Saturday, July 29, 2006

Some crazy cool pictures of my dog in a t-shirt.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Day 205 - Monday (Nothin'):
Today nothing happened (that I remember). Finster stayed home with mom.

Day 206 - Tuesday (Photography again):
Today was a hot one. For lunch Finster and I went to the canal park for a little walk. We walked for about 40 minutes and by that point Finster was panting pretty hard. I think it's a bit too hot for him to be walking in the sun. After work I went and did some photography for EA. I ended up leaving Finster at the office while I went and worked. I came back to get him around 730ish. At home I did some editing and some eating and some playing fetch in the basement. It's about 3 steps from wall to wall for the pup now.

Day 207 - Wednesday (At the store):
We had out of town visitors today at work so Finster got to go with E to work. E loves taking him to work ;) In the evening I went to watch the store during the book discussion group. E2 brought Sparky and put him in the fenced in area with Finster. Finster, again, tried to play with Sparky by bouncing around him and barking. Sparky did go after Finster once or twice but that's it. I stayed out there with them for most of the time trying to keep Finster calm. Towards the end of the meeting I had Finster and Sparky laying next to each other; which, I think, is a positive step in their relationship :) I also tried to take them for a little walk together. Finster was a bear! He was going nuts on the leash, as usual when Sparky is walking with us. He was bouncing, barking, running, pulling, you name it. Almost unbearable. I think Sparky was a little put off by the fool's actions.
After the meeting we adjourned back at my house. Finster and Sparky did fine together in the basement. We were down there with them most of the night and Finster stayed away from Sparky for the most part. At one point Sparky had Finster trapped on the stairs, which blocked E + E2 from coming down. Sparky was at the bottom of the stairs and Finster wouldn't descend because he didn't want to go near Sparky. I've never seen such fear :)

Day 208 - Thursday (Store again):
Today Finster got to go to the store again with moma. After work I went to my game. After my game I went home to eat and play with Finster. E said that Finster's new favorite toy is an old cement tube that he has re-found. It started out at about 4 feet and now it's down to about 2 :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Day 204 - Sunday (More running):
This morning we went to the inlaws for their anniversary. The first thing Finster did was headed for the pond. In anticipation of this I attached a 20' long clothes line to his collar. He did great with the pond. He only tried to get in twice, both times I pulled him back. After we walked around the yard a bit we went in for lunch. I tied him to my car in the shade so he didn't go swimming; he barked his head off. I left for my game after lunch. E said Finster was good for the rest of the time there. She said that when they were trying to leave Finster refused to get into Erin's car, probably because Sparky was in there (in his crate though). They had to lift him up into the car to get him in.

At the game Finster mainly sat and watched us play. After the game we chilled on the deck and Finster chewed on some sticks, logs, and tree trunks.

Day 203 - Saturday (Stitches):
This morning we went to the vet to FINALLY get Finster's stitches out. When we got there Finster got onto the scales and weighed in at 94 lbs. For the record Finster weighed 43.6kg (96.12 lbs.) before his surgery and 38.6kg (85 lbs) after his surgery. So, he has gained back 9 of the 11 lbs. lost in almost 2 weeks! Finster was great during the removal. He laid down and George got the stitches out in no time. He flinched (basically just lifted his head) only twice. He is so good with the vet! Everyone there was happy to see him and commented on how good he looked. The bad news was that George said that he should stay out of the water for another week! George also took some blood work for Cornell.
After the vet we went to the store and hung out there until 4. The poor puppy had to sit outside in the drizzling rain all day :( A sadder puppy I've never seen. He got in a few walks around town and paid of .10 cents toward his surgery by picking up 2 empty bud light cans; he loves beer.

