Know your flaws, work to improve them but stop dwelling or ruminating on them. Again, you think you have time, but I assure you, time beating yourself up is WASTED time. Fix your mistake, try harder next time, and continue to pedal along in this peloton of humanity.

Love. Just go love. Give love. Be love. Love your neighbor, even if they take it for granted you shovel their sidewalk and take out their trash. Love your coworker who tries to submarine you. Love the weird guy you see every day on your way to work, and the man asking for change on the corner. Love the person who hurts you. It is easy to love a saint and the people who bring you joy - find ways to love those who can do nothing for you, or who make your life difficult. If it makes you uncomfortable to think of a way to love the homeless man you pass every day, LEAN IN to that, as Sheryl Sandberg would say. Bring him some socks. A gift card to McDonald's, or go volunteer at the shelter. Be love. Love the sinners, not just the saints.

You think you have time.... drink up, my friends. Cheers.

Monday, January 01, 2018

2017 to 2018

Happy New Year...

The Less-than-Stellar parts of 2017:
  • Having to deal with Boss of the Year
  • An abrupt change in role at the company I work for
  • Gearbox project at work
  • Sister moving to CO (don't worry, this one worked out but when it happened I was anxious)
  • Realizing my best friend wasn't all that into me or my life anymore, and having to grieve that loss
  • My aunt got super sick at the beginning of the year
  • House in complete disarray after renovation
  • Mom's sudden power of attorney responsibilities (for a family friend) causing her a lot of stress 
    • This led to her not being in Vermont, which led to us not going to Vermont, and I really miss Vermont
  • Events surrounding Sister's wedding led to significant stress for me and Mr. Blueberry Pancakes, including grandma calling me a PIA (oh, the Italian SHAME!!!)
  • Crazy swollen feet after long flight - proof I'm getting old even though I can ride my bike over 65 miles of hills in the desert in one day
    • Incidentally this prompted a really funny Christmas present from a friend and became one of my better memories of the year
  • The appearance of a medical thing which is probably nothing but requires monitoring on 6-month intervals for the next 2 years, at a minimum
  • Having to fire the trainer I worked with for over a year because his life is derailing
  • I missed my dad a lot this year
  • It feels like my country is becoming full of self-centered narcissists, more shootings, more anger and a tense political situation
  • Not enough writing
Awesome parts of 2017:
  • Uruguay trip for DH's cousin's wedding, getting closer to that side of the family
  • Mom came to visit for Mother's Day
  • Sunshine Doggy Love was healthy and happy all year
  • I can run up to 10K once a week with no knee pain - I HAVE SO MISSED THIS!!!!
  • Sister moved to CO
  • Atlanta Memorial Day trip and seeing old friends
  • Bike MS Ride, did both days (DH did it too!!) and cemented a great friendship
  • The best burger I ever had over 4th of July at the K&K house
  • Totality in Tryon - including the near-divorce conversation surrounding our last minute decision to go for the full experience of a total solar eclipse
  • Sister wedding in Denver and everyone at our house for it
  • Munich for Oktoberfest
    • Norwegians and Swedes and Old Friends, OH MY!
    • Rocking the dirndl!
    • Biked all over town
    • 10-K running tour of Munich with friends (I will post the link to that - Christian was an awesome guide!)
    • Salted chicken, currywurst, smoked fish on a stick, sugar nuts, the best pretzels, the best every food we've ever had
    • Gemütlichkeit!
    • Planning to return
  • The Gourmet Classic Ride in Santa Fe
    • Hanging out more with T-Rita all year was a highlight, including all of them coming up to our house for Thanksgiving
      • Lounge wear is a THING and everyone should have some!
  • Super warm Thanksgiving in Denver with horseshoes at Sister's New House
  • Everyone in our immediate family was happy and healthy overall this year
  • D&B came to visit us! I feel so special that they chose to spend their time with me and Mr. BP
  • Started volunteering at the Denver Rescue Mission
  • Rekindling friendships with the Carbondale Crew - some of my favorite people on earth
    • Speaking of, two of them gave me a bottle of Hendrick's Gin as a surprise Christmas gift/thank you, and I can't believe they remembered I love that stuff... 
  • Spending Christmas with my brother, his wife and Favorite Nephew at their new house in FL
  • Spending time with all Mr. Blueberry Pancake's family in beautiful Bonita Springs
  • Finally getting on the back of some kind of motorcycle, even though it was only for 10 minutes and we didn't go over 20 miles an hour and I nearly suffocated him with my death grip around his rib cage for the first 30 seconds
  • My work project the last 6 months with El Sabor was a really fun one
    • El Sabor talked me off the ledge more times than I can count and really helped me see ways I could work with Boss of The Year - and I hold him fully responsible for the ridiculous amount of money I will spend on a good watch for myself
Looking forward to 2018:
  • I want to keep up the fun physical activities (and do even more!!) 
  • Organize some of my writing into an actual project (themed around bikes, probably)
  • Organize 2016 and 2017 photos
  • Also want to keep work going well, I'm pretty excited about my upcoming project
  • We have no travel plans, but...
    • will ski Aspen when we can
    • will bike when it gets warm, possible bike adventure somewhere?
    • We do want to go to VT
    • See a good fast car race
    • Spend more time building relationships with the people we love... which actually starts today as we head to the German New Year's Day Party at my aunt's house. (By the way, she is no longer sick, and doing very well which is another of 2017's blessings.)
Happy New Year, everyone, may 2018 be THE BEST year you have ever had.

