Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ham Stand

Guess who stands for ham? Paolo takes a stand for ham. He did a ham stand! Imagine if I offer him ham & cheese? The possibilities are endless!

Help Has Arrived

Carrie, Heather and Max came down from Tennessee for the weekend to help clean up after the major shitstorm that has swept through our lives.  First it was Paolo’s injury and then we lost both of our cars within two weeks of each other.  Carrie and Heather came down to lend a much needed hand.   They generously helped out around the house (picking up dog shit) and with the kids (allowing Trent and I to sleep in and take naps!) and with the dogs (walking Paolo on his sling & taking Bruco to the vet for an ear infection).  Also Carrie, being the saint that she is, left us her car to borrow until we get back on our feet.  We’re so thankful to have family to lean on during times like these.  Thank you Carrie and Heather!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Paolo's Progress

It’s been one month since Paolo’s injury. Paolo is making progress and we’re feeling pretty confident that he falls into that 70% chance of recovery from spinal surgery. He’s wagging his tail, he’s moving his right leg, he’s able to control his bladder (mostly), he can stand with some assistance and he can walk a few steps with a sling.  Those are pretty significant strides for a dog that was paraplegic one month ago. He is a fighter and he has a will to live.

I first met Paolo as an emaciated, flea ridden puppy in a boatyard in Sicily six years ago.  He’d been hit by a car and his mouth was taped shut with medical tape. The man in the boatyard, Salvatore, said he’d been dumped there and I should take him or he would die. After a lot of tears and an argument with Trent, Paolo came home with us. The vet told me that Paolo had a severely deformed nose and a massive respiratory infection and probably wouldn’t make it through the week.  

Fast forward six years, 2 children, 2 countries, 3 cities and 4 homes.  I wake up to find that Paolo’s fall off the bed the previous day was more serious than I thought.  He’s paralyzed and he needs a very expensive surgery that I can’t afford.  I’m faced with taking out a loan or putting Paolo down.  While I’m left in the room alone with Paolo to “think about it”, I say to Paolo, “Damn you!  This isn’t how it’s supposed to end.  You’re supposed to grow old with me.  Please tell me what you want me to do?”  And he just looked up at me with those same eyes from the boatyard and said, “Save me!”      
I know some of you think I’m crazy for the choice I made. Someone said to me, “Wow, you’re a better person than me. I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather spend $6,000 on than a dog!” I have two things to say to that person. 1. Yes, I am a better person than you. 2. Paolo may be just a dog to you but to me he’s someone that I share my home and my bed with. He is family. He is my child. He is my friend. He was there beside me on the bathmat when I peed on a stick and learned I was pregnant with my first child, he welcomed two babies into our family, he cuddled me through several periods of debilitating depression, he has greeted me at the door everyday with ridiculous enthusiasm even when I’ve just stepped out to check the mail, he has witnessed many trials and tribulations in our family. To me Paolo is not just a dog. He is part of my life story and that chapter isn’t over yet.  

Valentine's Day

Within two weeks of paying an exorbitant amount of money for Paolo’s surgery both of our cars died (and by died I mean beyond repair!) so needless to say money is a little tight.  Instead of gifts this year, I made the kids coupons for Valentine’s Day.  The coupons are for things that are free but appreciated like television on a school night, breakfast in bed, sleepover with mom and dad, etc—and these were a bigger hit than any box of chocolates.
For Rya and Currier's classmates, we made these personalized Valentine's.  Thank you Pintrest for this adorable idea!   

Football Season Finale

Another football season down.  Another medal.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beer Tea Party

Rya asked me if I wanted to have a tea party with beers. I said, "Hell yeah, that's my kind of tea party girlfriend!" and Trent clarifed that she meant "teddy bears" I retorted, "Oh, forget it then!"

Face Painting

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Oh Paolo!

I was going through some old pictures and videos of Paolo through the years and found this gem.  Not sure what's funnier—Paolo humping Currier or my Muttley laugh at the end.