Day 202 - Friday (Here's your sign):
Today for lunch Finster and I walked to the Canal Park for a walk (here's a novel idea, walking to walk; which is better I suppose than driving to walk, which is commonplace). When we got there I ended up chatting it up with some random lunchers enjoying the canal. People love hearing his kidney story, and he got many compliments. On the walk back to work is where all the fun was had. After we crossed Jefferson Finster ATTACKED an old fluorescent garage sale sign. He ripped the sign off the wooden backing and carried it all the way back to the office. The sign was probably 2'x2' and bright. When he pounced there was a red light at the intersection so there were a bunch of cars that got to see the display of power. One guy in a PT Cruiser actually beeped at Finster in congratulations. As he was carrying it back I was watching the oncoming traffic. It was great to see the smiles and laughter on each of their faces :) When we got back to the office we took the sign over to Bill (Finster's sign mentor) to show off his catch. I let him rip off a few chunks before I threw it out.
After work E and I went to E2's for dinner (Finster stayed in the basement). This was one of the most amazing dinners anyone has given us. The seafood tasted like we were eating on the boat that it was caught from (it was that fresh and delicious). E2 treated us for our anniversary and boy was it a treat.

Day 201 - Thursday (Hot lunch):
Today for a bit of a change Bill, CA and I took Finster shopping. More like Finster stayed in the car while we went shopping. Not to worry, he was only in the car for like 10 minutes (in the shade). After shopping trip number 1 (Circuit City) we went over to Best Buy. I took Finster for a nice little walk while the boys went in. After about 10 minutes of walking in the sun Finster was panting like a pair of Levi's (I know, I know) so we went and sat in the shade and watched the people walking by.
After work Finster and I went over to Bills for a little game night. Finster was decent. He got a little annoying getting into peoples faces and nosing around the bird (in its cage). I put him in the basement for a while but he wouldn't stay down there for more than 10 minutes. Apparently because he is allowed to walk around their house he doesn't obey the basement threshold like he does at our house.

Day 200 - Wednesday (Big puddles):
Today for lunch CA and I went with Finster for a nice woods walk. The woods walk has been interesting since Finster's surgery because of the 2 big mud puddles that lure Finster in every time. To avoid this (Finster is off leash in the woods) I have to run by the puddles so that Finster chases me and forgets about the puddles. This time both CA and I had to run past the puddles, which Finster enjoyed.

After work we went to the store to mow the lawn. This wasn't easy because there was a ton of water in the gas tank. Getting water out of a gas tank is always piles of fun! Finster was no help at all in this endeavor.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Day 199 - Tuesday (The charmer):
Today was a fairly ho hum day at work. For lunch we went to EA to drop off a book and chill with the ladies (Erin, EriKa, and Rokes). They were all quite charmed by Finster to be sure, what lady can resist the handsome, rugged good looks of the Finsteroos.
After work he had a nice opportunity to charm some more ladies, and he succeeded quite well. At my baseball game Finster hung out with E and two little ladies (of 7 and 11), daughters of one of my co-players. The girls had a "gay ole time" with the handsome chum.

Surfing the internet I found some pictures of the Looney Tunes episode, Baby buggy bunny, that Finster is named after. Here are the pictures, and here is the wikipedia for the show.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

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MMM TASTY CAMERA! I think Finster got sick of the pupperatzi.

SORRY ABOUT THE PORNOGRAPHIC NATURE OF THIS SHOT. You must be 18 or older to view it. Here is what his stitches look like.
Just Finster enjoying the heat.

Day 198 - Monday (Home with mom):
This morning we went for a little walk again. On our way we met a neighbor (Steve) and his froofy dog. Finster was great with the little guy. They sniffed each other a bit and Finster did do his little "Please play with me" jump but he never touched the puff ball.
The reports from mom were all good! She was sick the whole day so she didn't really do much with him.
When I got home he had some serious pent up energy. I played a little retrieve the log, ball, stick with him until the heat got to him. While we were outside Don and Sedona went for a walk. I had Finster "stay" but he only managed to hold off for about 10 seconds, then he bolted to the road to jump on Sedona. There's no stopping him once he sees Don, he can withstand the siren song of Sedona, but Don has treats! This landed him in the basement for a time out :)
After dinner E and I went to the store to drop off all the inventory from the store. We got back around 10ish and I sat on the deck with the pups for the remainder of the night.

