Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Critter passed away just a few minutes ago. He was our beloved pet and companion, who brought tremendous joy and happiness to our lives. He leaves a tremendous hole in his absence, as he was loved and cared for as a human being.

For give me if I don't post a picture of him. It's too difficult for me to look at him right now.

Thank you to all of you who prayed for his well being.

To all of you, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. You're kind words and empathy makes this so much more bearable. God bless.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I went and saw that Critter this afternoon and you could tell he wasn't feeling very well. Yesterday he got a second transfusion after the progress he made after the first one diminished. His white blood cell count fell, his red blood cell count fell, as did his platelets. Now it's a matter of wait-and-see and hope this latest transfusion will make a difference.

I hope that all of you had a pleasant Christmas Day with your loved ones.

Thank you for your prayers and for your kinds thoughts about the Critter. I still haven't given up hope, so we continue to pray.

God bless all of you, and I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a blessed and peaceful New Year's.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all of you and your families- which includes your four-legged loved ones!

Critter Update

I went and saw the Critter today and he ate like a little pig! He scarfed down just about the entire bowl of chicken we brought him and managed to drink water several times. The doctor told us that his white blood cell count was slightly up, but that his platelets are very low. We now know for sure that his medulla is not working at all, and this malfunction is causing all the problems. They are giving him injections to try and get it to "awaken."

Please continue praying. That's all I can ask all you kind folks to do.

I would like to thank each and every single one of you for being so compassionate and so understanding throughout all this. I do apologize if I've failed to visit your blogs recently. Please be assured that it is NOT because I'm ignoring you, nor the result of losing interest in the subject matter you discuss.

Merry Christmas and, as I once read was the practice in a certain monastery to express (can't remember which one): May Christ be born in you.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I went and saw the Critter today and he look completely different than he did on Sunday. He was walking about, wagging his tail, and even stood up on his hind paws so that he would be picked up. He was not as lethargic as he had been in the past four days, and much more awake and active.

The doctor said that there is a small chance for recovery. While the last transfusion did not elevate his white cell count to normal numbers, a second transfusion might do the trick. The vet explained to me that the second transfusion might kick-start his medulla a get it to start producing white blood cells again.

I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers and thoughts. The only thing we need from our end are those same prayers you've so kindly said on the Critter's behalf.

God bless you and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Safe Investment

“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless -it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”
~From the book The Four Loves by C.S.Lewis

I went and saw the Critter at the vet today. I learned (yesterday) that the first batch of plasma did not work. As a result, the doctor found a donor dog and completed a full transfusion (white blood cells, red blood cells, the whole works) and it seems to have stabilized him in that regard, despite the fact that his white blood cell count is still low. I spoke to the technicians that are guarding him at the vet's just a few minutes ago and he seems to be doing OK tonight.

When I saw him earlier today, it broke my heart. He was a bit lethargic and he wagged his tail as best as he could. Yesterday the doctor told me to bring him some boiled chicken so he could eat something solid, but in spite of my efforts he refused to eat. They currently have him hooked up to an i.v. Although I try my best to show none of the typical sentimentality that comes with these situations, it was impossible for me to keep a dry eye when I saw him. He seemed so frail, and so strained that I could not keep myself from becoming teary-eyed and anguished. This brings me to a point I would like to bring up to the skeptics and cynics who don't understand what it means to love a pet. Some of these sarcastic individuals out there might perceive love for an animal as superfluous, frivolous, and mawkish. And when our pets are sick or hurt, concern for their well being might acquire for the pet owner a "wimpy" characterisation. I can see where these critics are coming from. But to them I say that what you would point out as an inherently irrational sentiment on my part might simply elucidate a profound deficiency in you. Many of these critics have never experienced loving a pet in their entire lives, not to mention a possible pathologous condition that may prevent them from loving someone else more than they love themselves.

I think C.S. Lewis said it best in the above quote taken from the book The Four Loves. In this small paragraph he offers a warning, as well as a ray of hope, to those individuals who may be experiencing an excruciating emotional state that resulted from losing someone they deeply care for - even if this someone might be a "mere" animal. Not only does he point out that it it natural to be weakened when we love someone, but that REFUSING to love - in order to avoid the obvious perils that comes with it - is far more dangerous than the risks we take when we love someone. That is a warning to the coward in all of us. The hope in what he writes comes in the reassurance that the pain we endure over those we love is not meaningless and purposeless. There is an inexplicable and indescribable impression that tells me that in the end of all ends - whatever that is and whenever it may come - all will be healed and reconciled.

