So, it's been a crazy week. I've been trying to find the time to stay sane during the tsunami of changes that have occurred since I last posted. I'm absolutely exhausted, but feel the need to vent- and share- what has been pulling me away from finding the time to not only blog, but eat, shower, hell, even just laugh.
We moved here last month on a wing and a prayer- sold most of our stuff, I quit my cushy job in academia, left a country that offers free health care to stay in Vermont and get an education in Sustainable living. Noel planned on going to Yestermorrow Design Build School and I planned on learning by proxy.
Well, you know what They say about "best laid plans" and all...
We landed at a sweet little apartment in Hancock, VT. Tiny, but sufficient for our needs. Then our dog Penelope started limping. She had a little strange limp in Ontario but it went away after the vet gave her some meds and all our plans went back on schedule. We made a 2 day journey with a U-haul, fleabag motel stopover in bumblef%$# nowhere, and got here relatively unscathed. Then the limp came back. We went to a wonderful vet here in VT- Vermont Integrative Veterinary Associates (VIVA) who combine Holistic and Western medicine. They concurred with the previous vet's findings that Penny had a ligament injury that would need a LONG time to heal. They suggested- almost insisted- that we find a place on a first floor since Penny hadn't been able to use her leg to help her up the stairs. So, we started searching for a place.
Do you know how hard it is to rent an apartment or house with 2 dogs, 4 cats, 2 guinea pigs and a snake? Of course you don't, because you're probably not bat shit crazy like we are.
We eventually found a place that seemed like it would work out for us- nothing special, but closer to my job and in a woodsy area. Hands were shaken, promises were made, money and dates were discussed. Notice was given to our current landlords who rented our apartment out immediately to some local folks.
When Noel went to meet our new landlord, he was met with a less-than-lovely surprise. Apparently, he was less than comfortable with the idea of cats and had a change of heart. "Too many cats.." he said as he shook his head. But... we gave notice! We're supposed to be out November 1st! No matter- he didn't care. Noel sent me an IM to let me know the bad news and went off to the vet to have Penny's leg X-ray done.
Three hours later, he came to get me from work and broke the news- she has Osteosarcoma. The hunch I had about her leg not healing right was more than a hunch. She has the C-word. (cancer) I whisper it- this word has impacted my life and taken too many of my loved ones from me in the past 3 years. First my mother, so unexpectedly and heartbreakingly in April of 2009. My dad followed her almost 2 months to the day- in June 2009. Our cat Butter, too. Noel has his own cancer dealings, too- his dad in 2008. Hell, we ALL have someone we know who has either battled, fought and survived or someone who valiantly fell. It's a constant fear for everyone, and a reality for too many people.
This week has been one of the most challenging weeks I've had since my parents passed away. The idea that we have less than a week to find shelter, well, that was enough. When Noel took Penny in for her lung x-ray today (to find out if the cancer had spread to her lungs) the challenge-ometer registered Tidal Wave proportions, at least for what I'm used to. They recommended immediate amputation. Not "let's get this scheduled for sometime next week" or even "we should do this in the next few days"... TODAY. To save her life, this sweet, dopy, gorgeous dog that wakes me up every morning with a kiss, we have to cut off her LEG- TODAY. We only had a few moments to let it sink in. What was I going to do? How can we even come up with the money? The vet was so kind- he is letting us pay over 4 months. It's still an unmanageable debt for us, but at least we have 4 months to come up with a way to raise the money. Freelance work, extra job, selling bath salts, maybe male stripping- it would all be worth saving our sweet grrrl.
So, as I type this a Tripawd doggie lays next to me, sleepily and painfully getting used to the missing leg that once caused her so much pain. A friend suggested I start a crowdfunding campaign, which I've done and shared all over. I have to say, this has made me really appreciate community, and made me so grateful for what I DO have. I have a loving and amazing partner in life, I have loving and amazing family, awesome friends, a job that I appreciate more than I can tell you. But do you know what I really appreciate more than anything right now? That big old tongue waking me up in the morning...