Good news: I’m not institutionalized! I’m feeling much better. 🙂

Yesterday, after I told my broker I was done and wanted to back out of this deal, a lot happened. She was open to me doing that, given all the trouble I’ve had, and gave me numbers regarding how much money I’d be losing. She also ran the numbers for if I stopped with the renovation loan business and just went for a regular mortgage, and oddly enough…it still made more financial sense to just keep on trying for this renovation loan. I wouldn’t be able to apply for a loan to do the renovations–or a refinance– until I had made 5 mortgage payments. By then, the rates are definitely going to be higher than they are now. And there was no guarantee I would be approved; whereas right now, we have done all the work so I am approved. Might as well get it all now while the interest rates are low and the approvals are in.

And, best yet…she found another contractor. This is actually a company that specializes in these types of loans, and they know the ins and outs of dealing with the FHA and the FHA appraisers like Kathy…and as part of their job, they will hash out all the fine print and get the paperwork done so I don’t have to. I mean, I’ll still be reading all that fine print and paperwork so I know exactly what’s going on, but I don’t need to chase anyone down or try to be a go-between when it comes to two tempermental, egotistical people who don’t want to work together (as was the case with the previous contractor and this Kathy shrew). “You’ve been working too hard on this, and now they’re going to take it over and make this come together a whole lot smoother,” my broker told me. I felt good that she acknowledged how hard I’ve been working, and that now it was going to ease up. Whew.

We do have to push out the close of escrow by a few days, though. This sucks because yes, I will have to pay fees for each day we are over. But with any luck and my insistence, we will close no more than 4 days late. Already, the new contracting company has been out to the house to measure and understand the scope of the work, and I have been answering questions with my project manager (a woman!) and feeling like it’s coming together thousands of times faster and easier than it has up until now. She’s compiling the list with the pricing, and then later on (hopefully today) I will go to the showroom just down the road and pick out the cabinets, carpet, and possibly paint colors if we can fit painting into my budget. Sweet!

Because that’s the other thing: the budget has changed. The appraisal said I would get the most value by redoing the kitchen and bathrooms (new vanities and toilets, in addition to cosmetic stuff like painting and lighting). So that’s where the bulk of the money will be focused. In return, I’m planning to do most of the interior painting myself. I’m hoping to get the federal tax credit and if I do, some of that money can probably go to building that covered porch and painting the exterior, along with getting other little things done here and there that don’t need to happen right now.

Overall, I just feel a lot better. I think I hit a low yesterday morning, when I was having so much trouble with that Kathy person and the contractor. Each was calling the other one names. “That Kathy is a massive BITCH,” said the contractor. Kathy said, “Your contractor is, well, a delusional ASS if he thinks he can present a bid like this.” See what I mean? Totally idiotic, unprofessional behavior. I’m still thinking of reporting or complaining about Kathy to someone, because she really is negative and kind of a bully-personality, which doesn’t always work when you are dealing with people like me who are just conscientious homebuyers trying to play by the rules. I don’t need to be pushed around; I just need direction. Big difference. I’ll see how this progresses with the new company, though. Apparently they have worked with her before. So they know about her ego, I assume. Good. Let them deal with it, not me.


In other news, Olive had the spay surgery on Friday and it went well. We found out she had pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus that can be very serious. (If you’re on Facebook, you know this already.) She was doing OK, but it took her a couple days to want to eat again. Yesterday morning, she vomited a foamy substance with bright red blood throughout. It only happened once, though, and so I am not panicking about it. I’m ashamed to admit that I just sort of looked at her after cleaning it up and thought, “I can’t take her to the vet right now, I just can’t. There is no money. I’ll just have to watch her and if it gets worse, I’ll do something…but for now, I can’t.” She was sluggish most of the day, but she did improve enough to go on a slow walk around the block with Hurley and I before bed.

The bigger issue is that she will not stop urinating on the carpet in the living room. It started when she was in heat, and then increased when she was sick a couple weeks ago. I would clean it up, spray down the No-Go spray so she wouldn’t use the same spot like that again, and repeat as necessary. But when I got her home from the spay on Friday, the first thing she did was go to the living room and squat in front of the TV and take a pee. I grabbed her and got her outside as fast as I dared (she was still groggy and sore of course) and cleaned it all up. I didn’t yell at her because of the surgery factor. I figured it was bound to happen. She was probably holding that pee all day after the surgery.

But it kept happening. All weekend long, several times a day. All around the same area in the living room. I have been taking her outside every couple of hours, and on Saturday it was almost every hour…doing the housebreaking thing with praising her for going outside, all of that. Clearly she needs a brushing-up. Because she’s just unbelievable with this. She even went right in front of me as I was watching something the other night. I got to scold her since I caught her in the act, and dragged her outside and wouldn’t let her in until she “finished” peeing.

I’ve had the Bissel Stain Lifter plugged in out in the living room on a continuous basis, because every time I clean it out and put it away, she’d do it again. And again. Now I’m just ready to go. My living room stinks even though I am using this thing, baking soda and also the No-Go (which normally neutralizes the smell). But I know the damage has gone down to the pad under the carpet, and there isn’t much I can do about it, that I know of. I’m probably going to get a professional to come out and do a really extensive deep clean. Maybe that will help? At least, it would make my house feel a little cleaner and normal again. I hate this so much. It’s gross and embarassing if anyone comes by. Ugh.

