Tuesday, June 30, 2009

An Interesting Dinner

The other day I ate at Disneyland....oops, I meant Outback Steak House. You can see the similarities between those 2 places, right?

You can't? Well, let me tell you about my meal. As soon as I was seated I could hear the wailing of a child from 2 tables over. That parent did the right thing and quieted the child up quickly. No sooner did calmness settle over the air then more cries began, this time from the table right next to us. That mom was deaf. She turned away from the baby in the high chair and the chants of "mommy, mommy" for about 10 minutes. Everyone else at the table just sat there as well. 

No amount of staring at the parties involved would change things. The kid continued to bellyache and the adults just gazed blankly into space, unaware that my ears were bleeding.

As we ate our meals more families with children were seated. I felt a growing panic--suppose they ALL started acting up at once? Like dogs who howl when they hear other canines give voice, I think children do the same. 

Then the unthinkable happened! The mother picked up the child and gave it a piece of bread, effectively quieting the racket. I breathed a sigh of relief. 
Later on I asked our waiter, "Do kids eat free here?" and he told me no. I then queried about the many children in the restaurant and he replied, "Tell me about it". 
I have no idea why so many parents would bring their children to Outback, as the food is quite spicy and expensive. The children I saw were much too young to see the commercials and pester their parents to have an Australian experience. 

I'm baffled to this day. The food was really good, but I think the next time I go, I will bring earplugs.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Namesake

Thanks to a dear friend of mine, I can now finally see the woman that I was named after! Perhaps I was not Googling thoroughly enough. 
Here's the backstory: I have the same initials as my father, K.W. When I was born in the early 60's, my parents wanted to give me an "unusual" name, one that was not common. They went through the Kathys and Karens and Kellys, etc. That still was not eclectic enough. Then (as my Mom says the story goes) they remembered a show with a woman named Kyle MacDonald. It was during the 50's. That was the jackpot, and Kyle I became. 
All my life I have had to explain to ignorant people that yes, I am a woman and no, my parents didn't want a boy, and yes, it's a girl's name and no, I wasn't named after Kyle Rote or whoever.
When I explained about the show with Kyle MacDonald on it I would get blank looks, even from those old enough to remember the 50's. I was beginning to think that this woman never existed. 

The spelling of my name (it's 4 letters!! how can you mis-spell it?!?) was mangled during my grammar school years. Cile, Kile, Klye, Cyle, the insanity goes on and on. 
When I was working in customer service and would leave messages for others during the course of my job, it never failed that people would call back asking for Kyle, "I'm returning HIS call". 

Lately people have been calling me Kylie, a mispronunciation on their part, since there is no "i" in my name. If that was how you pronounced it, I would be spelling it KyLee. That looks pretty cool, actually. 
I would never think to change it, because then I would not share my initials with my Dad. There are some folks who, after hearing my name and seeing me, a woman, tell me that my name is cool and unusual. To be sure, there are more girls named Kyle now than there were in the 70's & 80's, but not enough to make it commonplace. 

I have reached a grudging acceptance of my appellation as I reach middle age. It is still pretty unusual, and lots of names nowadays are unisex.
 I would rather be a girl named Kyle than a boy named Kim, that's for sure.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rest In Peace, Rocket

One of the sweetest Greyhounds I have ever known went to heaven yesterday. His name was Rocket and I used to board him at my house when his family went on trips. He came to my house for years & years, and I watched as he grew older. He had cheated death once before, when he was hit by a car and the vet took him home to watch over him at night and nurse him back to health. That health stayed with him until the beginning of this month, when he developed a large lump in his abdomen. 
He was at my house over the Memorial Day weekend, and showed no signs of feeling unwell. He played with us, begged for treats (one time he stole a meatball right off my husband's plate!) and slept on the futon day & night. I didn't even crate him. He was like family rather than a guest. 
A few days after he went home, I got a call from his owner. She was asking about some symptoms she was noticing with Rocket. After hearing what she had to say, I suggested she call her vet and bring him in for a visit. A few days after that she called to say the vet had diagnosed a lump, and Rocket was resting comfortably at home. That was all she said on the message she left me.
Last week I was thinking about Rocket and realized I had not called her back to see how he was doing. 
I heard from her today. It was as much of a shock to them as it was to me, since the day before she noticed his lump, he was chasing groundhogs in the yard and going for long walks. 
She told me they were doing palliative care at home, petting him and loving him, spoon feeding him soup when his appetite was failing, and giving him medication to ease his pain. 
Rocket was a happy, strong and well behaved Greyhound. He never caused me any trouble, even when there were 4 dogs in my house he got along well with them all. I will remember Rocket's quirks, from the way he used to lick my husband's legs for minutes on end, how he used to playfully growl when you tried to grab a toy out of his mouth, and how he would wrap his paw around your leg when he wanted you to pet him. 
I know it is a great loss to his family not to have him around, and it is a loss to my family too. One of the most poignant memories I have of the gentle Greyhound is how he absorbed my tears when my father died. I was boarding him that week, and when I came home from the hospital that night he came to me while I cried and cried. He stood by me and soaked up all my tears until there were no more. 
I am coming up on the 4th anniversary of my Dad's death June 25th. What a twist of fate is it that Rocket passed from this life almost the same time. 
Death comes to us all. His family gave him the final gift of love and caring, to ease his pain forever and give him peace. I know the feeling in their hearts tonight, because that feeling is in my heart too.
Rest in Peace, Rocket. You were loved.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A New Interest

