Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Since My Babbling Breakdown...

I've pulled it together a bit. Not a lot, but some. I'm taking steps--action--and that always helps a little, gives at least the illusion that you are affecting your destiny, whether you really are or not. First off, thank you all for the kind comments and support in my stupid pity-party. I love and appreciate you all, more than you could know (and is it sexist to say that I'm especially touched by those men who put aside their "macho card" to leave sweet, caring comments for me?), and anyone who thinks that internet relationships and friendships are not "real" are very much missing out.

I've been in contact with The Amazing Lifesaving Miracle Doctor, and have a telephone consult coming up. This because, when I was talking (sobbing pathetically) to my mother, she asked me, "Where is Dr. Cook practicing now?" (He had left New Orleans shortly after my miracle surgery.) I wasn't sure, except that it was in California. So I looked it up, and he's at the Vital Care Institute of Health, which is in (drumroll) San Jose. The location of the BlogHer conference. Where we're already going, and where we're arriving a day and half early already. Hello, God? Listening. Thank you. I have started the process to consult with him again, and will see how far I can go on this route. The first surgery I had with him cost about $80,000, (I'm still alive, so it was worth every penny, thank you) and that is just out of the question this time...but surely, SURELY, I can't be in as bad a shape now as I was then. And those were multiple surgeries. My husband (then fiance) encouraged and pushed me to pursue the treatment that first time, my parents made it happen financially, it saved my life, and we fought the HMO to get them to actually cover a lot of it, after they'd denied it all originally.

So. I will keep you posted. The dream come true would be if, somehow--some miracle "how"--I could have Dr. Cook perform the microscopic ablation of all the present endometriosis and the hysterectomy (the idea of which I am still having HUGE struggles with), so that I could have the peace of mind that the lurking killer inside me is really gone--that I am no longer a ticking timebomb of pain and fear. Pray for me all you want, internets. I love you guys.

NOW: On to the good news of the day, the blessed distraction from all the angst--today, a little Ninja is in the air, on his way to a wonderful new home all the way across the continent to Fairbanks, Alaska with Erin and Ian and new "big brother" Bobby, where he will be their second poodle and their first showdog! Honestly, this dog may be the best we've ever produced, and while it's killing Alex to have let him go, I think it's really the right thing to do, and that he's got everything it takes to give Erin and Ian a booming start in the showring, and that they will do us, as breeders, proud by him. It feels like a match made in heaven.

So, this morning, loaded up on Motrin, I packed up Bella and Ryder (Impulse Midnight Glory, name pending), and headed to the Delta cargo terminal. It was a twitchy trip, with me watching the thermometer on the rearview mirror flicking back and forth between 84 and 85 degrees--at 9:30 AM. If the temperature is above 85 degrees at dropoff, they cannot take the dog, because it will be too hot on the tarmac, even though the dogs are the last things to be loaded onto the plane.

We got there, and Bella immediately asked me, "Are we going to see Jacy?" How do kids remember these things? Upon going in, we found out that his flight to Atlanta, the first connection on his trip, had been delayed due to mechanical trouble, so there was no way he could go on that flight. My heart sank, because it's only getting hotter and hotter here each day, and I knew Erin and Ian were so looking forward to getting their new baby today. But then, the lovely counterperson asked me what my final destination was, and I told her Anchorage, and after about two minutes of clickety-clacking on her computer, she had our boy re-routed on a flight that was leaving right then through Cincinatti, where he would have a 4-hour layover in their climate-controlled "pet lounge", and then catch a direct flight to Anchorage. It did have him arriving 4 hours later than originally planned, but Erin was unphased, and Ryder has a rock-solid temperament, so I know he'll take it in stride. Once we knew he was really going, Bella got in some last-minute hugs.She was sad, but I had been talking to her for weeks about Ryder being "Erin's puppy," so she actually handled it pretty well. Especially when I gave her a Bad Mommy Sugar-Filled Orange Soda from the vending machine.