She’s confined to the kitchen tile again, behind the baby gate. Hurley’s in there with her so it’s not like she is being singled out and punished; I fear she would retaliate for that. My Mom thinks she could be rebelling against having Simon there in the house. Possibly. She is a bit jealous and is used to nudging the other animals out of the way so she can grab my attention. I’m trying not to encourage that, and instead I’m trying to spend dedicated time with her, when I choose. It would work with almost any other dog, probably, except her right now. She’s relentless with this peeing thing.

Any thoughts as to if this could be a side effect from the spay surgery/heat/ being sick? I know dogs can become incontinent sometimes after being spayed, but she isn’t going where she sleeps or anything like that. This is deliberate peeing.

Moving on to Simon…still doing great, still growing like a monster. I can’t believe how much bigger he is already! He’s so weird and I love it. He has a thing for my IKEA trash cans; the two I have in my bedroom and the office. It’s just a simple open can and I only throw paper items and other little trash-things in there (like clothing tags, etc). Simon likes to knock it over and pull the papers out. Then he will sit inside the can once it’s done rolling around. He’s fallen asleep in there before. I bought him a little cat house just for him, tried to entice him in with toys, treats and catnip…but he prefers a trash can, lying on its side. I don’t get it, I know I never will, but I think I will give him one of the two. It’s not like I used the bedroom one very much anyway.

He’s discovered the tub. He hops in there and runs around like a maniac, chasing his tail and the little scratches and dings in the enamel. Good luck “catching” those, Simon. Knock yerself out. This morning I turned the water on on him and enjoyed seeing him bolt out of there with bugged-out eyes as I chortled like a villain. Maybe that will cure him of this habit if I do it a few more times. Heh.

He and Hurley are still best of friends. They’re amazing. The other day, they were both lying on my bed, half-heartedly biting at one another’s face as they began to drift off to sleep…finally ending up with their paws intertwined a little and their noses inches apart as they slept. But when I moved slightly to get up and try to find a camera, they woke up and when I left the room, they jumped down and followed. I hate when that happens.

So, S rescheduled his trip. He’ll be out here a week from tomorrow night. I’m glad he’s feeling better now, although we’re not going to doing the hard hiking anymore. We’ll take it easy. I’m excited to have him visit. We’re still chatting a few times a week and talk about once a week. Anyway, I finally got my vacation days approved by my boss. I was worried there for a couple days, since she sent out an email saying there were too many vacation requests and that some are still “pending” her approval. Mine was one of the pending ones. But really, it’s not so bad. We’re not all going to be gone the same days or anything. It’s just summer, and people are using up their hours before they lose them at the end of August. It happens every year. I don’t like it when bosses act all put-out when you want to take your earned vacation time. What’s up with that? As long as you’re a hard worker, get everything done and don’t take vacation days all the time, I don’t see what the problem is. But this isn’t the first boss I’ve had who acted like this, so…whatever. It’s actually more the boss’s problem than it is mine. I know everything will be fine. She’s the one choosing to panic. Anyway, she approved the days off and all is well. Ahhhh.

So it’s probably true that you have to reach a low before you can come back up. I reached the low yesterday and I’m so glad it’s over now. Time to build myself back up to normal levels of stress.

And get some work done! This is a long enough blog post… I need to finish some real stuff.


7 responses »

  1. The funny thing about Kathy and the contractor sniping at each other is that THEY’RE BOTH RIGHT. But at least you won’t have to deal with that contractor anymore. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you don’t have any more problems or hiccups with the house situation.

    Glad Olive’s okay, but I don’t know what to tell you about the pissing, especially as it seems like she’s doing it deliberately. Maybe one of the other, more canine-savvy commenters can help…

  2. Sorry to hear that Olive is peeing. When I talked to Rod at lunch he informed me that Nemo had pooed in the basement for the third time in 7 days, so he’s going to have to be confined to the upstairs again when we’re not inside the house. I don’t know what goes on in his little doggy mind that he decides to be bad sometimes, but we never properly house-trained him (because we refused to crate him), so this is what we get… 10.5 months in and still having accidents. At least Zed has taken a slight break from peeing on things…. aren’t animals fun?

  3. Glad the house is moving forward. Let’s hope things go a bit smoother now and you don’t have to deal with ignorant people any more.

    I am not sure about Olive. It sounds like a retaliation things for something. The spaying or Simon? I am not sure. Perhaps Shades will have some insight. Will Olive have any repercussions from her uterian infection now that she is spayed? I am glad that got figured out because that was scary stuff with how much she was bleeding.

    So glad S is still coming to visit. Even with a more laid back visit it will still be loads of fun! 🙂

  4. Well! Things finally ARE moving right along, aren’t they? ! 🙂 I’m relieved for you! You DESERVE this! And yay! for S’s visit and vacation days!