Day 197 - Sunday (More thu sux):
We got up at 730 this morning and took another little walk. We went to the Oatka Fest again for the day. At 1230 I went home for lunch and to let the pup out. He didn't really have to go pee too bad; he was all like "dood, I'm a grown man now, I can hold it for more than 4 hours." After he gets his stitches out I'm going to try leaving him home from work all day, I promise. When we got home at 7 all was still good and great in the basement. Finster has uber amounts of energy so I played with him until it got dark out then we hung out on the deck. Finster's stitches are still looking pretty good. While we are outside I notice tons of little bugs flying around them, that makes me a little nervous, it would be quite gross if some bugs got in and laid some eggs.

Day 196 - Saturday (Thu sux):
Man today sucked. We got up at 6am and I took Finster for a little walk. Then we packed up and went to the Oatka Fest to setup the store's booth. Setup took from 7am to around 10am. After the setup I went to the store with the pups to man the station. Finster got to spend the hours in the fenced in area. I took him for about 3 little 5 minute walks throughout the day. During one of these walks I let him off the leash to poop in our garden (his favorite spot). He found the break in the hedge row and took off. He made it to the back of the neighbors yard before I caught up to him. Of course they were in the back yard too so they were a bit nervous seeing a huge black dog running loose. I left the back door open so Finster got tons of sympathy from the customers that came in. After I closed down I went back to the Festival with Finster. We made it about 1/2 way to the tent before Finster got kicked out, apparently no dogs were allowed.
This landed Finster in the basement from 5-7. Then after the Fest we went to the Soudan's for a 30th birthday party. We got home around 1 to a pretty happy puppy ;)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Here are the remains of a soccer ball that Finster fashioned into a hat.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Day 195 - Friday (Freedom at work):
Another drip free morning! His bedding was totally dry again, this is getting more and more exciting. At work Finster slept clear until 1125am. Chris and I took him for a little walk before lunch. At around 12 I took him for another walk because CA and I were taking Bill out for his birthday lunch. I left Finster in his crate in the office from 1230-130ish. While he was in his crate I put a T-Shirt on him so that he didn't lick at his stitches. After lunch I felt bad for not taking him for a long walk so I let him loose in our office for the afternoon. This he thoroughly enjoyed! He chewed some stuff, sat at my side, laid at CA's feet, slobbered CA's sandles, he had a great time!

After work we went home and mowed the lawn. Finster did a swell job of staying in the yard. He went as far as the trees and then stopped and watched me mow. Actually, at one point he ventured over into the neighbor's (the deaf lady, not across the road) yard. I got back into our yard and he was fine after that.

Eventually the inlaws came by to help set up a tent for the Oatka Festival. Finster did a great job helping. He shredding some of the materials that were in the box which was a great help! During dinner he just laid on the deck, which was a good test for his dripping. Again, not one drip ventured out from his... well, you know.
After the inlaws left I put Finster in the basement for about an hour before we went to bed. This was quite a relief to him as it was about 90 outside and about 70 in the basement.

Day 194 - Thursday (Back to work):
Ahh, back to the normal routine. This morning we got up at 630 (I had to get to work early) and took a little walk. Instead of doing the loop trail around the woods we just walked up the road so that Finster didn't get his stitches wet running through the stream, which he invariably does.
Work went well, everyone came over to greet him and all were happy to see him. Many noticed his weight loss and everyone was amazed that he was back to normal in 2 days after having his chest ripped open and his kidney taken. We did our normal morning walk at 11 and then a 30 minute lunch walk at 1 (I had a stupid meeting). During the walks Finster performed like a champ, even running at times. Seriously, if I didn't know better I would assume he went to Cornell for a nice hair cut (they shaved his tummy).
After work Finster amazed my baseball team too. I tied him up to the fence and then E showed up at around 630 to watch him. He did great, jumping around (a bit), barking at the baseball (a bit) and tugging at his leash to try to lick Jason's kids!
After the game we got home around 9ish and lounged around and played with the pup a bit. I am SUPER happy to announce that I have not seen any signs of dripping since he has returned! This is so cool, and fabulous!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Day 193 - Wednesday (Picking up da pup):
Here is another email from Cornell with some interesting news:

That's all kidney!! There's not much actual "kidney"'s mostly the capsule surrounding the kidney that's filled with fluid. The blog site is great! I may be doing my senior seminar on Finster (we have to write up a case report and present it to the school) since he was such an interesting case. I'd love to have some pictures of him for the power point. He's really a great dog....nobody wants to see him go!