Friday, May 05, 2017

it *might* be Christmas - in MAY!!

Today was the first day of the year that I biked to work. I LOVE riding to work. It takes just a little longer than driving, and I get a workout in. Plus, here in Colorado it's usually super beautiful out and I get to see things like the mountains, bunnies, birds of prey, new businesses in my 'hood, random stray dogs (there were three today, I was glad I was on a bike because I really wanted to take them home!) etc.

So I'm riding along, surprised at how good I feel (thank you, Katie H, who only teaches one spin class a week but totally helps me to be faster on my bike!) and thinking this is just a glorious morning (thank you, GOD!) and then I get to the part of the ride where the bike path ends and I have to ride on the road. This is a very busy stretch of road that heads north and is pretty much the only option to ride along. There is a wide sidewalk/path that parallels the road but it bends around vegetation mounds at every intersection and cars can't see you coming, so it's not really safe for bicyclists to cruise on through. I do use that path, but there is a lot of getting on and off the bike at all those crossings!

So anyhow, here I exit the bike path and roll up to the stoplight and... BEHOLD! Doth mine eyes deceive me? Across the street, directly in front of me painted on the pavement is A BICYCLE LANE!! And, oh my GOD! There is one on the SOUTH side of this busy road, too! Well God bless the City of Thornton for this wonderful gift! I was so giddy riding along that road, safe(r) in my little bike lane - shouts of joy accompanied each of the little bicyclist road graphics I rolled over. Way to go, Thornton, Colorado!

I'm not going to get into an silly metaphors or lengthy, literate descriptions to convey my love of riding my bike to work. Let's just leave it at: there are some things I really love to do, and biking to work is one of them. I've been doing it intermittently for about 15 years now, to various jobs in a myriad of urban areas. So let's just start with, just getting to ride my bicycle in today was a joy.

But there was something else making today's ride super special - it's Cinco de Mayo, which is the one day a year where I eat however many tortilla chips and drink as many margaritas as I want to. Tomorrow may be rough... May the Force be with you right into Revenge of the Fifth, but whatever, I digress. These days, I am actively trying to lose weight to be a lighter, faster bicyclist. The fact that the weather is perfect and I am able to get a good cycling workout in and mitigate some of my Cinco de Mayo indulgences is nothing short of spectacular. I have been so happy about this all week! [Incidentally I just saw a nutritionist this week and I'm pretty excited about changing up my eating habits (a whole 'nother blog) but I am also still super excited about the chips and margaritas today - olé!!]

Oh yeah, then I get to work and my coworker brought everyone Santiago breakfast burritos! So great to have some tasty green-chile covered protein ready to chomp before I hopped in the shower. (Skipped the tortilla, because, well, nutritionist.) But yeah, nom nom nom.