I was really proud of our boy. Other dogs were making all kinds of racket, stressing and fussing, while Ryder calmly sat with Bella on the waiting-area bench, looking highly dignified. Then we settled him into his roomy crate, bedded on towels, over a pillow, on top of tons of shredded paper. Having to go pee in the crate is pretty much an inevitability with so young a puppy on so long a trip, so we at least want him to be dry and comfy. Once in the crate, he just chilled out, watching the goings-on and licking the supply of ice cubes in his Winnie-The-Pooh cup.When I set him, in his crate, up on the scale, during the time it took me to sign the shipping paperwork, he was racked out on his side, sound asleep. Real bundle of nerves, that one. He is the ideal show and performance dog.

As Kim noted in her comments on Erin's site, we are well on our way to world domination by the Ninja Poodles...they are here, in Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Maryland, Canada, and now Alaska. We almost have North America covered. Bwahahahaaaaa! We do have two remaining puppies who will be available to pet homes, and that will be our focus next. It's the "little things" that can make the difference between a show/breeding prospect and a stunning companion/performance dog. The black girl has an off bite that would preclude her from being shown, and the silver boy has a soft coat that I think would present a major challenge to any but the most experienced exhibitor...which is a shame, because he's a well-made dog. But both will be fabulous furkids for some lucky people, and that is the main thing.

Oh, and in between the pathetic pity-fest and the Flight of the Ninja, this happened:That is the back of my daughter's head, and many of the dog people viewing this will recognize the object firmly entwined in all that hair. That is a metal finetoothed greyhound comb. In the years B.S.P. (Before Show Poodles), if presented with this predicament, I'd have gone straight for the scissors. But years of detangling show coats with the goal of not losing a single hair allowed me to extricate the comb in just under an hour, without having to cut any of her hair. According to Bella, she will "never, never, never" do this again. Here's hoping!

*UPDATE: Got a happy phonecall at 2:44 AM (11:44 PM in Alaska) from Erin, who gushed and giggled and said the magic words: "He's here, he's doing great, and I love him!" Precisely what I needed to hear. They were going back to the hotel to get some rest, so it will probably be much later today before we hear an update from pupsickle headquarters.


  1. Has Bella done the bubble gum in the hair thing yet?

  2. Okay, and I'm ashamed to admit this, but I have entangled my hair close to that badly with a round brush while blowdrying AS AN ADULT. It took me a good 15 minutes and lots of sweating to get that brush removed from my damn head. And no, thank God, I did not have to shave myself bald! Hee!

  3. OW! I'm having sympathetic scalp pains for Bella-but look at how the detangling of show coat hair has paid off! Because that would've had to have been a SHORT haircut otherwise.

  4. I'm glad you found your doctor - I was afraid he'd been lost in Katrina! And its somewhat amazing he's somewhere you were going anyway!

  5. Wowee...that would be a short haircut, indeed. Such gorgeous hair, too. I loooooove the look of that middle photo of her hugging the dog. Lord, could a child look any more angelic?

  6. Glad you found a doctor! Glad you found a doctor that you will (fingers crossed) be able to visit.

    I am curious about the "pet lounge." Will there be snacks? Can they get out and walk around?

    And finally. I have tangled my hair like that (well maybe not that bad). (hanging head in shame) It was only a few months ago. Damn round brush.

  7. Belinda, as far as your struggles, my heart goes out to you. I know a bit about endometriosis, as a couple of coworkers over the year have sufferred with it, and Mrs. Fab, who runs a large OBG-YN practice, has filled in the blanks and answered any questions I had about it.

    We are all thinking and praying for you.

    What a lovely dog! I think Erin is going to post all the details of the arrival today. I must admit that I get such a kick out of these blogger poodle journeys.

    Now if we can just find a good home for one in Mexico...

