Friday, January 24, 2014

Lots Happening

I've been making jewelry, some successful designs, some not.  Also, I've been cleaning up old vintage jewelry for sale.

Lots Happening

I'm trying to use Facebook each day, in a combination of teaching people some basics about some of us with disabilities, advertising, and gently asking some questions, like why are people with disabilities only valuable in utero?  On this blog I can be rude and just say "You can't have it both ways!"  But I was warned by a couple of friends that Facebook can get pretty nasty.  So, unfortunately, I don't just say what I think. 

Actually though, I really Would like to know how other people who disagree with me understand their world, Only If it doesn't turn into preaching a point of view or a put down contest.  I have never seen Anyone change their mind from an "argument for argument's sake".  To me that seems like a sport which too often degenerates into bitter and hurt feelings at the least, and the division of families at the most.  I'm not willing to play that sport.

I made a mistake about six weeks ago, adopting a shelter dog.  The mistake I made was I wanted to avoid facing future fear and pain.  My thirteen year-old dog ran away on an unusually nice day and I live near a very busy street.  As I sat on the porch shaking his pan and calling I was Terrified of hearing him get hit by a car and begin screaming in pain.  I got him back because he was wearing his colar with a rabies tag and his name plus my phone number on it!  But it took an hour and a half of my friend who saw him slip out the door with us looking. 

I realized during that time how afraid I would feel and how lonely I would be without a dog.  Instead of just facing those feelings I decided to get another dog. 

He is a larger than Beagle sized Beagle mix and he's so happy all of the time he bounces like a dropped, uncooked, Bean, which is his name.  He's the colors of a raw pinto bean.

In the shelter he was the Only dog Not barking.  But whenever I walked past his cage even I could hear his tail begin thumping.  When I petted him it thumped double time.

My older dog is helping Bean with obedience training (Oh, so This is how you get a treat) which I knew would happen.

I was told Bean had never had an accident and was completely house broken.

For the First two weeks this was true.  In the third week he began peeing in the house, I Hate that!  I called the vet who said it was probably a behavior problem and maybe this was Why he was a shelter dog.

I only had four weeks to decide whether or not to keep this dog.  In the fourth week I took him to the vet and learned that his urine was far too alkaline.  Most common cause, urinary tract infection, fixable with antibiotics.  After the first week of meds. My time to return him was up, he was no better, but I had grown attached to him and the vet recommended stronger meds.  He has been on those for a week.

I don't know if he's better.  To clean up puddles I smell I have to Feel around the stinky area for them, oh joy!  I tried diapering him and he magically got out of the one I made with an old towel.  Dog diapers are Extremely Expensive!

So I got a spray for outdoor use to keep dogs and cats away from young trees and gardens.  I'm using it indoors, as it does nothing noticeable to the carpet, and Bean Hates it!  Yesterday I enjoyed my First Peeless day in Weeks!  Of course, I shut the door to room containing this computer and dolls, he may be braving the Ortho right now!  Hope Not!

Moral of that story, Face Down your Fears!

I'm working on a Native style outfit for one 18 inch doll, a Valentine's Day outfit for another, nearly finished.

Then there is OJ.  In 2005 I'd finished chemotherapy in June but was still tired and cranky at the end of August when there was a bird show in town.  Ann wanted to go and went.  She came back with a "rock 'n roll" canary who had been fed dyed food so that he was a Brilliant peachy orange.  We named him OJ.  I had no idea Ann might come back with a bird friend for me.  I expected she might pick one for herself.

But she spent time listening for one she thought I would like.  We stopped feeding dyed food, as it cuts a bird's live approximately in half.  But even after OJ became yellow (normal canary color) he had a peachy cast to his feathers.

I've already written about how OJ took the song of his finch buddy Rafi, and added it to his own song after Rafi died. 

After Ann brought OJ home we found him a girlfriend named Fuzhead because she had a top knot of feathers which drooped down around her head and face.  We had the feeling she wasn't well after a short while and took her to a bird vet.  The vet who is very good couldn't find anything wrong.

But it turned out that Fuzhead was carrying a disease called "canary pox" which is not curable.  When she went blind OJ was her Seeing Eye Bird.  She would call out and he would keep answering until she found him.

She died in 2010 or early 2011, I don't remember for sure.  Well this disease is transmitted to other canaries through physical contact.

I gave OJ medication in his water which helped him stay healthy and prolonged his life.  But somehow, probably because he was completely blind in one eye, he broke a wing. M He went to the vet Wednesday of this week and she said the only antibiotic which would target the bacteria infecting his wing would have to be given to him orally, twice a day.

This would mean catching him, risking more damage to his wing, and trying to get a tiny needleless syringe into his beak twice daily.  Ann had done things like this, I cannot.

The vet said euthanizing him was a serious consideration, given the circumstances, and after an inner struggle I agreed.

OJ was the last bird friend I had and the last bird Ann and I shared.  I have come to dislike Winter a lot since Ann died in it and the time of year she died is approaching. 

OJ and I whistled back and forth this week, whenever the sun came out.  I learned his song and Rafi's and whistled it back to him.  Sometimes we'd "sing" like that for forty-five minutes or so and I can't believe he was still singing when the sun popped out on the day he died.  That is why I did not know anything was wrong.  But the untreated infection would have killed him and I couldn't treat it.  And canary pox would eventually kill him, like it had his girlfriend.

When the vet offered to send back his cage I Knew I didn't want to see that Empty cage.  She said sometimes people brought in injured wild birds and that this smallish cage would be good to keep these birds in while they healed.  That was a good way not to get the cage back so I told her to keep it.

I learned so much from living with little birds, about interspecies friendships among certain kinds of birds, about what I can only call their "feelings" (as when OJ made sounds for Fuzhead) and about how viciously they can fight over mates.

I won't know when the sun is out now, without going outside, my weather bird isn't here.  I keep hearing him in my mind in the mornings, and am both sad and comforted.  Haven't worked up the courage to wipe down the cart his cage rested on in front of the most sunny window in the house yet.  But since I can't care for birds properly alone, I am giving bird supplies away.  

It is thanks to Ann that I got to have the experience of having birds and thanks to her that when I can't hear the ones outside from indoors, she was interested enough to learn about them with me and agreed to bring some indoors for me to enjoy!

I could help scrub their cages, feed and water them.  But it was Ann who caught them, described for me what they were doing, (the introduction of a new bird, or the hierarchy of perches they slept on at night, top perch for king of the cage and "nonscrunchers") Scrunchers are birds who like to be touching other birds when they go to sleep.  And only Ann could give them medicine.  So I thank her and all of the birds who brightened my life and taught me.  I thank all friends who helped me care for them when Ann was gone!

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