Christmas. In May. On Cinco de Mayo. Bike ride, bike lanes, nice coworkers, green chile, chips and margaritas... what a day, and it's not even lunch time. Happy Cinco de Mayo. 🚲 😎


Did you know? Cinco de Mayo is the anniversary of the Mexican army holding off the French army in the Battle of Puebla. It was an impressive victory, given that the Mexican army was quite small. Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated in Mexico and it's not a true American holiday, so it has a unique distinction of being a Mexican-American holiday! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

We are all Orlando

Despite a long string of bloody attacks on average Americans going through their motions of daily life over the past decade, none of us expected to hear the news of a massacre of so many of our fellow human beings Sunday morning. Today has been a particularly brutal Monday. The flags are at half-mast. The news and radio stations were full of images or audio clips of crying mothers and friends mourning their slaughtered loved ones in Orlando, and condolences and prayers for those directly affected by the tragedy have saturated all media, social or otherwise. Whether or not we were part of this attack, Americans collectively woke up to a broken morning-after, with the fear and devastation making it possibly the worst morning-after in the history of morning-afters.

As details about the tragedy came in, those of us with very little connection to the victims in Orlando felt a guilty sense of relief that this horror had happened so far away. But that relief quickly gave way to fear as we realized that just by going about our daily lives, we, too, could easily have been the target of such determined hate. Whether at church, school, a grocery store, a military base, a movie theater, a community center, an office party, a bar, at the airport or on a commercial flight - we realize that as we go through the motions of our life, we, too, could be attacked in the same senseless manner. We are forced into the scary admission that a truly horrific event – awful and crushing and terrifying - has, in effect, happened to ALL OF US. 

And then our fear began to morph into a need for action, spurring a hopeful aftermath in the wake of this awful act of violence. In the past twenty-four hours we have seen the lines of people wrapping around blood banks waiting to donate, and several of us have gone to our own local donation centers. We’ve read hateful comments toward Muslims, and been relieved to read or hear words from Muslims and Muslim leaders condemning this deeply disturbed terrorist’s actions. We’ve changed our profile pictures to stand with Orlando and the LBGT community as a whole. We’ve done online searches for how to talk to our kids about the tragedy. Petitions are circulating to get changes made to our gun laws. People are silently screaming blame on social media because there has to be some outlet for their feelings of outrage, hopelessness, helplessness and fear. And behind the sadness and the seething, beneath all our worry and fear and hand-wringing and prayers, we are all vowing that as American citizens, we will not stand for any more of this kind of violence.

And that’s just it. The vast majority of people in the United States DO NOT stand for this kind of violence. Whether we own weapons or not, 99.99 percent of Americans DO NOT CONDONE this kind of violence toward our fellow human beings and want to prevent this scenario from ever happening again. This common ground - the collective WANT to never again have to deal with a mass killing like this - unites us.

A post on social media said “Mass shootings are caused by 2 things: #1, Because someone decided to go kill a lot of people for [a multitude of reasons] but does it really f*cking matter; #2 They have guns… which one can we fix?” When you think about it, we can’t really make great strides at fixing either of those two things quickly. Both these things do indeed cause mass shootings, but if #1 is an issue, it really does f*cking matter and the means a person will use to kill a lot of people is irrelevant. That person will use their pilot’s license, their pressure cooker, some easily accessible chemicals mixed together in just the right way in the trunk of their car or whatever they can to inflict mass casualties.

Maybe the thing we really have the ability to do, even if we can't fix it totally, is to seek out a tiny shred of additional human connection with our fellow Americans near us. Our impact on each other is incredible and significant. Each of us has (for better or for worse) the ability to influence the lives of the people we come in contact with. So we can connect and engage with each other. We can introduce ourselves to our neighbors. We can call an old friend. We can talk to the people on the sidelines at our kids’ soccer games instead of scrolling through Facebook. We can volunteer to do something in our community which we enjoy – even offering to help elderly neighbors (or any neighbors!) with cleaning out their gutter since we have already taken our ladder out of the garage. We can smile at the person in line at the post office with us, and maybe introduce ourselves and start a conversation with them. We can all smile and say hello, and see where that connection can take us. Maybe nowhere, but at least we’re interacting with other humans at the most basic level of life. We are all in this together and at the end of the day, none of us are getting out alive.

I love America, it is a great nation which is full of GOOD PEOPLE. There are literally hundreds of millions of wonderful individuals living here doing so many good and kind and helpful things, building and maintaining an excellent way of life for each other – providing reliable electricity, access to clean water, an abundant food supply, a network of highways, easy access to medical care, law enforcement and emergency services, churches, schools, colleges, businesses, and so much more. I am heartbroken that yet again, another violent tragedy has unfolded upon us. I am so sorry for the victims, their family and friends. A suffocating darkness covered all of us on Sunday morning. But we are each small glimmers of light that can pierce that oppressive cloak and ultimately obliterate it. Comedian John Oliver acknowledged the terrorist’s failed attempt to crush the American spirit on air, and while doing so he said I will happily embrace a Latin night at a gay club at the theme park capital of the world as the ultimate symbol about what is truly wonderful about America.” I agree, and I smile at that spear of sunshine he offered to all of us.

