Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Today, MRI and CAT scan —

–Tomorrow, the surgery.

We have been here since 7:30 this morning and now — it is nearly three as I type this — the consensus is that they want to talk things over before doing surgery. I gather that the MRI and CAT scan do not entirely seem to show the same thing, or something, hence discussion somewhere behind the scenes.

So, the surgery will (probably?) be tomorrow.

The good news, such as it is: they seem to think she is a good candidate for this surgery (barring whatever the puzzle regarding the various scans involves). She certainly doesn’t have syringomyelia, a problem in the breed — that will please her breeder (who has handed me a list of other questions to ask the neurologist, given that we’ve done an MRI anyway). It would have been highly atypical for SM, but still. They do think she is in fabulous shape for her age and that she should do very well once they sort out how to do the surgery. I agree that Pippa is in great shape, which is why I am willing to do it. Of course you never know, but I see no obvious reason she shouldn’t live several happy years yet if she gets through this.

You may be wondering about pet insurance. No, I don’t have it. But for years and years I have just kept a $10,000 cushion at all times for exactly this kind of situation. That’s enough to handle two serious pet health emergencies at the same time. When building that cushion, I thought of it as paying myself insurance premiums.

If I had paid $40 per month in premiums, that would be $480 per year. Multiply that times … not sure … say, eight dogs, which has been a pretty typical number of dogs for me for the last decade (leave out the cats) and that is $3840 per year. Pay that for ten years and you can add a zero, so that is $38,400 — a complete waste if nothing goes seriously wrong with any of your dogs. And that is why I haven’t paid premiums to insurance companies, but to myself: in a different kind of emergency, that money is there.

This cushion has made a big difference twice in twenty-five years, so I guess so far I’m averaging about one medical disaster per decade. After this, I will take a while to pay the cushion back up, I expect.

Okay, new subject! Having been working here at this hospital, on this uncomfortable chair made for someone taller than I am, I will add, but with WiFi available, I can now tell you with assurance that my decision not to pursue ways to improve internet access from my home is looking really solid.

I’m getting work done. It was a great idea to bring my laptop, because cutting words half a sentence at a time all the way through a manuscript is exactly the right kind of task for a day like this. But wow, is it easy to waste ten minutes or an hour doing pointless things online when the connection is right there. When I move back to working on the more creative part of writing, it’ll be great NOT to have easy internet access.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Pippa in her prime.

The rose is no longer with me. A different rose covers this gazebo now, giving rise to different pictures with other dogs posed beneath the flowers. Everything has its time, and everything ends.

But with luck, Pippa won’t have her end this year.

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2 Comments Today, MRI and CAT scan —

  1. Mary Beth

    Your decisions re: “insuring” your dogs your dogs yourself sound wise, especially when they’re generally healthy — very much hope the others stay that way for a good long while. Best of luck to you, Pippa, and her care team in prepping for her surgery.

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