Bakerella - waay cute! That's my Chinese Zodiac sign, I mean. I'm supposed to have a better year this 2014, if not the best ever. Let's see now. Start of the year I haven't been exactly hale and hearty. My allergic rhinitis has brought on chesty cough, clogged nose, fever too. Coughing so hard and wheezing made my throat sore, raw and bleed a bit. There's a chill in the air and our drafty house lets in the cold. I'm not very good with cold. I love icy drinks and halo-halo in any weather but chill in my bones? Not good. To all my friends in wintry countries, I commiserate. We don't have winter but even the low 20s is enough to make me take out silk and down comforters and heavy quilts from storage. Yep, we have strange bed linens, in a country where summer is a misnomer. No sir, we haven't got any wool though.
Tropical weather only has two seasons - wet and dry or rainy and sizzling! But what do you do with bed things relatives and friends abroad send over? Exactly!
My nose dislikes waking up at dawn; heavily scented perfumes and lotion; walking in from the heat into airconditioned rooms; dust kicked off from cleaning; the smell of bagoong (anchovy paste) cooking; smoke in any form - from pollutants, fireworks, cigarettes or burning katol (mosquito coil), my dad cooking rice (the dogs' portion) over the wood burning stove out back or making siga (burning leaves and garbage, to smoke out insects and pests in the garden, coax fruit trees to bear and generally for disposal. So third world of us, I know. No fear, making siga is now banned in Malabon, garbage pick up now more regularly done - hallelujah!
As for pollen, well that's really why my UP Sundays are nixed in the meantime. Which is my excuse for getting a bit tubby hehe. I have even developed a mild asthmatic reaction to my wards. I'm used to having hairy dogs around but there's more of them now.
We've got two new puppies, our home close to becoming a doggie day care or shelter.
Plus, my boarder (comes in mornings and leaves at night when her humans get home from work or school) George (puppygirl, short for Georgina Rose - go figure) is back. She shuttled back and forth when she was younger but when she got big enough to be left at home, there's one less doggie for us to look after. She's back because she got sick. She pooped something fluid orange and fishy-smelly and threw up something greenish. One minute she was playing with the puppies, wrestling, and the next she was just lying there. I took her to Doc Lani at Friendly Paws and George tested positive for canine parvovirus. There's a pregnancy test kit like thingy - two lines meant parvo for sure. Bad!
George had to be confined for three days at the vet's, dextrose on the foreleg and caged! All our dogs are on a leash, not caged. . The first time, she wouldn't go in.
George cried at night and whenever visiting hours is over. She got so stressed out that Doc Lani cut the confinement short, just as soon as George started eating on her own and meds can be given orally. We brought home dextrose powder, appetite builders, immunol, vitamins, anti amoebiasis meds.
Some dogs don't get over parvo and dies or takes as long as a month or more to recover. George's case was chancy but more hopeful since she hasn't gotten to the point where there's blood in her poop. Her humans are away at work and it was left to me to nurse her back to health. Tiring! Stressed me out.
My cough got worse because George has thick set longish hair (half Russian something and half Shih Tzu, we were told) and she insisted on being carried with her head on my neck. I had to hold up the Ivy bag too. Strain on the arms I tell you.
George recovered quicker than most, said the vet. She was fighting the parvo. Three days confinement is all (but the meds are expensive - ouch for my brother). To fully recover, George wasn't allowed to play with the other dogs or have a bath for six days. Doc Lani figured there's no incidence of parvo (highly contagious) among our dogs or at George's house where there's a poodle (my first boarder) and two mid sized AsPin (asong pinoy - coined for indeterminate mixed breed house pets as opposed to asong kalye or stray dogs) so George must have picked it up at a pet grooming salon, ten to fourteen days before - typically how long it takes for parvo to set in. Doc Lani offers grooming too but says she refuses dogs (like George) which hasn't had all the vaccine shots done. No matter how sterile you keep grooming stuff and clinics you can't say for sure any dog won't get anything from other dogs coming and going.
And then it was the new puppies' turn to get sick, one after the other. Stress! Particularly since they're little more than a month old and vaccines are given at three months. Good thing it wasn't parvo - just the cold weather affecting them as much as it did me. Or maybe I gave them my cold. For good measure, as soon as George was diagnosed, a friend suggested we feed the puppies raw egg. Mom prayed over all the dogs!
So now you know why posting has been hard for me - between the holidays and my and the puppies getting sick, there wasn't time. I didn't even get to do any of the Chinese New Year luck rituals.
The most I was able to do was hang a bundle of palay (rice grain) tied with a red ribbon at the door, place eight coins in a gold box and eat a mochi roll. I figured the CNY going on till February, there's still time to do some of the rituals a day at a time. I'd still be the one doing the cleaning and neatening and ensuring Chi to flow throughout the year anyways. It just helps to have the green wooden horse kick it in for me a bit, is all : )
P.s. We're in a bit of a tiff with China over territory but I have naturalized Chinoy friends and eat their food and drink their tea and have some of their lucky charms. The best China import, in my humble opinion, is the electrically charged mosquito zapper! Like a badminton racket, it at least freed me from inhaling mosquito coil smoke - my dad and my brothers used to light two of those at night. They only stopped when we got the badminton thingies and I started coughing so hard there was a speck of blood. There's lots of the pesky parasites, the almost dry open canals and humidity making mosquitoes breed like crazy and fly in small clouds here and there, dive biting at people. I bat at the mosquitoes as soon as recharging is done hehe. I hope things work out. My country really can't afford fighting with anybody, there's been suffering enough. Generous hearts and calm, sane communicating should help. And lots of luck!