I just noticed that Rachel Lucas had a post up about her boyfriend Rupert's dad, Joe. Looks like Joe had a nasty collision while riding his motorcycle. For those of you who pray, please add Joe to your prayer list. And if you're not the prayin' kind, at least send along your well wishes. All will be greatly appreciated.
Update: More here.
I've been working with the health department these last 11 days to try and figure out the best way to isolate my dog for the required quarantine period. What we've decided is to build a pen inside of our garage. It's on a concrete slab and has four secure walls. My wife and I completed about 75% of the pen last night; my father-in-law will come by to help this weekend. Hopefully we can call Animal Control on Monday to ask for a pen inspection. If they sign off on it, my boy can come back home. It's going to be hard on bothm Diego and us, but I'm hopeful that all of us will work into a good routine within the first month or so.
I've been missing his doggie smile something fierce. And while I won't be able to wrestle him for another 169 days, I'll be able to keep him company, which should help. I hope.
Anyway, I'll start a new category pretty soon which will consist entirely of pet care during extended isolation. It should be tremendously popular to my readers.
Hey, what do you know? This is post number 2,000. Man, that's a lot of wasted pixels.
My week started off with a bang. Around 4:00 a.m. Monday morning, one of my dogs awakened me with some ferocious barking. To be sure, Diego is very protective of his yard, house and family. He will bow-wow at people across the street in their backyards, just so they know that they aren't welcome. But to us, he's just a happy 90+ pound puppy.
Anyway. I stepped out back onto the deck and saw Diego barking his head off and dancing around part of the fence about 20 feet away, trying to get at something. All I could see in the dim light was something furry, but I could heard snarling, growling and spitting. I thought at first that it might be a bobcat, so I flipped on the backyard light. Instead, I saw the angriest raccoon that I've ever seen. A second later, it jumped off of the fence onto my dog's head.
I might have mentioned that Diego is a big lovable puppy, albeit a protective one. This tactic caught him off guard for a brief instant, during which the raccoon bit him on the muzzle and jumped back onto the fence. I started chucking heavy things at the raccoon; I've got a pretty good arm, but I didn't score a direct enough hit to knock the damned thing off. However, when it raced along the fence towards me, I smacked it pretty good with a deck chair, at which point it raced away.
I called my dog over to check him out. Except for the blood on his muzzle, he seemed fine. And I knew from his calm demeanor that Osama bin Raccoon had left the building. As I cleaned off his wound, though, it hit me: the raccoon that bit my dog must have had rabies. So I confined him in the garage and called animal control.
The AC guy who came out was quite sympathetic to our problem. He also informed me of my options in the matter. For those of you not living in Virginia, those options might be different, but my guess is that they're similar. And they are:
Since nothing says "I love you" to someone quite like killing them because it's the easiest way out, I'm looking at option number 2, or more specifically 2a. As it turns out, Diego's vaccinations were a couple of months overdue. What's even worse is that we had an appointment at the vet's office for Tuesday morning.
I spoke to the health department and they sent me a copy of the requirements for the pen within a pen. I'll be headed to Home Depot with the plans to figure out what the cost of materials will be. Doesn't really matter, as I'll be building the effing thing regardless.
I asked the Animal Control guy if any places around here could house an isolated animal for 6 months. He mentioned that the pound could do it, but that his boss would be unlikely to approve such a request due to the large number of animals flowing through the pound. So it's on to construction of a big fucking cage that my dog will, best case, have to live in for 6 months without any of the family being able to touch him. Considering how gregarious he is, Diego could suffer some serious emotinal traumua because he'll think that he's being punished. Or he could be fine when he comes out and still want to give me some of his good loving kisses which, truthfully, I don't feel that I deserve right now.. Worst case, of course, is that he goes rabid anyway and I'll have to put him down.
So that's where I am. A crazy ass animal attacks a four-legged member of the family and gets away, and the victim gets rewarded with long term isolation and possible execution. And my family will get to watch him suffer in a cage during that time without being able to rub his tummy and make him feel better.
I just want him to be okay. He deserves better than this.
Update: Anyone else in the state of Virginia would be well advised to read this document and the associated attachments.
Update: I found this article from 13 years ago in which a family puppy was bitten before the mandatory vaccination had been given. The family member volunteered for 3 post-exposure rabies vaccines so that she could play with the dog and keep him people friendly. I've left a message for the public health supervisor about the article, inquiring in that would be a possibility for me. Yes, I know about the entire series of shots and where they're administered, but I'm perfectly willing to go through with it if it will keep my dog happy while he's incarcerated. To be fair, it would make me happy to be able to play with him, too. Hopefully that hasn't been outlawed yet in the interest of "protecting the people".
I'll provide updates as they occur.
Your monoey, your time. It all counts.
Over at Wizbang, Paul gives us glimpse from the inside, and some good advice to boot:
If you do something to help the victims, ping this post... If there is a lot of people helping out, Kevin will set up a post with the links. (I just volunteered him ;)
Think about it for a second from my chair... (I'm not whining but) I'm almost 40 years old.... Here is the sum total of all my worldly possessions: 4 pairs of shorts, 5 shirts, 2 pairs of shoes, 4 pairs of underwear, 1 pair of blue jeans, a box of family pictures, 2 flashlights, a piece of trench art my grandfather brought back from WWI and my father's hammer. (Hey, it means a lot to me!) That's it. Everything else is gone. And BTW, I'm unemployed.
I tell you that not to whine but to let you see the tree thru the forest. Multiply my situation by about a million. Stop and think about that... A million people homeless and unemployed.
If you're a blogger then (by near definition) you're a self proclaimed talented person. Prove it. They'll be plenty of time for punditry and pontification next month... In the mean time there is work to be done. Figure out how to help the victims.
Please (for the sake of all of us who actually understand the situation) please stop whining about the evacuation. It was a stunning success. Please stop saying that the levee at 17th street and Canal St. broke... There's no such place. (and no, FOXNews, even if there was such a place, I assure you, it would be on the south side of the lake and not the north side of the lake where you showed it on your map)
So here it is in a nutshell... Let's get some work done and play Monday morning quarterback sometime in early 2006. There's about million or so of us who would prefer it that way.
Glenn Reynolds and Michelle Malkin have a multitude of links to help the disaster victims. And Capital One is hosting another telethon this Friday, September 2, much like they did after 9/11 and the tsunami. If you're not sure where to send your money, they might be able to help.