There is so much light coming from this tragedy. As Americans who never want to see such violence again, let’s be proactive with that light. Let’s resume actually engaging with our neighbors, our church and school communities, our coworkers, all the other humans we come into contact with each day. We can all start with a smile and a “Hello, how are you today?” As we strengthen our connection to each other we can positively and significantly impact the lives of those around us. This was a terrible, brutal Monday and we are all broken in some way because of Sunday’s tragedy, but let us take that love and light we are all sharing and KEEP SHARING it. Let’s connect with each other in spite of our differences  - and little by little it may work to prevent something like the Orlando Pulse massacre from ever happening again. Where we go one, we go all, so let’s all walk toward the light.

Monday, June 06, 2016

writing prompts

I am stealing this template (and modifying it slightly) from a writer friend who is a real inspiration. NCJoy, when you see this... imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I promise to set up my own template this month!


last week

"La terra `e un paradiso. L'inferno `e non accorgersene."
"Earth is a paradise. Hell is not realizing it." 
    - Jorge Luis Borges

Mr. Blueberry Pancakes and I have been married for five years. The last week was spent with old friends, family which was married into, things I [thought I didn't] want to do, whales, bagels and brews, beautiful people and spectacular scenery in both California and Colorado. I feel like I've once again figured out how to Liz It Up.

about last week
the week's intention: enjoy
the week's gratitude: old friends
what I'm reading: Rick Steve's Italy
spent the holiday weekend with fam in The OC
watched the 100th Running of the Indy 500 + Alexander Rossi for the win
cuban lunch with nieces + in-laws +cousins, oh my!
caught up with an old friend + new baby
flowers + chocolate + card from our favorite family of friends
productive 3-day work week + consultant Friday (hooray!!)
champagne  + cruiser bikes + Aspen, CO = awesome 5-year anniversary party
random friends staying at our hotel + getting married... again!! 
Sunday drive over Independence Pass
springtime in the rockies 
DoberLove got a bath

looking west from outside Leadville, CO

for this week
  finalize Paris apartment
weights + whole food consciousness + trip to the grocery store
give myself a french manicure
spin class with D + bike to/from work + lunchtime ride (with or without Super G)
catch up with Ayla's parents 
mail presents

Thursday, September 03, 2015

the Doggy Love gets BLOAT

Below is a post I wrote on a forum regarding a really scary experience with Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), or "bloat" as it is commonly called.  If you are a dog owner, please educate yourself on the condition and know the signs, and keep GasX on hand in case your dog starts displaying symptoms. I am positive that saved Marco - at the very least, it bought us some time to get him to the vet where they could really save him!

Hello, Friends.

Some of you may remember me, if not, I am Liz, I live in Denver and have a 4-year old male Doberman named Marco (or Marco Barko as my neighbors love to call him) and he is one of the great loves of my life. When my husband and I adopted this adorable puppy, he was my third dobe and my husband’s first, but for both of us it was the first time either of us had raised a puppy without our moms and dads to help (and do all the work). At that time I found this community which, as you may well know, was SO HELPFUL and supportive, and I can’t say enough good about the place! With the advice of many members here, we were able to make sure Marco grew up into a model dober-citizen. Now, four years later, I haven’t been on here to check in much, though I have popped in a few times when I could.

I am here today because Marco got bloat, or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) this past Friday. I cannot thank the members of this community enough for providing me with education about that condition when I first came here after getting Marco, and it is because of what I learned here at DCF that I have always kept GasX on hand – that probably saved Marco’s life on Friday night. I am so very thankful I knew the symptoms and knew where to go – HERE – when I thought he might be exhibiting those symptoms. So this website and the time you are spending here getting educated is saving your dog’s life in the future, if it hasn’t done so already! You may not be aware of it now but I’m here to tell you that is the case!!