    And could Bella be any more adorable? :)

  8. Good luck with just about everything (boy you've got lots to read!).

    When anything gets tangled in pet or human hair, use a crochet hook to untangle. Get a couple in different sizes. They work great.

  9. Firstly, how great about your doctor! :)

    Secondly, how cute are those Bella/Dog pix?!

    Thirdly, lots of luck for San Jose, I'll think of you xxx

  10. Super glad to hear the uplifting news, I will definitely say a prayer for even more good stuff your way!

    I love Bella's pictures with the dog, she is very comfortable in front of the camera....she'd be great in a pagent!

  11. Miracles DO happen everyday. *raise s virtual glass of wine* Here's to your miracle, my friend.



    But the poor thing would be alone in the house for 11 hours straight a day. I could never do that to a doggie. Besides, Dinks would probably never leave the house unless doggie accompanied her.

    Someday, someday

    *stares off into space ... which is my normal look*

  12. What a blessing to find to find your doctor and much less in the area you are going to. I hope all works out and you can be doubly thankful for Bella.

    I'm sure Ryder will be very happy.

    Oww, I can sympathise with Bella and that comb, having done that many times as a child. My hiar is not short enough that I don't have to worry about a brush:o)

  13. If that doesn't qualify as "sign from God," I don't know what does.

    Is it just me, or does the dog that Bella is hoisting almost look slightly monkey-ish with its long legs? Kinda freaky.

  14. Do you have a girl for a pet home? I would love a girl poodle!

    email me at

  15. Wasn't sure where the poodles tied in until I read your post today. Actually, my (first) brother growing up was a black miniature poodle... My mother got him right after I was born; she is such a dog nut and I think she really loved him more than she loved me.

    I have indicated when I registered at BlogHer that I'd go to the convention but haven't made any plans yet. Have you been to previous ones?
    In my Chick Cycle Ramble I posted a link where they have an audio and roundtable interview. Link here:


  16. Okay, if you go under the microscopic knife while you're in my neck of the woods, I'm yours while you're recuperating. I'll sneak in chocolate and a superb Cabernet. Both goes equally well with post-op pain meds.

  17. Ummm....does "years of detangling show coats without losing a single hair," also encompass the use of kitchen shears? ;-)

  18. Unbelievable. Unless, of course, you believe in miracles. You do. I know this.

    Of ALL places. San Jose. Wow. Simply and emphatically WOW. I'll be all up in your business wanting to know everything and possibly going to touch the hand of the dr. who gave you Bella and peace. You will be beaming, I'm certain.

    Love and hugs,

  19. The comb in the hair is priceless. Been there, done that.

    Another clue to why Ashley has hounds.....

  20. I see so much that is positive here in this post. I hope it stays and stays and stays.

    I'm praying for you, sugar.

  21. I don't know how you do it! Give away those sweet black balls of fur, even if they're going to good homes.
    Glad things are looking up- even if only marginally.

  22. Well I'm SO glad you're seeing the doctor that you trust. And how fateful is that? Hang in there sweetie - I've been thinking about you lots....
    Lots of Love and Hugs,

  23. Belinda,

    I am so glad you were able to reconnect with a Doctor you trust.
    There are lots of people sending you get-healthy vibes.
    It' s so hard to say goodbye to doggies! You little one is a brave girl. Here's to feeling better.

  24. Hey You--ouch--on all counts. I too am glad you're going to a doc that you like and that it was all serendipitously connected to Blogher--that's a good thing.

    Don't tempt me with those puppies!!! I grew up with poodles and love them and am yearning for a doggie....

    Ryder looks lovely and I don't know HOW you extricated that comb. I would have freaked. Take care...

  25. first, let me add the the chorus of well-wishing re: babymaking. (am sending good vibes your way for San Jose).

    and yay for Ryder!--Just read the post about his safe arrival. Awesome. For some reason I get geeked when blogworlds so far apart come together like that.