I should be charging Cornell for supplying such an interesting study dog :)

E and I got down to Cornell at around 830pm. Finster came out and was pretty darned happy to see us! He was wiggling and shaking, it was quite nice. I honestly think he has more energy now than before! He didn't really settle down until we left. The only thing we really have to do is to keep him calm and out of the water until the stitches come out (on the 22nd).

Finster was fine during the 2 hour drive home, he slept most of the way, and looked out the window and at the back of our heads for the rest of the time. It sure is nice having him back!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Day 192 - Tuesday (Pictures):

Here are the pictures, beware, they are a bit graphic :) This is the email from our vet:

Here's some photos I took of Finster before, and during surgery. I tried to take one of him today but he wouldn't sit still. :) He looks great and has been playing with toys the ICU techs have given him. Everyone loves him! Some of the pics are graphic, but they are pretty amazing. See you tomorrow!

ps he lost 11 pounds after surgery!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Day 191 - Monday (Surgery):
Woke up this morning about an hour later than usual, no puppy to walk :) and :(.

We didn't get a call until 445pm with results. Finster made it through the surgery just fine :) Diane (the vet) said the kidney was HUGE and it took a little longer than they thought to get it out. She said the "tube" going into it was a few inches in diameter, normal is the size of your pinky finger. She said he would sleep all night and then they will try to feed him tomorrow. Apparently there were 8-10 people watching the surgery and they were excited to see such a big kidney because they'd never seen one so big before. They sent it down to pathology to have it tested. Diane wasn't sure how much the sucker weighed but they will weigh Finster soon and let me know what the difference is. She also said that they took a bunch of pictures and that they can email them to me tonight, so I'll post those pictures eventually.
At home it was weird without Finster to think about. We felt like an old couple whose kids just left for college. It was both great and sucky at the same time. We did nothing all night.

Day 190 - Sunday (Long drive to Cornell):
Phew, another long day. I had a game at 1pm that both E and Finster attended. I finally convinced E to tie Finster to the fence and enjoy the game. This worked great! She didn't have to use up all her energy holding him back. Him and Sparky got along great, until Sparky left for a more dog free environment (my parents and their dogs showed up). It was a pretty hot day so we gave Finster a nice big tray of water which he quickly finished. Then my dad took him over to the hose and sprayed him down :) This was clearly the highlight of both Finster's and my dad's day. Finster was rolling around in the wet grass like an elephant in mud.
After the game we packed up Finster and headed for Cornell for the big surgery. We got there around 7ish and talked with the vets there. They were happy to see Finster again and Finster was happy to see them. He slobbered up both of the ladies and then we said our goodbyes. Finster happily left us to follow his new friends, I didn't even see him look back :)
Before we left Ithaca we stopped by the theatre to see Pirates of the Carribbean 2. I wasn't a huge fan but E enjoyed (the eye candy) it.

Day 189 - Saturday (Party):
What another busy day. Today we had a big sale at the store so Finster, E and I went to the store at around 8am. Finster got to spend the day in the fenced in area behind the store. I took him for about a 20 minute walk around lunch time and that's it. He was a great dog! He didn't complain a bit about being locked in all day. At around 1pm I went to my company summer picnic and left Finster with E.
E said that Finster was a good boy while I was gone even with the lack of exercise. When I got home from the party at around 1030 E was sleeping on the basement floor with a blanket and a big puppy :) The odds of this happening is equal to the Queen of England sleeping naked in a pig sty, but it did happen :)

Day 188 - Friday (Rosco-P-Co-Train):
For lunch Finster had another Canal dock sandwich.