I am going to share the story of what happened to Marco so you can file it away in your memory in case you ever need it, God forbid. Like me, you may wonder “How would I ever KNOW it was bloat?” Well, you won’t know for sure, but I want to tell you my experience in case it might help you, should you find yourself in a similar situation down the road.

Marco is a pretty typical Doberman male, but is by far the sweetest most docile dobe I have had. My other two were females, I thought he’d be more hard-headed than they were, but he’s not. He is a JOY and is very, very sweet. He’s also a WILD MAN and by that I mean, this dog will not settle down, ever. He’s four and people think he’s a puppy! He stayed at a kennel for a week and they put him in with the puppies, then the guy checking him out was like “how old is your pup?” and I said “Four” and the almost fell on the floor and said “GOOD LORD! I thought he was one, I was going to tell you it gets better and they calm down!” We all laughed about it. But that is how Marco is… super energetic but also SUPER SWEET.

On Friday Marco went to doggie day care in the morning. My husband picked him up around 5PM and he was his usual sprightly self, but when they got home, Marco didn’t want dinner – WARNING SIGN NUMBER ONE. Marco will never, ever miss a meal. I was in the middle of making a wedding cake and there were some cake remnants on the dining table, apparently Marco got some of them as he ran into the house. He probably ate maybe two regular-sized (not too big) pieces – less of an amount of food than he has for dinner (he is fed twice a day). But Marco NEVER gets sugar at all, so my husband thought maybe Marco's stomach was upset due to the sugar - but we both thought him skipping dinner was weird.

We took him out in the backyard, he was super excited and wanted to play, so we did but a few minutes into play time he laid down suddenly and just stopped – WARNING SIGN NUMBER TWO, laying down during play is odd behavior for our dog. At this point I actually thought to myself ‘Now that’s really weird…’ because, for Marco, it is – he will never, EVER stop play, not even if a freak thunderstorm shows up!!! At this point I recognized he was uncomfortable. And I thought “Oh my gosh, I wonder if he has bloat?” I looked at his abdomen / ribs / waist and it was a little big, but he was laying down and I couldn’t say for sure that it was a lot bigger or anything. But Marco wouldn’t get up for a few minutes, even with coaxing him with his favorite toys. When he finally did get up after 10 or so minutes, he took 3 steps and laid down again. I went inside and got GasX and gave it to him. THIS DEFINITELY BOUGHT US TIME AND IS ONE OF THE THINGS WHICH MAY HAVE SAVED HIS LIFE, I (and the vet) can say this in hindsight. The GasX was expired but it did still work, shortly after Marco took it he started burping. He was able to walk around again, and wanted to play a little bit more.OK. Dog seems not great, but fine..." I thought, and we went on with our evening.

Then about 30 minutes later we took him into the house to try to give him dinner again. He was still not interested, but otherwise behaving normally. This is about an hour after he came home, so this is a one-hour time span so far that we had our eyes on him. During that time, he drank water. He had gone pee and poop out while we were playing in the yard. About 15 minutes after the second dinner attempt, he threw up a small amount on the carpet. The throwing up was a relief to me. I figured now he’ll probably start feeling better. We thought maybe it really was just the sugar in the cake reacting to him. But 15 minutes after he threw up, he tried to throw up and nothing came out. And then he started pacing – WARNING SIGNS NUMBERS THREE AND FOUR. The retching with no vomit and the pacing continued on and off for the next few hours.

I still could not tell for sure whether Marco's abdomen was distended, BUT I did notice that his narrow waist area, back near his hind legs, was kind of filling in down toward the floor. 'Maybe this is bloat, maybe not?' I wasn’t sure, but it looked like he had less of that nice tuck where the underside of his chest goes toward his back legs. There was definitely a difference, but I would not say it was an obvious one. I came here to DCF to look at the symptoms for bloat, Marco was in line with all of them EXCEPT his demeanor (other than the pacing) was pretty normal - he was kind of puppyish, very alert, attentive and expressive with his face. So I didn’t want to jump the gun and take him to the vet, and I’d given him the Gas-X. At this point it was about 10PM, and he sort of laid down to go to sleep, so my husband and I went to bed, too.

But then Marco kept waking us up whining, so we invited him to jump in the bed, but he just stood there and whined – MORE WARNINGS, as Marco will never turn down an opportunity to sleep in our bed and just stand there whining. Patrick took him outside and again, Marco tried to throw up but couldn’t. I decided to sleep with him in his doggie room, and an hour went by and Marco never calmed down, was just pacing, and then he laid on the floor and started whining. At that point, when he started whining, I knew... I thought “Oh God, this is definitely bloat, I’m taking him to the ER” It was 2:00AM.

