Friday, February 21, 2014

Update on Buster and Lady

I haven't had a post dedicated to them in a while, and now's a good time to do it since we had their well dog checks yesterday.

4.5 years ago when we adopted them and met their foster family to pick them up for our trip home, their foster mom gave us some good advice: "Don't overstuff Buster."  I knew from the pictures that Buster was a bit on the bulkier side, and it didn't take long to figure out that he's highly food motivated.  Lady was tall and long, but very lean since she had the energy of a roadrunner on high doses of caffeine.  I can say without a doubt that I never thought the tables would be turned and it would be Lady who was the one being overstuffed!

Buster's maintained his weight well, and is just over 22 lbs.  Lady, on the other hand, gained a whopping 5 lbs since last year's check, and tipped the scales at 27 lbs 7 oz.  We've had some issues with her bullying Buster for his dinner, so we're going to have to go back to feeding them separately so she stops doing that.  Of course having a 3 year old who thinks it's hilarious to toss food to them whenever she thinks I'm not looking isn't helping either.

Besides the weight issue, Lady's been having a lot of problems with her eye, and we're at the point that we knew would eventually come.  There's basically zero tear production in there anymore.  There was barely any production there to begin with, but the artificial tears aren't cutting it and her eye is dry within 5-10 minutes of an application regardless of how often I apply it (and right now, it's rather frequent since the air's so dry).  We got a stronger drop that's lubricating her eye more, and I noticed a huge difference this morning.  We're still doing the artificial tears in between applications on the stronger drops, but I'm hoping this will help minimize some of the inflammation and keep a good amount of moisture in her eye.

It really wasn't a bad appointment, and overall both dogs are healthy and doing well.  They got their booster shots, and we're going to go back in a month for the heartworm clinic so we can start the Heartguard for the year.

Monday, February 10, 2014

An Open Letter To Mr. Tim Armstrong

I saw this story on the news this weekend, and was not pleased.  I feel compelled to write this open letter as a result:

To Mr. Tim Armstrong:
Wow.  I am appalled at the statements you made at your town hall meeting regarding the cuts in benefits to your employees at AOL.  Cuts are not, unfortunately, an uncommon occurrence these days, but the comments you gave as your reason?  Gross.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you are probably among the fortunate people who have never gone through the hell of the NICU, because I cannot fathom that someone who has gone through that hell like my husband and I have would make such un-empathetic statements that are borderline violations of privacy.

Who cares how much your precious company had to compensate for benefits for the families who had preemies/critically ill babies in the NICU?  THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS OUT OF ANYONE'S CONTROL.  No one sits down in the morning, at, say, 29 weeks pregnant and thinks it's a grand idea to deliver their baby right then or within the next couple of days, nor do they do this to think about how they can drive up insurance costs for everyone else.  It is something that happens, something that devastates parents and other family members of the tiny baby fighting for his or her life in an environment they should not be in yet.  To imply that the families who had children in the NICU is a big reason why you're making cuts, and to point the finger at them indirectly, is disgusting!

Would you make the same implications over one of your employees who is dealing with a cancer diagnosis, either for themselves or for a family member that is a dependent on their policy?  How about the family that is dealing with a loved one who has kidney failure and needs regular dialysis while they're waiting for a transplant?  The list of conditions that can happen to ANYONE goes on, and so many of them cost millions of dollars to treat.  Yet you think it's totally cool to act like the tool that you've proved you are by making the comments you did against something that is out of people's control!

What disturbs me even more are the other "higher ups" in big corporations who think just like you, yet haven't spoken out.  Maybe they'll learn a lesson from your mistake.  I hope everyone who thinks like you will learn from you, and will gain at least a little bit of empathy for those who are struggling day in and day out, and who are living with the unknown, not knowing if their next breath will be their last.

I'm grateful that my husband's place of employment hasn't indirectly pointed a finger at us for "driving up" healthcare costs for other employees.  God knows we've had plenty of bills with staggering numbers, but I'm grateful that we have these benefits and aren't made to feel like we're a major problem that should be made an "example" of!

Really, you should be ashamed of yourself!  Yes, you apologized, but only after the media firestorm happened.  I do hope that you were sincere, and that you will learn a valuable lesson, and dare I say grow a pair, man up, and be a little kinder to other humans.  A little empathy can go a long, long way.