After work we had Erika and Brian over for some dinner. They brought their Beagle (Rosco) over to play with Finster. At first Rosco was a bit scared of Finster but once Brian let him off his leash he was running around and playing like they were good friends. Finster had no chance of catching that little guy. It's funny, seeing them together now. Last time they played together Finster was about the same size as Rosco; now he towers over him. We played fetch with Rosco for a while while Finster watched and chased Rosco; who is the retriever here? After a while Rosco got a bit tired out and slowed down so Finster could catch him. Eventually, Rosco got pretty annoyed with Finster jumping around and egging him on. He seems pretty good at egging on other dogs. He doesn't know when he's not wanted at all; like a little sibling.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Day 187 - Thursday (Delicious Dock):
Today for lunch we went to the canal boat launch again. Finster spent about 50% of his time there chewing on the wooded deck. He looks good and retarded scratching and chewing on the huge dock, but I guess it suites him well.
After work I had a baseball game (we won) and Finster stayed at home with mom. She mowed the lawn and had Finster out in the yard with her. He did great until Don and Sedona came out. He wandered across the road to pay them a visit. Erica went over and dragged him back with the help of Don. This landed him in the basement until I got home. It's funny coming home and not seeing Finster in the yard, I know instantly that he did something bad. :) We got a call from the vet in Cornell confirming that the surgery will be on Monday the 10th, woot, I guess.

Day 186 - Wednesday (Great Dane):
Today for lunch I had to meet with an FBI agent for a friend of mine who is trying to become an agent. Finster and I drove to the thruway exit to meet the agent for the reference check. During the interview Finster stayed in my car and I got into the agent's van. She asked me if Finster was a Great Dane, I smacked her in the face and said "No moron, he's a lab"; or something like that. That makes me feel real safe about the safety of our nation if an FBI agent can't tell the difference between a Black Lab and a Great Dane.

After the meeting I had to give Finster his lunch walk. I took him back to the wooded trail for a nice 30 minute walk. The walk got cut short when Finster rolled in a muddy mud puddle. He was a mess, mud all over his head and body. The only way to clean him was to take him to the canal. So off to the canal we went. When we got there I threw in his 2x4 a few times and then came back to the office all nice and clean.

Day 185 - Tuesday (The fourth):
Today we went and dropped mom off at the store and then went home. Finster helped me do a bunch of yard work during the day. At around 330 I took off for the store. After we closed at 6 we went to Matt's graduation party. We got home around 830 or so and Finster was patiently waiting for us in the basement. All around a pretty uneventful 4th.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Day 184 - Monday (Camping):
Monday started off nice and slow like Sunday. We didn't do anything until 2 when we left for our 4th of July plans. To start it off we dropped Finster off at my parents and then went to the Walmart in Albion to see my mom. After that we went back to my parents to visit with my dad. He actually got Finster in the pool for a quick swim :) We played with Finster around the pool for a while and then went up to the inlaws. I stayed there for a while and then went back to Albion to do some photography (which I forgot to do earlier when I was there). After the photography I went to my sister's to visit for about an hour. Then finally, at around 7ish I made it back to Finster. He was tied up when I got there and everyone was finishing up eating, not a good sign. He was being a bit obnoxious and annoying so he got tied up while everyone ate. After I finished eating I let him off the stake. Finster and Sparky got along great today! Not one issue that I know about! Finster was in and out of the pond all day so he maintained a smell of wet dog. At one point everyone was up on the deck except Finster, he was down playing in the pond. I went down to see what the deal was. He was digging at a rock like there was gold in it or something. He dug his nails down to little nubs. When it got dark Finster got good and close to the campfire and konked out. At one point after the fire was stoked up his tail was about 5 feet from a 6 feet tall fire, his fur was burning up; I have no idea how he slept through it but it didn't faze him one bit.
At around 12 we started picking up the campfire stuff and moving to our tents. While I was in the house Finster decided to take another dip in the pond, arg. We were planning on sleeping with him in our tent, but that was while he was dry. We started off just letting him run while we tried to sleep. E's aunt and uncle felt bad for him so they brought him in their tent. He got excited, sat on Butch's face and stepped on Sherri. He wouldn't lay down, he just sat up and stared out the window at our tent. Butch let him out and I took him up to the garage to sleep in there. After I got back into my tent and comfortable he started barking. So I got back up and put him in the car to sleep after drying him off a bit. When I got back to the tent and comfortable E felt bad for Finster and said to bring him back to our tent. So I got back up and got Finster. This is certainly what he wanted. He laid down in no time and was snoring after about 4 minutes. This didn't bode well with my ability to sleep. I got maybe an hour of sleep all night. At around 730 it started raining, and at about 8 the tent started leaking. E and I went inside to sleep for the last 30 minutes of the "night", Finster went to the garage.