So we arrive to the emergency clinic and Marco goes BOUNDING in like the crazy four year old puppy he is, wagging his tail and body like a mad man as if to yell to everyone ‘WE ARE ON AN ADVENTURE!!! WE JUST HAD A 3AM CAR RIDE!!!! THERE ARE DOGGY AND KITTY SMELLS EVERYWHERE IN HERE!!!!! Mom, this is SO GREAT!!!’ The receptionist asks me why I brought him in, and I say “I’m pretty sure he’s got GDV – bloat.” She gives me this look like 'Yeah, right, lady, you’re an idiot.’ And she says “Well…. that’s a *REALLY serious* condition.” So I tell her I know that, and while he looks fine right now he’s extremely energetic in general, and I promise he was not himself and I’m certainly not one to just show up at the emergency vet at 3AM, and he definitely has all the signs. So we go through everything, then I go through it with a nurse and yep, they think it’s bloat, they do xrays and yep, his stomach is huge and twisted…. But only twisted halfway.

Surgery can save him… but they want to make sure this is what’s going on because, again, he is not ‘presenting himself’ with the demeanor of a bloated dog. I opt to leave him there for the night because they say they want to see if his stomach will go back to normal, and they can monitor him closely because if it really is bloat and it rotates all the way, he will deteriorate really fast and they will be able to start the surgery right away if they have to.

Well morning comes and they call to say he’s no better or worse, but the doc wants to open him up because his stomach is still twisted halfway around. They’ll tack it (gastroplexy) while he’s under. Ok, let’s do it. They call me in the middle of the procedure – back when Marco was one, he had swallowed socks and needed surgery to remove them from his intestines. Ironically because of the way they had to stitch up his intestines during that procedure, it probably prevented Marco’s stomach from completely turning in this bloat incident. (It also prompted us to BUY PET INSURANCE – and I’ve been on the phone with PetPlan and this whole thing will be covered, thank GOD as it is NOT CHEAP!!!) But the doc wanted to talk about the previous surgery, and tell me that unfortunately Marco’s spleen was now damaged so it had to be taken out, which was just fine with me, I just wanted him to come out ALIVE!!!

In any case, he got through the surgery on Saturday and the staff at the clinic were so complimentary toward me that I knew what to do, they said the GasX was a really good move, as was bringing him in even though he was behaving sort of normally, mentally. My husband was thrilled that I ‘saved Marco's life’ but really, I just knew what to look for and that it was super serious, so when in doubt, do what you think is best. I did that. I’m glad.

Marco is not out of the woods yet. He came home Sunday afternoon, but getting him into the car was pretty traumatic. He was screaming. He made it, though. Back at our house he didn’t feel well, obviously, and he laid down for a bit but then he started pacing again. And his stomach/abdomen looked a lot bigger. SO I called the clinic, they had me bring him back. They xrayed him and examined him, said there is a lot of air, but it’s not uncommon, his stomach was normal sized and still in the position they put it in, so that was good. They gave him an extra pain injection and then sent him home with me to monitor. He did go to sleep when we got home. Yesterday morning, however, the clinic called and said to bring him in, another doctor had looked at the xrays and didn’t like the looks of it, he was too swollen/distended. So I went back Monday morning for the third time, LIVID because getting him in/out of the car is obviously terribly painful for him. They did help me get him out of the car.

They pulled a liter of air out of his abdomen and did some tests. They weren't sure how the air is getting in there, if it’s coming in through the incision or if there is a leak or tear in his GI tract, which could be causing an infection. He stayed there under observation yesterday, they ‘sealed him a little better’ by covering the incision with ointment and a plastic bandage, so no air can get in. They took more air out before they did that, and continued monitoring to see if any more air shows up, which it did. So that indicates an infection or some other issue with his GI tract, and they’re now taking him in to surgery again to go in and find the leak. So I’m sort of worried now… I really just want him to be ok, he’s only 4 and very healthy otherwise… I’m happy that I was able to get him to them in time, but now with the complications I can only hope and pray he comes out of it ok, there isn’t any more to be done, I guess, except come here and share my gratitude for the existence of this community! THANK YOU, DOBERMAN CHAT FORUM AND ALL YOUR WONDERFUL, HELPFUL MEMBERS!

