Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Celebrate Hank Day!

Our plan was to walk as a family in the Stevens Point 4th of July parade.  Red white and blue outfits and stroller decorating paraphernalia were purchased.  The threat of super hot weather loomed ominously and led to the purchase of a red white and blue water bottle/fan/mist-maker.

Walt's report on his second day in room 2 tipped us off that something was wrong: he spent the day sitting and quietly observing everything.  Not very Walt-like.  That night his longest stretch of sleep was maybe 2 hours.  Usually much less than that. He had trouble nursing and cried while eating, a bad sign.

So, on the morning of July 4, the day we celebrate our Independence as a nation as well as the day that Hank the Dog joined the Edison-Albright family, we prepared Walter for a trip to the urgent care clinic. As Sean headed out the door with Walter, Hank followed ... unleashed.  He went straight for our densely woodsy (or really, weedy.  Densely weedy and tick-infested) back yard.  As he made his way around the side of the house I noticed some truly motivated bunnies running just ahead of him.  He turned around and headed for the back again, where Sean caught up with him and picked him up--holding him like a baby, just like he always loved as a puppy.  He was the picture of doggy happiness.  Sean got him back into the house and we headed off to urgent care.

Walt charmed everyone at the clinic as usual, and has an ear infection, also as usual. We got the usual antibiotic prescription and headed out, now definitely for certain not going to make it to the parade. But it was OK. We went to Ranchito, our favorite Mexican restaurant, for brunch while we waited for the prescription to get filled, which is something we've wanted to do for some time. It was delicious and felt like a holiday meal, with Walter gamely trying out nibbles of rice, beans and tortilla while he flirted with the other restaurant patrons and showed off his much-improved Cheerio-eating skills. We picked up the prescription and spent the rest of the day inside, with brief outings for Sean and Hank to take care of doggy needs, and for Sean to grill us some hotdogs. And that was probably a smart way to go on such a hot day, anyway. We all took an almost two hour nap in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day playing.  Hank got his Celebrate Hank Day toy, a new nylabone which he immediately set to chewing. Walter was sick and sad and snugly but also started looking better right away and did some more "no hands!" standing, staying up without support for longer and longer intervals.  I only cried twice: once when I heard a story on the radio about active duty soldiers taking the oath of citizenship, because it was quite moving, and once when Walter looked up at me with his sad face, the one with the extended lower lip that he's made since he was a little baby, because that was pretty moving, too.

I got the baby to bed about an hour ago and have been lying on the couch with Hank on my feet since then, tired and glad and grateful for my family, furry and otherwise. It's not the day we planned, but it was a pretty good day, all things considered. Happy Celebrate Hank Day!

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