Day 183 - Sunday (Lots of nothing):
Today was great! We did absolutely nothing. We hung out and read and played with Finster all day. We didn't go anywhere, have any company, nothing, it was great. I'm going to savor that moment with a short blog entry. Finster's eye problem is completely cleared up now, isn't medicine great!

Day 182- Saturday (Double header, then party):
This morning I got up and took Finster for his usual loop walk. I had a double header starting at 10am. This left Finster in the basement from 930 until 4pm, piece of cake. When I got home everything was fine except for the roll of paper towels that he absolutely destroyed. I really think he enjoyed himself with this one. At 6ish we had Bill, Denise, CA and Tina over for a little party. While I was gone to the store Bill, Denise and Tina showed up. Apparently Finster was fresh out of the ditch and a bit muddy when they pulled in. He proceeded to transfer some of his mud onto the girls clothing, which didn't go over too well. This landed him in the basement until I got home. Finster did ok the rest of the night. He annoyed a few and charmed a few. He did great during dinner. We put him on the upper deck and he stayed there the whole time we ate. After dinner and dessert we started a chiminea fire and Finster laid right in front of it :) Later in the night the neighbors set off a ton of fireworks, Finster's first experience with loud and colorful fireworks. It started off great, he pretty much ignored them. Eventually he got a little nervous and hid behind his favorite guest, Tina. He didn't whine or cower really, just laid under Tina's chair.

Day 181 - Friday (Tasty dock):
This morning I got to put Finster's meds in by myself, joy. I decided to abandon trying to drop the meds into his eye from the tube, instead I put the drop on my finger and then put my finger in his eye. This worked 100% better. He didn't get nervous and I got it right in his eye first try. I can already tell the difference in his eye, it's already looking much better. Today for lunch Finster and I went to the canal boat launch to do some swimming. To change it up a bit we walked to the boat launch instead of driving. It's only about a mile walk so I figured it was dumb to drive there. Towards the end of lunch Finster became highly interested in the wooden dock. He scratched at it and chewed on it for no reason, he was quite upset with it I guess.

Day 180 - Thursday (By by puppy collar):
This morning when I got Finster up I noticed his eye had more green goop in it and looked redder than yesterday and a bit droopy.
Today for lunch we went to the Laundromat and then to the Henrietta park for a walk. When we got to the park Finster and I walked across the fields to get to the walking path. I noticed a party was going on, the group was playing a bit of volleyball in the middle of the track but thought nothing of it. Finster, on the otherhand, thought a lot of the ball itself and took off one that was laying on the ground. I yanked back on his leash but that didn't even slow him down. In confusion I looked down at the end of the leash and noticed his collar still attached with no Finster secured in it. He snapped the plastic clasp right off and bounded enthusiastically for the ball. When he arrived at the ball he pounced on it and slobbered it all up trying to get it in his mouth. One of the party people announced that he wanted Finster on his team :). Corralling Finster was a bit of a feat with no collar to grab on to and lots of people vying for his attention. Eventually, I wrapped his leash around his neck and embarrassingly walked away.
In the afternoon I called the vet about Finster's eye and he said to stop by and pick up some eye ointment to get rid of the infection, which is what he assumed was the problem.
So, after work Finster and I drove to Albion to pick up the eye meds and then we stopped at my parents for some dinner. My mom and I tried to put the eye meds in; I held Finster in every way I could think of but I couldn't keep him still enough to drop the meds in his eye. He either wiggled out of my grasp or closed his eye. When my dad got home he was able to hold Finster down while I put the meds in his eye.

Day 179 - Wednesday (Boring lunch):
This morning I woke up and got Finster out of the crate for our walk. I noticed that Finster's left eye (our right) had extra green goop in it and it was bloodshot, what else could go wrong?
Today Finster got shunned for lunch. The boys and I went to lunch with RonB. and left Finster behind in my office alone. In preparation I took him for an intense 45 minute walk in the woods. He was good and tired by the time I went to lunch so he slept the whole time I was gone. I was a bit nervous leaving him alone in my office for that long but everything worked out fine.
After work we went to the store for the monthly book discussion group. Finster got to chill in his fenced in area until we went home.

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