I'm learning how to do many different things at my externship. As I may have mentioned before, I'm learning how to run lab tests (like 4DX heartworm tests, fecal parasite tests, spinning of blood, etc). 
I really enjoy doing this. Maybe because there is a set way to do it and the routine comforts me. Maybe it is a way for me to get closer to science. Maybe it's because I don't have to deal with clients directly. I really don't think of myself as a "people person", and I know as a vet tech it's part of my job description; but I would rather work in the back of the hospital and not have to deal with the owners. 
On that note, however, when I would be able to help someone's pet and they thanked me for my efforts, I did feel good. It's not always bad to interact with clients.
Anyway, back to the lab work. I will be learning more in the upcoming weeks and will share my feelings, as soon as I know what they are. I'm also grateful to the hospital for broadening my knowledge, as I will have a "leg up" on next semester, when I will be taking Lab and Parasitology classes. Having more knowledge now will make me more employable as well. 
Things are going well all around.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Report On My First Day

Well, I made it through a 12 hour work day without incident! There was a moment there when I thought I was going to pass out (seriously) but it was around 10 am, my blood sugar was low. Once I had my donut and tea I was fine. 
Everyone at the clinic is very nice and the vet is quite interested in teaching me a wide variety of things, even those things I don't need to know for my externship. I watched a training video on fecal exams and parasites, and she gave me a link to online classes. I was told I would be doing fecal examinations by the end of the week. Yay! (I think)
Thursday is surgery day. I will be observing a spay and possibly a declaw, also a pancreas operation. You know I'll be blogging about that.
I received 2 shirts with the clinic name and MY name embroidered on them, so I will blend in with the rest of the crew. My husband insists that they will hire me after the externship is over. I hope so. The techs there get to do a wide variety of things, not just restrain animals. On a typical day I will get to count out pills, run lab tests, help with surgery, take X-rays and more. 
I enjoyed having today off to sleep late, but I'm also looking forward to going back tomorrow. I plan to take my laptop computer with me to get some work done during lunch and dinner break. There will be an opportunity to bring my little schnauzer to the clinic to make her a patient, I may do blood draws or X-rays with her help. 
All in all, it's a good beginning. I will not get yelled at (a la Danvers) or browbeaten, and I will be taught many valuable skills. I'm so happy to finally be moving forward.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Totally Random Thoughts

I have nothing in particular to blog about today so I will just type whatever comes to mind for a few minutes. 
Bear with me.

I think the 3 favorite books of mine when I was a kid were Harriet The Spy; The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler; and The Lemon Freshened Active Enzyme Junior High School Witch. 
I know those are very long titles but they are really well written and funny books. Thinking about them makes me want to go to the library. 

My car has been vibrating very badly whenever I try to go over 65 mph. Since I do not have a speed governor on my vehicle, I knew something was wrong. My husband replaced a tie rod ( I regularly need front end work done on my car because I like to drive over things) but that did not solve the problem. Yesterday since it was pouring down rain, we went to Pep Boys and I got 4 new tires (a really bald tire was the issue. The steel belts were all sticking out due to uneven wear. I don't rotate my tires, obviously), new wiper blades, and other minor things for the car. 
Now it rides smoothly. It better, I spent about $600.00!

I'm looking forward to my externship starting this Monday. I'm not looking forward to waking up at 6AM, however. 
I'll have interesting things to blog about, though. If I'm not too exhausted from 12 hour days. 

Today is the Belmont, and I really hope Calvin Borel can get a jockey triple crown. He deserves it. I also hope sincerely that all the horses come out of the race healthy. 

The sky is such a pretty blue today..it was raining for the last few days so a clear sky deserves a mention. I have errands to run today so I'd better finish up this post and get out the door. It may be a while before I post again, I will be concentrating on my studies for a bit.