I want to thank all of you for your prayers and for your thoughts. The only think I ask is that you continue to pray for the Critter. Thank you and God bless all of you.

By the way, today December 19th is his birthday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I can scarcely believe the differences between this latest post and the last one I wrote a little over a week ago.

The Critter is in critical condition. I took him to the vet this morning because yesterday he would not eat and he seemed very drowsy. I spoke to the vet a few minutes ago and apparently his body is destroying his own blood. He is getting a transfusion. Please keep him in your prayers.

His condition is called Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), and his chances are 50/50 right now. The last batch of plasma did not change his condition, so he will spend the night at the vet's and receive a second batch, followed by more blood work. The doctor said that if he makes it through this, he'll more than likely never have DIC again. That finish line, however, seems so far away and so unlikely. Again, I ask for your prayers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Critter is Home

The Critter is home but a little dazed. I imagine the general anesthesia that was given to him for the surgery is the cause of that. Otherwise he seems just fine!

He is on pain medication (that too can cause drowsiness), anti-biotics, and is housebound at least until next week. He can go out to the lawn to do his business, but he's not allowed to venture beyond that.

I want to thank all of you for your prayers and thoughts. I feel guilty celebrating the Critter's good health when Elle and Monique McKenzie at Adrienne's Catholic Corner aren't doing so well. Please keep them in your prayers.

BTW, that couch on the picture above is going out the door next month. He's been jumping off it and on it so much that he's tore the fabric in a couple of places. Bad little Critter:0)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

How are Ya?

I've been so busy this week with so many things that I've had no time to post. Next Monday finals begin, so I've got to hit the books this weekend if I want to be prepared for the mother-of-all-exams come class time. After the exams conclude, I will be allowed a few weeks of reprieve before spring semester begins, which, by the way, I'm REALLY looking forward to (can't believe I just wrote that). This spring semester I will be taking some art classes as well a pre-calculus/trigonometry class (yes, I know some of your kids may have taken this math course before, but as I wrote previously, I'm not that smart) that go towards fulfilling the class requirements of my major.

As far the art classes go, I've managed to stock up on some of the media that I will eventually dabble in as my education progresses. Here is a list of some of the stuff in my inventory. BTW, I'm doing this because my major requires that I take art classes, so it isn't my intention to become an artistic genius whose works are displayed at galleries in New York or Paris. Once I've completed my academic obligations for art, this exposure will continue as a hobby and as nothing more. I do, however, want to be exposed to as many media as I can just so I can have the product knowledge as well as the training on how to properly use them. Again, here are some of the media in my inventory:

1) Graphite pencil set - degrees raging from 8B to 6H

2) Charcoal pencils- different types: the kind you sharpen and the kind you unwrap; white charcoal pencils

3) Jumbo charcoal sticks- in both black and white colors

4) Chunky charcoal- [black, green earth tone, and sanguine light (light red)] these are thick, cylindrical charcoal sticks used to cover large areas on a substrate.

5) Sennelier 120 piece oil pastel set

6) Copic marker set

7) Acrylic paints. Has anyone heard of Golden Open Acrylics? The Open product seems to stay wet MUCH longer than regular acrylics. I've contacted Golden and requested some samples.

8) Rapidograph Pen Set

9) Brushes

10) Stumps for blending

11) Dip pens with multiple nibs

12) Mechanical pencils and lead holders- in just about every size, with multiple color leads.

13) Sharpie makers

14) Technical pens (disposable)

Have I missed anything? My next purchase will be pastels with a greater "chalkier" composition. Those oil-based pastels I currently have are very difficult to work with.

The Critter gets neutered on Tuesday. Poor little guy. But it's for the best.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I spoke to the veterinarian this afternoon, and I got the news: NO CANCER! Woo-hoo!!!

The doctor, however, insisted that the Critter must be neutered since the absence of this procedure might be causing all his prostate problems.

Now I want to thank all of you for your concern and for your prayers. It's amazing to see just how kind people are:0)

God bless all of you!