Other than that, things have been great, Marco is a happy dog and we just recently bought him his own doggy trailer so we can pull him behind us when we ride! Below are pics of him with my husband taking him around the backyard to get used to the trailer – I hope he gets out of the hospital soon so we can do this again!!

I guess overall I just want to say if you even THINK your dog might have bloat, give them Gas-X. Keep some with you in your car, your purse, anytime the dog is with you. Also keep in mind, in the back of your head, if your dog retches repeatedly but nothing comes up, it might be bloat. If your dog paces continuously and whines like they are uncomfortable, it might be bloat. If your dog lays down or crouches and won’t move, no matter what you try to coax it up with, it might be bloat. Be safe and give it some GasX, and even if they behave like their normal self, if these symptoms don’t go away TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE VET AND TELL THEM YOU THINK IT HAS BLOAT. Even if the dog prances through the doors of the clinic and wags his tail and licks everyone and seems otherwise normal, the staff will take you seriously once you describe what is going on. Don’t wait.

I’ll keep you all posted on Marco… I’m so thankful this forum exists, thank you all for being part of it and caring and helping first-timers like myself! J I don’t wish this on anyone but if you ever find yourself wondering if your dog has bloat, I hope what you have read in this post will help you save your best friend.

PS Marco came home last weekend and is doing great! His surgery for removing the septic infection went really well, he stayed in the ICU a few days to recover and is now back with us and acting like his normal crazy four-year-old-puppy self! His stitches come out Saturday.

Here is a good link to some info about GDV / Bloat:

Friday, October 24, 2014


You know that feeling you get when you look online at Facebook and see that so-and-so was visiting your town and you realize they didn't call you?  Or how about when you see a photo of three of your good friends laughing together, attending a show you wanted to see, and wonder why you weren't asked to join them?  Or when you are out at lunch with a friend and they tell you all about the fun they had seeing the whole gang at the party last weekend and ask why you weren't there and all you can say is "No one told me about it."

For me, the reaction to all of the above is ouch. I wish I weren't so sensitive. And I wish I had better immediate introspection, such as

Liz, you haven't called that person, not even on their birthday, in over three years.

Liz, you bailed on the last two shows with that group because of work/biking/whatever.

Liz, you WERE invited to that party but forgot about it.

Ummmmmmmmmm.... apparently I'm a terrible friend. OUCH. More like OW OW OW OW OW OWWWW OUCH!!!  This pain is crazy, make it STOP!!!!!! But then...

The truth is, I wish I could be a great friend to everyone. I really do. If you've ever been in my life for more than a two-month period, it means I really, really like you - and I probably still do, and I probably resent that I can't be a great friend to you now because I liked you so much. I probably miss you. A lot. I probably think of you incredibly often, like when I see a glittery scarf or a picture of a rowing shell or a piece of cheesecake or a Waffle House sign or Oliver Hudson (he's on Nashville now, which I watch, which I KNOW you would be at my house watching with me, The OC style, every week if we were living in the same town!) And I think of you WHENEVER I drink a Coca Cola product whether it has your name on it or not. And while I'm building my table, I am thinking about you and wishing I could see you more often. Every concert I'm wishing you were there dancing, too. I light candles at my house because you did it and I loved it so I do it too, and I miss you! Whenever I see my kitchen knives, I think of how you hid one under the couch in case crazy ex boyfriend got a little too crazy and showed up. And so many millions of every day other things make me think of you. So. Many. Miracles. So. Much. Missing.

So, yeah, sometimes seeing pictures or hearing stories about things you are doing in your life makes me sad that I'm not part of it anymore. But I'm happy to see you are having a good time, and I love watching your kids grow up because without Facebook that probably wouldn't happen at all. I hope you know that if you were ever on My Island before, you've still got a beach chair available there any time you want to come back and catch up. And on My Island from now on I'll probably be on Facebook less so that I can start calling you and planning trips to see you, so that I can tell you how I rode my bike in the freezing rain and it made me think of that time we were in the boat at Head of the Connecticut getting hypothermia the same way! And then I'm going to call my fellow bike riders and suggest we meet again where we can STAY DRY and get to know each other a little more, because, hey, they're on My Island now!

And just like that, no more ouch. Thanks for being one of my miracles.