    Re: Olive: I think you’re doing the right thing by “re-housebreaking” her. I also do agree some of the peeing is the “I’m SICK, DAMNIT and I’m TRYING to TELL YOU!” And maybe now it’s become a habit. Except for the first day home from surgery. A lot of my female pets have had accidents as soon as they come home from spay surgery, simply because being pumped full of IV fluids the whole time has to come out somewhere! Tess even looked so miserable the time she did it like “I know, I know, I just honestly CAN’T STOP!” And, yeah, that can go on for a day or so, as their body rids itself of all of the excess. You might rent a carpet shampooer from Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc… and just go over the WHOLE area (or even the whole room) with it, using white vinegar (a gallon is cheap) which is also an odor neutralizer. I also like Odo-Ban, which you can only get at SAM’S. The eucalyptus scent will drive you nuts, eventually, though. Those are the two things I use whenever we (very nice of us) voluntarily shampoo the carpets of whatever house/apartment we’re moving out of. Another suggestion I’m seeing more and more is, if (in the case of the carpet pad) the pet stain is of the type that has had a lot of time to really soak in, you should flood it with an equal amount of your odor neutralizer of choice, and leave that on just as long as the stain has been there- don’t blot it up or anything. Same with baking soda. Shake it down and leave it there all day, if you can. Really pile it on, and cover it with laundry baskets/buckets/something if you have to, in order to keep little paws out of it. I’m thinking those special cat litter “crystals” (also called “pearls”) that they started adding to cat litter a few years ago, but you can also buy a whole bag of (it’s like $8.00) that are meant to dehydrate might also work. Pour a pile of those on the areas of concern. Again, you’d have to cover them up and make sure nobody was in danger of ingesting them. They’re really neat… until they get saturated with pee and can’t soak up and dehydrate any more. Then they’re little yellow pee pellets, and not the clear, shiny crystals and pearls they once were. Amazing little creations, though.

    You can also try to “re-train” her brain in this way, if you feel it’s necessary. Get an x-pen, or several baby gates, or even those baby gate-like plastic “play yard” fences and confine Olive IN the space she’s been peeing. Only feed her and give her water in that place. The theory is to reinforce the “don’t shit where you eat” instinct. She shouldn’t WANT to soil the place where she is fed. She also shouldn’t WANT to soil any place in the house that smells like “the family hangs out here!”. Unfortunately, she’s made it smell too much like the bathroom.

    It could also be she’s sensitive to your stress; she’s upset because you’re upset, and she’s reacting to it in this way.

    It’s possible she’s still feeling ill. The foamy vomit is stomach acid. Usually when it’s bright yellow, it’s bile. Blood in it might just mean that her tummy is irritated by the meds she’s been taking. If it continues, you should at least call someone and see if they can tell you anything over the phone- most vets will, IF you’ve been in for a visit within the past 6 months. I think you definitely have room to argue with this vet in particular about all of the screwups and shortcomings and demand cooperation, in this case.

    Dogs don’t retaliate. They just don’t work that way.

  5. Hugs an squishes. I wish I had good advice for ya on the peeing. Maybe Olive is just special like Spatter. BTW, Ive started to put their prozac in some soft food so no more Basement Cat Santa for Smudge. I may need to borrow your steam cleaner. 😉

  6. Shades, thank you so much. I think I will end up renting a steam cleaner or hiring someone to come do it, and then begin to feed her in that spot. I think you’re right…she definitely won’t go where she eats! Fortunately it is a relatively small area of the room, so just having the food right there *should* do the trick. Such great ideas…! You’re definitely a fantastic resource for this kind of thing. Again, thanks.

    As of today, she is doing a lot better in most ways. For instance, we had no pee incidents yesterday or last night. She hasn’t vomited since Tuesday, and is eating pretty well again. So that’s great. The problem now is that she has an angry red rash down near her vulva, and she is again scooting along the ground when she can to try to relieve what I am assuming is an itch. The surgery incision is further up her belly and seems to be healing fine, so I don’t believe the two things are related. But if she is still fighting off a major infection, the rash could be part of that. My sister talked to a vet yesterday who explained that it could be that the antibiotics Olive is taking might not be strong enough to knock the infection out of her body; she might need more than that. Because even though the pyometra-infected uterus is gone, infection in other tissues can remain. Drinking a lot, peeing, being restless (she really is, just panting and chewing on her front paws even though there is nothing there) and yes, the vomiting, are all symptoms of pyometra, so she probably still has that infection somewhere. I am keeping a close eye on her, and depending on how she looks and feels today when I get home from work, I will be calling this vet my sister talked to because she sounded VERY knowledgeable about this sort of thing and might be the new vet I take them to.

    In other news, Simon is still sitting in garbage cans and Hurley is chasing airplanes in the yard.

  7. I’m glad things are improving! This new vet you speak of sounds like a good idea! And it sounds like you have a plan re: the rest of it! I’m anxious to know whether Olive still has an infection or not… I’m also thinking “allergy” since she’s chewing at her paws and has the rash. You never know. Food allergy would be the first thing to look into, though grass allergy is a common paw irritant. Particularly if the dogs regularly walk in wet grass, even if it’s from a sprinkler. There’s a fungus that irritates their feet.

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